Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sections | CTSOs | Education Links | Search | FAQ

Washington Association for Career and Technical Education

August 1, 2015 - 3:12 pm
only search WA-ACTE



Vern Chandler (right) pictured with Chuck Gallagher, Region V Vice President and Kathleen Lopp, OSPI Assistant Superintendent




Susan Dixon (center), CTE Director, Evergreen School District, Vancouver WA



2014 Award Recipients






The Washington Association for Career and Technical Education’s Awards seek to promote excellence in Career and Technical Education by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of Career and Technical Education, programs that exemplify the highest standards, and organizations that have conducted activities that promote and expand Career and Technical Education.  The award winners were announced during the Awards Breakfast at the Washington ACTE Summer Conference on August 5, 2014, at the Yakima Convention Center.



The purpose of the WASHINGTON ACTE CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD is to recognize teachers who are providing outstanding Career and Technical Education programs for youth and/or adults in their respective fields and communities. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique, and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote Career and Technical Education.



Susan Sears
Wenatchee School District



Susan Sears is a Business Education teacher at Wenatchee High School (WHS). Susan has taught at WHS for 10+ years. In addition to her teaching, she is a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Adviser. In addition, Susan has accepted leadership roles within her school. She has cochaired their Learning Improvement Team, took the lead in their school accreditation process, and led the AdvancED organization when it was piloted at her school and then was asked to become an evaluator at another school. Susan volunteered to do the accounting for the Central Region of Washington FBLA and has for several years. She was asked to join the Washington State Business Education Association (WSBEA) board several years ago. She has volunteered to help, a lot! For the past several years she has been the go-to person for the Silent Auction at the Business & Marketing Conference (BAM), helped to organize and invite presenters and guest speakers, and helps to schedule workshop presenters and hosts. Susan represents WSBEA on the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education (WA-ACTE) board. As a result, she has become responsible for organizing the Business Education portion of the WA-ACTE Summer Conference for CTE educators.



The purpose of the WASHINGTON ACTE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR is to recognize Career and Technical Educators who have provided significant contributions to professional associations and Career and Technical Education programs for youth and/or adults in their fields and/or communities. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique, and novel programs; and/or improvement, promotion, research, or development of programs of Career and Technical Education.



Susan Dixon
Evergreen School District



Prior to working in education, Susan Dixon worked for a communications firm for five and then 11 years at Shriners Hospital in Portland, Oregon, as the Manager for the Rehabilitation department. It was at Shriners Hospital, while conducting staff development that she became determined to pursue a career in education. Susan believes that the valuable work experience she acquired at Shriners Hospital was instrumental in forming many of the leadership traits necessary to be successful in any career. Susan owes much of her professional development to her affiliation with WAVA. She has served as area representative for three different periods of time and served as WAVA President during 2009-2010. Susan’s experience working in two school districts (Vancouver and Evergreen) over the past 20 years has provided many professional development opportunities and many invaluable mentors in her development as a leader. Mentors “pushed her thinking” and guided her to research and apply leadership techniques until she developed her own personal leadership style – “servant leader.”



The purpose of the WASHINGTON ACTE NEW TEACHER OF THE YEAR is meant to encourage new teachers to remain in the profession. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique, and novel programs and have shown a professional commitment early in their careers.



DeAira Handugan
Seattle School District



DeAira Handugan is a Family and Consumer Sciences Education teacher at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle and is a new teacher who has shown outstanding dedication to her students and her profession. Within her first three years as a Family and Consumer Science Educator she brought FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) to Chief Sealth, coached girls varsity softball, advised the Filipino Club, wrote and implemented a program for the student store, hosted an Academy dinner and silent auction, spoke at the academy graduation, partnered with nutrition services to redesign the lunch menu, helped the community urban garden that was featured on NBC, and has been an Ignite Liaison–a program to introduce young women into the information technology field, provide students with job shadows, and internships at Microsoft. As a Family and Consumer Sciences professional, DeAira is a WAFACSE public relations co-chair, organized several conferences, and presented at the National Academy Foundation conference in Orlando, Florida.



The purpose of the WASHINGTON ACTE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD is to recognize teachers with significant accomplishments and outstanding leadership in programs and activities that promote community involvement. Recipients of this award have made significant contributions toward training, motivating, and inspiring their peers and students to become involved in programs and projects that benefit their communities.



Kathleen Hendrix
Selah School District



Kathleen Hendrix is an outstanding representative of the kind of person who gives and gives. Throughout her years of teaching, she’s sought opportunities to work with teachers and advisers. She was a national consultant for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America teaching advisor workshops and a national Family Economics and Financial Education master teacher. She’s successfully written and presented curriculum in all areas of Family and Consumer Sciences in local, state, and national venues. She has expertise in teaching adults how to teach educational curriculum to students and adults. She’s mentored 12 student teachers and many new teachers. She’s always looking for creative ideas to empower students and has the ability to turn thought into action; empowering students to take the lead and succeed beyond their wildest dreams. She is an asset to CT education and her community. She believes in student leadership and looks for opportunities for her students to give service. She joins students with their community service leadership projects. Selah FCCLA has been recognized for best project in the nation in several national programs more than any chapter in Washington. Hendrix gives credit to her co-advisor and their ability to collaborate on Selah‘s number of outstanding projects and number of state and national officers in FCCLA.



The purpose of the WASHINGTON ACTE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD is to recognize the contributions and distinguished accomplishments of those persons who have been identified with the work and purposes of the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education.



Bruce McBurney



After graduating from Washington State University/University of Washington (1968) and serving as an officer in the United States Air Force (1968), Bruce McBurney began his teaching career in
Drafting Technology at Chief Sealth High School in 1972. He transitioned to Shoreline High School in 1975, to Shorecrest High School in 1976, and finally to Central Kitsap School District as CTE Director in 1989. Bruce served as WVA president for 1996-1997. After all these years in education, Bruce still felt the need to work with students so he accepted the position of Executive Director of SKILLSUSA WASHINGTON in 2007. Bruce’s passion has always been to help young people succeed in life and he chose the means to that end in the field of Career and Technical Education. Bruce has a vision and is quite capable of bringing it to fruition. He seeks constantly to bring the best out in those around him. His accolades alone would fill pages were they all to be listed. His energy and guidance has been vital in each aspect of his career and each award has been well earned. Each sponsor can be assured that any award given was not ill given to Bruce McBurney. It was given to a humble, well-deserving man.



Phyllis Lawson



Phyllis Lawson worked at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as the CTE certification specialist for over 25 years. Without her extensive knowledge of CTE, certification, and curricular programs, CTE programs and CTE teachers in Washington State would not be the successes they are today. The famous Phyllis Lawson never fails to impress us all when she attends WA-ACTE conferences and not only remembers everyone’s name, but also district, certification expiration, and endorsements! She greets the entire CTE community with style, class, and humor making us all feel appreciated and valued. When Phyllis speaks, people listen, and her conference sessions are always the crowd favorites (usually standing-room only!) Phyllis’s knowledge of the complicated CTE certification rules and processes has made her an invaluable member of the state CTE team, and CTE directors around the state have often feared the day she would retire. Knowing that she has mentored a protégé who will be able to step into that role makes us all fear just a little bit less. Phyllis will be greatly missed by all of Washington State CTE.




Yelm Community Schools

ACTE Region V Carl Perkins Community Service Award



ACTE Region V Hall of Fame Award



The WASHINGTON ACTE LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD is presented to recognize legislators who have made a contribution of state significance to Career and Technical Education.


Senator Christine Rolfes – 23rd Legislative District

Christine Rolfes is the Democratic floor leader and state senator from the 23rd Legislative District, including the Kitsap County communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Silverdale, and East Bremerton. She has fought to advance legislation reflecting the common-sense values of the 23rd District since 2007, serving in the House of Representatives until her appointment to the Senate on July 20, 2011. In addition to serving as Senate minority floor leader, she also sits on the Early Learning and K-12 Education, Rules, and Transportation committees. Her leadership advocating for small businesses, downtown revitalization, ferry reform, military-families and veterans, and public education has yielded tangible results for Washington families. As the prime sponsor of one of the only significant K-12 reforms passed during the 2014 legislative session (SB 6552), Christine helped ensure Washington’s students will be better prepared for college or a career when they graduate from high school. That bill raises the graduation requirement to 24-credits, up from 20, and gives students the opportunity for more classes including mathematics and laboratory science.


Representative Sam Hunt – 22nd Legislative District

Sam Hunt represents the 22nd Legislative District – the cities of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater, and unincorporated northern Thurston County, including the communities of Cooper Point, Boston Harbor, and Johnson Point. He chairs the Government Operations and Elections Committee, and serves on the Education Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. Sam has worked as Director of Legislative Affairs, for the Department of Information Services, as a public school teacher in Pasco and Montesano, as Governor Booth Gardner’s Special Assistant for K-12 Education, as Staff Director for the Washington State Senate Majority Leader, and on the staff of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations under Senator Warren G. Magnuson.



The WASHINGTON ACTE Achieve 100% MEMBERSHIP AWARD recognizes schools and institutions that have 100% Washington ACTE membership participation from each and every member of their Career and Technical Education staff.  The 2014 recipients:


  • Fife School District - Marlyne Johnson, CTE Director
  • Lynden School District - Randy Anderson, (former) CTE Director
  • Mount Vernon School District - Ryan Beatty, CTE Director
  • OSPI CTE - Betty Klattenhoff, State CTE Director
  • Quincy School District - Nicole Monroe, CTE Director
  • Shelton School District - Pat Cusack, CTE Director
  • Yelm Community Schools - Teri Pablo, CTE Director