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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

  • March 11, 2020 7:19 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    In response to news of the COVID-19 virus and its appearance in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine issued an Executive Order on March 9, declaring a state of emergency in Ohio. On March 11, Gov. DeWine issued this letter.

    Subsequently, the career-technical education community issued the following statement in support of the DeWine Administration’s continued efforts to protect Ohioans:

    The community of Ohio career technical educators appreciates and supports Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership in protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans, especially our school children.  The organizations representing career-tech educators, including Ohio Association of Career Technical Education, Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents and the Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Career-Technical Schools, are in regular contact with Administration staff and leadership from the Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education. ODE representatives continue to provide various updates and guidance as available, including information on school operations and extracurricular activities impacted by COVID-19.  The organizations will continue to  monitor executive orders or proposed legislation and keep educators apprised and aware of the ever-evolving situation and activities impacted.

    The Ohio Department of Health has also released critical information, and educators are encouraged to collaborate with their local department of health in order to determine an appropriate course of action at the local level.

    Information from the Ohio Department of Health can be accessed here:

    The Ohio Department of Education held a teleconference March 9 with guidance and updates for education stakeholder groups. ODE also created the following website where educators can get information:

    Upcoming Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) events (DECA and BPA) were cancelled due to the outbreak, and ODE staff is working with career-tech educators to find alternatives to the face-to-face competitions.  (See related article).  No decisions other than the cancellation of these two upcoming events taking place this weekend have been made yet, according to ODE, but a web page has been created for cancellation updates, accessible here:

    Information for schools that act as polling locations is provided by ODE, click here.

    “This is an unprecedented situation for Ohio’s education community, and Ohio ACTE leadership is grateful for the continued, robust collaboration with our colleagues at the Ohio Department of Education, including Career Tech Director Leah Amstutz and other ODE staff,” said Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director.  “State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria has also provided strong leadership, fostering communication among stakeholders to keep students safe, as well as determining alternatives that minimize disruption to student learning—including extracurricular activities and competitions,” she added.

     Leaders in the career tech organizations will continue to monitor legislation, Executive Orders and other information to ensure the interests of career tech education—including its students and teachers—are considered in any relevant policy discussions.

    Ohio ACTE will continue to provide updates on its website as they become available.

  • March 10, 2020 3:59 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    On March 9, 2020, Governor DeWine issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ohio Department of Education, Business Professionals of America, Ohio Association, and Ohio DECA remain committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of its members.  Therefore, the 2020 BPA State Leadership Conference and the 2020 DECA Career Development Conference are cancelled.

    ODE has created a website for updated cancellations:

    In lieu of the scheduled event, ODE staff is meeting with the board, teacher advisory group, and necessary stakeholders to discuss possible competitive alternatives, financial resolutions, and more.  "We recognize this is not an ideal situation, but the safety and well-being of members, volunteers, and staff is our top priority."

    Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health asks all Ohioans to engage in and promote the practice of everyday preventive actions.

  • March 09, 2020 12:08 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio ACTE is pleased to announce the 2020 Educator Award winners! Nominated by their peers, the Educator Awards recognize those who go above and beyond in their role to make sure students are learning, growing, and thriving in their career-tech experience. Their tireless effort ensures that career-tech schools are continuing to offer the best education possible for all learners.  Here are the 2020 award winners:

    • Administrator of the Year: Dennis Franks–Pickaway Ross
    • Teacher of the Year: Derek Fitzer–South-Western City Schools Career Academy
    • Career Guidance: Corinne Magensky–Four Cities Compact
    • New CTE Teacher: Rebecca McCowan–Great Oaks Career Campuses
    • Outstanding Teacher in Community Service: Sara Plozay–Upper Valley CC
    • Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year: Joy Shepherd–Apollo CC
    • Ambassador Award: Susan Schwalbauch–Pickaway ESC
    • Business Image Award: Bill Swan—Business Partner with Auburn CC
    • Outstanding School Board Members: Julie Wagner Feasel—Delaware Area CC & Paul Stefanko—Auburn CC

    Visit to learn more about these educators from the people who nominated them and the remarkable things they do for career-tech education and the students they serve.

  • March 04, 2020 7:02 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Emergency plans that schools are required to submit to the state should include responses to flu and other disease outbreaks as a best practice, and the Ohio Department of Education is encouraging schools to review their plans in light of the spread of coronavirus.

    The FAQ on coronavirus can be found by clicking on the following link:

    ODE specifically urged schools to review the "medical: pandemic" component of each building plan, as well as the "recovery" and "continuity of operations" portions of the plan.

    "As part of the emergency management plan, schools should have established procedures for determining when to close a school; how to communicate information to parents, students, staff and the community about the closing; and procedures for decontaminating facilities if necessary," ODE said.

    The department also encouraged school officials to consider doing the following:

    - Refresh their relationship with their local health department and county emergency management agency and ensure their awareness of local health emergency procedures in their communities.

    - Convene Planning Team/Safety Committees to ensure awareness of emergency procedures.

    - Modify emergency management plans as may be necessary in light of a review.

    - Ensure contact information for staff and student families is up to date.

    - Ensure that administrator contact information is current in OH/ID at the Ohio Department of Education.

    More information on school safety plans is at

  • March 02, 2020 9:51 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Guided by Each Child, Our Future, Ohio is on a mission to ensure high school inspires students to identify paths to future success and students have multiple ways to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for high school graduation and beyond. Whether a graduate chooses to enter the workforce, pursue a postsecondary education, enlist in the military or engage in a meaningful, self-sustaining vocation, Ohio’s high school graduates will be challenged, prepared and empowered for their lives after high school. 

    To advance the One Goal outlined in Each Child, Our Future, today, the Ohio Department of Education released guidance on the new long-term graduation requirements, including competency scores for both English language arts II and algebra I. The guidance document provides more information on the competency scores and detailed information about each of the state-defined seals. Updates will be made to the document as more information becomes available. Please note the version date at the bottom of the document.

    To meet graduation requirements, students, as always, will complete their required courses and take the required state tests. Additionally, students now will demonstrate competency in the foundational areas of English language arts and mathematics or through alternative options, which include College Credit Plus, career-focused activities or military enlistment. Students also will demonstrate readiness for their post-high school paths by earning two diploma seals that allow them to demonstrate important foundational and well-rounded academic and technical knowledge, professional skills, social and emotional competencies, and leadership and reasoning skills. These important sets of knowledge, skills and dispositions are necessary for high school graduates to be successful in the workplace, college, the military or other self-sustaining professions.

    Regarding competency scores, Ohio law directed the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, to establish competency scores for the English language arts II and algebra I end-of-course tests. After gathering feedback from Ohio’s education stakeholders and business communities, the Department determined “competency” would be set at a score of 684 for both the English language arts II and algebra I tests.

     If you have any questions, contact Graham Wood at

  • February 20, 2020 10:27 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Get Ready for the Next Round of TechCred!

    The upcoming application period will run from March 2nd to March 31st.

    Advancements in technology are rapidly changing the 21st century workplace and all over Ohio, there are employers who can’t find people with the skills needed to fill their good-paying jobs.

    To help ease this transition for businesses and workers, last year the DeWine-Husted Administration launched TechCred, a program that will fund 10,000 in-demand technology credentials per year.

    Through TechCred, businesses can identify the specific qualifications they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position. In partnership with a training provider, the employer can apply online at TechCred.Ohio.Gov. The state will reimburse up to $2,000 of training upon completion of a credential.

    The upcoming application period will open on March 2nd and run through March 31st.

    With questions, please reach out directly to Workforce@OWT.Ohio.Gov.

  • February 10, 2020 4:00 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)
    The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Career-Technical Education in partnership with the Ohio Department of Higher Education is offering biweekly Skype sessions to help local leaders implement the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment. Session presenters will offer guidance, answer questions and suggest materials to review in individual planning sessions.

    All Skype sessions are from noon to 1 p.m. Please click on the applicable session below to access the meeting log-in webpage:

    For questions about the conference calls, please email Rhedeshia Young-Willingham or call (614) 387-6001.
  • February 07, 2020 2:14 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio Chancellor Randy Gardner and Senator Matt Huffman were honored at the 2020 Legislative Seminar and each received Ohio ACTE's Public Servant of the Year Award.  The award is given annually to public service leaders who have provided the greatest impact on career technical and adult education.

    Pictured here are Maggie Hess, OACTS Executive Director, Keith Horner, Superintendent, Apollo Career Center, Senator Huffman, Chancellor Gardner, Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director and Bill Bussey, OTC Executive Director.

    Ohio Senator Matt Huffman

    Prior to joining the Ohio Senate, Matt Huffman was an attorney with the law firm Huffman, Kelly, Brock and Gottchalk in Lima, Ohio. Senator Huffman’s first experience with politics was as a member of Lima City Council where he served for 7 years. Senator Huffman then served in the Ohio House of Representatives for 4 terms. He was then elected to the Ohio Senate in November of 2016 where he has served since. 

    Senator Huffman has been a great friend and supporter of Career Technical Education and to traditional K - 12’s with his deregulation efforts. Senator Huffman has:

    • sponsored and passed Senate Bill 216; a significant deregulation bill for K - 12 districts.
    • sponsored and introduced Senate Bill 89 specifically deregulating Career Technical Centers that passed the Senate 33-0 and is now in the house. 
    • Senator Huffman is continuing with this effort to make our lives easier with a second version of SB 216 focusing on more deregulation. 

    Senator Huffman has also advocated and worked on a national level to propose a constitutional convention that would be focused on passing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.  He has remained fundamentally consistent in his positions on education policy throughout his legislative career and has supported those positions with legislative action. 

    Chancellor Gardner

    Randy Gardner was appointed the 10th Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education just one year ago.  As Chancellor, he oversees the state’s public two-year and four-year institutions and Ohio Technical Centers; provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly; and carries out state higher education policy.  Prior to this appointment, Gardner served in the Ohio Senate for 13 years and the Ohio House of Representatives for 19 years.  Gardner has been recognized as the General Assembly’s foremost policy leader in higher education.  A well-respected leader in state government, Gardner has also previously served as Senate President Pro Tempore, House Majority Leader, and House Speaker Pro Tempore.  He has also been a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the panels dealing with Ohio's workforce development and budget management.  Gardner's work ethic was exemplified by his 100% voting record over 33 years—more than 10,430 consecutive votes.  But most recently, the Chancellor was instrumental in securing a very significant increase in state funding for the Ohio Technical Centers.  Over the years the appropriation for the OTC budget line item had decreased to the same level of FY 2001. Through the Chancellor’s leadership, the appropriation for the OTC line item for each year of the current biennial budget is 18.2 % higher than the previous year.  Bringing the total for FY 2021 to the amount of $23,250,000!  Back to the amount of FY2001 and a total increase of roughly $10 million.  Also included is a renewed focus on business and industry training through an increase of $1.7 million out of the $23 million allocated.

    Other initiatives spearheaded by the Chancellor that promotes opportunities for adults through OTCs is TechCred, OTC Awareness Campaign, Finish For your Future, Complete to Compete and countless more.

    Being one of the most experienced career technical educators in the room, I remember Randy Gardner being involved in many issues dealing with career technical education over the past two or three decades.

  • February 03, 2020 4:20 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    From the Ohio Department of Health

    The Ohio Department of Health offers the following talking points with updates on information about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Please use these when talking with students, parents and/or guardians, faculty, and staff.

    • The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus strain that started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Health experts continue to learn more about novel coronavirus because little is known about its potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
    • Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the United States. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with health care providers to promptly identify and evaluate any possible cases.
    • Currently you are only at risk if you are displaying symptoms and have recently traveled to China in the 14 days before feeling sick, or have been in contact with someone who possibly has the virus and has traveled to China in the 14 days before getting sick.
    • People who have been diagnosed with 2019 novel coronavirus have reported symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing that may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure to the virus. (Source: novel coronavirus /faq.html). Remember, at this point you are more likely to catch the flu or a common cold, which show some of the same symptoms.
    • No cases of 2019 novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio and there are currently no persons under investigation (PUI).
    • Health experts are still learning the details about how 2019 novel coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
    1. The air by coughing and sneezing.
    2. Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
    3. Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or
    4. In rare cases, contact with feces.
    • ODH advises that persons follow the usual recommendations for reducing their risk of infection for other illnesses, such as influenza. These recommendations include:
    1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
    2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    3. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    4. Stay home while you are sick (except to visit a health care professional) and to avoid contact with others.
    5. Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
    6. Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
    • Students may be asked about their travel history (especially to China) if they present with respiratory symptoms and about any ill contacts within 14 days of symptom onset. If any students traveled to Wuhan or another outbreak area, parents and/or guardians will be advised to seek medical care for the student if they feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Read more about 2019 novel coronavirus symptoms.
    • We will be in contact with the local health department immediately if we feel we may have a patient with 2019 novel coronavirus. Local and state public health staff will determine if the patient meets the criteria for a PUI for 2019 novel coronavirus.
    • Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces will continue throughout the school per the standard procedures for infection prevention.
    • Anyone traveling overseas (to China, but also to other places) should follow the CDC’s Traveler’s Health guidance here. As of January 30, 2020, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 4 Travel Advisory for China. This means do not travel to China. The situation is evolving, so please check the CDC Traveler's Health page for the most up-to-date information.

    Visit and novel coronavirus /summary.html for more information.

  • February 03, 2020 9:35 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The Dr. G. James Pinchak Memorial Scholarship has been established to aid and honor outstanding high school students in career-technical education.

    A lifelong educator, Dr. Pinchak, dedicated his career to guiding and instructing students of all ages. Earning degrees from Miami and Kent State Universities and his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University, Dr. Pinchak willingly shared his knowledge with his colleagues and students. His professional assignments included employment as an administrator for the Ohio Department of Education, Director and Principal of the Tolles Career and Technical Center, and Clinical Associate Professor at The Ohio State University.

    Dr. Pinchak, who passed in 2018, was a loyal, dedicated educator who touched the lives of everyone he met. The Executive Board of the Ohio Career-Technical Administrators Association (OCTA) is proud to offer scholarship opportunities in his name.

    Click here for the scholarship application.


    Established in 2019, the purpose of this scholarship is to help further the education and training of career-technical education students in memory of Dr. G. James Pinchak.

    The scholarship is available to all current Ohio senior students enrolled in a career and technical education (CTE) program in a city, compact or joint vocational school district. Applicants should be in good standing.

    The scholarship will be awarded to a senior student successfully completing a CTE program of study.

    Scholarship Award: $1,000 per student/ $2,000 per OCTA Region

    Total statewide award: $12,000

    Scholarships to be awarded per OCTA Region.

    The application must be received NO LATER THAN March 1, 2020.

    Scholarships will be awarded prior to the end of the school year.

Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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