December Connecting with CACTE

The December e-newsletter was sent on Tuesday morning, December 15, 2020. Hopefully you received the email. Some of your email addresses have been suspended by our vendor due to school district firewalls and such. If you are a CACTE member and are NOT receiving the “almost monthly” e-newsletters, please email with a non-workplace email to use instead. Thank you. 🙂

You can access the December Connecting with CACTE by clicking here!

Happy Holidays, everyone, and stay safe and well!

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January 28-30, 2021

The conference this year will be held from Thursday, Jan. 28th-Saturday Jan. 30th. Due to the shortage of subs around the state, the majority of the conference will be held in the evenings of Thursday and Friday with a few hours Saturday morning. Sessions will be recorded for later viewing if you happen to miss something or want to rewatch it later.

CLICK HERE to register for the 2021 CATFACS Conference!

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Feb 10, 2021

The CACTA Mid-Winter Conference has been transformed to a half day CACTA Virtual Mid-Winter Symposium on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. The intent of this meeting will be to gather and receive important state and legislative information, along with a few other relevant focus areas. More information to come in the next month, along with the registration link.

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QAS = ACTE Quality Association Standards

Your CACTE Board has been working hard over the last few years to earn the QAS recognition from ACTE. The QAS award recognizes state associations for implementing policies, procedures and structure that demonstrate a high level of service and attention to member value. There are nine major criteria to be met, with numerous sub-criteria under each main item.

  • Mission, Goals and Objectives
  • Governing Body, Officers, and Directors
  • Organizational Structure and Documents
  • Programs, Services and Activities
  • Financial Planning and Reporting
  • Membership Development and Retention
  • Communications
  • Public Policy
  • Operations
  • Click here for more details about each criterion.

Colorado is one of 26 states that will be recognized with the QAS at the State Leadership Gathering on Friday, December 4 at 9 am MT. Please email if you are interested in attending the Gathering to support CACTE. You do not have to be registered for Virtual VISION to attend.

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CACTE Virtual Backgrounds

As we prepare for participation in Virtual VISION and other virtual events, why not “show the love” for your professional association at the same time? Here are some CACTE virtual backgrounds to use. 🙂

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Colorado Skilled Trades is honored to have 2 of 3 Grand Prize Winners in the annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools $1 Million Prizes – WOW!

Congratulations to Brian Manley and Mike Shallenberger!

Click on the photo to read more!
Click on the photo to read more!
Read more about the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize Program here!

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2020 ACTE Virtual VISION — Check website frequently for details!

ACTE is excited to announce Virtual VISION 2020, a fully online, virtual experience, happening Nov. 30–Dec. 4! ACTE believes this is the safest approach for our attendees and looks forward to offering you, from the comfort and convenience of your own home, school or office, enhanced and expanded programming, and immersive professional development that addresses timely topics impacting career and technical education (CTE)! 

Networking is the cornerstone of our flagship event and attendees will have an abundance of opportunities to participate in interactive and engaging experiences through a dynamic virtual platform! Now a weeklong conference, you will have the flexibility to tailor your session times to your availability, and all registered Virtual VISION attendees will receive access to all 300+ sessions post-event! Governance activities typically held during VISION will occur the week of November 16-20.

Register by October 23 for the best rate of $250 for members, $350 for nonmembers! Prices increase by $50 on October 24. CLICK HERE for information about Virtual VISION!

CLICK HERE for detailed VISION schedule.

The Region V Business Meeting is Thursday, November 19, 4:00-5:30 pm (MT).

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2020-2021 CACTE Strategic Priorities

Based on the ACTE Strategic Themes, Colorado ACTE will focus on these four priorities during Jessica Teal’s presidency. The CACTE Executive Committee, CACTE Board and CACTE Divisions will use these priorities to direct our work for the 2020-2021 year. The full document includes Strategic Plan Steps to help ensure progress towards the priorities. 🙂

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If you attended the CACTE Virtual Summit, you received the link to your “included with registration” online access in the e-blast sent 8/5/2020 in the morning. You must access the online site by Halloween – you will have access to the content for 1 year after that.

If you DID NOT attend the Virtual Summit, but would still like access to the content, you may purchase access to the content for one year for only $149. CLICK HERE to access the CO CTE Learn online learning platform. If you view any or all of the Virtual Summit, be sure to download the certificate of attendance below to record your PD hours. 🙂


The link to your certificate of attendance was included in both “After Summit” e-blasts to attendees on 7/22 and 8/5. Be honest when you complete your fillable certificate, based on what you attended during the “live event” and what you watch through the CTE Learn online portal. It will auto-calculate your hours for you! 🙂 Please save your certificate in a safe place – maybe a folder on your desktop labeled “Professional Development”. 🙂


Congratulations to member, Rebecca Morlan! She is the lucky winner from those 97 folks completing the Summit Evaluation by Friday, July 31 and choosing to participate in the drawing. Rebecca receives a $25 Amazon gift card – yahoo!

It’s not too late to provide the CACTE Board with your feedback about the 2020 CACTE Virtual Summit. CLICK HERE to complete the evaluation – no more prizes – sorry. 🙁 But your opinions still matter to the Board! Please complete the evaluation by Sept 1 and thanks to the 113 of you who have already accomplished this task.

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Congratulations to the CACTE Excellence Awards Recipients for 2020!  It was exciting to honor five deserving individuals during the CACTE Virtual Summit!  While we wish we could have honored them in person, virtual was better than nothing! Thank you to all who nominated and wrote recommendation letters for these deserving honorees. Click on the person’s name to read more about the award winner.

The ACTE/CACTE award recipients’ nominations will be sent on to the Region V Awards, to be presented at the Region V conference in Lake Tahoe, NV in April 2021. These include the CTE New Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher of the Year, CTE Administrator of the Year and the Career Guidance Award.

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Colorado CTE State of the State – Dr Sarah Heath

A big shout out to Dr Sarah Heath for providing us with the annual Colorado CTE State of the State address as part of the CACTE Virtual Summit! Her keynote is full of important information for CTE educators all over the state of Colorado.

Watch the video HERE and/or access the slides with notes HERE. The video can also be found on the Colorado Career & Technical Education Facebook page.

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Thank you to these leaders who have stepped up to serve our career and technical education professional association!  See under “LEAD” – “Board Info” for contact information.

Jessica Teal, President
Janet Renden, President-Elect
Nat Sobin, Secretary
Josh VanAuken, Treasurer
Robert Van Dyke, CFCS
Past President
Debbie Nelson, CFCS, IPHE
Executive Director

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A huge shout-out to all of the CTE programs across Colorado who have put their 3-D printers to work making face shields and other parts to help our healthcare workers stay safe from COVID-19! According to a recent tweet, Cherry Creek Schools have made 1100 head bands for face shields.  Pictured is SAI Division President, Charles Pearl, in the lab at Grandview HS in Cherry Creek. Also helping in this effort are teachers at Cherokee Trail HS, CCIC, Smokey Hill HS, Eaglecrest HS, Warren Tech, Middle Park HS, East Grand MS and probably a whole lot more schools that didn’t come up in a quick Google search…thank you ALL for your efforts in the fight against COVID-19!

STEM/Arts/IT Division President, Charles Pearl

Also a shout out to all the FCS teachers, students and others using their sewing skills to make cloth masks for family, friends and community members in need. Here are just a few examples of their work. Unknown quantities are being produced – at least 150 masks just from 3 FCS peeps…..

Technical College of the Rockies is sharing Nursing program hospital beds with the local hospital for overflow and donating scrubs to local nursing homes.

Several Littleton Public Schools career and technical education teachers and students are using their advanced skills to make important safety equipment for local healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intubation Boxes for ER staff
Littleton CTE teachers Marc Finer (Newton Middle School), David McMullen (Arapahoe High School) and Kent Allison (former Heritage High School and current Mountain Vista High School) are working with a team of ER doctors from UCHealth to design and build Intubation Boxes. This is a protective device used when a doctor has to intubate a COVID-19 patient. This is the most dangerous time for the ER staff due to the rush of air that is expelled from the patient’s lungs during the procedure. 

The teachers were able to use their Littleton Public Schools shops and equipment. “We could not succeed in this endeavor otherwise,” said Marc Finer. “We use real life scenarios with our students when we teach. I can’t think of a better example than this.” 

Their 4th prototype was recently approved by CUHealth ER staff and they have already produced 8 boxes at Newton Middle School and Arapahoe High School.

The teachers used their own money for research and development to create the prototypes and are donating their work. Those wishing to help them cover their costs can make a tax-deductible donation to the LPS Foundation.

Face shields for healthcare workers
STEM and Metals Teacher Diane Gaston (Powell Middle School) is working with some of her students to coordinate the 3D printing of face shields for healthcare workers. One of her students, 7th grader Kaden Wass, turned his family’s home sauna into his very own sterile 3D print lab! As of April 15, Kaden had made 91 face shields that are already in use at Children’s Hospital and at facilities on the western slope!

Ventilator expansion and respirator filters for hospital patients and first responders
Tech and Engineering Teacher Pamela Wilkens (Littleton High School) is 3D printing diverters to be used with ventilators, which will allow multiple patients to utilize one ventilator. She is also sewing personal protective equipment masks and respirator filter covers for Evergreen Fire Rescue first responders.

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Colorado Career Conversations Update from Lauren Jones

In response to the changing environment due to COVID-19, CO Career Conversations is moving all trainings to virtual, live Career Conversation Trainings using the Zoom video conferencing app. We are confident that the virtual workshops will provide meaningful professional development and provide an opportunity for all of us to connect around the important topic of career planning and transition. Zoom provides capabilities such as breakout rooms and polling, which we will use to create an engaging experience for participants.

Click HERE for information on Colorado Career Conversation Trainings.

Click HERE for Colorado Career Conversation Toolkit.

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The “CTE Showcase at the Capitol” held on Wednesday, February 12 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm was a success in its new format!  During that time frame a variety of CTE groups had table displays set up and Ponderosa HS Catering classes provided tasty appetizers/beverages.  Legislators/staff members from fourteen offices visited the Showcase in the first floor west lobby to see what Colorado CTE is about. Several groups personally invited their legislators to visit and they had the most successful visits! The legislators were thoughtful about visiting all the tables after they visited with their own constituents. This experience reinforced CACTE’s plan to encourage more year-round advocacy!!!


  • Destinations Career Academy of CO – multiple pathways
  • Mitchell HS ACE/SC(2)
  • Mountain Range HS DECA
  • Ponderosa HS Family & Consumer Sciences Catering
  • Family & Consumer Sciences Division
  • Colorado DECA
  • Colorado FBLA-PBL
  • Colorado FCCLA
  • Colorado FFA/Agriculture Education Division
  • Colorado Skills-USA
  • Colorado TSA

And a huge thank you to our legislative team from Strategies 360 – Tonette Salazar and Lauren Sisneros! They issued invitations to the legislators in every format possible, helped make arrangements at the Capitol and even schlepped tables for us – CACTE is very grateful for your roles in making the CTE Showcase a success!

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CACTE member HILARY WIMMER is 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year!!!!!!!

Wow! How very exciting to have CACTE/ACTE member HILARY WIMMER named today as the 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year! Hilary teaches business/marketing at Mountain Range High School in the Adams 12 Five Star District. Congratulations, Hilary!

Hilary Wimmer, 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year!

“I’m honored to present this award to Hilary Wimmer, who inspires a culture of learning in her students that lasts long after graduation,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “Mrs. Wimmer is a bridge builder, a connector and a perfect representative of the kind of passionate and dedicated teachers who work tirelessly every day in Colorado. Mrs. Wimmer has helped students become financially literate, upstanding civic leaders and successful in their life’s decisions. We are all fortunate to have her as a teacher in our state.” Read more about Hilary Wimmer and the Colorado Teacher of the Year program here.

Mrs Wimmer and some of her students

Kristin Weaver, Adams 12 CTE Director, said of Mrs Wimmer, “Hilary exemplifies professionalism in everything she does and makes lasting impressions in the lives of her students and colleagues. There is no one more deserving of the honor and Adams 12 cannot be more proud!”

Watch the surprise announcement here, courtesy Adams 12 Five Star District

Wimmer began teaching business in 2004 and was part of the inaugural staff at Mountain Range High School in Westminster in 2006. She leads the largest DECA program in Colorado, and in 2016 she was recognized as the Colorado DECA Advisor of the Year. Wimmer serves as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department chair and business program coordinator for Mountain Range High School and as the CTE content coordinator for the district.
She received her undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of Phoenix. She also received certification in CTE from Colorado State University and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University. 

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At the recent 2019 CACTE CareerTech Summit, Dr Sarah Heath (CO CTE Director & Assistant Provost, CCCS) announced the new CTE Strategic Plan! This plan impacts everyone working in the CTE field at all levels and all settings. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this information as school ramps up for the 2019-2020 year – your local CTE directors will be talking about it!

“Colorado’s Strategic Plan for Career & Technical Education will ultimately serve secondary and postsecondary learners in their preparation for meaningful careers, prove the state’s employers with better prepared talent, and lend to the development of stronger communities.”

CLICK HERE for the Executive Summary – this would be a great document to share with principals, evaluators, your advisory committee and other business partners – those who need/want the big picture. It gives a two page overview of the Strategic Plan.

CLICK HERE for the entire Colorado CTE Strategic Plan on the Colorado CTE website – It is quite comprehensive and is a must read for every CTE educator in Colorado!

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Super cool promotional videos from Colorado CTE – CCCS!

The Colorado CTE Team produced several super cool promotional videos designed for use with general audiences, students, parents and counselors.

Click HERE to access them on the Colorado CTE webpage – scroll down and you’ll see them. 🙂

Please use these videos far and wide to let students and educators from Colorado tell the CTE story!

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