VOTING IS NOW OPEN! Be sure to have your ACTE/CACTE member ID handy when you are ready to vote. You can find your number on your membership card or the mailing label of your Techniques magazine. Or contact CACTE Membership Assistant, Christina Runyan at You’ll be voting for CACTE President-Elect and CACTE Treasurer. Be sure to vote by Tuesday, July 19 at 5:00 pm!


CTE Director & Postsecondary/Workforce Readiness Specialist
Fountain/Ft Carson School District 8


Emily Sherwood resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado and currently works for Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 as the CTE Director and Post-Secondary Workforce Readiness Specialist. Emily is also the Co-Chair, at the national level, for the Special Populations Section of the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Emily’s resume includes:

17 years as a Special Education instructor and case manager
8 years as an Alternative Cooperative Education (ACE) instructor, working with students identified as Special Populations (at-risk)
7 years facilitating work-based learning experiences
4 years supporting the integration of postsecondary workforce readiness practices in K-12 education
4 years as a CTE Director
10 years chairing on the State of Colorado ACE (Special Populations) Board

Recognized as Colorado ACTE 2016 Teacher of the Year, Emily builds positive relationships with students, colleagues, and community professionals to promote opportunities that lead to student growth and career exploration. Her passion is to support students in their ability to become self-actualized, productive citizens in their development of life skills and pursuit of career goals. Emily actively advocates in her community to support the continuum from K-12 education to the workforce and serves on multiple community boards to support a streamlined approach to workforce development. She co-founded the Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance (PPBEA), designed to unify school districts in the Pikes Peak Region to support the creation of opportunities for work-based learning opportunities in business and industry for students throughout the community. Emily is a resourceful, innovative, and an impassioned educator.


“Since I discovered Career and Technical Education (CTE), I knew that this area of education was
essential for our youth. The power that CTE has to develop student passion and buy-in at an early age
is profound. There are so many opportunities for students to realize their strengths, aptitudes, and
interests to make thoughtful choices about what their postsecondary goals will be. I have been
actively involved at district, local, state, and national level to support promising practices and create
professional development opportunities for professionals working in the field. I am at a point where I
really want to help catalyze a cultural shift within our communities to support the development of
more opportunities for business and industry to work closely with schools to educate a talent
pipeline to support our local workforce and community.”

Associate Profession of Business, Division Chair for Business, Human Services & Prison Education, Trinidad State College


LiAnn Richardson is and Associate Professor of Business and also serves as the Division Chair for Business, Human Services, and Prison Education at Trinidad State College. She has a Master of Science degree in Education and has been in the field of education for over 17 years. She has been working in Career and Technical Education for the past 10 years and specifically with special populations in prisons since 2016. LiAnn
participates on several committees that advocate for educational reform for higher education in prison.


“As a business professor at a local college, I wholeheartedly agree with CACTE’s mission “to provide
educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.” Most of my work is done exclusively with
the Department of Corrections as we prepare justice-involved students for a competitive workforce after
incarceration. I believe I represent two groups, DOC and community colleges, and bring experience for
both to the CACTE leadership team. I believe CACTE provides the necessary tools and commitment to
instructors as they challenge students to prepare for leadership roles and the job skills required to be an
effective member of society. And I believe I can be a valued member of the leadership team to provide
these resources. I am willing to offer my time and services to the committee and demonstrate the
leadership and professionalism required for the position.”


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June Connecting with CACTE

The June e-newsletter was sent on Wednesday morning, June 8, 2022. Hopefully you received it – and read it! 😉 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 don’t have to be a CACTE member to receive the newsletter – if you want to be on the distribution list, please email with your request.

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

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Ready for a fun Closing General Session?

Are you ready for some stories and some fun at the Closing General Session of the 2022 CACTE CareerTech Summit?  Neesha Lenzini, the keynote speaker and a CACTE member,  will give a brief history of the work of an overachiever, perfectionist and workaholic – can you relate?   The title of her presentation? “Please Don’t Call Me Superwoman – I am Currently in Recovery!” She will share the judgements and misconceptions directed at her as a single mom of five working in the counseling, education, and correctional world.  Come prepared to laugh, identify your own stressors and discover real-life personal ways to reduce your stress and take a little bit better care of yourself. No-pressure mental health and self-care focus provided!

Neesha Lenzini is a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor, a CTE Instructor for Future Forward at Bollman (Adams 12) as well as a Psychology Adjunct Professor at Front Range Community College.  Ms. Lenzini holds a Master of Science in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico with a Psychology major and Sociology minor.  She has worked in the human services field, including probation, for over 25 years. Ms. Lenzini specializes in the fields of child abuse, dual diagnosis adults, domestic violence, and education.  She is in the second year of creating and instructing the “Introduction to Behavioral and Mental Health” Program at Future Forward at Bollman, where Neesha has appeared with students and as a professional for the Colorado Youth Career Fair.  She was the first certified Motivational Interviewing Trainer with EPIC and is a National Trainer for Thinking for a Change including Negative Nancy in NIC videos as well as State Trainer in Standardized Offender Assessments Revised. In addition to her professional life, Neesha is a single mom of five amazing children, and Safe Sport Director for a local youth hockey organization. 

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Congrats to Colorado’s 2 ACTE IAED Mentors!

Congratulations to TWO Colorado ACTE members for being chosen as ACTE IAED mentors for 2022 – Elina Medina (DPS) and Cristina Sanchez Serrano (Brighton 27J)! The IAED Mentorship Program was created with the goal to provide mentors to ACTE members interested in IAED, and to encourage ACTE members interested in IAED to pursue leadership roles in ACTE.

We look forward to hearing about their involvement! Read more about this ACTE program HERE!

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Congrats on 2nd Annual CYCF, CCD Division!

The CO Youth Career Fair was a big success!

CCD Division President, Tanya Vigil and CTE Supporter, Larry Beer were the co-chairs for the 2nd Annual CO Youth Career Fair. This year’s Fair included live events as well as virtual panels in a variety of career clusters/pathways. The live kickoff event at Ft Collins HS included Skilled Trades/CTE Advocate, Kayleen McCabe and all of her energy around helping students to understand the huge number of options available to them for their futures. Kayleen enjoyed a tour of the FCHS Skilled Trades area before the live kickoff of the CYCF.

To wrap up the Fair, Cherry Creek Innovation Center hosted the Transportation and Health Sciences panels live. There were lots of students and parents in attendance and a wide variety of great information was shared by professionals in both pathways. Very few of the professionals had a career pathway that was a straight line! 🙂

Thanks to Tanya, Larry and all the panelists for helping CO youth to have opportunities to learn about the myriad of careers out there to be explored!

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Congratulations to Colorado’s Julie Simms!

ACTE is excited to announce its fourth class of Fellows for the 2022 NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leadership Program, sponsored by ECMC Foundation and powered by ACTE. Seventeen fellows were selected for the 2022-2023 cohort,
including Colorado’s own Julie Simms! The NextLevel Fellowship provides professional and career growth opportunities to the next generation of leaders in postsecondary CTE programs through a nationally-recognized program that is engaging, individualized, and memorable. Read more about the program on the ACTE website. Congratulations, Julie!

Julie Simms, NextLevel Fellow

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2022 CACTE CareerTech Summit News

Welcome back to an in-person Summit! 🙂

Registration is OPEN!!! Click HERE for the registration details.

The Beaver Run Resort reservation link is on the Summit registration page.

Click HERE for general Summit info!

We’re glad you are excited to attend the 2022 Summit and can’t wait to see all of you in Breckenridge in July!

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Janet Brophy is a High School of Business teacher from Haxtun High School in Haxtun, CO. Janet earned her BA from the University of Wyoming and her MBA from University of Phoenix. Prior to teaching high school, Janet worked in human resources and then support staff for an education consortium before completing the alternative licensure program. Janet has taught in a high school classroom for eight years as well as ten years as an adjunct professor for a community college. Janet is also the Haxtun FBLA Adviser, chair of the HSB Teacher Advisory Committee, member of the MBA Research Teacher Advisory Network, a trainer for High School of Business, CBE treasurer, and the membership director for Colorado for M-PBEA.

Welcome to the CACTE Team, Janet! The CACTE Executive Director is thrilled to have you working alongside as we plan and implement the 2022 CACTE CareerTech Summit in Breckenridge, July 17-21. Janet Brophy can be reached at

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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.

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Congratulations to the CACTE Excellence Awards Recipients for 2021!  It was exciting to honor seven deserving individuals during the CACTE Virtual Summit!  While we wish we could have honored them in person, virtual was better than not at all! Thank you to all who nominated and wrote recommendation letters for these deserving honorees. Click on the award recipient’s name below the photo to read more about each person.

The ACTE/CACTE award recipients’ nominations will be sent on to the Region V Awards, to be presented at the Region V conference in Rapid City, SD in April 2022. These include the CTE New Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher Educator of the Year and the CTE Administrator of the Year.

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2021-2022 CACTE Strategic Priorities

Based on the ACTE Strategic Themes, Colorado ACTE will focus on these five priorities during Janet Renden’s presidency. The CACTE Executive Committee, CACTE Board and CACTE Divisions will use these priorities to direct our work for the 2021-2022 year. The full document includes specific strategies to help ensure progress towards the priorities. 🙂

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Thank you to these leaders who have volunteered to serve our career and technical education professional association!  Their contact information is on the “LEAD” page under “Board”.

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CACTE Virtual Backgrounds

As we prepare for participation in the 2021 CACTE Virtual Summit 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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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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