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.


JANET RENDEN, Principal, Bollman Technical Education Center

BRIEF BIO: I began my career in public mental health, where I served as a counselor in residential treatment, day treatment, and case management for children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders. Next, I served as the Area Director for Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Services for Maricopa County, AZ, overseeing clinics that provided mental health services for the south and east areas of the county.

My husband and I then moved to Colorado, where I was privileged to serve as a stay at home mom for our 2 boys for the next 7 years – truly the most difficult and most rewarding time of my life!

While at home with my boys I completed a Masters degree in School Counseling. I was blessed to re-enter the workforce as a School Counselor for the Bollman Technical Education Center in the Adams 12 Five Star School District. This is where I fell in love with CTE and the opportunities we can provide for kids! I have served as a Counselor, Assistant Principal, and now Principal for Bollman for the past 16 years.

I am so proud of our staff and our students….and have about 1000 stories of the difference CTE has made in their lives!

Janet has served many roles in the Administration Division (CACTA) of CACTE, including president-elect, president and past president. She continues active involvement in the division as the Communications chair.

COMMITMENT TO CACTE’S MISSION: I am SO committed to the mission of CACTE! I have served as a Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Principal for the Bollman Technical Education Center for the past 15 years….growing the population of students we served from just over 400 to 1350 students who participated in CTE programming during that time. Because of our belief in the preparation of our students to effectively enter the workforce, we initiated the testing of our students for industry standard certifications. In the past 3 years we went from no students leaving our programs with industry standard certifications to almost 500 industry standard certifications. We are so proud of the accomplishments of our teachers and our students!

JOSH VANAUKEN, Director of Special Programs, Longs Peak Middle School

BRIEF BIO: Joshua VanAuken has designed playground prototypes with 2nd graders, constructed Little Free Libraries alongside incarcerated youth, and has gotten his hands dirty working with middle schoolers as they designed and engineered a community garden.

As a first-generation college graduate and an ESPN Academic-All American, Josh credits his success to his parents, teachers and mentors. In his words, “advocates who showed him the power of relationships and the courage to knock on doors.”

Having served with teams on multiple Career & Technical Education campuses and across the PK-14 Educational gamut, he is poised and eager to bring his leadership to Colorado ACTE. Josh is the Director of Special Projects at Longs Peak Middle School in the St Vrain School District. When he is not leading, as the founder and director of the @LPMSBIKESHOP in SVVSD, you can find him biking with his wife and son on the Coal Creek Trailway.

COMMITMENT TO CACTE’S MISSION: Josh views himself as a servant leader who builds relationships and community. His life-long commitment as an advocate for youth and community makes CTE a natural fit. He is ready to give back to his professional association, while learning more about CACTE and its members along the way.


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CACTE Virtual Backgrounds

Since we are all spending way too much time on Zoom and similar platforms, why not “show the love” for your professional association at the same time? Here are a couple of CACTE virtual backgrounds to use – one specifically for the Summit and one general CACTE. 🙂

Download Summit background here!

Download Colorado ACTE background here!

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If you are currently registered for the Virtual Summit, stayed tuned for informational emails starting in early July. In the mean time, make sure you have the most current version of Zoom ready to go. 🙂

Plan on a “tech check” on Monday July 20 between 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – just to be sure your login info works and you are ready to roll on Tuesday 7/21 at 9:00 am. Details will be sent closer to the Summit.

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The 2020 CACTE CareerTech Summit is going VIRTUAL!


Because of the COVID-19 situation, the Executive Committee made the decision to change to a VIRTUAL Summit for 2020, happening July 21-22.  For a variety of reasons, we have to change to a whole new registration site for the VIRTUAL Summit.

Please go to the 2020 CACTE CareerTech VIRTUAL Summit page for FAQs, everything you wanted to know about REGISTRATION and more (hopefully) and the tentative schedule. 🙂 If you have questions that aren’t answered by the info on the Summit page, please email Debbie Nelson, 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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As CTE programs moved quickly to address the need to deliver instruction by alternative methods, ACTE & CACTE were excited to see the creativity brought forward by teachers. We also recognized that while the herculean effort to move all instruction online was the immediate goal that was met this Spring, we wanted to make sure that we could provide access to tools and resources that would help teachers do more to offer their programs as high-quality experiences. Hence our commitment to have negotiated with our partner to have provided free access to six of their courses about how to teach online, which only lasts through May 31!

Colorado CTE Learn offers over 150 self-paced online courses for CTE professionals, including a large selection of courses on online teaching best practices. Each CTE Learn course provides 4 hours of continuing education credits. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to earn college credits for their completed CTE Learn courses.

To support schools during these challenging times, Colorado CTE Learn is currently offering schools 50% off on CTE Learn enrollment/subscription key purchases! Simply use VIP Code CTE50 to make your purchase on This special COVID19 offer is available until July 31st. Purchased keys can be used anytime within one year of purchase.

The good news is that there are several sources of funding that you could use to offset the expense of subscribing to and taking full advantage of the professional development at Colorado CTE Learn. One of the newest sources that you may be able to utilize funding from is the Emergency Relief Funding (ESSR) from the CARES Act to provide online professional development opportunities through Colorado CTE Learn. Or maybe your CTE director still has Perkins funds to use, since the CACTE CareerTech Virtual Summit is less expensive than the in-person Summit – never hurts to ask! 😉

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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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Congratulations to the CACTE Excellence Awards Recipients for 2019!  It was thrilling to be able to honor eleven deserving individuals during the CACTE CareerTech Summit!  Thank you to all who nominated and wrote recommendation letters for these deserving honorees and made the presentations. 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 2020. These include the CTE New Teacher of the Year, CTE Teacher of the Year, CTE Administrator of the Year and the Career Guidance Award.

Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagnè (middle)
CACTE Hall of Fame
Presented by Michelle Dennis and Kimberly Baldwin

Traci Sanchez, Career Guidance Award
Scott Springer, CACTE Hall of Fame
Denver Public School buddies
Dr. Teresa Yohon (2nd from left)
CACTE Hall of Fame
Presented by Mary Stecklein, Carol Sessums and Kimberly Baldwin
Jay Moore, Cherry Creek Schools
CTE Administrator of the Year
Erin Grantham (middle)
CTE Teacher of the Year
Presented by Kim Reiser and Kimberly Baldwin
Ashley Acuff (2nd from right)
CTE New Teacher of the Year
Presented by Jessica Teal, Sahvanna Mease and Kimberly Baldwin
ReAnn Jacob with her teacher, Jennifer Moriarty
Outstanding Secondary CTE Student
Brooklyn Pustari
Outstanding Secondary CTE Student
Megan Waitman
Outstanding Secondary CTE Student
Peter Hunyh
Exemplary CTE Alumni

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2019-2020 CACTE Strategic Goals

Based on the ACTE Strategic Themes, Colorado ACTE will focus on these five goals during Robert Van Dyke’s presidency. The CACTE Executive Committee, CACTE Board and Divisions will use the goals to direct our work.

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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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2019 CACTE CareerTech Summit Presentations

CLICK HERE for the presentations that have been shared with CACTE to date.  All of the presenters have been contacted to share their presentation. If you would like a specific presentation not listed here, please email Debbie ( and she will contact the presenter. Keep in mind that some presenters are not allowed to share their presentations.

A big THANK YOU to all of our presenters for their time and efforts in sharing their knowledge with us! Be thinking about what YOU might present at the 2020 CACTE CareerTech Summit in Grand Junction – the Call for Proposals opens on March 1, 2020. 🙂

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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.

Serving on the 2019-2020 CACTE Executive Committee are:

President:  Robert Van Dyke, CFCS




       President-Elect:    Jessica Teal



Secretary:  Nat Sobin






Treasurer:  Janny Jarvis


Past President:  Kimberly Baldwin, CFCS





                             Executive Director:  Debbie Nelson, CFCS, IPHE

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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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