Dr. Jennifer Kelsall, Superintendent, was recently named the recipient of the “IACTE CTE Champion of the Year Award” during the Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education annual conference. The conference was held at the Bloomington Normal Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, IL, February 14-15 2019.
This award recognizes individuals and entities, from within or outside the Association, for the highest meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technical education.
As a strong advocate of Career & Technical Education, Dr. Kelsall championed moving from having an Applied Tech classroom to the development of an entire "STEM Corridor" and adding programs to the school that include engineering, dual teaching of geometry & construction, and dual teaching of Algebra 2 in Business Entrepreneurship. The dual teaching programs require that sections of math and CTE be assigned back-to-back so the math teacher and CTE teacher work together in a double period to structure projects that use math as it is used in the real world. In spite of the logistical challenges that this type of scheduling can create, the result has been strong math scores of participating students who are able to demonstrate why math is important.This answers the age old student question - "Why do I need this?" in a way that creates value from the student point of view. As participating faculty members see their students embrace math, this also helps build buy-in from other department members who initially may have felt skeptical about this different approach to math integration in CTE.
The Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education is made up of eight affiliates representing all areas of career and technical education. The organization’s goals include provisions for quality career and technical education, in-service opportunities and program improvement for Illinois’ career and technical educators, administrators and guidance counselors.