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Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education





June 18, 2019--From Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education (MnACTE)

The Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education (MnACTE) is pleased to announce that five MnACTE members received the ACTE/ Region III Excellence Award at the ACTE/Region III Conference held in Lisle, Illinois on June 12-14, 2019.   


Nominated by the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education (MnACTE), these members were selected above other candidates from Region III (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin) because of their significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs in career and technical education (CTE). 

  • Teacher of the Year:  Neil Pearson, Agriculture Teacher, Wilmar Sr. High School, Wilmar

  • New Teacher of the Year:  Katie Lechleitner, Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher, Shakopee High School, Shakopee

  • Administrator of the Year:  Kathy Kittel, Supervisor of CTE/Secondary Perkins Leader,

    Saint Paul Public Schools, St. Paul

  • Community Service:  Jessica Daberkow, Agriculture Teacher, Martin County West High School, Sherburn

  • Lifetime Achievement: Ginny Karbowski, Articulation Coordinator, College High School Partnership,  Shoreview


These five educators will be competing against 4 other regional winners for the National ACTE 2019 Excellence in Education awards at the ACTE Annual Convention in Anaheim, California to be held December 4-7, 2019.  They will also be recognized at the upcoming Minnesota CTE Works! Conference on November 4-5, 2019 at the Minneapolis Mariott Northwest Hotel, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

In addition, three other educators will be honored at the state level for their high achievements in CTE.

  • Career Guidance:  Sara Laviolette, Director - Disability Services/Perkins/Centers for Student Achievement/Veterans Resource, Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park

  • Postsecondary Teacher of the Year:  Zach Rada, Instructor, Adult Farm Business Management Ridgewater College, Willmar

  • Teacher Educator of the Year:  Lyle Westrom, Teacher Educator, Agricultural Education, University of Minnesota  Crookston, Crookston

MnACTE is the state professional association for the field of career and technical education and an affiliate of ACTE (Association of Career and Technical Education).  Now in its 91st year, ACTE has a membership of more than 30,000 teachers, counselors, and administrators at the middle school, high school, and college levels.   For further information, please contact MnACTE President, Jean Rakun ( OR Awards Co-Chairs, Ginny Karbowski ( or Jessica Daberkow (

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