Idaho Division of Career Technical Education announces its 2021 Leadership Institute cohort

Image of the 2021 Leadership Institute cohort.

The Idaho Division of Career Technical Education (IDCTE) is pleased to announce the newest members of its Leadership Institute. Sponsored by IDCTE, the Institute is a three-year program designed to prepare the next generation of district, regional, and state leaders in Career Technical Education (CTE) through meaningful, collaborative, and reflective leadership experiences that are forward-thinking and change-oriented. Participants learn about state and national governance and laws, organization and administration and funding, and support for career technical education institutions.  

To participate in the Institute, a member must apply and be recommended by their supervisor, and be a member of the Association for Career and Technical Education. Applicants are then ranked based on their qualifications and selected by the IDCTE staff to ensure equal geographic and institutional representation across the state. Only five members are initiated into the Institute each year, and 18 cohorts have completed the program since its inception in 1999. Its 90 graduates have become leaders of secondary, postsecondary and adult programs in Idaho.

The following 2021 cohort members were welcomed into the Institute during the kick-off meeting held last week in Boise:

Teresa Danielson is a family and consumer sciences teacher at Mountain View High School in Meridian. According to Cliff Rice, Danielson’s principal, she is “organized, passionate, and driven to give her students and her organization 100% every day.” Danielson has received New Teacher of the Year awards from both Career Technical Educators of Idaho and the Idaho Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences. She serves as the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) advisor for District 3, advises the six state FCCLA officers, and is a frequent consultant for state and national events. She has a master’s degree in education in career and technical education leadership from Utah State University.

Vicki Isakson serves as director of Workforce Training and Community Education at North Idaho College (NIC). Lita Burns, vice president for instruction at NIC, considers Isakson to be a strong collaborator who will “build bridges and pathways across the state.” Among her many accomplishments, Isakson developed the first school-to-registered apprenticeship programs in Idaho and created the long-running Hard Hats, Hammers, and Hot Dogs annual event to introduce students to the construction, manufacturing and wood products industries. She is currently seeking approval of nine federal Registered Apprenticeship Programs to provide instruction and sponsorship for workforce training. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and is a certified master trainer in the Workplace Excellence Series.

Chet Jackson is the instructor for residential construction technology at Cassia Regional Technical Center (CRTC). He believes the job force crisis is an ongoing issue in Idaho and should be addressed by educating the public regarding the importance of hands-on careers. According to Curtis Richins, CRTC’s director, Jackson has excitement, enthusiasm, and “the ability to monitor his students’ desires and assess students’ needs.” This has led to joint projects with other CRTC departments and the establishment of a new cabinetry program, thus providing students with even more employable skills. He holds a bachelor’s degree in workplace training and leadership from Idaho State University and is working on a master’s degree.

Stephanie Mai is the Program Quality Manager for Health Professions and Public Safety at IDCTE. Her vision is for CTE pathway programs to become as highly regarded as AP and honors classes. Her experience as a postsecondary instructor and serving on several boards and technical advisory committees enable her to see future CTE programs as collaborations among high school, higher education institutions, and industry. “Stephanie is such a positive, fun person, and has an incredible ability to connect with others and build relationships with them. The Institute will help her see processes and approaches through the lens of others in the CTE system, which will help IDCTE be more responsive to its stakeholders,” said Adrian San Miguel, director of program services at IDCTE and Mai’s supervisor. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and performance from Idaho State University and is currently working on her CTE administrator’s certification.

Dr. Yvonne Thurber is the principal of Sandcreek Middle School in Idaho Falls. She hopes helping CTE grow in Idaho will strengthen the economy and provide opportunities for rewarding careers without the time and expense of a four-year institution. Thurber is a project leadership liaison who works diligently to ensure that her teachers in family consumer science, technology, and construction and engineering have the same opportunities as high school teachers. “Dr. Thurber has a firm commitment to doing the right thing for students. She is willing to have crucial conversations and make necessary changes to achieve better outcomes for her students,” said Dr. Scott Woolstenhulme, Bonneville School District superintendent. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Idaho State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Northwest Nazarene University.

“We’re excited to welcome this talented group of educators to the Leadership Institute and look forward to continuing to build leadership skills for those within our career technical education system in Idaho,” said Clay Long, state administrator.