Industry and Education Leaders Honored for their Commitment to Career and Technical Education

Guest blog post by the Division of Career and Adult Education Chancellor Rod Duckworth.

The state’s top industry and education leaders in career and technical education (CTE) were honored last week at an awards luncheon as part of the Florida Association of Career and Technical Education’s (FACTE) 46th Annual Summer Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The FACTE conference provided career and technical educators from across the state the opportunity to participate in professional development activities, share best practices about career and technical education, and develop and discuss strategies in response to industry needs to better train the state’s workforce.  During the preconference day, the Division hosted half day workshops for new CTE teachers and administrators that focused on components of a quality CTE program, state and federal legislation, and the implementation of Common Core State Standards into CTE curriculum frameworks.

Florida is fortunate to have a wide variety of programs geared toward preparing students for college and a career. A well-trained and educated workforce is essential to strengthen and expand Florida’s economy. It was an honor to recognize Florida’s career and technical education leaders for their dedication to the state’s students and future workforce.

The winners of the 2012 FACTE awards are below.

President’s Award
Ann Perry Davis, an agriculture teacher in Marion County, was recognized for her successful Future Farmers of America community service project.

Hall of Fame
Loretta Costin, former Florida Department of  Education Chief of Staff and Career and Adult Education Chancellor, was recognized for her work over many years in adult, career and technical education.

Hall of Fame
The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association was recognized for developing the state’s first industry certification program for an agriscience program.

Carl Proehl Award
Rob Aguis, the director of career and technical education in Pasco County, was recognized for being an administrative leader in FACTE.

Joe Mills Career Excellence Award
Libby Essa-Living was recognized for her many years working for Indian River State College and providing state and national level leadership in developing career pathways.

Carl Perkins Humanitarian Award
Tresa Warner, director of the iMAGINATION Career Academy at Lake Region High School in Polk County and Adjunct Professor at Polk State College, was recognized for serving on the DECA Board of Directors and her work as a DECA District Advisor.

Rookie Award
Chad Lyons, an agriculture teacher at Lafayette High School in Lafayette County, was recognized for his enthusiasm and his ability to guide students to academic success.

Walter Clausen Award
Mary Mott, Director of Industry Certifications and Career Development for the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association, was recognized for being instrumental in the development of a horticulture certification program for nursery workers and for providing professional development for educators.

FACTE Student Award
Veronica Herr, a Culinary Arts student, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her high academic achievement and volunteer activities. She is dual enrolled at Santa Fe College and a member of the National Thespian and Math Honor Society.

Outstanding Student Awards

Outstanding Secondary Student of the Year – Jeb McLendan, a graduate of Middleburg High School in Clay County, was enrolled in the school’s Academy of Agriscience and Construction and was honored for his active membership in Future Farmers of America, Skills USA, and the National Technical Honor Society.

Outstanding Postsecondary Student of the Year – Sarah Trimm earned her Associate of Arts degree while dual-enrolled at Bronson High School in Levy County. She was recognized for being an active member of Future Farmers of America and for being a student athlete. Sarah has since graduated and is attending the University of Florida.

For more information about adult and career education in Florida, visit For information about FACTE, visit