Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors and state leaders of CTE. The Advance CTE Board of Directors consists of the Executive Committee and includes the President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Past President, five Regional Representatives, two At-Large State Director Representatives, a State Associate Member Representative and Associate Member Representative.
Executive Committee members are each elected for a one-year term that runs July 1 through June 30. Regional Representatives, At-Large and the Associate Member Representatives are elected for a three-year term that runs July 1 through June 30. Only State CTE Directors can serve on the Executive Committee or as a Regional Representative. Any Non-Organizational, Associate Member is eligible to serve as the Associate Member Board Representative.
The members of the current Board of Directors are listed below:
President - Ms. Laura Scheibe, State CTE Director, South Dakota
Vice President - Dr. Katie Graham, Nebraska
Secretary/Treasurer - Ms. Thalea Longhurst, Utah
Past President - Dr. Sarah Heath, State CTE Director, Colorado
Region A - Elizabeth Bennett, Massachusetts
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands (Term expires: June 30, 2025)
Region B - Brittney Williams, Louisiana
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia (Term expires: June 30, 2023)
Region C - Colleen McCabe, Wisconsin
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin (Term expires: June 30, 2025)
Region D - Michelle Aldrich, Wyoming
Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming (Term expires: June 30, 2024)
Region E - VACANT
Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam (Term expires: June 30, 2023)
Associate Member Representative - Donna Lewelling, Oregon (Term expires June 30, 2023)
State Associate Member Representative - Victoria Crownover, Colorado (Term expires: June 30, 2025)
At-Large State Director - Dennis Harden, Iowa (Term expires: June 30, 2025)
At-Large State Director - Trey Michael, North Carolina (Term expires: June 30, 2024)
Laura Scheibe, President
Laura Scheibe serves as South Dakota’s Director for Career and Technical Education and the Director of the Division of College, Career, and Student Success at the South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE). In that capacity, she oversees secondary CTE programs and coordinates closely with the Board of Technical Education to oversee the state’s four public technical colleges. She also guides Jobs for America’s Graduates – South Dakota, school counseling, dual credit, student wellness and supports, and other initiatives that work together to ensure students are prepared for success after graduation. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the Division of Accountability Systems at SD DOE, running the state’s ESEA accountability process and accreditation of K-12 schools. She led the work to craft South Dakota’s Every Student Succeeds Act state plan; South Dakota’s Vision for CTE, the state’s plan under Perkins V; and works closely on the state’s educational response to COVID-19 and investment of stimulus funding.
Before returning to the Midwest, Ms. Scheibe served for more than a decade as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, in assignments both overseas and in Washington, D.C. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a graduate certificate from the University of South Dakota. Ms. Scheibe serves on the boards of a variety of professional and community organizations. She and her husband Aaron are raising their two young sons in Pierre.
Dr. Katie Graham, Vice President
Dr. Katie Graham serves as the State Director for Career & Technical Education at the Nebraska Department of Education. In this role, she administers the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act by providing state-level leadership in career education, continuous school improvement, instruction, and data utilization for Nebraska’s schools and community colleges. Katie is adamant that every student has an equitable opportunity to participate and thrive in Nebraska’s CTE programs and that these programs afford students the academic and technical skills needed for their career pathway of choice.
Katie is extensively involved in the coordination of activities between education, workforce, and economic development initiatives in the state and nationally. She currently serves on the Advance CTE Board of Directors, the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State CTE Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult CTE, and is past-chair of the Nebraska Partner Council, a collaboration between representatives of federal programs from the Departments of Education, Labor, Economic Development, and Health and Human Service. This Council works to create cross-sector partnerships and streamline efforts between programs to provide the most effective and efficient services to Nebraskans.
Prior to this role, Dr. Graham served as the Deputy State Director and the Data, Research, and Evaluation Specialist for Nebraska Career Education. Prior to joining the Nebraska Department of Education, she served as a Senior Academic Program Specialist for Florida State University’s Center for Professional Development. There, she oversaw the development and administration of credit, non-credit, and continuing education programs for campus-based and online part-time degree and certificate programs. Katie earned her doctorate degree in Educational Psychology after researching the affordance CTE provides in developing students’ writing motivation and writing expertise, demonstrating the unique position of CTE and its vast benefits to student achievement.
Thalea Longhurst, Secretary/Treasurer
Thalea Longhurst serve as the State Director of Career and Technical Education for Utah. She is responsible for administering all aspects of the career and technical education programs offered throughout Utah in public education K-12. Thalea is also responsible to provide leadership for programs provided under the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) which include both secondary schools and post-secondary institutions in Utah. Thalea maintains close working relationships with schools, community and state agencies, and area businesses and industries in order to provide training consistent with needs and to obtain and communicate information required to facilitate quality CTE programs. She is an advocate for high-quality CTE and ensuring that all students have access to valuable CTE opportunities.
Prior to her appointment in 2014, Thalea served in other capacities at the Utah State Board of Education including as a Coordinator over CTE Programs and Financial Accountability and as an Education Specialist overseeing Health Science Education. She also served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the National Consortium for Health Science Education including four years as the Chair. Prior to coming to the Utah State Board of Education, Thalea taught health science courses in high school and worked in school district administration for fifteen years. She has also worked at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics in various management and clinical positions. Thalea earned Bachelor and Masters degrees in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Utah along with her School Administration license from Utah State University.
Sarah Heath, Ph.D. , Past President
Dr. Sarah Heath serves as the State Director for Career and Technical Education for Colorado. In Colorado, Career and Technical Education is managed by the Colorado Community College System and she serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Colorado Community College System. Dr. Heath has been in this position since July 2015. Prior to her appointment as State CTE Director, Dr. Heath was the Director of Choice Programs for Jefferson County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in Colorado, for five years. In this role, she was responsible for Career and Technical Education, concurrent enrollment, business and industry partnerships, legislative implementation, and career development initiatives for the district. Prior to this role in Jefferson County Schools, Dr. Heath served the State of Georgia as the Program Director for Business and Computer Science. Georgia is a state driven education system and Dr. Heath was tasked with statewide curriculum and resource development, professional development, and support for teachers in every school district in Georgia. She taught high school Business Education and served as her local FBLA chapter adviser.
In addition to her work experience, Dr. Heath served as the National President of the Association for Career and Technical Education as well as the Business Education Division Vice President which provided her opportunities to engage in the national CTE landscape. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia from which she holds a doctorate in psychology for Workforce and Economic Education, a master's degree in education with a focus on Business Education, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems.