Colorado and South Dakota State Career Technical Education Directors Receive Advance CTE National Leadership Award


Colorado and South Dakota State Career Technical Education Directors Receive Advance CTE National Leadership Award

SILVER SPRING, MD – (October 17, 2023) Yesterday, Advance CTE awarded two national awards for outstanding state leadership for Career Technical Education (CTE) to Dr. Sarah Heath of Colorado and Amy Miller of South Dakota. 

The State CTE Leadership Rising Star Award, awarded to Amy Miller, recognizes new CTE leaders — with no more than five years of service at the state level — who are actively engaged with and dedicated to advancing a vision for CTE that is committed to quality, equity and access within their state.

The State CTE Distinguished Leadership Award, awarded to Dr. Sarah Heath, recognizes current and former state CTE leaders who have a distinguished and tenured history of service and have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to advancing a vision for high-quality and equitable CTE at the state and national levels. 

Advance CTE Executive Director Kate Kreamer stated, “Achieving our vision where every learner realizes college, career and life success through Career Technical Education is only possible through innovative, transformational and persistent state leadership. Advance CTE is pleased to recognize Dr. Sarah Heath and Amy Miller for their exemplary contributions to the CTE community, their states and our organization.  Their commitment to learners and building sustainable connections across the state, district and school levels to expand access and success should inspire other leaders across the country.”

“I joined the CTE community as a computer science and business educator because I felt it provided meaningful benefits for every learner. In doing so I have truly found a national CTE family who has not only provided me an immensely rewarding professional and leadership journey, but who pushes each other every day for our model of learning to be the go-to solution for education and workforce needs,” stated Dr. Sarah Heath. “I am deeply appreciative of this recognition from Advance CTE — with their support, Colorado has developed statewide structures for learner voice, data-sharing, career advising and alignment to the CTE Without Limits vision as an anchor for the Colorado CTE Strategic Plan has made us a national leader in access, equity, and inclusivity in CTE.” 

“CTE is vital to our communities,” stated Amy Miller. “I am very honored to be recognized by Advance CTE for my work to advance CTE access and quality in South Dakota, and it would not be possible without the many CTE champions across education, industry and workforce coming together to deliver what our learners need. By working together, our state has been able to leverage federal recovery dollars, removed barriers for instructors to teach across Career Clusters and geographic regions, and created the state’s first regional consortia to maximize funding for small CTE programs.” 


Dr. Sarah Heath 

Dr. Sarah Heath is CCCS’ Associate Vice Chancellor for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and State Director for Career and Technical Education. In her current position, she leads oversight of all secondary and postsecondary CTE programs in the state, which train more than 208,000 students every year. Sarah has dedicated her career to advancing CTE, first as a high school business and computer science teacher, then as a state program director and local system administrator. She has served as the national president of the Association for Career and Technical Education and Advance CTE, and this year was named Equity Champion (CTE) by the Colorado Association for Career & Technical Administrators. A proud “Triple Dawg,” Sarah has a bachelor’s, master, and doctoral degree from the University of Georgia.

Amy Miller 

Amy, a lifelong South Dakotan, has built her career around Career and Technical Education. Her CTE journey began as a family and consumer science teacher, then followed by roles as CTE director and later a high school principal. In January 2020, Amy took on the role of Assistant Director of CTE at the South Dakota Department of Education. Amy’s profound commitment is exemplified by her unwavering dedication to the vital role that CTE occupies in addressing the ever-evolving demands of the workforce. Moreover, she is a fearless champion of the educational enrichment that CTE imparts to the lives of students. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science Education, masters’ degrees in CTE Instruction and School Leadership, and an educational specialist degree in School Administration and Leadership from South Dakota public universities.

About Advance CTE

Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports visionary state leadership, cultivates best practices and speaks with a collective voice to advance high-quality CTE policies, programs and pathways that ensure career success for each learner.


Media Contact: Stacy Whitehouse,