Georgia and Nebraska State Career Technical Education Directors Receive Advance CTE National Leadership Award


Georgia and Nebraska State Career Technical Education Directors Receive Advance CTE National Leadership Award


SILVER SPRING, MD – (October 18, 2022) Yesterday, Advance CTE awarded the State Career Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Rising Star Award to Dr. Katie Graham of Nebraska and the State CTE Distinguished Leadership Award to Dr. Barbara Wall of Georgia during its annual Fall Meeting. 

The State CTE Leadership Rising Star Award 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 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 Kimberly Green stated, “Advance CTE is pleased to recognize Dr. Graham and Dr. Wall for their exemplary leadership and contributions in their states, within our organization and with the CTE field at large. Their commitment to ensuring CTE is truly without limits shine through every day.  Their achievements to meet the needs of both employers and learners in their states epitomizes their effective leadership deeply rooted in service, community, quality and equity.”  

“My motto for this work is ‘We make decisions in the interest of students, not adults.’,  The stories I hear from Nebraska learners’ about the impact of CTE but also their needs to fully realize their success in these experiences is what drives me to achieve excellent, transformational change. From leading solutions for the state’s strategic priority of teacher recruitment and retention, to connecting agencies to better serve learners with disabilities, our state has made incredible progress towards delivering high-quality CTE for each learner. I am honored to receive recognition from Advance CTE who without their support and guidance this progress would not have been possible.” 

“For the past six years we have made tremendous strides to build cohesive systems that put learner, industry and economic development needs at the forefront,” stated Dr. Wall. It is an honor to receive the Advance CTE  award in recognition of the work of me and the entire CTAE team to realize our shared vision of Making Education Work for All Georgians.”

Credit: Bob Witchger 


Dr. Katie Graham 

Dr. Graham has served as State Career Technical Education Director at the Nebraska Department of Education since 2018. She also currently serves on the Advance CTE Board of Directors as Vice President, 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 Services. Her prior roles include Deputy State Director, Research and Evaluation Specialist, and Senior Academic Program Specialist for The Florida State University’s Center for Professional Development. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska. 

Dr. Barbara M. Wall 

Dr. Barbara M. Wall is a passionate and dedicated Career, Technical and Agricultural Education educator. She has worked in small, medium  and large school districts across Georgia and now serves as Deputy Superintendent for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education for the Georgia Department of Education. Dr. Wall holds bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees from Georgia College and State University and a doctorate in Workforce Education Development from the University of Georgia.

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,