Advance CTE commits to investing in formal leadership development for our members. The New State Director Institute (NSDI) uses a cohort model to welcome and support first-year State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors. Each cohort is connected with mentors and other national leaders; provided leadership tools and resources; and offered instructional workshops designed to assist them as they develop and implement their state-wide visions for CTE. This and upcoming blogs in the Getting to Know blog series will introduce you to the Fall 2021 NSDI cohort!
This summer, Oregon welcomed Jennell Ives as the new Director of the Secondary Postsecondary Transitions Team. In this position, located in the Oregon Department of Education, Jennell is also the designated State CTE Director. She is a leader and innovator with a relentless commitment to improving the educational experiences of learners. She has a passion for building direct connections between learning during school and the lives and futures of Oregon’s youth. Jennell has been with the Oregon Department of Education for 11 years and served the agency in various capacities: Health Science Specialist, Accelerated & Personalized Learning Specialist, leading the Standards and Instructional Supports team, launching High School Success, and Perkins Grant lead & Career and Technical Education Investments. Prior to moving to Oregon, she was director of Global Education at the Wildlife Conservation Society based in New York.
Jennell’s priorities for the state are deeply rooted in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) and increasing equity and access for each learner. With the implementation of Oregon’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) state plan and CTE Without Limits, Jennell and her team will focus on:
- Building state-wide CTE programs of study;
- Establishing flexible learning opportunities for learners that extend access across school districts;
- Increasing opportunities in CTE for learners with disabilities;
- Prioritizing funding approaches to support and sustain professional development in rural CTE; and
- Expanding career guidance for learners to start in elementary/middle school and extends through work-based learning and postsecondary opportunities.
Jennell anticipates the biggest challenges for this role to be CTE teacher recruitment and retention (which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic), expanding the involvement of stakeholders in shaping CTE in Oregon and communicating the value of CTE to learners and their families.
However, these challenges come with much opportunity! Jennell is most excited about the opportunity to engage with employers and the workforce industry to create CTE statewide programs of study and the opportunity to build regional networks for teachers to be supported delivering such programs of study.
We asked Jennell to share one thing she would wish to be an expert in at the snap of her fingers. While we were expecting to hear about having gold medal talent in an Olympic sport, Jennell answered in true leadership fashion with the wish to communicate and build strong relationships and networks. She is rolling up her sleeves and is ready to do the “slow and hard work” to ensure the career preparation ecosystem in Oregon meets the needs of each learner.
Please join us in welcoming Jennell to Advance CTE!
Learn more about the work happening in Oregon by viewing their CTE state profile and the state resource page in the Learning that Works Resource Center.
Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media