Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education (MACTE) held its annual conference last week at Lewiston Regional Technical Center (LRTC). The official organization for Maine’s network of 27 career and technical education (CTE) schools, MACTE plans the conference as a place for CTE educators to convene and share ideas, hear from industry professionals, and honor hard-working colleagues.
During the opening presentation of the conference, participants were welcomed by MACTE President and host Rob Callahan, who is also the Director of LRTC. Dr. Donald Cannan, Executive Director of MACTE also addressed the crowd remarking on the utmost importance of CTE educators in the training of Maine’s current and future workforce. Following the welcoming, Maine Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta presented the CTE Teacher of the Year award to Greg Cushman, an electrical instructor and SkillsUSA advisor at LRTC.
An alumnus and former educator of Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, Greg has a successful 25-year career in electrical trade under his belt. He has since returned to his roots in Career and Technical Education in a different capacity, to serve as an educator to the students in his community. Known for his outstanding student outcomes and many accomplishments, both in his professional career and in education, his nominators, LRTC Director Rob Callahan along with students and colleagues from LRTC, had this to say about Greg:
“Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Greg’s nomination for this award is the quality of his character. He is a highly approachable, thoughtful and genuine person who always looks for the good in any situation. He approaches his responsibilities as an educator, electrician and community member with utmost importance. He sets an example for those around him which is based on hard work, integrity and service to others.”
After being named CTE Teacher of the year, Greg took the stage, while the excited crowd stood in applause and his family joined him to congratulate him for this well-deserved recognition. The CTE Teacher of the Year award is administered by MACTE as a way to recognize teachers who are providing outstanding career and technical education programs for youth and/or adults in their respective fields and communities.
After hearing from keynote speaker Shawn Moody, who spoke about the Blue Collar CTE scholarship opportunity, participants attended a morning filled with a variety of breakout sessions. In addition to sessions lead by Maine DOE Leaders who provided information about State level updates, data, and funding, there were also sessions led by CTE leaders and industry professionals about various topics including understanding and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, early college opportunities through the Maine Bridge Academy program and the Community College System, as well as workforce and industry updates from Cianbro, Apple, Inc, and Maine Army National Guard to name a few.
Conference participants also had the opportunity to attend sessions led by Maine education colleagues such as Foster Tech’s Chris MeMarco and Jake Bogar who led a session about how to fit science into any CTE class, and Ruthanne Harrison, an Engineering Teacher from Bath Regional CTE, who led a session about design thinking and 3D Printing.
A delicious lunch was served at LRTC’s well-known Culinary Arts School, The Green Ladle followed by a final session that provided tech updates for CTE educators.
The annual conference came to a close with a positive response from participants, especially for the variety of breakout sessions that provided instructors with information about common best practices. MACTE Executive Director Donald Cannan says they “plan to continue this very successful practice” as they look toward planning future MACTE conferences and events.