Meet Cassandra Miller-Washington, Ph.D.
I entered education in 2002 as an alternative educator from an industry career in technology. I had served as the technology director for Edison School, and unfortunately, the contract was not renewed after the 3rd year. I was offered an employment opportunity to move to Philadelphia and serve as the technology director in one of their other school district. However, I had just found love (my husband of 21 years), so I decided to stay in Macon, Georgia. This was God's plan because, in 2002, I entered the world of education through the TAPP (teacher alternative preparatory program). This is when you realize that sometimes God makes better choices than we could have ever made for ourselves. So fast-forwarding, I have been a member of ACTE/GACTE for 15 years. I recognize the Association's role in supporting our members in professional growth, leadership development, and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. During our 2019 summer conference, the Keynote speaker, Mark Perna, stated, "Students must have an education with a purpose, not an education for education." That lead me to look at how to change the perception of CTAE for teachers, school leaders, district leaders, and community stakeholders. My team and I evaluated multiple ways but turned to the state's focus of CTAE Delivers. So, we just recreated our communication to ensure that the perception of CTAE was not the one of "those students only," so we came up with CTAE Delivers 3EReady students. The ultimate goal was for every student to experience CTAE. The students would gain the skills and academic ability to Enroll in any post-secondary institution, Enlist in any branch of the military, or be employed by an organization to begin a career with an excellent starting salary. So, how do we use this same vision for the GACTE/ACTE Association members?
We focus on ensuring the next generation of CTAE Leaders (Teachers, Coordinators, Directors, etc.) are 3EReady. This means everyone is Equipped, Empowered, and Engaged to build the next future-ready workforce pipeline. As a candidate for president-elect, my goal is to grow this support by first ensuring that each CTAE teacher, administrator, and industry partner understands the importance of being a member of GACTE/ACTE. I was instrumental in ensuring that the GCAN (Georgia College and Career Academy) became a state division, so we mirrored the ACTE national format. This would ensure that CTAE at the local levels worked collaboratively and that CTAE was a powerhouse in every area of the region and tier-one strong in the state of Georgia. So, if I am elected, I will work to expand the current activities and identify new and innovative ways for our GACTE members to become 3EReady- Equipped, Empowered, and Engaged at all Professional Learning opportunities and conferences, which will develop consistency with CTAE throughout the state. I will work alongside all elected board members and listen to all the passionate CTAE leaders to ensure that we leave a footprint throughout Georgia. Everyone will know that CTAE is an essential piece of the puzzle that ensures Georgia is the number one state to do business.