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Honoree Bios

2011 Recipients of the Star of Education Award

  • Dr. June St. Clair Atkinson

    Dr. June St. Clair Atkinson

    North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    Dr. Atkinson, a former CTE State Director for 12 years, has long been a leader in the CTE arena. She is among the pioneers to implement Career Clusters and programs of study statewide. Further, under Dr. Atkinson’s leadership, North Carolina led the development of the national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Cluster.

    Her initiatives have resulted in statewide CTE programs of study in which courses are defined, aligned to standards and assessments, and supported by instructional materials for educators. Other outcomes of her efforts include structured collaboration with all state education agencies to infuse CTE, math, science English, social studies, arts and world languages; the strong partnerships resulted in rigorous courses that prepare students for success in college.

  • Dr. John Foster

    Dr. John Foster

    President/CEO, National Occupational Competency Testing Institute
    A former CTE State Director in Pennsylvania and NASDCTEc Board Member, Dr. Foster has served as a strong advocate for research-based resources – assessments and instructional tools – which can help educators teach CTE programs that prepare students for their careers. In Pennsylvania, Dr. Foster succeeded in initiating a statewide articulation agreement that is recognized by all postsecondary Perkins recipients.

    He continues to seek ways to develop consistency and increase value of CTE programs by advocating for national-level teacher certification programs, and industry and skills assessments that ensure students are learning the skills that will equip them for success in the global economy.

  • Dr. Michael Rush

    Dr. Michael Rush

    Executive Director, Idaho Office of the State Board of Education
    Dr. Rush authored NASDCTEc’s vision document, Career Technical Education: An Essential Component of the Total Education System. The document set precedent for how NASDCTEc designed its objectives and strategies for about a decade. In his position as Idaho State Administrator for Professional-Technical Education, he provided significant input in the last two iterations of the Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act. Then, he served on a professional working group to advise the U.S. Department of Education on national performance measures for the legislation and regarding the School-to-Work initiative.

    Currently, Dr. Rush serves as Executive Director of the State Board of Education, the body that oversees policy-making for public education in the state and K-20 education governance. Through his role, he has infused his CTE background in current initiatives such as the Complete College America effort underway in Idaho in which the state has committed to increasing the number of students who successfully complete college, particularly among underserved populations. The effort includes attainment of postsecondary technical certificates and associate of applied science degrees, along with four-year degrees as indicators of success.