News Release

June 22, 2021


Career and Technical Education (CTE) educators and administrators from across the state came together June 7-9 for the 2021 Virtual Nebraska Career Education Conference.

This professional learning opportunity kicked off with the “State of Nebraska CTE” presentation by Nebraska’s State CTE Director, Dr. Katie Graham. World-renowned author, innovator, and advocate, Dr. Ted Dintersmith, delivered an engaging and inspiring keynote presentation and hosted a question-and-answer session with Nebraska high school and college students.

During the three-day event, conference participants selected from over 75 breakout sessions where they had the opportunity to collaborate, engage, learn, and reconnect with CTE colleagues to advance their high-quality CTE programs. National leaders presented on topics focused on ensuring all students have equitable access to high-quality CTE programs, social emotional learning resources, and teaching strategies to engage learners virtually and in person.

Several award recipients were recognized during this year’s conference.  More information about each award, as well as the award recipient biographies, can be found at


The 2021 Nebraska Excellence in Career Education Award Winners

The Elaine Stuhr Leadership and Advocacy Award
Dr. Lloyd C. Bell, Emeritus Professor, UNL

NCE Distinguished Partner Award
Scott Volk, Vice President/COO, MetalQuest Unlimited, Inc.

NCE Outstanding Business Partnership Awards
Nebraska Council on Economic Education (NCEE)
Behavioral Health Education Centers of Nebraska (BHECN)

Outstanding CTE Administrator Award
Dr. John Skretta, ESU 6 Administrator

Outstanding Middle School CTE Program Award
Columbus Middle School

Outstanding Postsecondary CTE Program Award
Metro Community College Early Childhood Program

Outstanding Secondary CTE Program Award
Pathways 2 Tomorrow (P2T)

Outstanding Rule 47 Career Academy Program Award
Omaha Public Schools- Benson High Magnet School Career Academies


2021 Rich Katt CTE Educator of the Year Award Winners

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
David Gibbens, West Holt Community Schools

Business, Marketing and Management
Dawn Danauskas, Bellevue East High School

Communication and Information Systems
Kristeen Shabram, Westside Middle School

Health Science

Jen Harre, Scottsbluff Public Schools

Human Sciences and Education

Michelle Galles, Wakefield Public Schools

Skilled and Technical Sciences

Matt Hurt, Hastings High School

Overall 2021 Rich Katt CTE Educator of the Year Award Winner
David Gibbens, West Holt Community Schools

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education