News Release

October 18, 2022


Advance CTE awarded the State Career Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Rising Star Award to Dr. Katie Graham, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) State CTE Director, during its annual Fall Meeting.

The State CTE Leadership Rising Star Award recognizes new CTE leaders — with no more than five years of service at the state level — who are actively engaged with and dedicated to advancing a vision for CTE that is committed to quality, equity and access within their state.

Advance CTE Executive Director Kimberly Green stated, “Dr. Graham is a dynamic and go-to state leader for Advance CTE. She is always among the first to speak up and step up, not only when there is need within our organization, but also to provide mentorship and resources to her peers. I am proud to recognize Dr. Graham for her steadfast commitment to excellence and equity and her strong desire to center all she does on the needs of learners.”

Dr. Graham has served as State Career Technical Education Director at the Nebraska Department of Education since 2018.  Currently, she is leading efforts to build state-level partnerships and resources to enhance CTE participation and outcomes for learners with disabilities through an Advance CTE state cohort supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Her accomplishments also include developing a co-hired Education and Workforce Manager with the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Graham currently serves as the Vice President of Advance CTE’s Board.

“My motto for this work is ‘We make decisions in the interest of students, not adults.’,  The stories I hear from Nebraska learners’ about the impact of CTE but also their needs to fully realize their success in these experiences is what drives me to achieve excellent, transformational change. From leading solutions for the state’s strategic priority of teacher recruitment and retention, to connecting agencies to better serve learners with disabilities, our state has made incredible progress towards delivering high-quality CTE for each learner. I am honored to receive recognition from Advance CTE who without their support and guidance this progress would not have been possible.”

More information on the award is available at

About Advance CTE

Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports visionary state leadership, cultivates best practices and speaks with a collective voice to advance high-quality CTE policies, programs and pathways that ensure career success for each learner.

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education