Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Three Georgia educators among nation’s best in career and technical education

GACTE Awards 2015.jpg

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,

-Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

December 3, 2015 – When the Association for Career and Technical Education named the recipients of its Excellence Awards November 19, three of the seven honorees were Georgia educators.

The awards promote excellence in career and technical education, recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to career and technical education, programs that exemplify the highest standards and organizations that conduct activities to promote and expand career and technical education programs.

“Georgia is truly a land of leaders, and these awards exemplify that,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “These national leaders are creating relevant, innovative experiences in career, technical, and agricultural education for Georgia’s students – this is incredibly important work. I offer my congratulations to these great Georgia educators on this much-deserved recognition.”

Dr. Cassandra Miller-Washington, career, technical and agricultural education (CTAE) director for the Bibb County Schools, received ACTE’S 2016 Administrator of the Year award, which honors administrators, program specialists/coordinators, and other personnel who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical education programs.

Dr. Miller-Washington received her doctoral degree in educational leadership in 2010. In her current role as Bibb County’s CTAE director, she collaborates with industry and community stakeholders during a monthly advisory group luncheon with other CTAE personnel in order to provide direction for their programs. Over the past two years, she has worked diligently to modernize and restructure the curriculum at William S. Hutchings College and Career Academy, and has secured a partnership with Central Georgia Technical College to obtain a $3.11 million grant to create an industry-aligned facility.

Learn more about Dr. Miller-Washington here.

Dr. Sheryl Neely, a professional school counselor at Frederick Douglass High School in the Atlanta Public Schools, received ACTE’s 2016 Career Guidance award, which recognizes guidance counselors and career development professionals who have made significant contributions to advocate, educate and communicate the value of career and technical education as a viable career option to a variety of audiences in their communities.

As a high school counselor for the Atlanta Public Schools, Neely promotes lifelong learning and encourages students to work toward achieving diverse goals, competencies and specialized skills. She has helped secure over $5 million in scholarships and has cultivated a number of CTAE programs and award opportunities for her students, who have a strong track record of success. An alumni of the University of Maryland, she received her doctorate from Walden University and her counseling degree from the University of West Alabama.

Learn more about Dr. Neely here.

Cindy Quinlan, the work-based learning coordinator, marketing teacher and co-DECA adviser at Brookwood High School in Gwinnett County, received ACTE’s 2016 Teacher of the Year award, which recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the middle and secondary level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students, and dedication to the improvement of career and technical education in their institutions and communities.

Since Quinlan took over the marketing program at Brookwood in 2008, program enrollment and DECA membership doubled, the program was awarded industry certification, and numerous students went on to win state DECA competitions. The school’s student-run store, Bronco Stampede, quadrupled its sales.

Learn more about Quinlan here.

“Dr. Cassandra Washington, Cindy Quinlan, and Dr. Sheryl Neely embody the very essence of high-quality CTAE professionals,” said Matthew Gambill, Executive Director of the Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education. “They are all leaders within our state and within the CTAE community. Having the opportunity to witness the ACTE Awards ceremony in New Orleans and see them recognized was one of the greatest honors of my professional career. I am so proud that Georgia has the distinct honor to count them amongst our ranks.”

Learn more about the ACTE Excellence Awards here and more about Georgia’s CTAE programs here.