Combs Recognizes CTE Contributions

SAN TAN VALLEY, ARIZ. - Statewide school closures and stay-at-home orders didn't stop the J.O. Combs Unified School District from honoring significant accomplishments and contributions in the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE) last week.
Each year, Combs High School hosts a Career and Technical Education (CTE) award ceremony to recognize students who have successfully completed a CTE program. In addition, a Spirit of CTE award is presented to a student, advisory board member, and community partner for their impact on the success of CTE programs at Combs High School. Nominations are offered in each category and winners are traditionally announced at the annual ceremony; however due to the inability to hold an in-person event this year, winners were honored virtually with key stakeholders.
"CTE programs are designed to provide students with opportunities, not only to develop industry technical skills, but also professional workplace skills, leadership, and provide service to our community," said CTE Coordinator John Scrogham. "These awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the importance of these programs for our community, and the many talented people that contribute to our student's success."
Spirit of CTE Student of the Year
Winner: Abby Henderson, Senior at Combs High School
Abby Henderson is a leader in and out of the classroom. She is the Combs FFA President, very active in CDE's and LDE's, has attended 2 summer leadership camps, has emceed the E4T conference, is on the Principals council meetings (once a month), shows each year at fair (Steers), and leads conference period FFA meetings. Abby spends many extra hours outside of school competing in livestock competitions, rodeos, and volunteers at Roots and Boots in Queen Creek. She is the epitome of the type of CTE student we want in our programs.
About the Award:
CTE students participate in a number of activities, both in and out of the classroom, that provide them with opportunities to gain valuable skills in preparation to enter career pathways in high demand, high wage industries. Many of these activities require a level of commitment that is not always easy or convenient, and often requires a degree of sacrifice in order to meet the highest standards.
Students nominated in this category must meet the highest standard of excellence in their program. This includes meeting preliminary requirements that include passing all their CTE courses, have passed or anticipate passing the state Technical Skills Assessment, obtained an approved industry certification, and is an active member of the programs Career and Technical Student Organization.  Many, through their dedication, have made an immediate impact in the workforce or entered post-secondary institutions equipped with the skills necessary to be successful.
Spirit of CTE Advisory Member of the Year
Winner: Misty Richards, Banner Ironwood Medical Center
Misty was instrumental in helping the Nursing Assistant Program with the contract renewal process as well as the Professional Shadowing Program for Med. Pro. Without dedicated professionals like Misty, the Medical Professions program would not have the necessary elements to be a certified program with the State Board of Nursing. Misty presented at the Senate Education Committee about our partnership and how important it is not only for our students but for the medical staff as well. She goes above and beyond which makes her an amazing contact and advocate for our CTE program. She epitomizes the Spirit of CTE, community partnerships, and innovations in education.
About the Award:
Comprehensive CTE experiences would not be possible without the support of individuals in our community participating as members of CTE advisory councils.
The primary purpose of advisory councils is to help schools and institutions improve the quality of instruction in career and technical education programs. Members are volunteers who share an expert knowledge of the job tasks and competency requirements for specific occupations.
As part of an advisory council, members have three major roles that include providing advise, assistance, support and advocacy for the program. It is through these roles that CTE programs are able to stay up to date on the most recent industry trends, industry standard equipment, and best practices for skill development.
Spirit of CTE Community Partner of the Year
Winner: Premier Health
Premier Health has always stepped up to support CTE students. Whether it's taking on interns, providing guest speakers, offering free student physicals, or participating in networking and mock interviews, they have demonstrated support and commitment with no questions asked. They exemplify what it means to be a community partner increase the quality of education we are able to offer our students to enable them to be successful.
About the Award:
A critical component of successful CTE programs is the symbiotic relationship with community partners. Collaboration with these stakeholders provide students with invaluable exposure outside of the four walls of a classroom, and first-hand experience of how skills can be applied in a professional setting after high school.
Combs High School is dedicated to giving students opportunities to learn and grow both academically as well as technically. Classes offered through Career and Technical Education programs equip students to pursue careers in areas such as Agriculture, Early Childhood Education, Education Professions, Business Management, Medical Professions, Graphic Design, Digital Communication, Digital Photography, Film and TV, Stagecraft, Software and App Design, and Sports Medicine.
For more information about Career and Technical Education programs at Combs High School, please visit or contact CTE Coordinator, John Scrogham at .
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Kayla Fulmer, Director of Marketing & Community Relations
J.O. Combs Unified School District
O: (480) 987-5322 | M: (480) 252-4482
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