Career Guidance Award


Jake Lawson

Valley Union HS

Jake Lawson is the counselor for his small, rural school. He contributes to high-quality CTE programs by ensuring all students have a CTE class as an opportunity every high school year. He literally “drives” CTE at his school as he takes students to CTSO events (national FFA competitions, local and state HOSA and SkillsUSA competitions), student CPR/First Aid trainings, the county health department for vaccinations, the community college for testing, and on visits to colleges and businesses Jake also reports the CTE data for his school. He implements all student ECAPs. He works as a team with the principal, superintendent, and CTE Director to ensure all students can be completers in their chosen CTE program. Over 90% of his school’s students take a CTE class and 75% of graduates are Concentrators. Jake was the driving force of two new programs—Home Health Aide and Law & Public Safety. This year Mental and Social Health Technician will happen. Two students were awarded ACTEAZ scholarships due to his commitment to showcasing excellence in CTE.

Jake does things that matter to students. He is in the classrooms delivering materials, reminding students about deadlines, and sharing information about CTE classes and opportunities. He doesn’t wait for them to show up in his office; he meets them on their territory, informally, where those little, yet important, questions pop up.

Jake started his career as an at-risk youth counselor at a small, rural ranch, became a group house parent for teens, then moved into school counseling. He and his wife are all-in as she works at the school. They are raising two adopted children of their own. Jake is a member of the Arizona School Counselors Association and is a children’s ministry volunteer. He is a certified trainer for CPR/First Aid and will be certifying healthcare students, school staff, and most likely many community members to become American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) Providers. Jake attends ADE CTE trainings, our annual Cochise County Counselor/Director Workshop, and the summer ACTEAZ conference. He attends every training hosted by our CTED and ADE-sponsored and industry trainings to develop as a leader and in using ECAP to promote CTE as a career pathway in his school.