ACTEAZ Editorial – From One Tiny Cog to Another

My name is Tony York and I am a contract worker with ACTEAZ.  While some members may have interacted with me in some way there are many who would not know my name though they have seen my work.  My job with the association has changed and grown over the years from a file clerk checking summer conference packets to a designer, editor and manager for ACTEAZ’s website and printed materials.

Over the years I have learned a lot from our members and have come to respect and cherish you all.  I have witnessed the struggle and strength of our members as they have supported Career and Technical Education throughout the state of Arizona and beyond.  I have seen retired teachers continue to teach so their programs would not be shut down.  I have seen members pay for their own conference expenses to continue their professional development due to funding cuts.  The adversity our educators must struggle with so they may empower our future workforce with the knowledge and skills that will continue to advance our society is almost laughable in its absurdity. Yet, together we can and will overcome that adversity.

I recently attended my first National ACTE conference and I was inspired.  Close to 4,000 CTE educators attended the 2015 Career Tech Vision conference to learn, network and share ideas.  Several of our ACTEAZ board members and Fellows presented at the conference to share information on the programs we have developed and what has helped to create and sustain their success.  Teachers from across all 50 states and even outlying U.S. protectorates joined together in an effort to make CTE stronger.  I feel Adam Braun, Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise and this year’s keynote speaker, put it best with a video shared from YouTube.

Each of us may be one of those tiny dominos, but by working together our efforts will pay off as each goal is met and we set our minds to toppling the next challenge. We all are just tiny cogs and tiny voices, but together we are one machine, one voice, one idea.  It is the small efforts we make that will create and build upon the momentum of CTE as it continues to grow and ripple out affecting change not only for tomorrow, but for the future we can only imagine.

So I ask of you to do nothing more than what you already have been doing, which is continue to struggle with us against adversity, continue to go beyond limits as we expand and strengthen CTE and continue to work with your students in creating dreams and surpassing them.  Share this story and encourage your fellow CTE teachers and ask them to join ACTEAZ.  Membership is free, but the benefits of working together and increasing our presence felt in Arizona is beyond priceless.  Remember that even the smallest of efforts can affect the largest of changes in the grand scheme.