SkillsUSA provides many opportunities for recognition of your work as a student or advisor.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is seeking nominations for the National Trade and Industrial Education Division Awards to be presented during the annual CareerTech VISION conference. This year’s conference will be held Nov. 30 - Dec. 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nev. The deadline for nominations has been extended to Nov. 1. Qualified individuals may be nominated in the following categories, and you may nominate yourself. (If you nominate someone else, please be sure to notify the nominee.)
The SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year Award honors SkillsUSA’s most dedicated career and technical education instructors. These talented instructors serve SkillsUSA advisors and embrace the SkillsUSA Framework and national programming to create career-ready graduates and opportunities for every member. States hold an Advisor of the Year competition, and the state winners advance to the regional competition. The top five regional winners are interviewed during the national conference, and a national Advisor of the Year is selected.
For more information, please contact your state association director.
The 2022 regional Advisors of the Year are:
Region 1 (New York)
Kimberly Petronella is the national 2022 Advisor of the Year
Kimberly Petronella has served as a health occupations instructor at Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES in New Hartford, N.Y., for 25 years. Prior to teaching, she worked as a nurse in various local health care facilities. Petronella has also been an award-winning SkillsUSA advisor for 20 years. In 2021, she was named the SkillsUSA New York Advisor of the Year and was also honored with the SkillsUSA Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Award. Petronella’s chapter has earned the SkillsUSA Gold Level in the Chapter of Excellence program for four consecutive years, and in 2021, her chapter was honored as a national Model of Excellence. She also helps the state association as a cluster manager and contest chair at both the Area 2 conference and the state conference. Petronella believes that career and technical education (CTE) is a gateway to a bright and prosperous career because she once attended the same CTE high school where she now teaches. “My CTE experience provided me with the opportunity to explore and learn about my career of choice, and I am so proud that I have the ability to pay it forward to future generations of health care providers,” she says. Petronella understands the value of SkillsUSA involvement from both the student and the teacher perspective, and her exemplary career continues to make a positive difference in many lives.
Region 2 (North Carolina)
In the 1980’s, Kenneth Brown was a student at Richlands (N.C.) High School, roaming the same halls he does today as one of the school’s teachers. “My senior year, I had no idea what career I wanted,” he says, “so my parents suggested I visit the guidance counselor. When I did, she pointed to a shelf and told me to look through the college catalogs to find a profession.” Brown ended up at Pitt Community College in the architectural drafting program and loved it, which eventually led to a job as a drafting teacher. “As a teacher, I never want a student to go into his or her future having no sense of direction,” he says. My philosophy is to expose students to my content area and to present every possible career option.” Brown knows that future employees sit in his classes and SkillsUSA chapter meetings. Therefore, he sees his job as not only to teach the curriculum but to prepare students to enter their careers ready to be reliable workers. He aligns his lesson plans and chapter meetings to include skill sets from the SkillsUSA Framework, saying, “It is my philosophy that teaching content alone to students will not send competent, well-rounded people into the workforce. Instead, the content needs to be taught along with essential skills from the Framework to make sure students become the types of professionals that can excel in the occupation of their choice.”
Region 3 (Ohio)
A dedicated criminal justice instructor, Warren Caskey served in the U.S. Army for four years before going on to college and receiving his master’s degree in career and technical education. He enjoyed a career in law enforcement for 30 years, serving as a patrol officer, school resource officer, detective, police chief and security driver. In 2013, Caskey was hired as a criminal justice instructor and volunteered to become the school’s SkillsUSA advisor. He’s also a SkillsUSA Ohio state advisor and annually leads a team of Courtesy Corps students at SkillsUSA Ohio’s State Leadership & Skills Conference. Caskey believes that CTE gives students an opportunity to explore their job interests while learning how to be career ready. To help them in that regard, he enforces workforce standards like dress code and behavior expectations in his class, and he puts students in positions with responsibility and accountability. Caskey teaches the Essential Elements of the SkillsUSA Framework in many different activities during the school year. “Having my classroom being student-led is key to students adopting the Framework,” he says. “They need to see their peers practice the ideals and activities in a professional way, providing a positive example in real life practice.”
Region 4 (Nebraska)
Jesse Zweep has spent the last 15 years of his career at Louisville Public Schools in Nebraska. There, he teaches automotive, welding, small engines and home maintenance, an eighth-grade “Exploring Technology” course and a SkillsUSA leadership class. He has been a SkillsUSA advisor since starting the school’s chapter in 2007. In the time since, he’s been an advisor for state officer teams, assisting in leadership training and conference planning. He serves on the SkillsUSA Nebraska Board of Directors, and in both 2013 and 2022, he was awarded the SkillsUSA Nebraska Advisor of the Year award. In 2021, his chapter earned the SkillsUSA Chapter of Distinction award. Zweep incorporates the SkillsUSA Framework into his curriculum, saying, “The Essential Elements of the Framework help each student learn, practice and achieve their goals. By developing, practicing and applying elements like job-specific skills, teamwork, professionalism, communication and integrity, students are building their own road map for success.” Zweep advocated for the introduction of a SkillsUSA class in his school, and, for the last three years, students in grades 9-12 have been able to enroll in a class where they learn SkillsUSA’s creed, colors, motto, officer positions and methods of planning and organizing the Program of Work. The students also plan and participate in a community service project, and each completes OSHA training. Zweep sees career and technical education as a journey rather than a destination, adding, “It’s the variety of courses, the project-based learning and the connection to real-world experiences that make CTE so valuable and important. I never see my day of teaching as a chore, but as a blessing.”
Region 5 (Wyoming)
“My philosophy on the value of career and technical education is a very simple one,” Troy Reichert says. “It doesn’t just teach you what you need to know; it teaches you how to grow.” Reichert’s lived that philosophy throughout his life. As a young person growing up on a Nebraska farm, he didn’t know what he wanted to do after high school, but he knew he wanted to work with his hands. He was introduced to SkillsUSA while attending college and eventually won the state carpentry competition in Nebraska. After graduating, he began a teaching career that started in Nebraska but has since placed him at Guernsey-Sunrise High School in Wyoming, where he’s served as a CTE teacher for the last 13 years. Reichert was selected as the Wyoming VFW Teacher of the Year in 2017 and was also a prize-winning teacher for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2019. Under his leadership, Guernsey-Sunrise High School’s SkillsUSA chapter membership has grown from five in 2019 to more than 60 in 2022 and now includes a new middle school chapter. Reichert knows that learning and applying the Essential Elements of the Framework are crucial to the success of students, both in school and when they go into the workforce. “All three parts of the SkillsUSA Framework, along with the 17 Essential Elements, overlap well,” he says, “and when developed properly, they will lead any student to a very successful and long career.”
National-Level Recognition of Lifetime Achievers Investing in Youth Development
The SkillsUSA Hall of Champions Award is an honor bestowed upon those who have dedicated their lives, at a national level, to helping youth develop the components of the SkillsUSA Framework (personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics) necessary to be successful in a changing world. Their legacy on SkillsUSA will continue far beyond their career.
Hall of Champions Award
A candidate may be nominated by a state SkillsUSA association director or current or past SkillsUSA board member, SkillsUSA HQ staff member, SkillsUSA chapter, stakeholder, alumni, or other leaders in the organization. The nomination form must be accompanied by up to five (5) letters of support from SkillsUSA members, CTE instructors, SkillsUSA advisors, parents, advisory committee members, etc. The letters of support must demonstrate the nominee’s breadth and depth of impact on youth development within the SkillsUSA Framework.
Honorees to be recognized as Hall of Champion Award recipients must have performed service, at a national level, that had great impact on youth development in the components of the SkillsUSA Framework: personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. It is not necessary for nominees to have already received the state-level Hall of Champions Award.
The deadline for returning the application is April 1.
SkillsUSA’s highest recognition is the Honorary Life Membership. It is awarded for outstanding service that advances the purposes and goals of the national organization. If you would like to nominate someone for Honorary Life Membership, please submit this form by Feb. 15.
Each year, SkillsUSA is proud to honor individual educators for their service and dedication to career and technical education and to SkillsUSA. If you would like to nominate an advisor/educator for Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, please complete this form by Feb. 15.
PLEASE READ: SkillsUSA is one of thousands of certifying organizations that participate in the national PVSA program, which is administered by Americorps and Point of Light Foundation. SkillsUSA can only process applications of students who enrolled in a SkillsUSA classroom as part of a CTE class at their middle school, high school, or college. The information on this webpage is for SkillsUSA students, advisors, and state directors only. Only the applications of registered, active SkillsUSA students will be processed by SkillsUSA.
If you are a volunteer, but you do not belong to a SkillsUSA chapter as part of your middle school, high school, or college, visit the official PVSA website for more information: https://presidentialserviceawards.gov/.
The Presidential Volunteer Service Award
The Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is a national honor offered in recognition of sustained volunteer service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes hours served over a 12-month period. As a certifying organization of the PVSA, SkillsUSA members may apply to receive the PVSA through the SkillsUSA national office. Recipients receive:
- an official lapel pin reflecting the Bronze, Silver, or Gold service level.
- a personalized certificate of achievement.
- a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.
PVSA recipients will be recognized by a national audience during the Awards and Recognition Ceremony at the 2023 National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Atlanta, Georgia in June. PVSA recipients frequently include this honor on their resume and on college, scholarship, and job applications!
Award Levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold
Individual active SkillsUSA members (students) as well as SkillsUSA Chapters may apply to receive the PVSA. Award levels are determined by two criteria: the number of hours served, and the student’s age as detailed in the chart below. SkillsUSA Chapter award levels are determined via the “Families & Groups” criteria in the chart below.
Awards Levels – Service Benchmark
* The age category is determined by the age the student was for at least 7 months within the calendar year. For example, if the student was 16 for seven (7) months within the year in question, that person would qualify within the 16-25 age group.
The application deadline for the 2022-2023 year is March 31, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST.
SkillsUSA Chapters may apply for the PVSA here:
Individual SkillsUSA student members may apply for the PVSA here:
Required Application Criteria:
- Applications must be complete and include all required documentation in a legible format.
- Applications must include proof of current SkillsUSA membership. Acceptable documentation includes:
- SkillsUSA member card (current membership year).
- SkillsUSA chapter roster with name(s) of applicant(s) highlighted.
- In 2022-2023, the SkillsUSA’s PVSA application is moving to a digital format. Faxed, mailed, and emailed entries will not be processed.
- All applications must include proof of current SkillsUSA membership.
- For individual applicants: Acceptable documents include a SkillsUSA membership card or the student’s name indicated on the SkillsUSA Chapter Roster.
- For chapter applications: Acceptable documents include a SkillsUSA Chapter Roster with the names of all student-volunteers indicated.
- All applications must include a volunteer service log (individual award) or timesheet (chapter award) that details:
- Each date the applicant performed volunteer service, including location of service.
- The total number of hours for each date of volunteer service reported on the volunteer service log/timesheet.
- If submitting a chapter award, no more than fifty (50) volunteers may contribute hours towards a chapter award.
- The application requires a letter (from each organization that appears on the applicant’s service log or time sheet) verifying the applicant’s volunteer service hours signed by a representative of the organization for which volunteer service was performed. The letter must:
- Be typed on the organization’s letterhead.
- Name the applicant.
- Include the applicant’s term of service and total hours contributed to the organization.
Example: “This letter is to certify that ____________ performed ___ hours of service for Organization Name between the dates of ______ and _______.”
- The application (both individuals and chapters) must include a Letter of Nomination from a SkillsUSA advisor, instructor, or SkillsUSA state director on official letterhead. The letter must be on organizational letterhead and certify that the student-applicant has performed the necessary volunteer hours to be considered for the PVSA.
- If volunteer service involved travel or overnight stay(s), time spent driving/sleeping/off duty are not to be included as service hours towards the PVSA.
- Students whose volunteer service hours are being counted towards a chapter award cannot also apply for an individual award.
- Hours served fulfilling responsibilities as a SkillsUSA local, state, or national officer are not to be included as service hours towards the PVSA.
- SkillsUSA is both ethically and legally bound to honor the service hour and award levels as set forth by the PVSA. Missing data (example: claimed volunteer hours not reflected on time sheet) or unverified data (example: nomination or verification letter on non-letterhead) may result in rejection of the application, or receipt of the PVSA at a lower award level, as only service hours that are appropriately documented and verified will be counted. Before submitting the application, ensure that all data is correct, fully documented, and verified.
If you have additional questions:
SkillsUSA members, advisors and state directors:
Contact Megan Flinn at firstname.lastname@example.org
All others interested in the PVSA should visit the PVSA website at: https://presidentialserviceawards.gov/.
The following people have qualified to receive the President's Service Award for 2022:
Paradise Valley High School
River Valley High School
Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education *Chapter Award
California Virtual Academies
Columbus High School
Dinuba High School *Chapter Award
Downey High School
Erick Felix, Jr.
Isabella De Lira
Gwinnett Technical College *Chapter Award
Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational School *Chapter Award
Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational School
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
Cape Cod Regional Technical Vocational School
Greater New Bedford Regional Technical Vocational School
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute *Chapter Award
Old Colony Regional Technical Vocational School
Upper Cape Technical High School
Pinecrest Academy Cadence
Bergen County Academies *Chapter Award
Cumberland County Technical Education Center
Michael Deem Jr.
Somerset County Academy for Health and Medical Sciences
Sussex County Technical School
Thomas A. Edison Career Technical High School *Chapter Award
Ulster Vo Tech *Chapter Award
Penta Career Center
Andres (A.J.) Ybarra, Jr.
Sentinel Career and Technology Center (Public Safety) *Chapter Award
Upper Valley Career Center
State College Area High School
Melissa High School
Lakeview Technology Academy
Shu Lan Schaut