SkillsUSA provides many opportunities for recognition of your work as a student or advisor.

ACTE Trade and Industrial Division Awards

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is currently seeking nominations for the National Trade and Industrial Education Division Awards and the deadline is Nov. 13. Qualified individuals may be nominated in the following categories and you may nominate yourself. If you nominate someone else, please inform that person.

Winners will be recognized at the ACTE National Trade and Industrial Division meeting during CareerTech VISION.

Please inform the person you are nominating. Deadline for all nominations is Nov. 13.

Advisor of the Year

The SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year program recognizes professional members who actualize the organization’s mission of empowering students to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

A SkillsUSA chapter is only successful with the support of an advisor who has dedicated themselves to career and technical education by intentionally integrating the SkillsUSA Framework and ensuring students can articulate the skills they have developed. State recipients are submitted to the regional competition. At NLSC, regional winners are interviewed and a national winner is selected.

For more information, please contact your state association director.

The 2020 regional Advisors of the Year are:

Region 1 (Maryland)

Charlene Zinnel

Charlene Zinnel has been teaching culinary arts for 28 years, the last 16 years of which at the Dorchester Career & Technology Center in Cambridge, Md., and has been a SkillsUSA professional member for the past 20 years. As a lead advisor for her school, chapters have received the Chapter Excellence Gold Distinction for the past two years and a Models of Excellence award in 2018. Zinnel has transformed the school’s SkillsUSA involvement from participating only in competitions to becoming a fully active chapter. She has been a member of the SkillsUSA Maryland Board of Directors and a SkillsUSA Maryland state officer advisor for the past 20 years. She is a member of the National Education Team in Commercial Baking and has been named Maryland Region One Advisor of the Year three times. She also has been named Chef of the Year two times by the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation and the CTE Educator of the Year by the local Rotary Club. This past year Charlene was named Dorchester County Teacher of the Year, which is the first time a CTE teacher has earned this honor.

Region 2  (South Carolina)

Joseph Chapman
Joseph Chapman is a law enforcement services teacher at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin, S.C. Chapman graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice and spent 11 years as a deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, four years as an instructor and won numerous awards. Joining the staff at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in 2017, Chapman became the lead advisor for their SkillsUSA chapter in 2018. He has since gained additional instructor level certifications and accolades, including the SkillsUSA Career Essentials teacher certification, 2020 Teacher of the Year at the school and 2020 SkillsUSA South Carolina Advisor of the Year. SkillsUSA has become a large part of Joseph’s life, as he has dedicated himself to the success of America’s future workforce by intentionally integrating the SkillsUSA Framework into the culture of his classroom and chapter. This year, under his leadership, their chapter accumulated 1,100+ hours of professional development, 400+ hours of community service, became the largest CTSO in their school district and reached Chapter of Distinction Gold Level. The chapter has also had multiple state officers for consecutive years. Joseph has a strong belief that influencing others to become better versions of themselves is the most important role he can play.

Region 3 (Ohio)

Sara Plozay
Sara Plozay is a graduate of the cosmetology program at Miami Valley Career Technology Center, where she was a SkillsUSA chapter officer. Following in the footsteps of her mother, who was a cosmetology instructor and advisor, Plozay decided to become a teacher and started her career at a local beauty college in 2004. Continuing to be involved in SkillsUSA, she served on MVCTC’s advisory board and as a judge at the local and regional levels. Plozay began teaching at Upper Valley Career Center in 2012, became a state advisor in 2013 and a chapter advisor in 2014. Plozay has mentored two state officers, five national officers and several regional officers.  She has had national competitors in Cosmetology and Opening and Closing Ceremonies and state medalists. Her chapter earned the national Model of Excellence award three times. Conducting more than 30 training sessions at the local, state and national levels, in 2018 she became a SkillsUSA national certified trainer. Plozay started the Esthetics and Barbering contests in Ohio and facilitates a leadership exploration conference for over 125 members. In 2014, she earned the Miami County Excellence in Education award, and in 2017 she earned the Ohio ACTE Pacesetter award. Sara serves as the Secretary of the Ohio Cosmetology Career Teachers Association.

Region 4 (Oklahoma)

Cody McPherson
Cody W. McPherson is a technology engineering instructor and SkillsUSA advisor to both the middle school and high school chapters for the past three years. His connection to career and technical education started as a student himself. He was a welding student during high school where he was elected and served as both a SkillsUSA Oklahoma state officer and as a SkillsUSA national officer. Cody earned his American Degree and was a three-time state champion in contests. McPherson is proud to note that he is a third generation SkillsUSA alumni with both his grandfather and father being VICA alumni. With his background in SkillsUSA and his own personal traits, Cody has continued to serve others. He was a CTE employee and instructor for ten years at other Oklahoma Tech Centers. McPherson started the SkillsUSA chapter at Geary Middle and High School three years ago. By engaging and empowering his students, six have been elected as district officers, three were state officer candidates and twenty-four have been state medalists. His chapter won the Model of Excellence award in workplace skills at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in 2019. Cody serves beyond the classroom as he is on the Oklahoma ACTE STEM board and is a district advisor. McPherson also serves on the SkillsUSA Oklahoma alumni board and was a co-founder of the SkillsUSA Oklahoma Alumni and Friends in 2010. Cody has served on the national Alumni and Friends board. Other state-wide recognitions that McPherson has earned include being named a Newman Civic Fellow for his community service work. Cody was recently named one of the NextGen Oklahomans 30 under 30 for his service. He is a volunteer firefighter and medic with Geary Fire and Rescue.

Region 5 (Washington)

Kimberly Miller
Kimberly Miller has been a culinary arts and early childhood educator at Woodland High School in Woodland, Washington for the last 33 years and has also served as the assistant CTE director for the past two years. Seeing the opportunities for students is what drew her to SkillsUSA, and the thrill of seeing how it helped her students grow as individuals both in personal skills and workplace skills, is what has kept her involved in the organization. Miller is an advocate for career and technical education programs and the associated student organizations. She believes in giving opportunities to students to help them prepare for their future and encouraging them to give back to their community. Her students run community service fundraising events to purchase food for our local families, this year earning $3,952 to purchase food for the local food bank as well as bringing in more than 2,000 non-perishable items of food. Miller’s chapters were chosen for the Chapter of Distinction Gold awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and a Model of Excellence chapter for workplace skills in 2018. She has served as a chapter and state officer advisor, regional coordinator and state board representative for SkillsUSA and received Washington state's ESD 112 Teacher of the Year for 2019.

Honorary Life Nomination Form

SkillsUSA Honorary Life Nomination

Use this form to nominate someone for Honorary Life membership.

Nominate someone online here.

Outstanding Educator Nomination Form

Use this form to nominate someone for the Outstanding Educator Award.

President's Volunteer Service Award

PVSA Service usually springs from selflessness, but the president of the United States wants to recognize volunteers just the same. That’s why the Presidential Volunteer Service Award was created, a national honor offered in recognition of sustained service.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups who have achieved a certain standard — measured by the number of hours served over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime.

SkillsUSA is a certifying organization for these awards. Recipients can receive an official lapel pin, personalized certificate of achievement, and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.

To apply for the award, candidates must document their volunteer activities and the number of hours served. This record of service may be a diary, calendar or timesheet with proof of service documented and verified by an agency representative.

Candidates must submit a letter of nomination from one of the following: the direct supervisor/agency representative working with the candidate, a school administrator, school SkillsUSA advisor or state SkillsUSA director. Proof of SkillsUSA membership must also be submitted.

Candidates must meet the number of hours designated by the President’s Volunteer Service Award to reach the bronze, silver or gold levels of service.

NOTE: In a cooperative decision between the Points of Light and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Lifetime Achievement Award is temporarily suspended as the program is evaluated.  Updates will be provided in the coming weeks about the Lifetime Achievement Award’s availability but there is no further information to share at this time.

SkillsUSA Requirements and Submission Items for the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)



Deadline: Applications must be received (not postmarked) by April 1.

Materials must be sent as one complete package and received (not postmarked) no later than April 1. No exceptions will be made.

Emailed or faxed entries will not be accepted. Do not send incomplete submissions.

To qualify to receive the PVSA from SkillsUSA in June, candidates must have performed hours within a single consecutive 12-month period. Hours prior to January 1, 2020, do not apply unless you are submitting for the Lifetime Award.

1. Coversheet for individual

  • your name
  • age
  • home address
  • total hours
  • school name
  • chapter advisor's name
  • school address
  • advisor’s email address

Coversheet for team awards

  • Team name
  • Total number of people on the team
  • total team hours
  • school name
  • chapter advisor's name
  • school address
  • advisor’s email address

TEAM AWARDS: A timesheet of days/hours and proper verification of individual hours for EACH TEAM MEMBER must be included with a team submission. Team is defined as 2-50 people. Maximum number of people on a team is 50. (See below.) Each team member must have at least of 25 hours.

  • If you are submitting hours as part of a team, you cannot apply for an individual award.
  • If you are submitting hours as an individual, you cannot be part of a team award.
  • For team awards, each member contributing to the total number of hours must have served 25 hours or more, and each team member must submit timesheets and verification as part of the team submission.

2. Candidates must submit a documented record of volunteer activities and hours served. This record of service may be a diary, calendar or timesheet.

  • If your service involved over night stays, such as volunteering at a summer camp, only direct contact hours/hours on task may be counted. (Sleeping and driving hours do not count.)
  • Your time log must reflect each day you volunteered and the hours served on those days. (Range of dates with total hours are not acceptable. For example: February 1-15, 2014, 40 hours or June 2014-March 2015, 200 hours.)
  • Hours served fulfilling your responsibilities as a local, state or national officer do not count for the PVSA (volunteer activities performed while an officer are acceptable).

3. A letter from every agency, organization, school, church, etc., (on their letterhead) where you volunteered must accompany your time sheet and be signed by an agency representative verifying your hours. Verifying letters must be on the organization’s letterhead.

4. Candidates must submit a letter of nomination from one of the following: the direct supervisor/agency representative working with the candidate, a school administrator, school SkillsUSA advisor or SkillsUSA state director.

5. Proof of SkillsUSA membership must be submitted. Proof of membership can be a copy of a membership roster, your membership card, a certificate or verification from your school SkillsUSA advisor or state director.

6. Candidates must meet the number of hours designated by the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. (See below.)

7. To qualify to receive the PVSA from SkillsUSA in June 2021, candidates must have performed hours within a single 12-month period.  Hours prior to January 1, 2020 do not apply unless you are submitting for the Lifetime Award.

Once the documentation is received (not postmarked) by April 1, SkillsUSA will verify all records and confirm that the candidate has completed the number of service hours in good standing as required to earn a President's Volunteer Service Award.

Faxed or Emailed entries are not accepted. Mail entries to:

Megan Flinn
14001 SkillsUSA Way
Leesburg, VA 20176

Entries must be received (not postmarked) by April 1.

For questions, call: 703-737-0622 or email: mflinn@skillsusa.org.

More information about the President's Volunteer Service Award Program is available at: www.presidentialserviceawards.gov

Service Hours Requirements

(any consecutive 12 months between Jan. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021)


2021 Recipients

The following people have qualified to receive the President's Service Award for 2021:



River Valley High School
Nicholas Palfi (Gold)
Brayden Lott ( Gold)
Ethan Fromm (Gold)
Kevin Guenther (Gold)


Downey High School 
Anna Arambula-Pena (Gold)
Evelyn Picazzo (Gold)
Kimberly Ortiz (Silver)
Leticia Velarde (Silver)
Amier Auberry (Bronze)
Alondra Jauregui (Bronze)
Karen Barajas (Bronze)
Ingrid Belmonte (Bronze)
Camila Garcia (Bronze)
Natalie Garcia (Bronze)
Andrew Henriquez (Bronze)
Samantha Lorenzo (Bronze)
Araceli Magdaleno (Bronze)
Melisa Martinez (Bronze)
Charity Olavydez (Bronze)
Maria Palacios (Bronze)
Christian Pepaj (Bronze)
Nisa Rueda (Bronze)
Christina Salazar (Bronze)
Irane Santiago (Bronze)
Bridgette Yaquian (Bronze)
Isabella Delira (Bronze)

John Burroughs High School
Gabrielle Mathis (Bronze)


Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School
Aliyana Martin (Gold)

New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School
Kara Koska (Gold)

Blue Hills Regional Technical High School
Christopher Amcimbert (Gold)

Blackstone Regional Vocational Technical High School
Madeline Poitras (Silver)
Abby Kelly (Silver)

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School
Lorelei Hetzler (Silver)

Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School
Lord Custudio (Silver)

Bay Path Regional Technical Vocational High School
Cody Douglas (Silver)

New Jersey

Somerset County Academy for Health and Medical Sciences
Aarsha Sha (Gold)
Evelyn Chuo (Silver)
Charlene Cai (Silver)

Somerset County Vocational and Technical Schools
Christopher Masiello (Silver)

New York

Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES
Sean Townsend (Gold)
Joshua Calvani (Gold)
Emily Barron (Bronze)


John A. Dubiski Career High School
Troy Dwayne Broussard


New York

Thomas A. Edison CTE High School (Gold)


Lynn Vocational Technical Institute (Gold)


Metro Technology Center South Bryant Campus: Law Enforcement Cadets (Silver)

New Jersey

Bergen County Academies (Bronze)