ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Elizabeth Chambers-Priller, former Health Occupations Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor of Career and Technical Education Consortium in Freeport, Illinois, as the 2017 ACTE Region III New Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes new CTE teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative and unique career and technical education programs and shown a professional commitment early in their careers.
From 2013-2017, Elizabeth Chambers-Priller was the Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor for the Health Occupations Youth Apprenticeship (HOYA) program for the Illinois Career and Technical Education Consortium (CareerTEC). HOYA provides both clinical and non-clinical two-year pathways in health sciences for high school juniors and seniors from Dakota, Durand, Freeport, Orangeville, Pearl City, and Pecatonica, Illinois. Chambers-Priller took on ownership of assessing HOYA’s data and outcomes, aligning the curriculum with postsecondary standards, delivering opportunities for students to earn dual-credit and work-based learning opportunities, expanding business and community partnerships, and infusing the program with a rigorous focus on 21st Century Skills. Chambers-Priller’s commitment to ensuring quality programming resulted in an increase of HOYA student enrollment by 60%, from 58 to 93 students in the last four years, as well as an increase in the state assessment scores on the Certified Nursing Assistant exam.
As a former HOYA student and single teenage mother who went on to graduate college as a nurse at the age of 19, Chambers-Priller had a clear vision for the program and its ability to impact communities. She managed over 50 successful community partnerships with local healthcare providers connecting each first-year student with 10-12 job shadows and each second year with quality year-long internships. Her classes received a core academic infusion of math and English applied to the healthcare field through “Word Wednesdays” and “Math on Mondays.” Thanks to Chambers-Priller, the HOYA program became a practically paperless Google classroom for the 2016-2017 school year to help students adapt to the healthcare technology of the future. Craig Kreiser, School Counselor at Pearl City Schools, says, “Mrs. Chambers-Priller and the HOYA program not only provide the technical skills required for certified nursing assistants, they also provide our students with the skills they will need to succeed in any work environment that they may venture into.”
Chambers-Priller has since changed positions to become a full-time community hospice nurse in Oregon, Illinois, where she teaches patients and family members how to provide end of life care to the patient. She teaches part-time at Highland Community College and continues to consult for the HOYA program at Career Tec.
Chambers-Priller is one of five finalists for the 2018 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.