The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Candace McGowan, Coordinator of Career and Technical Education at GCISD as the recipient of the 2019 ACTE Region IV Career Guidance Award. This award recognizes school counselors and career development professionals who have demonstrated the commitment to connecting students with opportunities for success, shown innovation in career exploration and development, and have advocated for career and technical education (CTE) as a viable option for all students.

Since 2013, McGowan has focused on providing targeted CTE opportunities for middle and high school students in GCISD. During her tenure, McGowan opened the GCISD Go Centers at both high schools, which are dedicated to helping students prepare for and obtain postsecondary education and training that is appropriate for them and their future careers. The Go Centers assist students with career and aptitude tests; ACT, SAT and ASVAB testing information; FAFSA assistance; financial aid resources; and college admission literature and applications.

To bring more awareness to the CTE program, McGowan has also curated tailored social media campaigns for Decision Week, as well as the CTE month. These campaigns ran on the GCISD twitter account and featured photos, statistics, and videos. Before becoming the coordinator of CTE, McGowan was a family and consumer sciences and hospitality teacher at Grapevine High School.

McGowan is one of five finalists for the 2020 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 4, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, CA. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, CareerSafe, and Stratasys. For more information, visit the ACTE Excellence Awards webpage.