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Tue, Jan. 21

State CTE association recognizes Valley Academy

Valley Academy Fire Science Instructor Steve Darby’s program was recognized as the state’s career and technical education program of the year at the July 13-17 this year’s Association of Career and Technical Education of Arizona conference in Tucson. Courtesy Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education

Valley Academy Fire Science Instructor Steve Darby’s program was recognized as the state’s career and technical education program of the year at the July 13-17 this year’s Association of Career and Technical Education of Arizona conference in Tucson. Courtesy Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education

COTTONWOOD – Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education recently celebrated as two of its teachers were recognized at this year’s Association of Career and Technical Education of Arizona conference.

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Valley Academy Fire Science Instructor Steve Darby’s program was recognized as the state’s career and technical education program of the year at the July 13-17 this year’s Association of Career and Technical Education of Arizona conference in Tucson. Courtesy Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education

Mal Cooper, photography teacher at Sedona Red Rock High School, was named the association’s CTE teacher of the year at the conference, held July 13-17 in Tucson.

Cooper, said Valley Academy Superintendent Bob Weir, is “an outstanding teacher [whose] students have won several regional, state and national awards.”

“Mal is active in evaluation and adjustments to the professional standards in digital photography in Arizona,” Weir said. “Her students scored the highest in the state on the end of program state exit test in photography.”

The association recognized Valley Academy’s Fire Science program as CTE Program of the Year. The program is taught by Steve Darby, who has served on several state fire science curriculum evaluation groups for Arizona CTE department, Weir said.

“Over 80% of his students completing the program have went on to higher education in the fire science program and/or working in the fire science industry as a career,” Weir said. “Steve has his students take the Arizona State Fire Fighter I and II tests for certification after they complete the program.”

According to Weir, Darby has worked with Yavapai College to offer his students 15 college credits for its Fire Science Program.

The recognition by the Career and Technical Education association “means a great deal to VACTE and the community when your peers from around the state select our staff and programs as the top in the state,” Weir said.

“They deserve the recognition for the hard work and care they put into educating their students so they can have a successful career and life,” Weir said.

The association also named Weir ACTE Region 5 CTE Administrator of the Year. Weir will move on to the ACTE National CTE Administrator of the Year Award competition in December. Region winners will start with interviews in October as part of the contest.

Cooper will compete against award winners in the West, Alaska, Hawaii and a few international areas in career and technical education, Weir said.

Sedona-Red Rock is a satellite district for Valley Academy. Darby teaches at Valley Academy’s central campus in Cottonwood.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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