Hutto's Finest Shine at Area IV CTE Awards
The Area IV Career and Technical Association of Texas has selected two exceptional individuals from Hutto ISD for their annual awards, and the Hippos couldn't be prouder. These outstanding nominees will have the opportunity to vie for statewide honors and potentially represent Texas on the national stage.
Jeff Milam, Hutto High School Automotive Tech Teacher, was not only nominated but also chosen as one of two Area IV Experienced Teachers of the Year candidates. This recognition is a testament to his exceptional contributions to career and technical education (CTE) in Hutto ISD.
The CTE Teacher of the Year award, which Mr. Milam is in the running for, acknowledges distinguished CTE teachers at the middle and secondary school levels. Nominees are evaluated based on their contributions to student success, innovations in CTE, and leadership within their local or greater CTE community. Mr. Milam’s innovative teaching methods, commitment to his students, and dedication to improving CTE in his institution and community make him a deserving candidate.
His impact is clear, having taken a one-teacher program with about 60 students and transformed it into a thriving department with three teachers. His students are not only well-prepared to excel in their chosen paths but also have the freedom to explore various opportunities in the field. Mr. Milam’s program has grown significantly, boasting 228 students this year. He's managed to attract a diverse group of students, including more females, bridging the gender gap in auto tech. Some graduates join the workforce right away, while others continue their technical education at institutions like TSTC and UTI. Mr. Milam’s dedication has not only expanded educational opportunities but has also led to practical experiences, this year seeing eleven students participate in year-long transportation systems practicums.
Travis Clark, Director of Career and Technical Education, earned the Area IV nomination for Administrator of the Year. This award recognizes administrative CTE professionals who have demonstrated leadership and contributed significantly to innovative, unique, and effective CTE programs.
Mr. Clark brings a wealth of experience to his role, making his recognition even more well-deserved. His journey began in El Campo, where he spent five years teaching Ag Science before joining Hutto ISD in 2012. Travis's career in Hutto started with him as an Ag Science teacher for four years before he transitioned to a Career and Technical specialist for three years then progressing to the role of coordinator. Now, in his second year as Director of Career and Technical Education, he takes great pride in the evolution of CTE programs within the district.
Mr. Clark said takes his role seriously. As he explained, “It's my job to take care of the CTE instructors, so they can take care of our students.”
One remarkable aspect of Mr. Clark’s tenure is his transformative impact on the agriculture program. When he first arrived, it was a one-teacher program with limited resources. Travis has worked tirelessly to ensure that his instructors have the tools they need to provide students with meaningful educational experiences. From not having a working pair of animal clippers in 2012 to now overseeing a fully supplied ag barn and a team of four dedicated ag teachers, Mr. Clark’s dedication and hard work have been instrumental in transforming the program. Similar success stories can be found across all of Hutto ISD's CTE programs, making it clear why he was nominated to represent Area IV as the Administrator of the Year. With 48 CTE instructors throughout Hutto ISD, Mr. Clark plays a vital role in shaping the future of CTE in the district. Under his leadership, the CTE programs have flourished, and instructors are well-equipped to provide students with valuable education and experiences.
Mr. Clark and Mr. Milam’s nominations mark a significant achievement for Hutto ISD, as it's the first time the district has been selected to represent Area IV in this CTAT competition, and we have two nominations from Hutto ISD representing Area IV. Both are poised to make Hutto ISD proud as they advance to the state level. Their dedication to CTE and the students of Hutto ISD is truly commendable, and Hippo Nation eagerly awaits the results, which will be announced in 2024. We wish them the best of luck as they continue their journey in the CTE spotlight.