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PSU professor takes home statewide title

Julie Dainty, professor in education, was named the Kansas Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year. Awarded by the Kansas Association for Career and Technical Education, this is her second time winning in the past 7 years. Libby Davis

Professor of technical education Julie Dainty was named Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. 

The state title was awarded this July by the Kansas Association for Career and Technical Education. Stated in their recent press release, “K-ACTE recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Career and Technical Education.” This isn’t a first for Dainty, who was previously awarded this merit in 2014, as well. Dainty’s works as a program coordinator and professor in the Technical Teacher Education Program and is based out of the Kansas Technology Center (KTC). 

“The people who are most qualified to teach technical courses are people who have years of experience in the industry, they don’t go through the normal path of getting degrees in the area..,” Dainty said. “There is no doctorate in construction… My students come in with a wealth of knowledge, and it’s our job to teach them how to share it with their students.” 

According to Dainty, many people don’t understand why a professor of education is based in the KTC. She teaches courses for students who may already have technology industry experience and plan to become educators. A majority of her students are non-traditional and according to Dainty, she focuses on understanding where they are coming from.

The K-ACTE is made up of six affiliate groups; Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators, Kansas Association of Teachers of Family & Consumer Sciences, Kansas Business Occupations Association, Kansas Leaders of Career & Technical Education, Kansas Trade & Industrial Educators Association, and Kansas New & Related Services. 

She was awarded the title for the FACS division of K-ACTE for her experience in education and her mentoring program through the Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education. Her nomination will advance to the regional level. 

“I stay involved in a lot of things and I’m really passionate about what I do,” Dainty said. “The more things you do like that, the more exposure and interaction you have with people across the state.”

Not only is she a program coordinator or professor, she is an historian, mentoring consultant, researcher, and research reviewer; all revolving around career and technical education.

 Dainty also commented on her approach to teaching.

“I want my students to know how much I care about what they are choosing to do, then the rest falls in line..,” Dainty said. “Many of them are starting a new career, switching from industry work to education… It can be scary.”

Dainty also expressed gratitude for her colleagues and her family. 

“I am humbled… all of these people are doing wonderful things,” Dainty said. “For me to receive the award is bizarre. I do what I love and I don’t think about it in terms of being awarded for it.”

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