The Wyoming Association for Career and Technical Education (WACTE) is a dynamic organization dedicated to advancing career and technical education (CTE) in the state. Comprising a diverse range of stakeholders, including educators, administrators, and industry professionals WACTE serves as a unifying force to propel CTE forward. At the heart of our work is a commitment to fostering collaboration and communication among these key players, ensuring a comprehensive and holistic approach to CTE within Wyoming. WACTE plays a crucial role in the professional development of its members, offering a platform for continuous learning, skill enhancement, and the exchange of best practices. Moreover, it serves as a powerful advocate, providing its members with a collective voice in legislative matters that impact CTE, thereby contributing to the enhancement of careers and the workforce across Wyoming. Through networking opportunities and strategic initiatives, WACTE is at the forefront of shaping a robust and responsive CTE ecosystem, equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge essential for success in the ever-evolving workforce landscape, and therefore bettering the future of Wyoming.
The mission of the Wyoming Association for Career and Technical Education is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.
The purpose of WACTE is to support teachers and students by: Fostering excellence in career and technical education; Advocating public policy to benefit career and technical education; Providing access to professional development; and Creating public awareness of career and technical education.
Megan is currently in her 11th year as a Wyoming educator and teaches Computer Science at Sheridan High School. Prior to teaching High School, she spent seven years teaching elementary. Megan is a proud University of Wyoming College of Education alumni and a Poke through and through. In addition to her bachelor's degree, Megan pursued her passion for STEM education and obtained her master's degree from Concordia University. In addition to being the WACTE President, Megan also sits as President for the Wyoming Computer Science Teachers Association. Outside of work, Megan stays busy chasing her two kids with her husband, Kasey. Megan and her family love fly fishing, camping, and anything in the mountains. Megan believes strongly in Career and Technical education and it's fundamental importance for the future of Wyoming students and the Wyoming workforce.
Heath Hornecker serves in his 20th year at the Agriculture Department at Casper College in Casper, WY. He teaches various agriculture courses, including animal science, range management and agroecology. Prior to Casper College, Heath taught high school agriculture courses for four years. Heath graduated with his master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, his bachelor’s from Texas Tech University and an associate degree from Casper College. Heath currently serves on the Wyoming FFA Board of Directors and numerous other boards and committees. In his spare time, Heath attends numerous sporting events and livestock shows for his kids. Heath and his wife Jaime have four kids, too many short-legged dogs and a small acreage outside of town.
Joseph Martinez, a Wyoming native, has focused the majority of his adult life on growing and diversifying his knowledge and skills base. He graduated with honors from Casper College with an Associates Degree in Industrial Arts, from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor degree in Career and Technical Education, and Master's Degree in CTE from Ball State University. Since starting his career in education Joseph has taught a combination of grades 6 through 12. Subject areas ranging from Technologies to hand tools, from small gas engines to construction, from welding to fine woodworking and anything in between. Joseph has spent the past several years focusing on developing sustainable programs of study for students and schools around Wyoming.
Joseph was introduced to WACTE in 2010 and remains active, currently serving as Past President. Supporting youth and education seems to be the theme of Joseph’s extra-curricular focus. He has served on many boards which include, The Casper Boxing Club, Wyoming SkillsUSA and most recently the Professional Teaching Standards Board. Joseph continues to dedicate a significant amount of his personal time in the pursuit of quality education and starting CTE programs in the rural communities of Wyoming.
Shirley Coulter served as a CTE teacher at Sheridan High School for 22 years and retired in June of 2022. Prior to teaching, she was a trust officer for 10 years and brought her business and industry skills into the classroom. She taught AP Computer Science and IT courses, as well as a variety of business courses including intro and advanced accounting, marketing, web design and web animation. She obtained her masters degree in Career and Technical Education from Concordia University and two bachelor’s degrees; one in business administration from Montana State University and the second in career and technical education from Black Hills State University. She also served as the DECA and FBLA advisor for several years. Shirley now serves as the WACTE Executive Secretary and teaches online IT courses through Northern Wyoming Community College in Sheridan. In her spare time, Shirley serves on the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Board, travels with her husband Mike, and spends time in CA with her daughter and son-in-law.
Jessie Dafoe is a proud Wyoming native specializing in organizational strategy. Dafoe guides organizations of varying sizes and growth stages through strategic planning, development, and implementation of operational plans. Additionally, Dafoe focuses on governmental affairs work and crafting thoughtful policy solutions for Wyomingites.
Dafoe’s career, which spans more than two decades of working in close partnership with leaders from each of Wyoming’s economic industries, began as an intern in the office of then-Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Next, Dafoe focused on regulatory issues for the Wyoming Resource Alliance and most recently led Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom as their Executive Director.
Dafoe, who was raised on her family’s ranch, graduated from the University of Wyoming, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business and a Master of Business Administration. Dafoe is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Wyoming.