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Lisa Bartell Honored as Michigan ACTE Career Guidance Award Recipient

Kalamazoo RESA’s Early/Middle College (EMC) Coordinator Lisa Bartell received the esteemed Michigan ACTE Career Guidance Award Tuesday, Jan 28, at the Michigan Career Education Conference in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Association of Career and Technical Education (MACTE) leads advocacy efforts and facilitates professional learning. Each year, the organization recognizes exceptional leadership in CTE across the state.

During her 16 years at Kalamazoo RESA, Bartell has seen first-hand the impact that high-quality CTE can have on a student’s life. She has served as a business course instructor, co-op coordinator and career specialist for Kalamazoo RESA’s Education for Employment (EFE) program, the CTE program for high school students across Kalamazoo County.

In her current role as the coordinator for EMC, Bartell pursues her passion for setting students on the path to a successful career. The EMC program provides students the opportunity to simultaneously earn an associate degree or certificate and a high school diploma. With an extra year of high school, students attend college courses at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) in a focused program of study and walk away with real-world credentials. Bartell guides and supports students as they advance through the program, preparing them to go on to further their education or enter the workplace.

“She accepts the students for who they are and where they are in their development She anticipates their needs and continues to nurture and challenge them to grow,” explained Deb Miller, assistant superintendent of secondary programming at Kalamazoo RESA. “The students know Lisa genuinely cares for each one of them. She strives to help them achieve their personal aspirations and reach their highest potential in college and a future career.”

Since she began working with EMC, Bartell has grown the program from 30 students applying annually to more than 450 students currently enrolled in classes at KVCC.

“Her deep commitment to her students, parents and program is well evidenced; because of her hard work and focus, the program has become a success,” said Miller. “A growth mindset of continuous improvement is always at the forefront of her work on continuous improvement as she enthusiastically takes action to impact students and their achievement.”

“I’m very honored and humbled to receive the Michigan ACTE Career Guidance Award. I feel blessed to have a position where I can help young people connect with their next step after high school,” beamed Bartell. “I couldn’t do this important work without an amazing team of people at Kalamazoo RESA, in our local school districts and at KVCC.”

Learn more about the Kalamazoo County Early/Middle College program at