Comer named national ACTE Teacher of the Year

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Barbara and Frank Comer
Barbara Comer, and her husband Frank, display the National Teacher of the Year award that Barbara won on Nov. 30.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Dec. 7 — Bobbi Comer has been a Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Teacher at Page County High School for the past 35 years. During her tenure, the longtime Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) advisor has seen her students earn 16 national program awards, as well as filling many state and national offices.

“Mrs. Comer is an asset to our division,” PCHS Principal David Cale said. “Her reach and influence extends to thousands of students and her impact is felt daily. Mrs. Comer epitomizes the meaning of being a student-centered educator – her focus is always on helping students maximize their potential.”

Last week, Comer was named the National Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) during a Nov. 30 awards gala in Alexandria. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) teachers at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

“Mrs. Comer is a fixture at Page County High School,” Principal Cale said. “Her dedication and love for the students and teaching is unparalleled. This award is a direct result of that.”

Comer currently teaches several courses in the Hospitality and Tourism Career Pathways. Her students have achieved 100-percent pass rates on three Career and Technical credential tests. She helped develop a culinary internship with a major hospitality and food management company, pairing chefs with culinary students leading to employment in their restaurants. Recently, Comer and her students were chosen as part of a 15-member team to participate in a Hospitality Industry Immersion experience in Chicago, attending the National Restaurant Association Show.

Dedicated to her subject, Comer has served on four Virginia state curriculum writing committees and was a participant in a Virginia Department of Education focus group to develop recommendations for submission to the Governor for the CTE endorsement on high school diplomas. Comer was also honored to be selected as a member of the Perkins V Core Stakeholders Team for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education in the Virginia Department of Education. 

“I am inspired by the dedication and creativity of the ACTE Teacher of the Year nominees who strive to ensure students are prepared fill the skills gap in the current workforce,” said Bill Stoller, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals, who sponsored the award. “I extend my gratitude to this year’s honorees and my congratulations to the 2022 National Teacher of the Year. Encouraging and equipping our nation’s future workforce depends on exemplary teachers like you for the United States to thrive and move our citizens into wealth-building careers.” 

The ACTE Excellence Awards recognize those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to CTE, programs that exemplify the highest standards and organizations that have conducted activities to promote and expand CTE programs. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to ACTE: they embody the core values of serving their students and being committed to CTE. All ACTE Excellence Awards are presented at the ACTE Awards Gala in conjunction with ACTE’s CareerTech VISION.

Comer is a firm believer that students enrolled in CTE classes should take part in their respective CTSOs. Her students have continued to be successful in state and national competitions and the chapter has been honored with more than 16 FCCLA National Program Awards. Comer is currently serving as the Local Chapter Adviser Representative to the National FCCLA Board of Directors. She has been the adviser to more than 30 FCCLA State Officers and five National Officers. 

“Being a FCS teacher is not just a career, but for Comer it is a passion,” reads the ACTE press release on the award issued earlier this week. “Comer works to instill in students the importance of family and a love of learning, so that they may one day effectively balance their roles at work and at home.”

Comer was one of five finalists for the national title announced at the Awards Gala, recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event took place on November 30, at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2022.

“We are so very proud of her, and are grateful for the hard work she does each day in service of our students, school, division and community.” ~ Principal Cale

For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage

The ACTE® Excellence Awards recognize excellence and dedication within the field of career and technical education among ACTE members. Recipients of these awards are exceptional individuals who have contributed to the success of CTE through the quality of their work and their involvement in the CTE community. Candidates and winners are recognized at three levels: state, regional, and national.

The Member Awards recognize ACTE members who have contributed to the success of CTE through the quality of their work and their involvement in the CTE community. Click here to learn more!

All Excellence Awards are administered by the ACTE Awards Committee, which comprises one representative from each of ACTE’s five Regions and a chair. The Awards Committee is responsible for recommending awards programs to the Association’s Board of Directors, setting criteria for awards, reviewing applications, recommending award recipients to the Board and overseeing all aspects of the recognition program for award winners. Applications for the ACTE Excellence Awards are accepted online via the ACTE Awards Portal.

Information taken from press releases issued by Page County Public Schools

and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

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