NCPN’s career pathways workshop team is led by Debra Mills, Vice President of Partnerships for the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), and includes national experts in career pathways, partnership building, and contextual teaching. Read more about our workshop faculty below.
Debra Mills, Vice President of Partnerships at CORD, focuses on transitions between secondary and postsecondary experiences. Mills has expertise in curriculum development, staff development, facilitation of linkages between secondary and postsecondary institutions and partnership building with business, industry and labor.
She has developed standards-based curriculum frameworks in manufacturing, construction, and transportation career clusters at a state level; assisted community colleges with strategic professional development plans; developed state and local-level partnership structures to support career pathways; and given numerous keynote speeches for state education conferences. Mills is an experienced classroom teacher and former workforce development grant administrator.
Her awards include the American Association of Community College’s Dale Parnell Tech Prep Award and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Excellence in Tech Prep Award. She has written or contributed to several books including Tech Prep: The Next Generation Planning Guide, Career Pathways: Education with a Purpose, and Adult Career Pathways: Providing a Second Chance in Public Education. She is the lead trainer for and developer of the NCPN Career Pathways Leadership Certification.
Ginger Booton served as the Executive Director of the West Georgia Tech Prep consortium for six years, working with business and industry to create programs and events to help prepare secondary students for the 21st century workforce. While in this position, she managed several workforce development grants and served on a statewide committee to transition Georgia Tech Prep initiatives to the Georgia Education and Career Partnership initiatives with focus on Career Pathways.
Ginger’s area of expertise is community teaming and relationship building with business and industry. A visionary leader, Booton has proven success in creating and implementing long-range strategic plans that help secure organizational and community economic development goals, recently working with the Georgia Department of Education as a consultant to help prepare the west Georgia region for 10,000 new jobs in advanced manufacturing.
She has served in leadership positions on numerous local, regional, and statewide committees and currently serves as chair of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. Ginger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Georgia Southern University.
Carol Jurgens is a Senior Consultant for the NCPN workshop team with expertise in building secondary to postsecondary transitions through career clusters, pathways, and programs of study. She is recognized for her leadership in the areas of work-based learning legal issues, tech prep articulation, career and life skills assessment, and statewide collaboration in implementing career education. Carol was the State Director of Tech Prep and Work Based Learning in the Career Education Division of the Nebraska Department of Education from 1993 - 2006.
She worked closely with the School Counseling and Career and Technical Education State Directors in designing, planning, implementing, and marketing the Nebraska Career Fields/Clusters Model, including the development of the Nebraska School Counseling Career Development Guide and related curriculum and professional development. As a former high school marketing teacher, Carol’s awards include the Nebraska Marketing Association Distinguished Service Award, Marketing Teacher of the Year, and the Nebraska Vocational Association Teacher of the Year.
As a founding member of the National Association of Tech Prep Leadership (NATPL), Carol has served as President and Consultant and also served on the National Tech Prep Network Advisory Board. Jurgens is recognized as a national presenter and has written or contributed to several publications including the Nebraska Work Based Learning (WBL) Manual, WBL Instruction Guide, WBL Coordination Techniques Guide, and Nebraska Career Education Principles Guide.
Jean Petty is a Senior Consultant for the NCPN workshop team whose expertise includes an in-depth understanding of community colleges and their role in workforce preparation. She served as the Assistant Project Director for the College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI), a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education, and the League for Innovation in the Community College. This groundbreaking project has become a national model for high schools and colleges throughout the nation and overseas, with tools and publications to aid in successful transitions.
Previously, Ms. Petty served in the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Technology working on Department of Defense worldwide online training. She has over 20 years experience working with community colleges, including serving as the Executive Director of the California Community Colleges Economic Development Network, overseeing business-to-college training throughout the state of California. In addition, she served as the Dean of Economic and Workforce Development at Rio Hondo Community College in eastern Los Angeles County, as the California liaison for workforce in the community colleges for the American Association of Community Colleges, and directed a $10 million community college training project for the California Department of Social Services.
Ms. Petty’s teaching experience includes graduate and undergraduate courses in management, compensation, small business and entrepreneurship; human resources; and organizational development. Prior to becoming a community college administrator Jean was active in the private sector as a Vice President of Human Resources for a national hospital organization, worked in human resources for a public utility, and served as an independent consultant on workforce issues to business and industry. She has a Master’s in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors in Business from California State University, Fresno.
Jeraline Marsh is a Senior Consultant for the NCPN workshop team and currently serves as the Career Education Specialist with the School District of Palm Beach County, FL. She is responsible for all district Criminal Justice and JROTC career academies as well as Career Pathways initiatives.
She specializes in curriculum integration, developing career academies, developing career pathways consortium partnerships, building and implementing programs of study, articulation agreements, and counselor training related to student academic and career development. Jeraline has previously worked as a high school business teacher and high school counselor. Jeraline has taught on the collegiate level with Palm Beach State College and Palm Beach Atlantic University’s graduate Counseling Psychology program.
Jeraline received her Doctorate from the Fischler School of Education and Human Services of Nova Southeastern University. She is the marketing director for the National Association for Tech Prep Leaders, President-Elect for the Florida Career Pathways Network, and board member for the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education.
Sandra Harwell is a Senior Consultant for the NCPN workshop team. She is committed to redefining CTE and believes that the key to improving the U.S. economy is to prepare proficient workers through innovative and effective technical education. In her view, rigorous academic content combined with relevant technical skills is essential to preparing the workforce of today and tomorrow.
Sandi specializes in helping teachers integrate rigorous academic content into CTE curriculum. Her publications include the workbook for Dale Parnell’s Why Do I Have to Learn This?;Professional Development: It’s Not an Event, It’s a Process; Promising Practices in Contextual Learning, Promising Practices for Connecting Schools with the Real World; and Improving Student Performance.
Sandi brings a diverse background to her consultancy work including experience as an advanced registered nurse practitioner, director of education services for a hospital, director of adult and workforce education for the Suncoast Area Center for Educational Enhancement at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and Vice President for Professional Development at CORD before joining the Association of Career and Technical Education to work with the National Center for Research in CTE to develop a dissemination plan for best practices in CTE. Sandi has taught nursing at the baccalaureate and master’s levels and is currently teaching graduate education programs at the University of South Florida and Stetson University.