Dr. Teresa Chasteen keynote speaker at ACEC luncheon

Dr. Teresa Chasteen will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual luncheon of the Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) which will be held on Wednesday, March 25, starting at 11:45 a.m. at Center Point Church on U.S. 160.

The ACEC board has planned an exciting format during the luncheon, which will highlight the initiatives the ACEC will be launching this year and includes Chasteen’s commentary about the necessity of workforce development being an integral part of economic development. She will share information of how this is being done in communities similar to Pagosa Springs.

As CEO and president of Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc., Chasteen has served as Project Manager for the development and validation of over 1,000 hours of courseware and test preparation materials that are directly aligned with the ACT, Inc. ™ WorkKeys® assessments. This program covers grades K through 16 and is the online curriculum that the ACEC has been piloting for over a year within the alternative high school. The WorkKeys® curriculum places the student’s learning in direct relation to a desired work/career path. This new delivery of learning is available online and provides flexibility, is contextual in content, assesses independent skill levels, is relevant to an individual’s needs and is available to anyone over 16 years old. Upon successful completion of the program, a student will graduate with a high school diploma and the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and the Colorado Career Readiness Certificate which will enable successful entry into the workforce.

Several exciting initiatives of the ACEC will be presented at the luncheon. The community is invited to purchase tickets for a donation of $50 each and may put together a table of eight. This is an event that will enlighten you to some of the trials that ordinary people go through, the steps people take to help themselves or help others and will make you proud of your community.

One initiative is establishing a statewide online charter high school based here in Pagosa Springs. Mountain Career Academy will academically recover and enable at-risk students to earn a career-focused and competency-based high school diploma and career readiness certificate improving opportunities for meaningful employment and post-secondary study.

The second initiative will leverage the $25,000 matched grant received from the El Pomar Regional Partnerships Initiative to create the design and operational master plan for a strategic, innovative and scalable rural learning network. This state-of-the-practice tele-conferencing infrastructure would enable our rural, isolated community to actively participate in real-time education and training programming.

Chasteen’s background includes a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, and psychology and 16 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. During her tenure in higher education, she taught graduate courses in measurement and evaluation and educational statistics. WIN has 28 statewide initiatives and corporate clients with licenses for more than 10 million users, as well as clients in all 50 states and 10 international countries.  WIN is honored to be a fully certified ACT Level I Publisher of WorkKeys® courseware and the leader in assisting states in CRC implementations.

This annual ACEC event is two-fold. One, it serves as a fund raiser for the organization that operates a budget of nearly $500,000 to plan and execute the variety of educational programs that are offered for all ages of people in this community. Secondly, it is to inform and engage ourselves of the purpose, successes, and priority of enriching and educating people within our community.

Current programs offered by the ACEC include tutoring and enrichment programs for K-eighth grades, adult learning opportunities like GED and ESL training and a vast array of community classes that are offered year-round. The ACEC also operates the Archuleta County High School which is currently serving 25 students who are working toward their diploma or GED and an online educational component for other non-traditional school-aged students.

For more information, call the ACEC at 264-2835 or contact Renee Haywood at rhaywood@pagosa.k12.co.us.