Denise Ayres Named CTAT Area 4 Administrator of the Year

TEMPLE, Texas — Temple Independent School District Director of Career and Technical Education Denise Ayres has been recognized by a state-wide organization as one of its administrators of the year.

Ayres was recently honored as Area 4 Administrator of the Year by the Career and Technical Association of Texas (CTAT). CTAT is the leading advocate supporting CTE programs and the professionals who lead them. As such, CTAT serves as an indispensable partner to members and school districts to provide professional growth, a voice for change, and ensuring that students are workforce ready. CTAT’s Area 4 covers 24 counties of CTE programs across Central Texas, including Bell, McLennan, Travis and Williamson Counties. Ayres was nominated for the award at the CTAT Winter Conference and was selected by her peers as the Administrator of the Year based on unique and innovative programs within TISD, such as the department’s Christmas Creations and Wildcat Market, which provide services and products to the local community. Temple ISD also presented a service-based learning showcase earlier this year for 15 other school districts wanting to learn more about TISD’s service to the community and work with local business partners.

“Having this award come from my peers touches my heart because this organization is filled with very talented and skilled professionals, so it is very humbling and one of the biggest honors I have experienced,” Ayres said. “Everything that has been accomplished by our program has been accomplished because of collaboration and the strong team we have in place. That includes our teachers, the district administration and our business partners. We have been able to be innovative and forward-thinking because of all of those groups and their vision for tying overall education to the workforce.”

Ayres joined Temple ISD as Director of Career and Technical Education in 2014. During the 2021-2022 school year, Temple High School CTE students earned 243 industry-based certifications across 15 different disciplines. The CTE department also qualified 40 students for state competitions and completed 244 service-based learning projects and events. More than 2,100 students, or 89 per cent of the student population, took at least one CTE course during the school year.

“Denise is a phenomenal leader who has changed the landscape of CTE programs in high schools,” said Dr. Lisa Adams, deputy superintendent of academics and school leadership for Temple schools said. “She has worked tirelessly with her staff and local business partners to create CTE programs that focus on service-based learning practices where students learn the employability skills needed for post-secondary success. Her leadership has changed CTE from a being a place where we train the future workforce to a place where we provide services for our community. This award is well deserved, and we are so very proud of her success.”