Sturm named Montana ACTE Administrator of the Year

Mikaela Koski
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Courtesy photo

Absarokee School Superintendent Dustin Sturm

Absarokee Superintendent Dustin Sturm was recently named the 2018 Montana Career and Technical Education Administrator of the Year.

It is Sturm’s dedication to Career and Technical Education (CTE) that earned him the award, according to a press release from the Montana Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

“Mr. Sturm has been instrumental in securing funding for several CTE class projects and has been an advocate and assistant instructor for some adult education courses, which focus on CTE skills,” the release explains.  He has also secured financial support for career and technical student organizations.

Absarokee High School agriculture teacher Tim Zumbrun, who nominated Sturm for the award, notes in the press release, “our school enjoys the benefit of monetary support from our local community foundation, due to the influence and strategic vision of Mr. Sturm.”

The award “recognizes administrative CTE professionals at the school, district, county, state or federal level who have demonstrated leadership in ensuring teacher and student success and have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical education programs,” according to the press release.

One of Sturm’s degrees is in industrial arts, and the most influential teacher he had growing up was his high school vo-ag teacher, according to the Absarokee administrator.

He mentions that classes such as shop, business, construction, and home economics are “very important” for students, as they can introduce young people to topics and skills that can be useful in the future, whether in the work force or in their personal lives.

Sturm is proud that the Absarokee School District recently instituted a new graduation requirement: that all students take a personal finance class.  The class is based on Dave Ramsey’s approach to money management.

Not many schools have a personal finance class, Sturm explained, and even fewer have it as a graduation requirement.

According to the Montana Office of Public Instruction, “Career and Technical Education courses provide students with life and employment skills to make them highly desirable employees in today’s modern workforce.”

The finance class and all of the other CTE classes at AHS are sparking interests and giving Absarokee’s young people skills that can be utilized throughout their lives.



According to the group’s website, “Montana ACTE strives to provide leadership in developing an educated, prepared, adaptable, innovative and competitive workforce.”

The organization does this by providing “the career and technical education necessary to create the highly skilled workforce that supports the demands of the 21st century economy and (promoting) economic development in Montana’s communities,” the press release explains.