Patricia Moore Shaffer, PhD Shaffer Evaluation Group Alexandria, VA shafferevaluation.com
I have known Jesse White since 2006 and have worked with him on many projects. These include presentations to technology and engineering teachers at a state conference, grant writing, and developing innovative programs that integrated academics with career pathways and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. We collaborated with other school district and employer partners including NASA Langley Research Center, National Institute for Aerospace, Newport News Shipbuilding and Alcoa. At Hampton City Schools (Virginia), he directed and led the way to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs in middle and high schools, career pathways, and industry credentials. He modernized CTE labs and was always looking for ways to leverage local funds with grants, partnerships, and experiences for students and teachers to provide excellent programs. Jesse started his business in 2019, and I recently contracted him as a senior consultant for a CTE project. His understanding of career pathways from early grades to graduation to employment was essential in this project to assess career and technical education programs in southwestern Virginia. It is with these working relations with Jesse W. White that I recommend him in his new endeavor.
Mr. Jesse White is one of the most intelligent, common sense, and productive leaders I have had the pleasure to learn from and work with. He possesses an unparalleled drive, calm demeanor, and excellent communication skills. I first met Mr. White during the 2005 Virginia Technology Student Association (VTSA) conference held in Hampton, Virginia. The event was an excellent experience. The extremely organized conference served hundreds of middle and high school students and dozens of technology teachers from across the Commonwealth of Virginia. To organize and manage such a conference took foresight, planning, and directing. The VTSA was fortunate that Mr. White volunteered to host this conference in Hampton for many years. Not only did students, teachers, and parents benefit from the conferences, the city of Hampton gained revenue and future tourism visibility. Because of his initiative and productivity, the Hampton City Public Schools Superintendent, and Mayor of Hampton knew Jesse, by name. My next encounter with Mr. White was when I became Supervisor of Chesapeake Public Schools, Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The fifth largest CTE program in Virginia. I had much to learn and Jesse White took the time to mentor me. I found success, Jesse White is the person to whom I give most credit for that success. Please do not take my comment lightly. I am a straightforward person who says it like it is. Jesse White impressed me as being the same kind of person. Still today, when I am confronted with a situations and opportunities, I ask Jesse for his advice. He is still my mentor. As CTE supervisor I became very involved with the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association (VTEEA). The VTEEA is the professional association that provides leadership and professional development for technology and engineering education teachers across the Commonwealth. At the first meeting I attended, who did I see – Jesse White. He was the association President leading others to lead teachers. It was during this time when I really came to know and appreciate Jesse, his knowledge, planning, and management skills. Most importantly, his persistence to get the job done. STEM education is on the minds and lips of many educational leaders. Mr. White was a pioneer creating STEM education programs in Hampton when it was still a relatively new concept. Followed by many other school divisions in Virginia and beyond his programs became the standard. Some consider me a successful person. Unequivocally, I owe much of my success as an educational leader to Jesse White.
Seth Black, Director of Career and Technical Education Hampton City Schools Hampton, VA email@example.com
Beginning my journey as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher in Hampton City Schools (HCS), I took for granted how much I was supported by division leadership. Not all school districts understand the important role CTE plays in preparing students for post-secondary life. HCS is aware of how CTE helps aid students to graduate college, career, and life ready. While serving as the Director of CTE Jesse White was the root of that support that made CTE in HCS what it is today. Support from Mr. White came in the form of curriculum development, countless professional learning opportunities for faculty, and making education and industry connections. Mr. White was responsible for building a Governor’s STEM Academy and a Governor’s Health Science Academy at HCS. Mr. White understands the importance of real-world experience and relevancy in student learning, and pioneered the idea of career academies for all students in HCS. Thanks to the hard work and the foundations built by Mr. White, HCS’ Academies of Hampton boasts sixteen career academies across the four high schools. Each academy has an advisory board with representatives from industry who volunteer, provide internships and externships, and review curriculum. Also, students are learning about career pathways and interacting with members of industry, thus creating a talent pipeline for the workforce in Hampton Roads. Today, I serve as the Director of CTE, and I still hold the values I shared with Mr. White. Data driven decision-making can be the catalyst for student experiences and workforce development. Real-world connections and experiential learning that happens in CTE should occur across all content areas. Every student deserves an opportunity to enroll and experience CTE. This equity is and was always evident in HCS’ non-traditional and special populations enrollment, and is a true asset for the employers with a diverse talent pool. Jesse White believes in the power of knowledge, education, and experiential learning. He knows that educational institutions and industries are reliant on one another to create the workforce of the future.