During Career and Technical Education Month in February, the New Jersey Council on County Vocational Technical Schools is highlighting successful graduates of the county’s 21 vocational technical schools.
Keely DiTizio is a 2008 graduate of the agriscience and horticulture program at Cape May County Technical School. She earned her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in environmental science with a minor in marine biology from Stockton University. She began teaching agriscience at Salem County Vocational Technical High School in 2012.
In addition to traditional college coursework, Keely also became certified to teach the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE), a national curriculum for agriscience, in 6 different content areas and serves as a CASE Lead Teacher at Salem County Vocational Technical.
CASE Lead Teachers receive additional training on top of the 80 hours of instruction required to become certified to teach CASE in a high school classroom. Lead Teachers instruct other secondary teachers from across the country to turn-key the curriculum in their own classrooms.
During college, she continued her FFA membership, serving the New Jersey FFA Association as a NJ State FFA Officer for two terms. Early in her career, Keely was named the 2015 New Jersey FFA Advisor of the Year. Not long after in 2016, she was recognized as a National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Teacher Turn the Key award winner and received a scholarship for a national professional development program.
In 2017, Keely was named the Region 1 winner for the New Teacher of the Year award for the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). She went on to compete as one of the five national finalists for the 2018 ACTE New Teacher of the Year award program.
“I attribute my career success to my decision to attend Cape May Tech High School. I was introduced to my current profession through my participation in the Agriscience CTE program. I was encouraged and inspired by my Cape Tech teachers and school community.
“I know if it were not for my CTE education that I would not have decided to pursue a career as an agricultural sciences teacher. I feel very blessed that my experiences led me to my perfect profession. My husband joined the Salem Tech faculty in 2015, and together, we share a love of teaching and spend much of our time working with Salem Tech FFA as well as various sports team, which my husband, Matthew DiTizio, coaches. We have the perfect life.”