The 2023 Visionary Award was presented to Dr. Grant Storey, by Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable.
The Regional Network Visionary Award is a prestigious recognition bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional foresight, innovation, and groundbreaking contributions to the regional career-connected learning efforts in North Central Washington. This award acknowledges the ability to envision and implement transformative ideas that have a significant impact for young people who are farther from opportunity.
Recipients of the visionary award often exhibit a unique ability to think beyond the current boundaries, challenge conventional wisdom, and inspire others to embrace new possibilities.
Dr. Grant Storey, Career and Technical Education Director, Dual Credit and Technology Coordinator for the Methow Valley School District was presented with this award for his remarkable efforts to modernize and enhance career and technical education in the Methow Valley.
Upon joining the school district in February 2021, Dr. Storey embarked on a mission to revolutionize career-focused education and improve program alignment to benefit all youth in the Methow Valley, explained Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable.
“With a background in Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Storey brought a systematic approach, setting ambitious goals, and measuring progress within a complex system,” he added.
Dr. Storey identified significant challenges during his initial assessment of student enrollment patterns. While an impressive 95% of students participated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses at Methow Valley School District, less than 10% completed comprehensive program pathways due to a lack of continuity. Furthermore, there were limited course offerings in high-demand fields such as healthcare, agriculture, and STEM.
Undeterred by these challenges, Dr. Storey dedicated time and resources to building and nurturing a hyperlocal network of community partnerships that could be leveraged to support students. This collaborative effort enabled the school district to gain invaluable insights into the specific barriers faced by youth as they pursued skill development, credentials, and economic opportunities in the Methow Valley.
Building upon this knowledge, Dr. Storey received the Regional Challenge Grant for his visionary concept and began working to establish community-connected programs designed to guide and support students and recent graduates (ages 16-24). This developed into a”right-fit” model aligned to college articulations, experiential paid work-based opportunities, and industry credential attainment. In addition, community partners promote retention and completion in re-imagined programs including the metal shop, outdoor education, construction, and renewable energies.
Last fall, Dr. Storey joined forces with Joshua Porter, the leader of the Career Launch Endorsed Sustainability Fellowship program at Western Washington University. Together, they incorporated sustainability as an employable skill into several CTE courses and program paths. Furthermore, this year, Dr. Storey partnered with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to integrate sustainability and sovereignty principles into the Career Prep efforts.
Dr. Grant Storey’s exemplary leadership and innovative strategies are transforming Career and Technical Education in the Methow Valley School District, said Dr. Sue Kane, the Director of STEM Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships at North Central ESD.
She added, “this award recognizes his exceptional ability to envision a future where graduates are equipped with the necessary skills, opportunities and a community of connections to pursue their future career path after high school.”
Through his visionary efforts, Dr. Storey has paved the way for a brighter future for the youth of Methow Valley.