Q & A
An Interview with Guy Cecil
An interview with Guy Cecil, a former TSA national officer [who was the
national political director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president], on
CTE, CTSOs and advocacy.
ACTE: So what was your experience in the Technol-
ogy Student Association (TSA)?
GC: I was an active member of TSA for six years, as part of
the Florida TSA. I joined the organization as a result of a graph-
ics communication class that was part of our elective require-
ment in junior high, and I immediately became involved, partly
just because we had a very active teacher who was recruiting
students to be a part of the organization. And since then, my
involvement included running for local and state office. I served
as the Florida TSA president. And eventually, my senior year of
high school, I was the national TSA president, which gave me
an opportunity to travel around the country talking about the
importance of TSA, competing in competitive events, participat-
ing in leadership activities and community service projects. And
really a lot of what I apply on a day-to-day basis today I learned
as a result of serving in a leadership capacity in TSA.
ACTE: So what career and technical education
courses did you take?
GC: I took a graphics communication class. I took a manu-
facturing class, in seventh grade. A long time ago.
ACTE: Did you continue that in high school?
GC: Interestingly enough, my high school did not have tech-
nology education courses until after I graduated. The student
members of my high school chapter continued to be engaged and
involved. We continued recruiting students to be a part of TSA,
and we participated in competitive events and oftentimes would director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.
travel to our local junior high to put our events together with our ACTE: So what are you doing now?
adviser. GC: I am the president of a public affairs and issue advocacy
ACTE: So how did you get from there to your expe- firm, based in D.C., called Thomas Circle Strategies. We help
riences now? We know that you’ve worked a lot in the nonprofits and corporations and different coalitions to develop
political arena. advocacy campaigns. The idea being that, you know, campaigns
GC: I did. I went to the University of Florida, and after I are pretty unique. They usually run over a short period of time.
graduated, I taught high school and worked for an education They’re very intense. You often work, 18, 20 hours a day. You’re
nonprofit that developed partnerships between local public high attached to your phone or your BlackBerry