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SkillsUSA: 50 Years of Champions at Work

August 18th, 2014

During the summer, as SkillsUSA members joined together from across the nation to compete at the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference they also celebrated 50 years of champions at work. SkillsUSA turns 50 in the year 2015, so the conference marked the beginning of a yearlong celebration that will culminate with the 51st National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 22-26, 2015.

Five decades ago, the founders of SkillsUSA and approximately 200 students and teachers attending the first SkillsUSA conference in Nashville, Tennessee set in motion events and aspirations that are very real today. Fast forward 50 years . . .SkillsUSA has grown exponentially.

SkillsUSA by the Numbers:
> More than 11.6 million members served since 1965.
> More than 335,000 members nationwide.
> Nearly 17,000 chapters in more than 4,000 schools since 1965.
> Approximately 4,000 active chapters.
> 130 skilled occupations represented.
> More than 600 business, industry and labor sponsors

The impact of SkillsUSA over the past 50 years has been far reaching. SkillsUSA is:
> A nationwide network of students and instructors in a common bond with a powerful partnership of industry, serving more than 11.6 million members over 50 years.
> Effective and far-reaching classroom instruction in employability and leadership skills.
> Civically engaged students involved in community service and possessing the skills to become responsible American citizens.
> Preparing America’s skilled workforce through continually transformed instruction, influenced by an internationally recognized championships program.
> Representing Career and Technical Education to policymakers, employers, and the public.

“Organizations don’t last 50 years without passionate people committed to carrying out a mission they believe in. Why have so many affirmed their belief in SkillsUSA’s mission since 1965? Because the success of that mission is palpable in the young people whose lives it changes for the better every day, more than 11.6 million so far . . . and counting,” says Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA.

Click HERE to learn more about SkillsUSA and its members.

Little Hands on the Farm Exhibit Returns to the Utah State Fair

August 15th, 2014

From planting seeds to harvesting crops, from milking a cow (a life-size fiberglass cow) to gathering eggs, Utah FFAstate officers have been working hard this summer preparing numerous interactive displays for the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit at the Utah State Fair. The Fair begins Thursday, September 4 and continues through Sunday, September 14. The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is a hands-on experience for children ages 2 to 10. Children will learn where food comes from and the process it takes to get it from the farm to the grocery store. The exhibit is included with the price of admission to the Utah State Fair. Located west of the arena, the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is open each day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend the Utah State Fair and visit the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit. If you can’t wait until September 4 to visit the Fair, take a virtual tour now of the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit with an FFA member HERE.

The Great Utah State Fair
September 4-14, 2014
Sunday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

 

Utah TSA Members Excel at National Conference

July 30th, 2014

Last month, Utah TSA (Technology Student Association) student members traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the 2014 National TSA Conference. At the conference, students participated in 60 competitive events based on principles and concepts learned through projects during the school year in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. TSA positively impacts the lives of junior high and high school students.

At the conference, TSA recognized the top 10 finalist in each event and awarded trophies to the top three. Wasatch Junior High School, in Granite School District, under the direction of Career and Technical Education teacher and TSA advisor, Tony Bryrom, received top 10 honors in 6 of 32 events they competed. “I am so proud of my students. All 12 of them made the top ten in at least one event. One of my students made the top ten 5 times. They have all caught the TSA bug and plan to make TSA strong in the high school next year.”

Other Utah junior highs that received honors were Lehi, Oak Canyon, and Millcreek Junior High Schools. Utah high school students were recognized as top-10 finalist in 11 of 36 events.  Utah received top 3 trophies in the following 6 events:

FIRST PLACE
Computer Numeric Control
Andrew Davis and Dallin Miner (Mountain View High School)

Manufacturing Prototype
Colin Gubler, Katelyn Young, Bethany Jorgensen,
Morgan Maxfield, Jonathon Young,
and Aubrey Wheelwright
 (Pleasant Grove High School)

On Demand Video
Hillcrest High School

SECOND PLACE
Photographic Technology
Tanaysia Pierce (InTech Collegiate High School)

System Control Technology
Christian Davidson, Cole Olsen,
and Jacob Winder (American Fork High School)

THIRD PLACE
CAD 3D Engineering
Shardul Kamat (Jordan Applied Technology Center)

Other high schools recognized as top-10 finalists were: Jordan Applied Technology Center, Lehi, Hillcrest, Bingham, Layton, and NUAMES High Schools.

“Congratulations to our excellent Technology and Engineering teachers that go the extra mile for their students,” says Darrell Andelin, Technology and Engineering specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

HERE is the list of contest results.

WATCH a video highlighting the scope of TSA educational programs and competitive events.

Wasatch Junior High School students

Utah FCCLA Members SOAR at 2014 NLC

July 29th, 2014

By Nikki Sue Larkin, FCCLA State Advisor

This month, the 2014 FCCLA National Leadership Conference was held in San Antonio, Texas. With the theme of “Soar”, 162 students and 65 advisers/chaperones from Utah soared as they attended dynamic workshops and break-out sessions, participated in STAR Events, met new people and expanded their leadership potential. Great memories were made at the various tourist attractions which included the River Walk, The Alamo, Six Flags, and Sea World.

Amie Peterson, Utah FCCLA VP of History, said this about the conference, “Nationals was full of exciting times. As a state officer I was able to be a part of Leadership Academy. T his consisted of classes that will help me in my future as I start to get a job and apply for colleges. At Nationals I was able to meet a lot of new people in every class I went to. I now have friend from all over the country.

Our Utah competitors finished in the FCCLA STAR Events with 41 Gold Medals, 82 Silver Medals, and 26 Bronze Medals. Fantastic! Jason Skidmore, CTE Director for Jordan School District received the FCCLA National School Administrator of the Year Award.

Jason Skidmore receives
FCCLA National School Administrator of the Year Award

At the conference 15 Utah advisers received the national Master Adviser Award.

Left to right: Aubrey Turnbow, Bingham High School; Chris Carrigan, Morgan High School;
Michelle Stott, Lehi High School; Tammie Bennett, Panguitch High School;
Emily Housely, Jordan High School; LeAnn Leavitt, Cedar High School;
Auralee Brooks, North Sanpete High School

Makayla Hendricks, Utah FCCLA State President, expressed her enthusiasm about the conference saying, “The energy was high . . . From competing in STAR Events and walking across the stage to receive a medal, to trading pins and meeting friends from all over the U.S., to taking selfies with new friends, Nationals was a blast! We all learned how to SOAR and found the motivation to take a stand and lead. I will definitely miss my FCCLA family, but Nationals 2014 in San Antonio, Texas was definitely one for the books.” 

I am proud of our students and advisers/chaperones as they represented Utah in a very professional way. Many thanks to those who made this an incredible experience.


Related stories:
2014 NLC in Review
NLC #FCCLAFamily Selfies

A Picture of Resilience: Jason Becker

July 29th, 2014

By L. Kristine Dobson

The theme of this year’s CTE summer conference for Utah educators involved in Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance, Youth in Custody, Adult Education, Prevention, and Student Services was Promoting Resiliency: Student Success from Crayons to College and Career Ready.

Resilience is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) asthe process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” In their online guide, Road to Resilience, they offer ten tips to teens to build resilience (click link to see detail):

1. Get together.
2. Cut yourself some slack.
3. Create a hassle-free zone.
4. Stick to the program.
5. Take care of yourself.
6. Take control.
7. Express yourself.
8. Help somebody.
9. Put things in perspective.
10. Turn it off.

We may wonder why some people can experience difficult situations and traumatic events, and yet appear able to readily “bounce back.” This ability to bounce back, i.e., demonstrate resilience even under the most trying circumstances, is actually a set of skills that can be learned.

Since the conference, I have given much thought to the notion that resilience is learned. That idea conflicts with my intuitive sense that there are aspects of resilience that are innate. In my own family, I’m not alone when I observe the difference between one relative who was “born happy,” and another who appears totally unable to find the “silver lining,” only more dark clouds. My happy relative has bounced back from adversity numerous times; the other appears more and more dejected. I have a lot more thinking and research to do on the subject, but I am very interested in the concept of learning resilience, and – because I’m an educator, after all – much heartened at the thought of being able to teach the skills that enable people to be resilient. Sharing the biography of Jason Becker is where I would begin.

Born in 1969, Jason Becker is a virtuoso guitarist and composer. At age 20, just as his career was really taking off, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and given just three to five years to live. Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, is a documentary about Jason’s life, and a moving testament to resilience. I challenge you to watch the film. In addition to gaining a much better understanding all the skills of resilience referenced above, you will – without a doubt – learn other life lessons, and may be (I hope you’ll be) inspired to share those lessons with others.

Jason Becker 
Photo courtesy of http://jasonbeckerguitar.com/photo_galleries.html.

SkillsUSA: 2014 NLSC Contest Results

July 11th, 2014

By Dave Milliken, National SkillsUSA Board Member
Utah Skilled and Technical Sciences specialist
Utah State Office of Education

In June, 170 secondary and postsecondary Utah SkillsUSA student members competed in 74 of 99 skill competitions at the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. From carpentry to plumbing to technical drafting to firefighting, Utah SkillsUSA student members competed against their peers with skill, determination, and focused concentration.

Congratulations to the Utah SkillsUSA members who competed in a contest. Five secondary students were national medalists, with four receiving silver medals, and one receiving a bronze medal. Thirty-one postsecondary students were national medalists, with 15 receiving gold medals, 12 receiving silver medals, and 4 receiving bronze medals. At the conference, Utah ranked 7th in receiving the most medals of any one state. HERE is the list of contest results.

SkillsUSA Championships: By the Numbers

> 6,111 competitors
> 99 hands-on and leadership contests
> 787,482 square feet of contest space – equivalent to the area of more than 16 football fields
> 800 judges
> 600 technical committee members
> 420 National Education Team/volunteer conference management staff
> 180 Courtesy Corps volunteers totaling 60,000 volunteer hours
> 1,125 medals presented (gold, silver, and bronze)
> 175 recognition awards
> 146 individuals and 21 teams received the President’s Volunteer Service Award
> 50 $1,000 scholarships awarded to competitors for travel to the conference, sponsored by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation

After 21 years in Kansas City, Missouri, National SkillsUSA has said good-bye to our host city and moved to our new home—for at least the next six years—in Louisville, Kentucky. As hard as it is to leave Kansas City, we are excited for the new possibilities that Louisville will bring.

In Louisville, unlike Kansas City, we will have the tradeshow and all contests under one roof. Another advantage of moving the conference to Louisville is that the arena will be used for both the opening and awards sessions and parking will not be a problem.

As a state we enjoyed our hotel in Overland Park, Kansas City. It was close to shopping, restaurants, and Utah SkillsUSA was the only state delegation at the hotel. I personally will miss Kansas City. I have been there many times and I know my way around and will miss everything the area has to offer. However, at the same time I look forward to getting to know a new city and all that it has to offer.

Look out Louisville, Utah SkillsUSA is coming June 22-26, 2015!

Utah FBLA Members Shine at National Competition

July 10th, 2014

Utah FBLA members recently returned from Nashville, Tennessee where they competed in 60 competitive events at the 2014 FBLA National Leadership Conference June 29-July 2. This year, attendance was at a record high with just over 10,500 FBLA student members and advisers joining the conference from across the country. Ninety-two Utah FBLA students advanced to the national finals, from the state competition held in March, and many were victorious in their events. View the list of winners HERE.

“Congratulations to all who attended and represented Utah. This was by far the toughest competition we have ever encountered in our organization,” said Duke Di
Stefano, Utah FBLA-PBL State Director.

Beginning in the fall, Utah FBLA members will prepare for region and then state competitions. Each first place winner, from the state competition, will advance to the 2015 FBLA National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, June 29-July 2.

Utah HOSA Excels at 2014 NLC

July 8th, 2014

By Denise Abbott, Utah HOSA Advisor

On June 25, 2014, over 8,400 HOSA members, advisors, and healthcare professionals from around the nation arrived in Orlando, Florida for the HOSA 37th Annual National Leadership Conference (NLC). The Coronado Springs Convention Center was the site of 58 competitive events, 65 educational symposia, HOSA University, scholarships, and networking opportunities for the 242 delegates from Utah.

Utah HOSA began the conference on Tuesday with the state officers attending the HOSA University Leadership Training Institute hosted by Mark Burley and David Kelly. Tuesday evening, Utah HOSA President Alex Salimbene (Viewmont High School) represented Utah at the State Presidents’ reception, where she was able to network with other states. State HOSA Secretary, AJ Bull (West High School) was Utah’s representative on the Nominating Committee. This committee helps to determine the slate of national officer candidates.

Wednesday’s registration was led by Andrew Wilson and Angie Abbott (state officer coaches). Wednesday morning included breakfast at the Disney property, Port Orleans Riverside. Wednesday night the HOSA Opening Ceremonies started with a welcome from the Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, and a keynote address by the world renowned, futurist and physicist Michio Kaku.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were dedicated to competitions, business sessions and educational symposia. State officers – Alex Salimbene, Omar Ramirez, Madison Johnson (Davis High School) and Sariah Gridley (Tooele Community Learning Center)served as the voting delegates to elect the new national officers and chose the service project for the coming year. The new HOSA service project will be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Saturday included Disney or Universal theme parks during the day and the HOSA Awards Ceremony at night. We would like to congratulate all the advisors, members, and officers that participated and excelled at the conference. View the list of recognitions and highlights HERE.

Thank you to those advisors who were not able to attend the conference and spent much time preparing student members for success at nationals. We would also like to thank the Utah State Office of Education Career and Technical Education Department, schools districts, superintendents, career and technical education directors, principals, and HOSA advisors for their continued support of Utah HOSA. We would also like to thank our scholarship sponsors – Utah Hospital Association, Intermountain Healthcare, ARUP Laboratories, Davis Applied Technology College, Utah HOSA, Noodles and Company, The Richard McDermott Charitable Foundation and the Army ROTC at the University of Utah.

Congratulations, Utah, for a successful conference!

Utah HOSA is a student leadership organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in healthcare and to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare to all people. Utah HOSA currently operates 81 chapters in both high schools and colleges throughout the state with a membership of 4,150. Utah HOSA is supported by the Career and Technical Education Division of the Utah State Office of Education.

Left to right:
Jacob Lambertsen – Postsecondary/Collegiate Vice President
Alex Salimbene – President
Omar Ramirez – Service Vice President
Sariah Gridley – Salt Lake/Tooele Area Vice President
Shianne Douglas – Central Utah Vice President
AJ Bull – Secretary
Madison Johnson – Northern Area Vice President

Utah FCCLA Members Arrive in Texas for 2014 NLC

July 7th, 2014

Today through July 10, Utah FCCLA student members are in San Antonio, Texas with more than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country for the 2014 FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC). FCCLA student members will compete in 30 STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition). STAR Events are competitive events in which members are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation. From Culinary Arts to Fashion Design to Sports Nutrition to Early Childhood Education, student members compete at the district, state and then advance to the national level.

View Conference Schedule
Like FCCLA on Facebook #FCCLANLC
Follow FCCLA on Twitter #FCCLANLC

View the list of Utah state winners. The first place winner from each category is in San Antonio, Texas to compete at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members. It is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.

Utah Students Arrive at FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference

June 30th, 2014

Today FBLA first place state winners from across the country assemble in Nashville, Tennessee to compete in leadership events at the FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference. Utah FBLA student members will compete in over 60 competitive events during the four-day conference, June 29-July 2.

Join the conference by watching a live stream of the FBLA Awards of Excellence Program on Wednesday, July 2 at 6:00 p.m. (CDT).

View Conference Program
Follow FBLA on Twitter #NLC2014
Like FBLA on Facebook #NLC2014

View the list of Utah state winners. The first place winner from each category is in Nashville to compete at the FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference.

“On behalf of your board of directors, national staff, and national officer team, welcome to Nashville and the 2014 National Leadership Conference! Let this program serve as your passport to network with your peers, attend dynamic workshops, prepare for competitions, and continue to help you put Excellence in Action! Take advantage of this conference and city to maximize your learning and leadership experience.”

–Jean M. Buckley, FBLA-PBL, Inc. President and CEO

FBLA: Excellence in Action