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Archive for February, 2012

Meet an Agriculture Teacher: Vay Jensen

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Introducing… Vay Jensen

A graduate of … Bear River High School

Now working as … An Agricultural Educator, teaching Agricultural Systems and Technology, Animal Science, Ag. Biology, and Natural Resources.

For … Altamont Jr./Sr. High School in Altamont, Utah.

Building Trades was his favorite high school class because … he learned how to build a house!

Vay’s first job – was a Groundskeeper at Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, Utah.

The worst job? Customer Support worker at a call center. What made it the worst for Vay was a combination of rude customers and sitting in a closed space for 8-10 hours a day.

Advice to studentsRegardless of what you do after high school, you need some kind of post-high school education, whether it be a trade school or college. They both have their pluses and minuses.  

And more …

After high school I spent the next 8 or 9 years working on ranches from Montana to Texas. It was a great time and I loved and still love the work. However, it taught me the importance of a post-high school education.”

  • “While I was working on my Bachelor’s degree, I worked answering phones for cell phone customers. I did not like sitting on the phone for 8 to 10 hours a day. The customers were generally rude, and I felt like I was a dog on a leash. I like to be able to move around, and work. It gave me incentive to keep working on my degree.”
  • I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree at 33 years old. It took several years due to being married, going to school full time, working a full time job 40+ hours a week, and shoeing horses everywhere in between. As of Dec 2011 I completed my master’s degree.


Join Utah Students in Celebrating CTE

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Utah State Office of Education

Join the 14.4 million secondary and postsecondary CTE students nationwide in celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month during February. This newsletter is dedicated to assisting you in your planning and celebration of CTE. This year’s theme is Career and Technical Education: Preparing Students for College and Career! We encourage you to participate in both national and local activities and events throughout the month. Your school district, school, and/or classroom can pick a day, a week, or the entire month of February to celebrate CTE. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to spotlight your CTE programs. Students are doing wonderful things in schools throughout Utah and now is a perfect time to showcase their CTE training and the skills they have developed.

According to the report, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 30 percent of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2018 will require some college or a two-year associate degree. CTE is an essential component to filling these jobs openings. Encourage students to become an active member of a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). In conjunction with the hands-on learning students receive in CTE classes, involvement in a CTSO gives students the academic motivation and engagement to be successful in their pursuit of further education and training. According to the National Research Center for CTE (Alfeld, C., et al., Looking Inside the Black Box: The Value Added by Career and Technical Student Organizations to Students’ High School Experience, National Research Center for CTE, 2007) factors often linked with student participation in a CTSO includes: higher grades, career self-efficacy and college aspirations.

As I meet and visit with CTE administrators, teachers, and students across the state I am impressed with the quality of their programs and the terrific opportunities available to students through CTE. Teachers work tirelessly to bring the best instruction to their classroom each day. The enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill each teacher has for preparing this generation for the future is inspiring. Your work does not go unrecognized. CTE Month is an opportune time to share your success stories. Write an op-ed, contact your local newspaper, and use social media to spread your stories. Hearing the success stories of students makes me proud to be an educator and to be involved in this great work. Together we can prepare students for college and career and to successfully compete in a global economy.