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Archive for July, 2012

Utah FCCLA Students Reach for the STARS

Monday, July 30th, 2012

By Nikki Sue Larkin, Utah FCCLA State Adviser

On July 8-12, 2012 approximately 6,800 students attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Secondary and postsecondary FCCLA members represented the state of Utah and participated in the ultimate leadership experience, which included dynamic keynote speakers, workshops, and professional development classes, along with some great memories at the various tourist attractions.

At the conference the 2012-2013 FCCLA National Officers were elected. Congratulations to Ashley Labrum, of Pleasant Grove High School, who was elected as the FCCLA National Vice President of Programs. We are proud of her accomplishments and know that she will do a great job.

Ashley Lambrum

With the theme of “#realitycheck,” this year’s conference was a conference of firsts. The conference tapped into the world of social media and provided unique opportunities to take advantage of recent changes in technology. FCCLA attendees were able to download the FCCLA app on their smartphones and upload information about the conference. Other firsts included workshops on working with digital media, including learning about online STAR Events and creating digital projects. Another first included the implementation of postsecondary competitions.

There were 113 Utah secondary and postsecondary FCCLA student members who competed, against FCCLA members from other states, in STAR Event competitions. STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events are competitive events in which members are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation.  From fashion construction, to food innovations, to life event planning, to recycle and redesign, students impressed the judges with their knowledge and skill.

Utah FCCLA student members finished with 40 gold medals, 35 silver medals, and 16 bronze medals.

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

Utah FCCLA State Officers

FCCLA is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. FCCLA has over 200,000 members and over 6,500 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945. In Utah there are 2,600 members in 91 chapters. Learn more about FCCLA at www.fcclainc.org and www.utahfccla.org.

What Is Your Olympic Moment?

Friday, July 27th, 2012

In the spirit of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games tell us about your Olympic moment, as it relates to your high school educational experience. An Olympic moment brings personal pride and satisfaction for a job well done. What was your Olympic moment? Was it winning a school or CTSO* competition? Was it achieving a long range goal? Was it getting a particular grade in a difficult class? Was it making a new friend? Was it volunteering in a community service project? Was it accomplishing a challenging class assignment? Perhaps it was the moment when you discovered your career path.

Ashley Labrum, of Pleasant Grove High School,
elected as the FCCLA National Vice President of Programs,
at the 2012 FCCLA National Leadership Conference.

Share your Olympic moment with UtahCTE.org. Send your story to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov and we will share it with our online communities—Twitter, Facebook, Utah CTE blog, and the CTE Directions newsletter.


*Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO)


SkillsUSA: Champions at Work!

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Soon athletes from around the world will join together to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Like the athletes who have trained hard to compete in the Olympic Games, SkillsUSA members from Utah and across the nation have worked diligently throughout the year, to hone their skills, to compete against their peers. SkillsUSA members advanced from local competitions, to regional competitions, to state competitions, and finally to the national SkillsUSA competition where they competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals.

On June 23-28, 2012 over 15,000 SkillsUSA student members, advisors and industry representatives gathered in Kansas City, Missouri to participate in the 48th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Approximately 5,600 secondary and postsecondary students competed in 94 skills and leadership contests. Of the 5,600 students, 220 Utah students competed in 72 of the 94 competitive events. Of the 900 medals awarded, Utah students received 55 medals—24 gold medals, 22 silver medals, and 9 bronze medals. Utah ranked second in receiving the most medals of any one state. Fabulous! “Each student competed with dignity, pride, and represented the state of Utah extremely well,” said Dave Milliken, National SkillsUSA Board Member and Skilled and Technical Sciences Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. In addition to competing in a variety of events, SkillsUSA members learned to value their skills, participated in team building activities, reunited with members from across the U.S., and gave service back to the community.

Photography gold medal winner, Jocelyn Jones of Desert Hills High School said, “Preparation is generally one thing for me, practice. Without practice, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have taken a lot of my time to practice for this competition, which ultimately has only helped me to grow as a photographer and a person.”

SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communication skills. It emphasizes total quality at work: high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA, in conjunction with Career and Technical Education, works to train and prepare students for America’s skilled workforce.

Brenda Dann-Messier, OVAE Assistant Secretary, was one of the featured speakers at the event. She said, “I was truly humbled and inspired by the. . .students who competed in 94 skills competitions. . . I walked away filled with hope for our nation’s future workforce and prosperity.”

Watch “The SkillsUSA Week in Review.”

Over 10.5 million people have become members of SkillsUSA since its founding. Utah has over 13,000 SkillsUSA members in 74 chapters. Learn more about SkillsUSA at http://www.skillsusa.org/ and http://skillsusa-utah.org/.


There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be Skilled!

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Employers in the U.S. and around the globe are looking for workers who are qualified to fill skilled positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 10 million new skilled workers will be needed by the year 2020. ManpowerGroup’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey listed Skilled Trades, Mechanics, Machinists and Machine Operators positions among the top ten hardest jobs to fill. Career and Technical Education, in conjunction with SkillsUSA, prepares students for these hard to fill jobs, while in high school.

SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communication skills. It emphasizes total quality at work: high ethical standards, superior work skills, lifelong education, and pride in the dignity of work.

SkillsUSA is an applied method of instruction for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. Wendy Venturini, SkillsUSA Alumnus and NASCAR Reporter, said, “I’ve covered racings greatest champions, but if I hadn’t joined another organization of champions in high school I might not have discovered my full potential. That organization is SkillsUSA.”

More than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor sponsors actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and involvement of their people in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.

In 2010, SkillsUSA created the SkillsUSA CEO Champion of the Year Award to recognize the leadership of the chief executive of an organization doing exemplary work in the creation and support of America’s highly skilled workforce. John McGlade, Chairman, President, and CEO of Air Products and was named the SkillsUSA 2010 CEO Champion of the Year. McGlade is a former Career and Technical Education student and is a great advocate of CTE. “I can testify first hand to how CTE can help equip students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers,” he said. In his acceptance speak at the SkillsUSA 2010 CEO Champions of the Year Award banquet McGlade said, “. . .this country must expand this program more. Business desperately needs a workforce of these students.”

McGlade recently wrote a blog for the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium Friends of CTE Blog Series. In his blog he emphasized the importance of CTE and the urgent need for skilled workers. He said, “There is a mismatch between the demand and supply of skilled workers. Work opportunities exist, but sometimes it is difficult to find people to fill those jobs. Air Products has openings, but we can’t always find people with the right skills in the right locations.  This situation contributes to the national unemployment rate of over 8 percent. . . I believe that CTE can be a source of competitive advantage for the United States, by rebuilding a skilled workforce better trained than ever to compete in the global marketplace.”

In November 2011, Jim Lentz, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., was the recipient of the SkillsUSA 2011 CEO Champion of the Year award. At the awards ceremony Lentz told SkillsUSA members “. . .Toyota supports a wide variety of worthwhile organizations and events throughout the country, but few are as dear to our hearts as SkillsUSA. Yes we have specific needs for technicians, but more important we understand that for America to have a thriving economy, and compete globally, we need to do a better job to educate the young people of today for the complex and connected jobs of the future. That’s why I’m so proud that Toyota has been a key supporter of SkillsUSA for over a quarter of a century. . .The work [SkillsUSA] does is incredibly important. You are truly a beacon of hope in America.”

Over 10.5 million people have become members of SkillsUSA since its founding. Utah has over 13,000 SkillsUSA members in 74 chapters. Together CTE and SkillsUSA are working to prepare students to develop the skills necessary to successfully compete in a global economy.

Nate Buchanan: Future Firefighter

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Nate Buchanan
Occupational Goal: Firefighter

Nate Buchanan has dreamed of being a firefighter since he was five years old. “The year was 1998; I was five years old when I received my first pair of firefighting bunkers. I had made up my mind when I got older that I was going to be a firefighter, and my goal hasn’t changed. I come from a strong background of firefighters in my family. I have an uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, great uncle, and many close friends that are firefighters. I have researched and made goals during high school to understand the area of firefighting and to plan out my education based upon my research. I have tried to take classes that would benefit my firefighting dreams. I can’t believe that back 13 years ago I had a little kid’s dream, and now is the time to implement my dreams with action such as continuing to meet my goals and plan for my career,” said Nate.

While planning his high school schedule, Nate made sure he took classes that correlated with his goals for a career as a firefighter (CTE Firefighting Pathway.) “My CTE courses in high school helped pave the way for me to get started on my [college] education after I graduate,” said Nate.

Nate has been involved with many service projects throughout high school. “This year I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. With my heart set on firefighting, I chose to do my [Eagle] project to benefit the Morgan City Fire Department. I organized a donation drive at local businesses to collect hygiene items for kits to provide to the Morgan City Fire Department. These kits contained 30 items that would benefit families if they are unable to return to their home due to fire, flood, power outage, or other natural disasters.”

To plan for his future, Nate has been shadowing the Morgan City Fire Chief and the Morgan City Fire Department. “Firefighting is in my blood. I love being on the scene with my grandfather and learning from him and my fellow firefighters. The pungent smell of smoke really gets me excited to get my career moving. When I was five I became an honorary member of my grandpa’s fire department. I have many friends that I admire, and take the knowledge they provide for me to heart. I have never wanted anything more in my life than to be a firefighter, and now it is truly within my grasp,” said Nate.

In May, Nate received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to attend Utah Valley University (UVU). At UVU he plans to study firefighting and become certified as a firefighter. Nate plans to begin his career immediately after graduating from UVU.

There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States. In Utah, approximately 85 percent of firefighters are volunteers, and approximately 14 percent are career firefighters. Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 9 percent nationwide and 3.4 percent in Utah through the year 2020.

UtahCTE.org wishes Nate all the best as he prepares to become a firefighter. During the past few weeks, as fires broke out in Utah and surrounding states, we thank each firefighter who has battled each blaze. We appreciate the training, skill, expertise, and dedication of each firefighter who has worked under unimaginable conditions to protect the public. Thank you!

National HOSA Competition Results

Monday, July 9th, 2012

On June 23-26, 2012 secondary and postsecondary students from across the state attended the HOSA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Florida. The conference was an opportunity for HOSA members throughout the country to gather together to compete in a variety of events. Students worked hard throughout the year to win a spot at the national competition. Students shined as they competed in events ranging from dental spelling, to public health emergency, to nutrition knowledge, to veterinary science.

Brendan Abbott with the Health Science President for ACTE Grace Decken.
Brendan received a scholarship through National HOSA sponsored by
the Health Science Division of the ACTE.

Becky Bailey, HOSA Advisor at American Fork High School, said, “Nationals was a blast! It was so great to see how everything works at the national level and to be involved with judging an event (HOSA Bowl). The energy at Opening and Closing Ceremonies was amazing! It was especially gratifying to see my student win first place, as well as many other students from the State of Utah! HOSA truly has prepared Future Healthcare Professionals who will benefit this country in many fields!”

Twenty-five Utah secondary students placed in the top ten in twenty-five competitive event categories. Below is a list of the 19 students who placed in the top three in nine categories.

Secondary Award Winners




High School

1st Place Job Seeking Skills Emily Sheffield Ogden
1st Place Pathophysiology Knowledge Steven Duncan American Fork
1st Place Researched Persuasive Speaking Yotam Ardon Highland
2nd Place Job Seeking Skills Aaron Hitesman Tooele
2nd Place Public Service Announcement Jeffrey Brown
Meredith Tribe
Marley Arango
Dylan Bay
3rd Place Extemporaneous Speaking Parker Christensen Timpview
3rd Place Home Health Aide Cheyanne Ashby JATC*
3rd Place Medical Assisting Abbie Thueson JATC
3rd Place Parliamentary Procedure Allison Ball
Megan Blackburn
Cami Cummings
Garrett Garrity
Ciara Revelli
Jacqueline Wallace
Lone Peak
3rd Place Public Health Emergency Kaitlin Bradley
Autumn Phelps

                                                     *Jordan Applied Technology Center

Autumn Phelps, HOSA secondary award winner said, “One of the most memorable events was when they called my team [for placing] in the top 10 for Public Health Emergency! My heart was pounding out of my chest as my teammate and I ran to the stage. And, then, I heard it … ‘In 3rd place from Highland High School, in Utah, the team of Bradley and Phelps!’ I won a medal at nationals! It was one of my dreams as I started the school year! I did it! The second memorable event was J.R. Martinez who spoke at the opening session. He said, ‘Continue to move forward, continue to be positive. Never be a victim, always be a survivor. You are stronger than you think.’ I have had this quote with me since the conference and it will be an inspiration for my life.”

Eight Utah postsecondary students placed in the top ten in eight competitive event categories. Below is a list of the three students who placed in the top three in three categories.

Postsecondary Award Winners





1st Place Job Seeking Skills Amanda Wilson Snow College
2nd Place Nursing Assisting Mishaelle Sampson Snow College
3rd Place Nutrition Knowledge Valerie Winkler MATC*

                                           *Mountainland Applied Technology College

Meg Whittaker, a member of the Mountain View High School HOSA chapter, said, “National HOSA was amazing! I could not believe how many people participated in the conference! I loved seeing Minnie and Mickey Mouse at the Opening Session! The best part about the opening was J.R. Martinez! He was so inspirational with his fight to overcome his own personal tragedy and succeed! I was also impressed by Captain Robert Tosatto, the National Director of the Medical Reserve Corps, who flew down to Orlando to judge the MRC event! I just have to say that HOSA is truly a professional organization and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to attend the conference!”

At the conference six HOSA advisors were recognized for their exceptional service to Utah HOSA and National HOSA. “Advisors are the key to any successful program. We are extremely lucky in Utah to have numerous top-notch advisors,” said Tara Bell, Health Science Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

Advisor Recognition
> Outstanding Secondary Advisor – Buffy Blunck – Jordan High School
> Outstanding Postsecondary Advisor – Debi Sampson – Snow College
> National Competitive Events Committee – Jennifer Christensen – Granite Technical Institute
> HOSA Bowl Event Manager – Cindy Parkinson – Sky View High School
> HOSA Bowl Event Co-Manager – Robbie Rauzi – Park City High School
> HOSA Inc. Board – Denise Abbott – Timpview High School

“WOW! The National Leadership Conference was the perfect capstone to an outstanding year! All year, the members and advisors have gone the extra mile through the involvement in competitive events and service to the community. It did not stop at nationals. All of the advisors took great care with HOSA, each other, and the Utah HOSA members.

“There was such support and strength in Utah! The preparation of the chapters was more than validated with the outstanding performances of our students on both the secondary and postsecondary/collegiate levels. What a great state! What a great year! I am privileged to be able to work with such outstanding people!” said Denise Abbott, HOSA State Advisor.

HOSA provides students with opportunities to attain the knowledge, skills, and leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in a health care profession, through leadership training, career training, and service projects. Nationally there are over 120,000 members. Utah has over 3,300 members in 70 chapters.

Stay connected with HOSA by joining HOSA members on Facebook and Twitter!

HOSA State Officers
Back Row — Kaesen Rasmussen, Kirstin Reese, Mallory Benson, Parker Christensen, Ashleigh Bull
Front Row — Fabiola Bermudez, Brigit McDannell, Autumn Phelps