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Archive for May, 2014

Moving ahead – letting go of the past . . .

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The end of a school year fosters bittersweet emotions for many of us. This guest blogger offers strategies for moving effectively ahead.

Moving ahead – letting go of the past . . .
By Victoria Bork, School Psychologist, Valley High School
Jordan School District

Are you tired of spending a lot of time and energy trying to change the past? Here are some suggestions that may help you move forward:

  • Make a conscious choice to move forward. Start by listing the pros and cons of dwelling in the past. You may notice after making your list that the cons far outweigh the pros and therefore you will make the choice to move on.
  • Limit the time you allow yourself to dwell on the past. For example you may want to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to think about the past. You may find that you are getting bored/tired of dwelling on the past and move forward as a result.
  • Check the reality of your situation. Things may never be exactly the same again but that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward with new people and experiences in your life.
  • Clarify your values. Perhaps you have lost someone in a relationship or lost a job. In restating your values you may come to realize that you don’t need the same individual and/or job to make you happy and you can move to your new chapter in life.
  • Enjoy the moment. Create new experiences for yourself; e.g., join a club, take up a hobby, etc. Focusing on the present and the future will help you to move on!

CTE Students Compete in Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Is your auto mechanic certified? Does he or she have the skills to successfully diagnosis why your automobile isn’t working? Well, the future of auto service is in good hands! Utah students participating in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Automotive Service Technician Pathway are well on their way to becoming expert auto technicians and becoming ASE certified. An ASE (Auto Service Excellence) technician is one who has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully figure out a problem, ANY PROBLEM, you are having with your vehicle. Automotive service technicians/mechanics are not required to be certified, but those who are certainly have a career advantage. We all need these technicians/mechanics to get us back on the road in a safe and reliable vehicle.

Students participating in the CTE Automotive Service Technician Pathway are learning about automobiles and striving to become a certified ASE mechanic. On Thursday, May 1, 2014 twenty students from 9 high schools and one applied technology college joined together to show off their automotive service technician skills in the 65th Annual Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition held at Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Campus. Students worked in teams of two to test their knowledge and skill at diagnosing a purposely bugged vehicle.

Ten professional automotive technicians/mechanics spent eight hours placing 15 bugs in 10 automobiles. From light bulbs to the acceleration pedal to the engine relays, students were up to the challenge to diagnose each purposely placed bug. This hands-on competition not only tested each teams automotive knowledge and problem solving skills, but also tested their ability to work under pressure as they raced against the clock to complete the assigned task in 90 minutes.

“After 75 minutes of working on the cars, and 15 minutes left of the competition, all 10 cars were still being worked on. The bugs were tough and challenged the student’s abilities and knowledge of the vehicles. Only three vehicles were driven into final judging, the others were still on the field of competition when the contest came to an end, said Dave Milliken, Skilled and Technical Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.”

Below are the results of the competition:

1st Place – Riverton High School
Team: Jens Olsen and Austin Sanders
Jay Hales

2nd Place – Hunter High School
Team: Wesley Deyoung and Jacob Simper
Matt Proctor

3rd Place – Timpview High School
Team: Michael Dromey and Dan Jones
Rich Lamb

4th Place – Syracuse High School
Team: Jaxon Lay and Brycen Rackham
Wayne Burbank
Syracuse received the highest score on the written exam.

5th Place – Southwest Applied Technology College
Team: Selby Oldroyd and Duncan Campbell
Robert Butler

6th Place – Layton High School
Team: Robert Rice and Justin Christensen
Corey Spensor

7th Place – Davis High School
Team: Ethan Jensen and Christian Matlock
Tom Housley

8th Place – Bountiful High School
Team: Taylor Gibson and Eric Natay
Erick Winkler

9th Place – Northridge High School
Team: Alex Velis and Logan Wilde
Rodney Stevenson

10th Place – Emery High School
Team: Conner Burke and Lane Wood
 Mike Kava

Jen Olsen and Austin Sanders will now advance to the national Auto Skills finals at the Ford Motor Company Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on June 8-10, 2014. They will compete against students from 49 other states to debug a new Ford vehicle. The team with the fewest quality-of-workmanship demerits and the best combined total score—repair time and written exam—will be the winner.

The 2014 grand-prize will be an all-expense paid trip to the Wood Brothers Racing facility where the students and instructor will work on race cars and learn from top automotive engineers. As part of the job-shadow experience, the winners will also attend a race as VIP.

At the national competition participating students will be awarded scholarships, trophies, apparel, certificates, shop manuals, and automotive equipment. Contestants will also have the opportunity to be considered for automotive technician and other service specialist positions with Ford Motor Company dealers, AAA affiliated service facilities, and other sponsoring organizations.

Related article:
Students test their automotive repair skills in statewide contest

I have high hopes for Utah FCCLA

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

By Makayla Hendricks, 2014-2015 Utah FCCLA State President

The Utah FCCLA State Conference was held on March 26-27, 2014 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah. This year, attending the state conference was a different experience for me. At this conference I wasn’t just competing and spending a few days with my friends, this year I took a stand. I decided to stand up as a leader and run for State Office. I made the decision to run at the beginning of the school year and had anticipated the conference the entire year. But it was nothing like I had expected it would be.

The moment I stepped on the bus, at 5:30 a.m., I knew that today was the day. Today would be the day I would finally achieve the goal I had spent months preparing for. Riding on a bus at 5:30 a.m. is when most people would catchup on the sleep they had missed. But I was studying. When I arrived at the conference my stomach was already churning. I’m not one to get nervous, but this was quite possibly the biggest thing I had ever attempted to do. I walked into the Davis Conference Center and headed straight to the testing room. As I looked around the room, I saw for the first time the people that could quite possibly become my closest friends and family for the next year. I walked out of that room confident in myself, but still nervous for the rest of my day.

My interview finally rolled around and I walked out of the room with the hope that it had gone as well as I thought it did. The moment I received my letter I didn’t want to open it. For a minute I just stared at it. When I opened the letter and read that precious word “CONGRATULATIONS,” my whole body just relaxed and I took a deep breath. I had done it! My hard work had paid off and here was the proof. During the closing session the 2014-2015 Utah FCCLA State Officers were announced. That is when I learned, to my surprise, that I would be the Utah FCCLA State President.

It is such a great honor to be the new Utah FCCLA State President. People I only met for a few minutes believed in me. That gave me the confidence that I didn’t know I needed. I’m overjoyed to spend the next year leading Utah FCCLA with such talented youth. The other officers will become my best friends and my family, I feel like many of them already have. I have high hopes for Utah FCCLA. I want to raise awareness and show more students the wonderful opportunities they can have by joining FCCLA. By being a member of FCCLA and attending the conferences you feel like you’re a part of something. Presenting a STAR Event and then being recognized at a state and national level shows members their potential.

Through FCCLA I have gained self-confidence, leadership abilities, communication skills, and preparation for my future family and career. When I was in 8th grade, if someone had told me that by joining FCCLA I would not only get me out of school for a few days, but that I would eventually become the Utah FCCLA State President I would have laughed. The person I am today has everything to do with FCCLA, without it I don’t know where I would be.

2014-2015 Utah FCCLA State Officers
Makayla Hendricks – President
Kaitlyn Ferris – First Vice President
Alesha Hurst – VP of Public Relations
Amie Peterson – VP of History
Caitlin Stock – VP of Competitive Events and Programs
Elisabeth Ahlstrom – VP of Membership
Kayla Orton – VP of Community Service
Maddie Barr – VP of Social Media
Wesley Carter – VP of Development

Students Learn About Aviation at the 4th Annual Aviation Open House

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

By Helen Brown, Work-Based Learning Facilitator, Alta High School

In April, the 4th Annual Aviation Open House was held at the SkyWest Hangar at the Salt Lake City International Airport. This event was planned and organized by the Aeronautics Education Advisory Board led by Donna Lloyd of Granite School District. This was an excellent opportunity for students interested in an Aviation career to meet with colleges, flight schools, and businesses to learn how to prepare for their future career. Hundreds of students and their families attended the open house where they:

  • Toured the Airport Flight Control Tower. Conducting a flight in a flight simulator.
  • Detected all of the large equipment used to care for the runways.
  • Watched planes land and take off.
  • Visited with the Airport Fire Department personnel and observed their vehicles.
  • Visited with the Airport Police and one of their police dogs.
  • Watched a movie about Air Force One Pilot, Mark Tillman and what transpired during 9/11 while trying to keep President Bush out of harm’s way.

It was a fascinating day and everyone who attended expressed how impressed they were by the day’s events, and with the information they received. A letter was written to Sherry Marchant, Work-Based Learning Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education that expressed one attendees thoughts of the day.

“We attended (the Aviation Open House) with my son, who has dreamed of being a pilot for as long as I can remember. He is entering 9th grade in the fall, so it was the perfect opportunity to speak with those in the know about what he needs to concentrate on in high school. It was a great day!” said Toni Thayn.

We want to thank all of the businesses that participated in this event. Cornerstone Aviation, Leading Edge Aviation, Salt Lake Community College Aviation, University of Utah Atmospheric Sciences, Utah State Aviation, Utah Valley Aviation, Westminster Aviation, Jordan School District Aviation, Granite School District Aviation, Canyons School District, Boeing, TAC Air, ATK, Delta Airlines, Duncan Aviation, Airport Operations Fire Department, Airport Operations Police Unit, Airport Operations Bomb Squad, Air Force ROTC, Utah Air National Guard, Air Force Association, FAA/ATC-TRACON, Mountain America Credit Union, and SkyWest Airlines for their generous use of their Airport Hangar for our event.

Save the date for the 5th Annual Aviation Open House that will held in the spring of 2015. We hope to see many more students and their families take advantage of all this event has to offer.

Being Successful in Today’s Global Environment

Monday, May 5th, 2014

By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education

I recently read an article detailing the challenge businesses are having today attracting and keeping skilled workers. Businesses are finding that it is not enough to find employees that fit their requirements, but are struggling to keep them. One of the solutions being suggested for companies is to build a career map for their employees. What is a career map? A career map for employees in a business is a clear pathway of professional development available to employees within the business entity.

This career map provides an employee with a clear, transparent “road map” for employees to grow, develop, and advance within the company. In turn, the company grows and advances. Most businesses understand that the success or failure of the company rests squarely on the skill level, and the productivity of their entry and mid-level employees. These are the individuals who are the backbone of the company—keeping these employees satisfied and progressing within the company brings success to the company as a whole.

If having a career map is important for a business to succeed in today’s global economy, having a well-defined career map is also essential for all students. What does a “career map” look like for a student? A career map for a student has the same characteristics of the career map for employees within a business.

A career map for a student should start early and provide a clear pathway through the educational environment of middle school, high school, and postsecondary training. Flexibility is an essential component, giving students clear direction but offering a pathway to a variety of professional occupational choices leading to jobs and careers that provide a living wage.

A well-defined career map for a student should provide a clear pathway to not only the completion of high school, but also completing the requirements by taking a rigorous course of study that gives them the skills that prepare them to be “College and Career Ready”. In the global world that we live in, everyone needs a set of basic skills that prepare them so that they can acquire the skills that lead to productive employment at a level that provides a livable standard of living.

As a student, ask yourself, do I have a career map? Be sure that you have a well-defined career map that will help you complete high school with a career pathway that leads you to a professional occupation of your own choosing. Need help creating the map? Visit with your parents, a teacher, or a career counselor and create a career map for yourself. Make sure it is written and then post it on your wall where you will see it regularly. The result will increase the chances of you achieving the goals that you have for yourself in providing an exciting a successful future.

STEM Occupations

Monday, May 5th, 2014

As per the recent message in this publication (“STEM 101,” April 2014), there is no universally agreed-upon definition of STEM. For the purposes of this month’s highlight, however, we’re focusing on occupations identified as STEM by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS looked at occupations in six broad groups from the Standard Occupational Classification Manual: 1) Management; 2) Computer and Mathematics; 3) Architecture and Engineering; 4) Life, Physical, and Social Sciences; 5) Education, Training, and Library; and 6) Sales and Related. (Though Healthcare occupations are commonly included in STEM, BLS offers a separate analysis of that sector, to be shared in a later edition of this newsletter.) From the full list of 100 STEM occupations* in these groups, here are the top three occupations projected to have the most job openings nationally 2012-2022:







*See Table 1 in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly – with source cited as “2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System, SOC Policy Committee recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget. Healthcare occupations are not included.” Source of Utah data in these tables is the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

In the following table are three occupations from the BLS list that you can typically enter with less than a Bachelor’s degree, and that will grow much faster than average through 2022 (a percent of current employment; average growth rate across all occupations is 11 percent):








You will notice that “Computer User Support Specialists” appears on both lists. The fact that this is an occupation that employs large numbers of workers, and that it is growing at almost twice the average rate, bodes well for students prepared for entry.  For comparison: twenty percent of the 658,500 Computer User Support Specialists is 131,700 – significantly more than twenty percent of the 169,900 (33,980) Web Developers.

In addition to the technical skills foundation required in STEM occupations, workers must also have critical and creative thinking skills, and strong communication skills – technical writing, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. You can start developing technical, thinking, and communication skills while still in high school. Whether your career interests lead to a STEM career, or any other, a high school program of study that includes participation in a CTE Pathway of interest to you will help you succeed.