← Utah CTE Blog Home

Archive for the ‘Business Education’ Category

Keyboarding: A Critical Literacy Skill

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

How often do you use a computer during the day to communicate a thought or a message? It is probably more often than you realize. From personal computers, to laptops, to tablets, computers are everywhere. Today’s productivity requires excellent keyboarding skills. While most children and adults can learn to hunt and peck on their own, real typing speed depends on proper technique. Speed is important because a young person should learn how to think and compose at the keyboard.

Efficient keyboarding and computer operation is a necessary and critical skill for the majority of occupations. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, ninety-six percent of ALL jobs require effective keyboarding skills. Keyboarding is an expected tool for communication throughout one’s life. It is a skill that is considered as important as being able to print and write well. Now is the time to perfect your keyboarding skills.

 Keyboarding is a critical literacy skill!
It ranks with reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking.

In Utah schools, keyboarding is taught beginning in kindergarten and continues through grade 12. Students learn touch keyboarding techniques, correct fingering, speed and accuracy, and composing at the keyboarding.

Grades K-2

  • Students will be introduced to touch keyboarding techniques and correct fingering.
  • Mouse-driven software is recommended for K-2 students.

 Grades 3-5

  • Students will learn touch keyboarding techniques with emphasis on correct fingering.
  • Students will achieve a minimum of 25 words per minute by the end of 5th grade.

Grades 6-8

  • Students will use proper touch keyboarding techniques.
  • Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of basic word processing functions and proofreading.
  • Students will develop composing skills at the keyboard.
  • Students will achieve a minimum of 45 words per minute by the end of 8th grade.

Grades 9-12

  • Students will exhibit keyboarding competency in other curriculum areas.
  • Students will successfully complete the Computer Technology graduation requirement. (In order to successfully pass this class a student must know how to keyboard correctly.)

Learning proper keyboarding techniques early will prevent you from developing bad habits that are very hard to break. Students who key correctly demonstrate improved language arts skills, can compose faster, produce documents with a neater appearance, and have higher self-esteem.

Students, talk to your school counselor to register for a keyboarding class and plan now to prepare yourself for skills needed now and in the future.

Cristian Jenson: Future Entrepreneur

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Cristian Jenson
Occupational Goal: Entrepreneur

“Being able to reflect back on the CTE classes I took, I have been able to take the things I learned in those classes and use them in my daily life. A couple of the helpful courses that prepared me [for college and career] were Financial [Literacy] and Desktop Publishing. In this world we live in we need to know both of these skills. The Financial [Literacy] class taught me how to use my money wisely. Without knowing how to manage your money you won’t make a profit or have enough money to keep your business running. Desktop Publishing might not sound like a critical thing but it is. [It’s  important] to be able to make data sheets [showing] how much your company makes every year or make a basic schedule for your employees.” –Cristian Jenson, Kanab High School

Heather Glover, Business Education Teacher at Kanab High School said, “Cristian has always display a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition. He is always willing to try something new. He works and works at it until he has mastered concepts and techniques; he has a ‘don’t quit’ attitude. This is a quality that sets him apart from many of his peers.”

UtahCTE.org congratulates Cristian on the CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award he received to Tooele Applied Technology College. Cristian was one of 95 students honored at the CTE Scholarships and Tuitions Awards banquet on Wednesday, May, 2, 2012.

Left: Blair Carruth, Assistant Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education
Middle: Cristian Jenson
Right: Jared Haines, Vice President, Utah College of Applied Technology

Alexis Kingery: Future Restaurant Manager

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Alexis Kingery
Occupational Goal: Restaurant Manager

“The CTE courses I have taken have prepared me for my chosen career path because I have received knowledge and training in business management and restaurant fundamentals. The foods classes I have taken have taught me all I need to know about serving safe food, handling it correctly, and appropriate food presentation. The business classes I have taken have prepared me with management skills, organization fundamentals, and how to be more productive. Upon completion of my educational plans, I would like to open my own restaurant.”  —Alexis Kingery, Herriman High School

UtahCTE.org congratulates Alexis on the CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award she received to Utah Valley University. Alexis was one of 95 students honored at the CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards banquet on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Lucille Brizzee: Utah Distinguished Business Educator

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

On February 19, 2012, Lucille Brizzee was named the Utah Distinguished Business Educator of the year at the Western Business Education Association (WBEA) conference in Newport Beach, CA, for her outstanding contributions to the Utah Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Each year WBEA recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to business education. As an affiliate of the National Business Education Association, WBEA’s mission “seeks to share educational experiences that will prepare individuals to excel as consumers, workers, and citizens in our economic systems.”

Lucille has been very active in the FBLA as an advisor, state FBLA-PBL board member chair, assistant state director, and presenter. Since 2008, she has been the state assistant director for Utah FBLA-PBL. For 16 years, Lucille has been the Ogden High School FBLA chapter advisor. During the past 10 years, Lucille has presented at state and national fall leadership conferences throughout the country. Since 1996 she has attended every national, state, and regional leadership conference.

Ogden High School FBLA President Vanessa Coburn said, “In FBLA, Ms. Brizzee assists students in finding events to compete in that benefit them the most. She really goes the extra mile to be the best teacher and advisor that she can be.”

Utah Career and Technical Education Coordinator Wendi Morton said, “Lucille’s personal demeanor and enthusiasm are contagious; her peers are drawn to her. She shares her passion with them and through her endeavors has established herself as a leader throughout our state.”

In addition to Lucille receiving the WBEA award, in 2004, Lucille was named the Outstanding FBLA Advisor and her chapter received six Gold Seal Chapter Awards of Merit.

UtahCTE.org congratulates Lucille on her many accomplishments. She truly exemplifies the qualities and characteristics of a leader in education.

Lucille Brizze with WBEA president, Roietta Fulgham

Meet a Senior Human Resource Analyst: Susan May

Saturday, February 18th, 2012


Introducing… Susan May

A graduate of … Clearfield High School

Now working as … Senior Human Resource Analyst, conducting job recruitment, classification, and helping employees with benefits, retirement, payroll issues, etc.

Employer … State of Utah

Check out this website … http://www.dhrm.utah.gov

Business courses were her favorite in high school because … she learned “how to write professional letters, reports, etc. This background has helped me as I have progressed in my career.

Susan’s first job … was as a fast food worker.

The worst job?  Hotel Maid, but that experience motivated her to pursue the training/education that was needed so that she could take care of herself without having to take this type of job again.

A Career Highlight … The most rewarding facet of Susan’s job is helping other people. One of the people she recently assisted called Susan her “angel” because she played such a critical role in assuring a smooth transition to retirement.

Advice to students: “I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and have been very fortunate to have ‘fallen’ into the Human Resource field. I have been able to really learn and grow and use my talents. My advice would be that once you know what it is you want to do, don’t let anything stand in your way. Get whatever education and training you will need to be able to accomplish your goals.

More …

  • RE: Susan’s first professional job working in the LDS Church Historical Department. “I was able to be mentored by individuals with college educations and it was a wonderful experience.”
  • Susan’s post high school education: I have been fortunate enough to be able to receive most of my training on the job. I originally was hired by the state as a secretary. I have taken the opportunity to learn and grow in each position that I have held.”
  • An example of Susan’s impact on the lives of others: I helped a woman with her retirement a year ago. Her husband was being treated for cancer and she didn’t know how long he had left. She agonized over what to do. I went over all of her options, including taking family medical leave, and she finally came to the decision that she really needed to concentrate on taking care of him, so I helped her through the retirement process. I felt very grateful that I was able to contribute in some small way.

Meet a Business Owner: Lanette Fidrych

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012


Introducing… Lanette Fidrych

A graduate of … Granite High School

Now working as … A Business Owner

Of … Cycle Dog Products

Check out this website … www.cycledog.com

Geometry was her favorite high school class because … she says she is a very visual learner, and Geometric formulas are very visual – so she excelled!

College Athletics was Lanette’s most significant post high school education/training experience. Participating in college track for four years taught her a lot about perseverance, accomplishment and defeat. She says, “Sometimes the definition of winning is simply not quitting.”

Lanette’s first job – was working as a morning water girl at a garden center – at age 14!

The worst job?  After graduating from college, Lanette worked as a product manager for a large sportswear manufacturing company. Sadly, she discovered that a bad supervisor can turn a job into the “worst.”

A career highlight … Lanette started her own business at just age 26 and reports learning on the go – and quickly! She says that in the first three years of running her own business she “learned more than I could have learned in 20 years at my [former] fancy job.”

Advice to students … “Take risks. Try a lot of different things. Let yourself be young for a little while. Travel. Be open to any and every opportunity. Look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new.

And more …

  • About Geometry: Geometry has a strong relationship with design. Symmetry and A-Symmetry have a lot to do with why we like the look of some things and not others. I’ve always been fascinated by angles and how equations relate to one another.
  • The connection between college athletics and running a business: Having my own business, now I often relate to the challenges, defeat, and wins I experienced in sports. Sometimes the constant hard work and effort it takes to just finish the job can be trying, but if you stick to it you’ll eventually get a few wins.
  • Insights re: her (self-described) “fancy” job in a big corporation: “Looking back on the experience I learned that raising your hand and asking for help is a good thing. I learned that asking for direction and setting expectations between you, your boss, and your boss’ boss can make all the difference. I learned that getting the right people on your side is very important. Unfortunately the saying “It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know” is true.



Meet an International Rate Specialist: John Millsaps

Friday, February 10th, 2012


Introducing… John Millsaps

A graduate of … Skyline High School

Now working as … An International Rate Specialist

For … Christopherson Business Travel

Check out this website … http://www.christophersontravel.com

Anthropology was his favorite high school class because … of a great teacher who awakened curiosity about the people and the cultures of the entire world.

John’s first job – was delivering newspapers, and he says he learned a lot, being responsible for attracting new clients, reliable delivery, and collection of payments.

The worst job? Car Salesperson. This was a job that paid strict commission, and presented some challenges as John worked to maintain his personal integrity in spite of some existing business cultural norms.

Advice to students …Follow your passions and dreams, yet have a back-up plan, just in case.  That means getting a good education and then continuing to learn throughout life.”

And More …


  • “I have a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Utah. I worked in the field for several years and got to work at Petra Jordon, Aleppo Syria, and a number of sites in the USA. It wasn’t a job that paid well or that was steady so when I needed to get a stable job I looked around and found a career that would allow me to explore and travel the world.”
  • “I have traveled to 6 out of the 7 continents and visited over 100 countries and all 50 states and been on multiple cruises.”

Meet a Chief Financial Officer: Kevin Hadlock

Monday, February 6th, 2012


Introducing… Kevin W. Hadlock

A graduate of … Madison High School (Rexburg, ID)

Now working as … Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

For … Questar Corporation, where he is a member of the Management Committee, with responsibility for the accounting, treasury, investor relations, tax, and corporate financial planning and strategy functions.

Check out the website … http://www.questar.com

Debate was his favorite high school class because … “It taught me how to listen to others more intently, to think about the issues more critically and to articulate my thoughts more convincingly.”

Kevin says that his first job – that is, the first “real job” he landed after graduating from Brigham Young University – was as an analyst at a Wall Street Firm.

The worst job?  As a teen, Kevin worked moving irrigation pipe on a farm, where it occurred to him as he watched the sun rise over the field, that “I did not want to move sprinkler pipe the rest of my life!”

A career highlight?  “Leading a team of 15 people to acquire a South African automobile manufacturer for $150 million.”

Advice to students … “The most important characteristics in determining future job success are integrity, intellectual curiosity and hard work.”

And more …

  • Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said, “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” 
  • “Dream big!”
  • “Study a subject in college that you enjoy and that can lead to employment. There are plenty of tools to help you identify careers that you will enjoy and for which you would have a proficiency, but couple that with the knowledge of which fields are growing and which have the greatest needs for new employees.

Digital Business Applications Course

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

By: Laura deShazo, Business Teacher, Murray High School

In our ever changing technological world, Business Education in Utah is stepping up. The Administrative Procedures course has received a “facelift” and will now be called Digital Business Applications! The content of the course is digitally enhanced and is a great step after students take Computer Technology. The class is designed to teach students skills and knowledge through the use of digital communications tools and explore the global business applications.

The business world is progressively more reliant on digital technologies. The Digital Business Applications course is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to be an asset to the collaborative, global, and innovative business world of today and tomorrow. Concepts include the overall digital experience, digital communications with audio and video, and the exploration of career choices. This course also provides an understanding of business concepts and professional development in today’s global office.


In an effort to prepare Utah Business teachers for the course, training was held on Monday, November 7. Teachers from all over the state came to learn about the content and standards of this course. The main focus was to explore the possibility of offering this course in their schools and to gain ideas on how to set up their new class. Teachers learned that using cloud technology to set up collaborative calendars, share files, and organize lessons is a productive way to manage the class. The instructors covered ways to go paperless in their classroom via cloud computing! With the nature of the course, technology is always changing; we anticipate that there will be more workshops offered in the future to help Business Educators advance their knowledge in this content area.

The workshop was fun and a great way to get up-to-date “digitally” with other Business Educators. Thanks to everyone who supported the training and who participated!

Students interested in taking the Digital Business Applications course should talk to their school counselor as they map out their plan for college and career. Concentrating in a Business Education Pathway will give students a jump-start to their future career in business.

Business Education: Preparing Students for the World of Business!

Welcome to FBLA!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


Welcome to Utah FBLA! I am extremely honored and excited to serve as the FBLA state president. I hope you are as eager as I am to jump right into another year of service, education, and progress.

During the summer the state officer team worked diligently to create a new state program of work. Not only has the design of the program of work been changed from “Millionaire” to “FBLA-OPOLY,” but every activity has been examined carefully to judge its difficulty, its practicality, and its overall benefit. The state officer team enthusiastically supports the program in its entirety and hopes that you will see it as a valuable source of guidance and inspiration for your chapter as you plan activities for the year.

On October 25 and 26 the FBLA State Fall Leadership Conference was held at the Provo Marriott. Members who attended this annual event heard from Brad Wilcox, the keynote speaker. Participants attended a variety of breakout sessions presented by the FBLA state officers and local business professionals. Attendees learned about the importance of communication, leadership, and time management.

Because the state officers feel passionately about communication and the way it fosters efficiency, we are readily available via email and social media. Please feel free to contact us at any time about any issues, comments, or suggestions on what we can do to improve Utah FBLA. We also encourage every member to ‘like’ the Utah FBLA and National FBLA Facebook pages so they can receive updates about FBLA and reminders about upcoming activities. Utah FBLA has so much potential for growth this year. Please know that your FBLA state officers will stop at nothing to reach that potential and help every member discover their Gateway to Greatness!

If you are not a member of FBLA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the FBLA advisor in your school.