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Utah FCCLA Hosts National Cluster Meeting

December 9th, 2014

By Alesha Hurst Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations

8117073_origWhether you traveled by bus, plane, car, or train, once you arrived to the National Cluster Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, all jet lag was forgotten as FCCLA members came together for an exciting conference!

Utah FCCLA was pleased to welcome members from Nebraska, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and several other states at the meeting. We became fast friends with the other state associations, which you can definitely see in our social media posts. Several members of the FCCLA National Executive Council came to Utah for this monumental event. Sarah Smith, Connor Jones, Shivani Dhir, Garrhett Petrea, and Jared Gustafson made everyone feel at home by befriending members, taking countless selfies, and putting on hilarious skits to promote FCCLA@TheTable.

Attendees heard from two amazing keynote speakers—Madilyn Paige and Daniel Seddiqui. Both speakers taught us how to be confident in our abilities. Madilyn sang “Titanium,” reminding us that we are stronger than we think. Daniel taught us to be open-minded, persistent, and determined as he shared his experience of having fifty different jobs in fifty states in fifty weeks. Thanks to Madilyn and Daniel, we were inspired to become better leaders.

The main reason for gathering together, at the National Cluster Meeting, was for the opportunity for students to compete in Skill Demonstration Events. Those who participated did very well, and Utah FCCLA members claimed 23 finalist prizes. Utah FCCLA will send two teams to the FACS Knowledge Bowl at the 2015 National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

B3FG23cCYAEkXEzBetween Skill Demonstration Events and general sessions, attendees were able to delve deeper into the conference theme: “Together We Are… Ready!” by going to workshops focused on helping FCCLA members prepare for college and career. Exhibitors from multiple universities encouraged students to continue their education, and alumni members gave presentations about the benefits of staying involved in FCCLA after graduation. Youth presenters were also given the chance to offer workshops, some of which were our very own Utah FCCLA State Officers.

FCCLA members were able to take a rest from competing and learning by touring the beautiful Salt Lake City area. The most popular destination was Temple Square, home of the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and some visitors were lucky enough to watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearse for their Christmas concert. For souvenirs, Utah FCCLA made a Plinko board and gave away fry sauce, Real Salt® brand sea salt (all-natural sea salt taken from an ancient sea bed located in Central Utah), honey sticks (because we’re the Beehive State), Utah Truffles, and salt water taffy.

Utah FCCLA is grateful for the opportunity we have had to host this memorable conference and show off our amazing state. We’d like to extend a big “thank you” to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you all presenting your STAR Events at our region conferences in 2015.

Spanish Fork FFA Students Model “Learning by Doing”

December 4th, 2014

By J. Merrill Hallam, CTE and Ag biology teacher,
IMG_1937Spanish Fork Junior High School, Nebo School District

This year, Spanish Fork FFA students had the unique opportunity to raise over 400 turkey poults and participate in the processing of the birds from start to finish. As part of the Utah Junior Turkey Show each student was able to purchase up to 20 turkey poults to raise during the summer. Each student raised the poults at different facilities in the area, and at harvest time the students transported the birds to the processing plant located in Bothwell, Utah owned and operated by the Utah FFA and 4-H organizations.

The students were able to watch the facility in operation and to participate in several steps of the total process. Students unloaded the birds, applied identification tags, and hung the birds on the chains on the kill floor. Once off the chain they weighed each bird and recorded the weight by tag number. The students then placed the IMG_2099birds in an ice bath for two hours to drop the carcass temperature. After the ice treatment they removed the birds and pulled any additional pin feathers, removed the identification tags, and applied permanent labels to the plastic shipping bags. From there, the students vacuumed sealed and heat shrunk the packaged birds for delivery to the cooler. Because the facility is state inspected students were not allowed to participate in some of the operations, but they were able to view the process first hand.  Most of the students had pre-sold their birds and were able to deliver them just in time for Thanksgiving.

This event was a great opportunity for students and advisors to be actively involved in the project from start to finish, and learn some great new skills along the way. There was a lot to talk about with peers and parents when they got home from this road trip!

Lindsey Olsen, Kamrey Olsen, Kaitlin Hallam, Taylor Tomadakis, Katie Thomas, Wyatt Jensen, Kassie Christensen, Tristen Langford and Advisor Jim Lotspiech




Snapshot: Licensed Occupations in Utah

December 1st, 2014

Snapshot imageFrom accountants to veterinarians, Utah requires licenses for workers in about 85 occupations. Students prepare for many of these occupations by pursuing Career and Technical Education courses in high school and beyond. (Be sure to check out related programs of study for occupations of interest by clicking the Pathways tab on UtahCTE.org.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services offers an interactive view of licensing information as part of their website. Their dashboard gives you pertinent information at a glance for each licensed occupation. This example shows Dental Hygienist, including the number of licensed Dental Hygienists in Utah and the Agency that regulates licensing for this occupation.

There’s lots more information where this came from, and by downloading “Tableau Public,” you can develop your own worksheets to reveal the entire list of licensed occupations sorted by any number of variables.


December 1st, 2014

DECA Officers - use this photoDECA: We Value Competence, Innovation, Integrity, and Teamwork. DECA is the student leadership organization for business and marketing students that provides hands-on leadership development. Students learn how to develop, price, place, and promote products in the right business setting. The organization builds self-confidence, positive work attitudes, and communication skills. The mission of DECA is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

With over a 60 year history, DECA has impacted the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators, and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. DECA enhances the preparation for college and career by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, applying learning in the context of business, connecting to business and the community and promoting competition.

There are 2,247 Utah DECA members in 57 chapters across the state. DECA members are empowered through experience to provide effective leadership through goal setting, consensus building, and project implementation. This school year, Utah DECA has set the following goals: 1. Reach 2,500 Utah DECA members. 2. Statewide community service. (Each Utah DECA chapter is currently raising money for the Mac’s Gift Children’s Cancer Foundation.) 3. Stronger communication with chapter officers.


December 1st, 2014

First Page Utah FCCLA At&TFCCLA: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. FCCLA provides students with opportunities to attain knowledge, skills, and leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in life and careers through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers, and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop the skills for life-planning goal setting, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication necessary in the home and workplace.

There are 3,077 Utah FCCLA members in 112 chapters across the state. Throughout the year, FCCLA members strive to find service opportunities within their school and community. As members work together they become aware of themselves, their responsibilities as citizens, and their roles as future community leaders.

“I am proud to be a member of a great organization dedicated to society’s most basic unit – the family. I have learned so much though this organization, and am continuing to gather skills for my college and adult future,” says Caitlin Stock, Utah FCCLA Vice-President of Competitive Events and Programs.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience

FCCLA photo 1

Hour of Code

December 1st, 2014

Bear River_IT_IMG_0672Plan now to participate in the second annual Hour of Code event during the week of December 8-14, 2014. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students throughout the world. Last year’s Hour of Code event was a huge success. In one week:

  • 15 million students worldwide learned an Hour of Code.
  • More girls tried computer science than in the last 70 years.
  • There were 41,409 Hour of Code events around the world.

This year the Hour of Code event has a goal to reach 100 million students. “In fifteen years we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing . . . and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner,” says Mark Zuckerberg. Watch the video highlighting the Hour of Code.

Participate at your school. Participate in your community. Participate at your workplace.

Rebekah Newman: Future Registered Nurse

December 1st, 2014

Rebekah Newman school photo

Rebekah Newman is a graduate of Herriman High School and is attending Dixie State University where she is studying to become a registered nurse. Prior to graduating from high school, Rebekah was a CTE Pathway completer in the Health Science Education Nursing Pathway where she acquired the knowledge and skills to advance to postsecondary training. While in high school, she took concurrent enrollment courses that helped her reach her goals and prepared her for college and career.


“Knowing I want to work as a registered nurse, I have used that end goal to be a highly motivated student. As a result, at the time of my [high school] graduation I had fulfilled all of the pre-requisite classes required to enter a nursing program with nearly 50 college credit hours. Every class I have taken has been leading up to and preparing me for work in the medical and health field. By taking a college anatomy class [while in high school], I had the amazing privilege to gain hands-on experience working with cadavers in the lab,” says Rebekah.

In addition to her high school studies and taking concurrent enrollment classes, Rebekah completed certified nurse assistant (CNA) courses on the weekends. Rebekah enjoys helping others and has a lot of compassion. To gain experience in the medical field she worked as a volunteer in a psychiatric unit of a nursing home. “The unit I chose to work in specialized in the care of Alzheimer and dementia patients. I determined that this is where I want to dedicate my time and compassionate talents.”

Upon completing her postsecondary training Rebekah intends to begin working in a hospital. “I have already begun making contacts by talking with nurses and other health professionals who work in the Salt Lake Valley in preparation for applying for work. Every class I have taken to further my course has nurtured my growing excitement to become a part of the [medical] field. I am very grateful for the CTE Pathway system, which was a huge assistance to me in determining which courses best suited me in achieving my future goals.”

Students from Nebo School District Strut Their Stuff

November 17th, 2014

By J. Merrill Hallam, CTE and Ag biology teacher,
Spanish Fork Junior High School, Nebo School District

IMG_1730Students from Nebo School District stole the show at the annual Utah Jr. Turkey Show held in Tremonton, Utah on November 13-15, 2014. The Turkey Show is held annually during the second week of November and is open to students grades 3-12 who are currently enrolled in 4-H or FFA. The show process begins in April and continues through November. The Utah Jr. Turkey Show has been running for over 60 years and its intent is to help students learn livestock feeding and management skills and then provide a competition with others to “Strut Their Stuff”.

This year, Kaitlin Hallam took first place with her 38.6 pound tom, Lindsey Olsen placed second with her 25.62 pound hen, and Kamrey Olsen placed fifth with her reserve champion 35.09 pound tom. Kamrey also competed and received a $1,000 education scholarship for her 4-H portfolio. These students took three of the top six places in the entire show.

Each year, Utah students purchase 3,000 turkey poults from the same hatchery on the same day. They then feed them any type of poultry feed they choose for the duration of the growing period. Each student can purchase up to 20 poults to raise during the summer and then compete in the state contest held in November. The contest is open to all active 4-H and FFA members.

IMG_1723This year, Nebo School District students collectively raised nearly 400 poults for competition and each student had the opportunity to enter one tom and one hen into the contest. At the show there were over 450 birds from all over the state in the running for the top spots. After all of the birds were judged and placed, the top 30 toms and hens were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Jaynee Giffing, Tyler Otteson, Austin Otteson, Tristen Langford, Cecilia Davis, and Jentry Hendricks made the sale list with their top birds. The turkeys brought anywhere from $160 to $570 each.

Congratulations to all on an incredible performance!

Utah Students Visit NYC Fashion Industry

November 13th, 2014

Last month, Family and Consumer Sciences Education students from Nebo School District traveled to New York City to meet with designers in the Fashion Industry and tour several fashion facilities. photo 1dTraveling as a school group to NYC not only took an inordinate amount of planning, and preparation, but also took special permission from the Nebo School District school board. Teachers presented their travel plan to the school board and detailed how the experience could not be replicated in Utah. So, with the approval of the school board, teachers and students spent two years planning, preparing, and saving for the trip.

After boarding a plane in Salt Lake City the group consisting of 6 teachers and 48 students, from Maple Mountain High School, Salem Hills High School, Payson High School, Spanish Fork High School, and Springville High School, flew to New York City. Upon their arrival to the “Big Apple” the experience of a lifetime began. From touring New Amsterdam Theatre to viewing the awe inspiring interior of Radio City Music Hall to learning about career opportunities in the Fashion Industry students were amazed at the many different cultural experiences in NYC.

Below is a recap of their trip as described by Whitney Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Spanish Fork High School.

photo 4bNew Amsterdam Theatre: This tour was one of the students’ favorites. They were able to see a Broadway stage without performers or decor while learning about the history of a Broadway theatre. They learned how the Theatre owner struggled and later succeeded through his business journey. Afterwards, we were able to go backstage and see costumes that have been used on Broadway shows, such as The Lion King, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Mary Poppins. The students were able to examine, touch, and even try on the costumes and props.

Radio City Music Hall: An historic building in New York City, Radio City Music Hall hosts many modern day and historic events. The interior design in Radio City Music Hall was phenomenal to see. This tour helped the students understand the detail that goes into design and how each aspect of a design serves a purpose.

Essence Magazine: This tour was an excellent opportunity for students to see what careers are available, not only in fashion and interior design but also in publishing, graphic design, and business management. The presenter for this tour was a journalist/book critic for the magazine. He provided the students with information about careers, scholarships, and internships available across the country.

Design Lab at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): FIT has a collection of clothing ranging from the beginning of the 20th century (1900s) to the early 21st century (2000s). During this seminar, we learned about the history of fashion while seeing actual clothing examples from each decade. The presenter explained how fashion related to what was happening in our country photo 7cduring each decade, such as The Great Depression and World War II. The students were very surprised to see the correlation between history and the fashion history.

Olah Inc.: This was a seminar with a textile chemist at Olah Inc., which is a company who makes and sells denim fabric to major clothing construction companies, such as Old Navy, Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic. We learned about fashion merchandising, business management, and textile design.

Parsons School of Design: The students loved touring the campus of Parsons School of Design and many were very interested in learning more about the school. They really enjoyed seeing the students working on their designs, as well as seeing the types of classrooms in the fashion design school. While on campus, students learned about scholarships and other programs available at the school.

photo 6bKenneth King: Kenneth King is a couture fashion designer who started out with nothing. He presented information about his journey as a fashion designer, including the ups and the downs of the business. He explained how hard work is not fun, and times get really tough, but if you keep on pushing you can become successful. He is a great example of this because of his success in the fashion industry. Kenneth also showed the students the garments he has designed. He is a very talented designer and clothing constructor. The students were amazed at the detail and creativity of his designs.

Kleinfeld Bridal: Although a tour wasn’t scheduled at Kleinfeld Bridal we decided to go to the shop to take a few pictures. While we were in the lobby, we lucked out and the owner came out and took us on a tour. We saw a conveyor system that holds all of the dresses, dressing rooms, bridal presentation room, business offices, alterations facility, accessory department, and a hand-beading room. This tour was an unexpected surprise and a great experience. This was definitely the highlight of the trip.

Each student had an amazing experience in New York City as they learned more about the fashion industry, and the vast number of career opportunities available. What a rewarding and unforgettable trip!

photo 3dMary Pressley, the mother of one of the students who went to NYC, said this about her daughter’s experience. “Kudos to Maple Mountain High School and Nebo School District for sponsoring last week’s fabulous NYC trip. My 16-year daughter came home totally inspired and happy, with grandiose ideas of what she may want to do in her future!  I am amazed at everything the group was able to do and see—backstage on Broadway, trying on costumes, meeting with designers, touring fashion magazines, and design schools. I grew up in New York and never did anything like this.”

92 Utah FFA Members Receive American FFA Degree

November 5th, 2014

American FFA Degree - general imageThis year the National FFA Convention and Expo was held in Louisville, Kentucky October 29 through November 1. Each year approximately 3,500 American FFA Degrees are awarded to FFA student members at the National FFA Convention and Expo. This is one of the organizations highest honors.

To qualify for the FFA degree members must have:
> Received a Greenhand FFA Degree, Chapter FFA Degree, and State FFA Degree.
> Been an FFA member for at least three years.
> Completed at least three years (540 hours) of high school agriculture classes, or 2 years of high school agriculture classes,
and one year of college agriculture classes (360 hours.)
> Graduated from high school one year prior to the National FFA Convention at which their degree will be awarded.
> Maintained detailed SAE records, which demonstrate outstanding planning, managerial and financial skills.
> Earned and productively invested at least $7,500, or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and worked
2,250 hours beyond scheduled school hours through their SAEs.

Congratulations to the 92 Utah FFA student members, from 36 high schools, who received the American FFA Degree. Click  HERE to read the names of each award recipient.

xx_color ffa crest - trans

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their
potential for premier  leadership, personal growth and
career success through agricultural education.