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Utah FCCLA Conducts a Successful Fall Leadership Conference

October 3rd, 2014

Alesha Hurst photoBy Alesha Hurst, Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations

There’s nothing like the sound of hundreds of cheering teenagers to put you in a good mood, especially when they are young leaders who aim to make the world a better place. While standing onstage amidst a sea of smiling FCCLA student leaders, I felt so much pride for the outstanding organization that had brought us all together and united us in a single cause.

This remarkable event, the 2014 Fall Leadership Conference for the Utah delegation of FCCLA, proved to be a huge success as chapter officers from across the state attended leadership training workshops and participated in team-building activities. Students left the conference with fun ideas for their chapters and a renewed urge to spread the word about FCCLA.

Workshops included information about specific offices and their duties, as well as parliamentary procedure and other important topics. The focus of the conference was to give inspiration for activities and methods of leadership so that the FCCLA members of Utah would be able to have an effective, productive year. In my opinion, we accomplished our goal.

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox was the keynote speaker for the conference. He delivered an encouraging speech about the importance of learning from failures in order to have success in life. He shared interesting stories and gave a wonderful presentation that left students feeling empowered and ready to lead.

In addition to leadership activities, members had the opportunity to give service by participating in our fundraiser for Share Our Strength, a national campaign dedicated to ending childhood hunger. We ended up raising $354.50 for the program, and as a reward, the attendees were able to watch four state officers get pied in the face. The lucky recipients of the pie facials were Tanner Richardson, Maddie Barr, Wesley Carter, and Kayla Orton.

The Utah FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference was a fantastic experience for everyone involved, and I cannot wait to see what FCCLA has in store for its members next!

FCCLA members serve photo 2 - cropped


My CTE Internship Prepared Me for the Workplace

September 29th, 2014


My name is Jessica Smith and I work for Utah State University at the Center for Human Nutrition Studies as a cook for The Polyphenol Study. I started this job in March as part of my CTE Internship through the Work-Based Learning class at Sky View High School. My internship ended in May, but I was asked to continue working for the study until it ends in November.

The Polyphenol Study is a controlled feeding study to test the affect of polyphenol on the gut bacteria. The study includes thirty participants who spend six weeks on a high polyphenol diet and six weeks on a low polyphenol diet. For the study, I do all of the same tasks I did as part of my internship, including accurately measuring ingredients, proper temperature control of foods, prepping and cooking meals, serving meals to the participants, and cleaning, and sanitizing the work area and dishes.

I plan on going into the field of dietetics and this job allows me to see [and experience] the food service and research side to dietetics. The study also counts as part of my hours needed to apply to the dietetics program at Utah State University.

It is such a rare and incredible opportunity to have a job in my field of study before I begin college. My CTE Internship opened up this job opportunity for me and allowed me to make connections with people who can help me get into the dietetics program at Utah State in the fall. I would highly recommend the Work-Based Learning class to every student at Sky View High School because it has prepared me for the workplace and college more than any other class I have taken.

Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants such as berries, walnuts, olives, tea leaves, broccoli, grapes, and chocolate. They are classifies as antioxidants, meaning that they remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are chemicals that can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body. Learn more about The Polyphenol Study at

My CTE Internship at Birch Creek Elementary

September 22nd, 2014

Aubrey photo 2My name is Aubrey Snyder; I am 18 years old and a graduate from Sky View High School. My story starts with my twin brother, Tyrus, who has Down syndrome. Tyrus and I are as close as any siblings could get and are each other’s best friends. Tyrus has taught me many things in life, including compassion and patients towards those with or without disabilities. He has also taught me that a disability is merely a title that does not actually define a human being as a whole; in fact he calls me the “weirdo” more than anything. As a result of these qualities I have been successful in being a friend, peer tutor, and teacher to those with disabilities. In high school, I was given a wonderful opportunity to do a CTE Internship at Birch Creek Elementary in Special Education under the supervision of Becky Winn to further my knowledge in this field. I was lucky enough to receive a job through this internship as a Life Skills aide for summer school.

Aubrey photo 3 - editThis fall, I’m working as an aide at Birch Creek Elementary while attending Utah State University. One of the classes I’m taking is Finance 3000, an upper level class. Thanks to the concurrent enrollment finance class I took at Sky View High School this Finance 3000 class is easy.

Megan Sherman: Internship to Ownership

September 18th, 2014

Megan Sherman blogMegan Sherman, a junior at Westlake High School, dreamed about owning her own business in the wedding industry since she was 15 years old. In April 2012, she contacted the owner (Carol Kingston) of Creative Wedding Events and asked for a job, any job, in her company. Megan was hired as a decorative assistant and began learning about the $53.4 billion wedding industry.

In 2013, when Megan met with her academic advisor, it was suggested that Megan participate in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internship where she would earn graduation credit for her work at Creative Wedding Events. “The paperwork was quickly put in order and the internship became official. Little did anyone know that I was about to embark on a journey that would shape not only my future, but that of Creative Wedding Events as well,” says Megan.

In October 2013, Megan and Carol decorated a small barn owned by Linden Nursery in Lindon, Utah. The barn was occasionally rented out for weddings and other special events. “While cleaning up at the end of a wedding, Carol, Adam, and I casually discussed the outcome of the event. While working, a passing comment was made about how amazing it would be to turn the barn into an official wedding reception center. A good laugh was had and the moment passed; however, a spark had been lit that would turn into an idea for the ages,” says Megan.

Months later, that spark, that idea turned into a reality when Carol, Adam, and Megan approached the owners (Ed and Valerie Platt) of the barn with a business proposal to turn the barn into a reception center. “The proposal highlighted the desires of the team to embrace and enhance the storied culture of the nursery. Additionally, the proposal detailed the steps the [team] would take to convert the existing barn into a full-fledged wedding reception center. . .As fate would have it [the owners of the barn] saw the value of the proposition and agreed to allow the plan to move forward,” said Megan.

On April 1, 2014, The Barn at Linden Nursery officially opened its doors. The collective efforts of Carol, Megan, and Adam have so far proved successful. In five weeks, more than 30 weddings were booked. “As the primary consultant, Megan has done wonders working with potential clients, providing tours of the building, and working to coordinate event details. Each day brings new opportunities for her to show her skills,” says Carol.

Megan is focused on building a detailed marketing plan for The Barn at Linden Nursery, and has been given the responsibility of planning and preparing the business for the bridal expo in September 2014. As Megan continues to work with Carol at Creative Wedding Events and marketing The Barn at Linden Nursery she will complete her transition from internship to ownership.

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

Save the Date: 2014 CTSO Fall Leadership Conferences

September 11th, 2014

Utah Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) state and chapter officers will gather together at a Fall Leadership Conference to learn, plan, and prepare for the 2014-2015 school year. Fall Leadership Conferences will be held between September 23 and November 4 for DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, HOSA, SkillsUSA, and TSA, so check out the list of conferences below and save the date.

September 23-24:
FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference – Marriott, Hotel – Provo, UT

October 7:
DECA Fall Leadership Conference – Energy Solutions Arena – Salt Lake City, UT

October 11:
TSA Fall Leadership Conference – Jordan Applied Technology Center – Salt Lake City, UT

October 21:
SkillsUSA Utah Leadership Training Institute – Utah Valley University – Orem, UT

October 29-November 1:
FFA National Convention and Expo – Louisville, Kentucky

October 30-31:
FBLA Fall Leadership Conference – Hilton Hotel – Salt Lake City, UT

November 4:
HOSA Fall Leadership Conference – Marriott, Hotel – Provo, UT

Students who participate in a CTSO will learn leadership and employability skills, time management, effective communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. Career and Technical Student Organizations present organized activities for students:
> To gain personal and leadership skills.
> To obtain employability skills.
> To prepare to become productive citizens.
> To assume positive roles in the home and community.

What Career and Technical Student Organization are you a member of?
> DECA – An association for Marketing Education students.
> FBLA – Future Business Leaders of America
> FCCLAFamily, Career and Community Leaders of America
> FFAThe organization for Agricultural Education students.
> HOSAAn association for Health Science Education students.
> SkillsUSAThe organization for Skilled & Technical Sciences Education students.
> TSATechnology Student Association

State and chapter officers, we want to hear about your conference and what your CTSO chapter is planning for the year. Send your stories and photos to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

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

The New UtahFutures Goes Live

September 8th, 2014

The new and improved UtahFutures.org is now live! Please remember that this launch of UtahFutures is a functioning pilot. So unfortunately, there may be a few bugs and glitches. Please let us know if you find something that needs to be fixed or that isn’t working properly. Because UtahFutures is a pilot you have an opportunity to influence the final product by providing feedback, including suggestions for improvement and requests for additional functions and features. Send feedback and system questions to utahfutures@schools.utah.gov.

Type “utahfutures.org” into your browser and you will connect to the new site. Take a minute, create an account and you can start saving your career assessments and your occupation and school searches, and start building your own timeline of important steps in planning for your future. The new Student Profile page is organized into three areas for developing effective Plans for College and Career Readiness.

  1. Exploration – The three stages of Exploration focus on grades 7 and 8, grades 9 and 10, and grades 11 and 12. Here students participate in assessments, activities, and research to help them expand their list of possibilities and make connections to real world work experience.
  2. Workspace – Students can select an occupation, connect it to a school, search for scholarships, and create a plan of study with typical high school courses, plus set challenge goals and find other useful planning tools and connections.
  3. My Plan – Student’s exploration and decision making come together to produce a printable Plan for College and career Readiness.

At every step UtahFutures is designed to challenge students to do more. More exploration, more goal setting, and more planning.

School counselors and other licensed educators can become school site administrators. To become an administrator, create a personal profile account and then send a request to the district school counseling leader or district CTE director to submit your name as a potential administrator by e-mail to utahfutures@schools.utah.gov. Charter school counselors can submit their request directly to the above email. Include a statement that you are a licensed school counselor.

If your district has not scheduled a training for school counselors, on features and functions of the new UtahFutures, please contact your district school counseling leadership and ask them to contact Dawn Stevenson dawn.stevenson@schools.utah.gov.


Memories of FCCLA National Leadership Conference

September 2nd, 2014

By Makayla Hendricks, Utah FCCLA President

This year, the FCCLA National Leadership Conference was long anticipated. The excitement level of members as we boarded an early morning flight was unexplainable. As we arrived in San Antonio, Texas the afternoon of Saturday, July 5 we couldn’t get enough of the beautiful green trees, wide open spaces, not to mention the humidity. We could tell this was going to be a week to remember.

As our hyper, yet exhausted, members met that night for our state meeting. We discussed the week, registration, rules, and played a few entertaining games. Sunday brought Leadership Academy classes for some, and others got to explore the sights and sounds of San Antonio. Leadership Academy continued throughout the week. This is where state officers learned valuable leadership skills, gained ideas, and networked with other state officers.

Monday night brought our opening session. The entire room in the convention center was like a fish bowl of excitement and energy. I, as president, was given the privilege to carry Utah’s flag during the flag ceremony. Walking across that stage and feeling the energy, and hearing my members go crazy was definitely the best feeling. We heard from a keynote speaker who motivated us all and set the stage for the week.

I got the privilege to be a voting delegate and meet 20 of the National Officer Candidates. Being able to be a part of this process was quite a learning experience for me. I was able to go through a meet and greet session with all of them, as well as listen to their speeches. I have confidence that the newly elected national officers will do a fantastic job.

The closing session was bittersweet. The energy was high, but none of us wanted to leave. Following the session some members attended the gala and had the time of their lives. From competing in STAR Events to walking across the stage to receive a medal, to trading pins and meeting friends from all over the U.S., to taking selfies with these new friends, Nationals was a blast! We all learned how to SOAR and found the motivation to take a stand and lead. I miss my FCCLA Family, but Nationals 2014 in San Antonio, Texas was definitely one for the books.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Utah FCCLA contact the FCCLA adviser in your school.

SkillsUSA: 50 Years of Champions at Work

August 18th, 2014

During the summer, as SkillsUSA members joined together from across the nation to compete at the 2014 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference they also celebrated 50 years of champions at work. SkillsUSA turns 50 in the year 2015, so the conference marked the beginning of a yearlong celebration that will culminate with the 51st National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 22-26, 2015.

Five decades ago, the founders of SkillsUSA and approximately 200 students and teachers attending the first SkillsUSA conference in Nashville, Tennessee set in motion events and aspirations that are very real today. Fast forward 50 years . . .SkillsUSA has grown exponentially.

SkillsUSA by the Numbers:
> More than 11.6 million members served since 1965.
> More than 335,000 members nationwide.
> Nearly 17,000 chapters in more than 4,000 schools since 1965.
> Approximately 4,000 active chapters.
> 130 skilled occupations represented.
> More than 600 business, industry and labor sponsors

The impact of SkillsUSA over the past 50 years has been far reaching. SkillsUSA is:
> A nationwide network of students and instructors in a common bond with a powerful partnership of industry, serving more than 11.6 million members over 50 years.
> Effective and far-reaching classroom instruction in employability and leadership skills.
> Civically engaged students involved in community service and possessing the skills to become responsible American citizens.
> Preparing America’s skilled workforce through continually transformed instruction, influenced by an internationally recognized championships program.
> Representing Career and Technical Education to policymakers, employers, and the public.

“Organizations don’t last 50 years without passionate people committed to carrying out a mission they believe in. Why have so many affirmed their belief in SkillsUSA’s mission since 1965? Because the success of that mission is palpable in the young people whose lives it changes for the better every day, more than 11.6 million so far . . . and counting,” says Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA.

Click HERE to learn more about SkillsUSA and its members.

Little Hands on the Farm Exhibit Returns to the Utah State Fair

August 15th, 2014

From planting seeds to harvesting crops, from milking a cow (a life-size fiberglass cow) to gathering eggs, Utah FFAstate officers have been working hard this summer preparing numerous interactive displays for the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit at the Utah State Fair. The Fair begins Thursday, September 4 and continues through Sunday, September 14. The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is a hands-on experience for children ages 2 to 10. Children will learn where food comes from and the process it takes to get it from the farm to the grocery store. The exhibit is included with the price of admission to the Utah State Fair. Located west of the arena, the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is open each day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend the Utah State Fair and visit the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit. If you can’t wait until September 4 to visit the Fair, take a virtual tour now of the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit with an FFA member HERE.

The Great Utah State Fair
September 4-14, 2014
Sunday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Utah TSA Members Excel at National Conference

July 30th, 2014

Last month, Utah TSA (Technology Student Association) student members traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the 2014 National TSA Conference. At the conference, students participated in 60 competitive events based on principles and concepts learned through projects during the school year in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. TSA positively impacts the lives of junior high and high school students.

At the conference, TSA recognized the top 10 finalist in each event and awarded trophies to the top three. Wasatch Junior High School, in Granite School District, under the direction of Career and Technical Education teacher and TSA advisor, Tony Bryrom, received top 10 honors in 6 of 32 events they competed. “I am so proud of my students. All 12 of them made the top ten in at least one event. One of my students made the top ten 5 times. They have all caught the TSA bug and plan to make TSA strong in the high school next year.”

Other Utah junior highs that received honors were Lehi, Oak Canyon, and Millcreek Junior High Schools. Utah high school students were recognized as top-10 finalist in 11 of 36 events.  Utah received top 3 trophies in the following 6 events:

Computer Numeric Control
Andrew Davis and Dallin Miner (Mountain View High School)

Manufacturing Prototype
Colin Gubler, Katelyn Young, Bethany Jorgensen,
Morgan Maxfield, Jonathon Young,
and Aubrey Wheelwright
 (Pleasant Grove High School)

On Demand Video
Hillcrest High School

Photographic Technology
Tanaysia Pierce (InTech Collegiate High School)

System Control Technology
Christian Davidson, Cole Olsen,
and Jacob Winder (American Fork High School)

CAD 3D Engineering
Shardul Kamat (Jordan Applied Technology Center)

Other high schools recognized as top-10 finalists were: Jordan Applied Technology Center, Lehi, Hillcrest, Bingham, Layton, and NUAMES High Schools.

“Congratulations to our excellent Technology and Engineering teachers that go the extra mile for their students,” says Darrell Andelin, Technology and Engineering specialist at the Utah State Office of Education.

HERE is the list of contest results.

WATCH a video highlighting the scope of TSA educational programs and competitive events.

Wasatch Junior High School students