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Meet Aimee Taylor: Future Business Owner

May 28th, 2014

Aimee Taylor, a senior at Union High School in Duchesne School District recently received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to Utah Valley University. Below, Aimee tells about the class that influenced her career decision.

“Throughout my entire high school experience I have wondered what I would do after high school. What I would make a career out of and use to start my life as an adult? What did I want to do with the rest of my life and how would I prepare to do these things?

“The past four years of high school has helped me make the decisions to answer these questions. I took many classes that I thought would be relevant and help with my decisions. I took agricultural, welding, automotive, and business courses. During the first semester of last year, I took an Accounting 1 class for a math credit and ended up really enjoying the class. I knew after taking this class, and another accounting class, that I wanted to make a career out of accounting.

“My career goal now is to be successful in the accounting and business fields. I have been taking [concurrent enrollment] classes at Uintah Basin Applied Technology College (UBATC) that have hopefully helped me prepare for my college experience at Utah Valley University (UVU).

“My biggest personal non-career goal is to make a change in whatever way possible. There are so many who don’t have the opportunity to go to college and achieve their goal of getting a degree and I would like to one day make it possible for those who are not as fortunate. As a business owner I would be in a position to offer scholarships to eligible students.

“In order to be successful in achieving these goals I’m going to work hard, study, do my best in my classes, and meet the challenges that come my way. I’m ready and anxious to begin my future.”

  Aimee Taylor
Union High School

 

 

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

 

Students Learn About Careers at Utah Career Days Event

May 23rd, 2014

Recently, 3,800 middle/junior high and high school students from across the state met on the campus of Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) for the 2014 Utah Career Days event.

During the two day event, students discovered, learned, and prepared for jobs of the future by learning about career opportunities. Dozens of local businesses participated in the event and helped to empower students with career information and discussed the technical skills required for a specific career. Students had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities related to a variety of careers. Students talked to industry personnel about career opportunities as they rotated between four areas of activities and presentations.

Jordan High School Counselors @ Work

May 22nd, 2014

In a previous blog, we featured a senior student at Jordan High School, who acknowledged the efforts of her counselors toward ensuring that students are college and career ready by the time they graduate high school. At the same time – and this is spring of her senior year – the student said that she had yet to make a final decision about a career direction, let alone which college she would attend in the fall.  In an ideal world, these are choices that would have been made much earlier – hopefully as a result of the fabulous Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program components that offer many opportunities to explore career interests and take related Career and Technical Education CTE courses and to build the academic foundation to succeed in high school and beyond. The counselors at Jordan High School are working diligently to make this a reality.

April Sagala                         Ann Marie Proctor

For Jordan High School counselors, including April Sagala and Ann Marie Proctor, efforts in the area of helping students line up financial aid start soon after the holidays and continue full steam ahead through early April. They specifically target juniors for “Scholarships 101” sessions, but also encourage younger students as well as seniors to attend. They want to make sure that all students are well informed regarding scholarships to increase the likelihood of the students winning those awards by knowing and meeting criteria early. Scholarship information is also accessible via a robust Web page maintained by the counseling department. Other financial aid resources offered by the counseling staff include Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) workshops, a Parents’ Night, and numerous helpful links to outside sources of financial aid information – e.g., U. S. Department of Education, UHEAA, and FinAid.org.

 The Senior Green Sheet, a monthly newsletter especially for seniors, is another impressive resource provided by Jordan’s counseling staff. These counselors are obviously dedicated to ensuring student success. Now if only students would take better advantage of all the help and expertise made available to them!

Herriman High School DECA Members Excel at National Competition

May 20th, 2014

During May 2-7, 2014, a group of 250 Utah DECA members joined their peers from across the country to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Approximately 17,000 high school students, advisors, business persons and alumni gathered for several days of DECA excitement. Members prepare all year to have the opportunity to advance to this national competition. The top competitors in each event are recognized for their outstanding achievements. In addition to the competitive events, many students and advisors participate in a variety of leadership and career development activities and trainings.

The keynote address was given by Fran Tarkenton, NFL Hall of Fame legend and entrepreneur. In his address—NEVER get caught on the bench—he talked about how it doesn’t really matter what other people think of you. “You and I are in control of our destiny,” he said. “I learned business by doing business. Farmers learn to farm by going out and farming. I have built 20 companies. I’ve worked for other companies. I have learned everything from other people. . .Business and learning is a process. . .”

“. . .You make your breaks. . .Talk to everybody. Ask questions of everybody. Get all the knowledge and information you can. Life is a process. Whenever you think you have all the answers, you don’t have any. Keep that process going and continue to get better and continue to learn. Remember this, the mission of business is the same as the mission of life. We’re here to serve others. It’s not about us. It’s about our friends, it’s about our partners, and it’s about our customers,” said Tarkenton.

Watch Fran Tarkenton’s keynote address HERE.

Forty-nine Utah DECA members from Jordan School District competed at the conference, with 28 members from Herriman High School. For the first time in six years Utah DECA not only had a 1st place winner, but two 1st place winners and a 2nd place winner! And, all three teams were from Herriman High School.

1st Place
Finance Operations and Public Relations
Tristan Johnson and Brenna Scadden created a 30 page research report based on Momentum Development, which is developing Herriman Towne Center and Rosecrest communities in Herriman, Utah. They also shared a 15-minute presentation with the judges.

Watch the award ceremony HERE.

1st Place
Public Relations
Nicholas Gardner, Sydeny Park, Erinn Smalley executed the I Am the Difference anti-bullying campaign. They also created a 30 page report and a 15-minute presentation.

Watch the award ceremony HERE.

2nd Place
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Challenge (FIDM)
Based on research of the fashion industry, Madison Park, Keelan Ramos, Madison Warner created a video of a fashion trend they predicted.

Watch the award ceremony HERE.

Congratulations to Herriman High School who had great success at the
DECA International Career Development Conference.

Photo courtesy of Jordan School District

Utah Senior Contemplates Readiness for College and Career

May 19th, 2014

Meet Tabitha Kertamus, a senior at Jordan High School, who was interviewed recently about her plans for life after high school.

On a scale from 1-10 (with 1 being ‘not at all’ and 10 being ‘totally’), how prepared do you feel to start college and/or a career?
On a scale of 1-10, I sit at a solid 6 with how prepared I feel to start college and/or a career. I have applied to several colleges, and was accepted to all of them. The problem is, now I have to make a choice, and I have no idea what to do. It’s hard to decide when all people important to me have different opinions on what I should do. I definitely am not ready for a career yet, though hopefully college will help with that.

Counselors offer many opportunities to help students apply and pay for college. Tell about any of these opportunities you took advantage of, and how they helped you.
The counselors are especially helpful to students. I have taken the opportunity to personally sit down with my counselor and talk about my college plans. Counselors are there for us, and they have programs like FAFSA Fridays, where students go into the counseling center during lunch on Fridays and they work on their FAFSA forms. My counselor encourages me to do what I want to and wants me to be successful. Counselors also keep track of what colleges students have been accepted to and they are willing to help us reach a decision. I’ve had my counselor help me look for scholarships so I can apply for them. They’re very helpful.

What advice would you give counselors and teachers to help them ensure that students learn about life after high school?
Teachers and counselors try their best to get students involved with preparation for college. The problem is a lot of students hear the same stuff from everybody. So we don’t listen when they try to help. They try assemblies, but a lot of kids see it as a way out of class, and they just leave the school. I think they need to be more enthusiastic and really encourage students to participate. They need to find new and more information about college that won’t scare us away. They need to have more mandatory college activities for students. A big help would be to offer field trips to college campuses for those who would like to attend the college.

What’s the one best piece of advice regarding college and career decision making that you would offer to your fellow students?
My advice is to do what makes you happy. If you want to go out of state, who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s your life, not theirs! A bird can’t have other birds spread its wings for it. You don’t have to make a decision on a career right away, but definitely start college as soon as possible. Go to school while you’re still in the groove of it, and definitely go where you’ll be happiest. Happiness is the key to a magnificent life.

FCCLA New State Officer Training

May 16th, 2014

By Kaitlyn Ferris, Utah FCCLA State 1st Vice President

In April, the Utah FCCLA 2014-2015 state officer team had our first official meeting and training. It was full of fun, hard work, and learning. The first day we participated in a lot of activities to get to know each other. We listened to some wonderful speakers and met our new advisor, Christine Heslop, who helped us get an idea of what our responsibilities would be. After dinner we sat down and got to work planning the theme, motto, and goals for the upcoming school year. We decided on the theme “Color Your World with FCCLA” and selected the motto “Think Outside the Box”.

On the second day of training, we listened to several guest speakers who taught us how to act, look professional, and how to get sponsors from businesses. During lunch we met the parents of each state officer and presented our theme, motto, and goals for the 2014-2015 school year.

I left the conference with so much confidence in my state officer team. I know it’s all going to be a blast and we are going to work very hard and well with each other. I also learned how important it is to be a good example at all times because you never know who is watching. I know the year will be full of rewarding hard work. I am excited to meet FCCLA members throughout the state and see Utah FCCLA exceed expectations. I am looking forward to how outstanding this year will be and am very grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Utah FCCLA State 1st Vice President. This year is going to be a spectacular one.

Students Participate in Career Days at BATC

May 13th, 2014

By Logan High School CTE Students

 

On April 30 and May 1, over 3,500 junior high school students, teachers, school administrators, CTE Directors, parents, industry leaders, and volunteers converged on the campus of Bridgerland Applied Technology College (BATC) for the annual BATC Career Days.

The objective of Career Days was to provide students in the Bear River Region with hands-on exposure to the diverse and exciting career opportunities requiring technical skills. According to the Department of Workforce Services, 76 percent of the jobs in Utah do not require a Bachelor’s degree. However, most of them do require technical skills.

The Careers Day event included interactive exhibits, trade industry displays, and demonstration projects all requiring student involvement. It is hoped that increased awareness with help students, parents, teachers, [school] counselors, and the community become more aware of the opportunities available for those who have the right skills.

Video produced by students in the Video/TV Production class at Logan High School.
Instructor: Scott Harris

Building Career Success

May 12th, 2014

By Kaylynn Webb, FFA Chapter Reporter, Lehi High School

Over the past several months, Lehi FFA members have been learning, preparing, and presenting their skills in preparation for the Utah FFA State CDE (Career Development Event) competitions that were held April 22-23 at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. At this event twelve teams participated in various competitions including: Forestry, Agriculture Marketing, Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Issues, Livestock Judging, Horse Judging, Meats Evaluation, Poultry Judging, Food Sciences, Agricultural Mechanics, Veterinary Technician, and Floriculture.

Each team ranged from three to seven team members, with each member playing a key role in building career success. In each competition, each team was judged and scored on a team level as well as an individual level. Depending on how each team competed determined their ranking. Each team was responsible to complete several different tasks in several different areas, in order to test their knowledge and skill relating to their competition. Several of the teams who competed were required to identify key terms and items that were included in their competition. Other teams were asked to present a five to ten minute speech pertaining to their competition. Each team was also required to take a test; each test was based upon simple vocational skills that individuals may see if they were to work within each of these fields.

When all was said and done, each team was able prove their skills to several different sets of judges. We had multiple teams take home the state gold ranking. Others demonstrated their knowledge and skill set and were honored with the state silver ranking.

Each member that competed excelled within their area of expertise and proved to the judges that they have what it take to be successful within their desired career. We had two members who especially showed their knowledge this year. Riley Downs and Collin Hampton both placed in the top three in the Forestry competition. In addition to Downs and Hampton, the entire Forestry team will have the honor to represent the state of Utah at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky October 29-November 1.

The Lehi FFA is proud of everyone who competed, and we know that you gave your best efforts. Just remember, no matter where you placed, you are building career success!

This blog was originally published in the Lehi FFA May Newsletter, 2014.

VIEW the list of 2014 FFA State Winners

 

2014 Milford Renewable Energy Fair

May 9th, 2014

Last month, Milford High School hosted the 6th Annual SUTREC Energy Fair on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. This Fair has become an annual event, coordinated by Andy Swapp, Career and Technical Education Technology and Engineering teacher, and the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center (SUTREC). The Renewable Energy Fair is a gathering of Utah renewable energy industries, government representatives, and local schools. Students typically come from southern Utah locations, with occasional participation by northern schools.

The Milford High School gymnasium was filled with energy displays and hands-on activities. Outside were additional activities, vintage cars, solar cooking demonstrations, and the annual electric vehicle race around the football field. This year the race included five cars representing Beaver, Milford, and Delta High Schools. Each student-build electric vehicle is challenged to travel as many laps as possible around the track on a single 12 volt car battery in one hour. This is a race of electrical endurance, not necessarily speed. Miss Utah—Ciera Pekarcik—presented the 1st Place Award to Delta High School, whose driver was Morgan Cropper. Miss Utah was also present for the Industry Luncheon hosted by the Milford Lions Club.

Southern Utah is a hotbed of renewable energy production with huge wind farms, solar energy collection, geothermal, hydropower, and bio-mass. “We have a mecca of renewable energy within a 50 mile radius. Talk about an education goldmine and a development goldmine,” says Andy Swapp.

Don’t miss next year’s Renewable Energy Fair, which is typically held in April.

Related news stories:
Milford Energy Fair Hosts State Officials – The Spectrum
Utah Business Leaders Tour Renewable Energy Sites – Fox 13 News Utah
Milford Renewable Energy Fair – Narrated by Terry Wood for the County Seat.

 

Moving ahead – letting go of the past . . .

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!