← Utah CTE Blog Home

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!

CTE Students Compete in Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition

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

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

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.