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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.




Snapshot from Hard @ Work

November 3rd, 2014

Hard @ Work is a presentation on Women in the Utah Labor Force by Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist, at the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Lecia has been a DWS economist for more than 30 years, including six years as Chief Economist. This presentation, from August 2014, highlights findings of her latest study on women in the Utah labor force.

The two slides below are just a small sample of the fascinating picture Lecia reveals. View the entire presentation for more – e.g., female labor force participation by county and male-female college education gap.

After 1980, the participation rate of working women in Utah measure higher than the national rate.










This is key information – especially for Utah Female students – in developing college and career plans.











DECA: We Value Competence, Innovation, Integrity, and Teamwork

November 3rd, 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.

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.

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. Student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, and experienced leaders. More than 70 percent of DECA members indicate that DECA has influenced their future career plans.

If you would like to become a DECA member talk to your school counselor to get connected with the DECA advisor in your school.


Mario Sanchez: Future Welder

November 3rd, 2014

Mario Sanchez (6)Mario Sanchez is a graduate of Wasatch High School and is attending Mountainland Applied Technology College where he is studying to become certified in welding. He is working hard to obtain the experience he needs for his future career. “I understand the experience I need in order to be successful in my occupational area involves a lot of training and practice. However, I also need a degree or a certificate in welding to obtain the right education required for a higher paying job.”

Education is important to Mario. His parents migrated to the U.S. and wanted him to work hard and get an education so that he would have opportunities that he couldn’t have otherwise. “My parents have taught me that if I work hard I can create a better life for myself. They sacrificed everything and worked so hard to give me this opportunity. With all my heart and sweat I’m not going to disappoint them. They are my heroes. I know that education is the power to success. A great man by the name of Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ I believe in this quote. I think that in order to change this world you have to understand how the world works,” says Mario.

Mario explains how high school wasn’t always easy for him. “In the beginning of high school it was not always easy for me to get good grades. But then I realized how important education is in my life and I made some changes. I became determined to graduate from high school, go to college, and work really hard. I took a lot of CTE courses such as auto mechanics at Mountainland Applied Technology College and three years of welding. I really enjoyed hands-on projects and creating and repairing things. I focused a lot of my time and effort to improve my skills and do my best in my CTE classes. The CTE classes helped me a lot. They prepared me for life and prepared me to get a good job after graduation. I never felt like I was wasting my time, but only improving my skills for the job market. I was always looking for a challenge and new things to learn. This helped me make the most out of my CTE experience. I am excited for my future and to do my part to contribute to society.”


Utah CTE Graphic Design Contest

November 3rd, 2014

Image for Nov-Dec 2014 blogThe Business and Marketing Education specialist, at the Utah State Office of Education, is in the process of planning the summer conference for Utah educators. The organizers of this conference invite YOU (Utah middle/junior high and high school students) to design the graphic for the summer conference program materials. The winning graphic will be printed on the program cover, welcome posters, vendor punch cards, and thank you cards. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your talent and creativity as you design a “unique graphic” for the conference.

Each entry will be judged, and a winner selected, by the state committee of Business and Marketing Education teachers. One entry will be selected and the winner will receive a one year subscription to the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite. This prize was generously donated by Adobe and has a retail value of $600.00.

Entry requirements:

  • Must be a Utah middle/junior high or high school student.
  • Design must consist of completely original artwork-absolutely NO clip-art or stock illustrations, and NO copyrighted material. Any typography must be licensed for free commercial use.
  • Designs must be scalable to work in both large and small formats.
  • Students entering the contest must be willing to sign a media release.

Graphic design requirements:

  • Full color
  • The design must be scalable in both large and small formats
  • Program size: 8.5” x 11”
  • Poster size 21″ x 32″
  • Submit design in a 300 dpi vector/.ai file format.
  • Graphic files should be submitted on a CD/DVD in a vector format.
  • Include one color 8.5” x 11” landscape copy of the program cover design. (Only the program cover should be submitted.)
  • There is no set theme, so use your creativity.
  • The winning design becomes the sole property of the Utah State Office of Education.
  • The winning designer will be fully credited with their design. The name and picture of each winner will be featured on the summer conference program.

Entry MUST be received by Monday, January 5, 2015.

The winner will be announced by Monday, March 2, 2015.

Questions? Contact: Andrea Curtin – Utah State Office of Education – 801-538-7976.

January will be here before you know it, so don’t delay in creating your design for the Business and Marketing Education summer conference program cover. Good luck!


Savid Acuna: Future Carpenter and Business Owner

October 6th, 2014

Savid Acuna (4)Savid Acuna recently graduated from Murray High School where he completed the Skilled and Technical Education Carpentry Pathway and earned 20 concurrent enrollment credits.

“My professional goal is to one day own and run my own construction business. I love to build. I love to take a set of blueprints and construct a beautiful, safe, and functional structure that I am proud of. I love to solve problems, work hard, and at the end of the day see what I’ve created. I want to own my own company because I feel that by being a leader I can have a bigger influence to help others be successful. It is the American Dream. In order to accomplish my goal, I realize that it is going to take a lot of hard work, education, and experience, says Savid.”

While in high school, Savid was actively involved in the building of a 1,800 square foot home. “It had a real world setting, such as having to meet deadlines and problem solving to fix certain situations within the build.”

Savid received a CTE Scholarship to Salt Lake Community College, where he will continue his studies in carpentry. “My long term educational goal is to obtain an AS degree in construction management. I then plan to enter the workforce. I would like to work for a big residential local builder and work for them until I have enough experience, and capital, to go on my own. To enter a career in construction [with experience] is key, but to succeed in current times education is the next most important tool to have.”