When you think of the average farmer, it's a guy with overalls and with dirty boots. This is what I love. I think the gender thing has no [relevance], because a woman can do just as much as a man can.
Brandon Buchanan is a senior at Viewmont High School. Brandon says, “My interest and talents have naturally pulled me towards Career Technical Education classes. I have been fortunate enough to have wonderful teachers to help my knowledge and excitement in this area grow. Accounting has been a major area of focus for me in school, being in my third year of accounting, completing CE Accounting program last year, and participating in the Pilot AP Program this year. I was able to obtain a job at an Accounting firm where I was able to use my knowledge of accounting I had learned in a classroom, and apply it to the real world.”
Brandon has been very active in participating in FBLA and DECA. “I held VP position in FBLA Soph. and Jr. Years, and currently hold the position of President this year. I have placed both years at state in various events. I am currently VP of DECA, and have already participated in a competitive event, involving a promotional campaign for the Dew Tour event in Salt Lake City, that resulted in a position to attend the DECA National Leadership Conference in Florida.” Brandon is president of the school store at Viewmont High School, where he handles everything from operations, management, to the financials of the store. “For me, education gives me the basis to experience business in the real world.”
FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCES
Culinary Arts Student
I've always really been interested in cooking, and as soon as I found out that there was a Pro-start program here at West I jumped on it. I've been taking it for two years and it's been great. It's been a lot of help and given me a lot of good experience.
Graduate, Ogden High School
As a young adult graduating from high school, I affirmed my decision to pursue a career in medicine was because of my broad introduction to the health care field in high school and because of the support I received in the health science curriculum. Health Science Education was an important aspect of my educational development because it allowed me to bring together the world of academia and the world of technology education. My experiences with Health Science Education gave me the opportunity to speak to health care professionals; to see, hear, and experience what they do in their chosen health careers. Health Sciences Education was the most rewarding experience for me at the secondary education level and continues to be rewarding as I am pursuing a collegiate education. It helped me realize that I can truly accomplish all my goals and aspirations in life.
Graduate, Emery High School
When I signed up for an early bird Novell Networking course I thought, "Great, what did I do that for? Is the Career and Technical Education credit really worth waking up super early in the morning to attend a class with a bunch of computer-fanatic guys?" Well, after the first day of class my outlook changed entirely. I quickly discovered how interesting this CTE class was and thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on applications. On the first day of class, we set up our computers, created a network, and things just became more fun from there. As one of the only girls in the class, I was privileged to view a world almost exclusive to men—the world of computer networking. I gained great respect for all of the guys and especially the instructor.
As the class progressed, I learned the workings of Novell Networking, and found that my inclination towards computers grew, until I became an addition to the crew of "computer-fanatics" in the class. Taking this one CTE class led me to take the test to become a Certified NetWare Administrator. Having gained my certification, I have an advantage as I have a marketable skill which will help me pay my way through college.
Through CTE I learned how to market creatively and how quality and customer service are very important to having a good business.
SKILLED & TECHNICAL SCIENCES
Graduate, Delta High School
Associate of Science, Utah State University
My interest in welding began in my freshman year when I took and Agricultural Mechanics class to learn more about the aspects of welding for my family farm and cattle operation. I was the only girl in the class, and half way through the year my teacher thought it would be entertaining to set up an in-class welding competition with me against the boys. The boys got to be the judges of the anonymous welds, and to their surprise, I won! The following year, I enrolled in the Advanced Welding Technician class, and have been obsessed with welding ever since.
Because I work on my family farm and cattle operation, welding is an almost daily task. Last year, I helped weld and install the pipe for our newest pivot irrigation system. As a result, my dad has given me the chore to repair anything on the farm that is in need of welding. The welding and agricultural classes [I took in high school] gave me the needed skills to be successful I my career and in all aspects of life.
When I graduated from Delta High School I not only received my diploma, but also received an Associate of Science degree from Utah State University. I plan to major in Agricultural Education and become a certified welding instructor.
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING
Engineering Student, Hillcrest High School
Marsha Light is a senior attending Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah. In 2008, she attended an open house at the Jordan Applied Technology Center (JATC) to investigate the Surgical Technician program. During her visit, she also toured the Engineering program and decided to change her career path. Marsha said, "I was intrigued with the design and building the students were involved in.
The Engineering program at the JATC is affiliated with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national engineering curriculum taught in over 3,000 high schools in the United States. Marsha has taken four of the PLTW courses: Intro to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Engineering Design and Development. When asked which course she enjoyed the most, Marsha said, "I enjoy the Computer Integrated Manufacturing class I am currently taking. It is cool to see how manufacturing ties into engineering."
Marsha has participated in the Technology Student Association (TSA) for the past two years. She is currently serving as the State TSA Treasurer. "TSA has helped me learn about leadership, commitment, presenting to groups, and working with others." She has competed in state and national competitions in Technology Problem Solving and Graphic Logo Design. When asked if other students should join TSA, Marsha said, "Definitely, if you are into science or engineering! TSA is a fun student organization where you get to compete with other students."
Marsha has really enjoyed her two years in the PLTW Engineering program at the JATC. "The courses at the JATC are more like a college environment. These classes have definitely helped prepare me for college and the direction I want to go. No other classes in high school have included so much student teamwork. I want to become a mechanical engineer. After graduation I am planning to go to Salt Lake Community College and then transfer to the University of Utah.
Marsha has a few good suggestions for other high school students. "Start planning now! Get involved in what you love and just do it. If you don't know what you love, this is a good time to figure that out."