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Great Group of National Officers

August 15th, 2013

Our 15 student national officers are always an impressive group of people. That seems particularly true this year. The officers were here on July 23-31 for some extensive and intensive training on their roles in SkillsUSA, public speaking, parliamentary procedure, news media interviews, etiquette, and planning and conducting workshops. Of course, throughout the week a lot of effort went into helping the students to bond as a team including the Inner Quest Challenge, usually called “The Ropes Course” because of some of the most memorable and challenging events in the course. (I know because I was there. More than one student had to overcome a fear of heights.) And, the officers were all briefed by the department directors on the work of their offices.

Judging by the obvious enthusiasm of the entire group, I’d say the goal to create a cohesive team was met. To see the officers and their offices – selected within the group by the end of the week – please go to: Congratulations and thanks go to past national officers Jeremy Ballentine and Jonathan Irizarry and to our staff members for a successful launch.

Presentation on Capitol Hill

August 15th, 2013

On July 23, I spoke at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to representatives from approximately 25 congressional offices as a panelist during a round table hosted by the CTE Caucus. The topic was the role each of the panelists’ organizations play in student guidance. I was joined by a guidance counselor from Fairfax County, Virginia representing the American School Counselors Association and the director of government affairs of Opportunity Nation, a collaboration of more than 250 national community organizations. I covered many aspects of the SkillsUSA program and how we help engage students (and teachers), keep students in school and help them make connections to further education and to the workforce. I told the listeners that these are not necessarily examples of what school guidance counselors do, but they certainly give guidance counselors handles to grab onto. Reaction was positive. At the beginning of my remarks, I asked how many of those present knew about SkillsUSA. Nearly every hand went up. Nice. To listen to my remarks, please go to:

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