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ACTE Conference

SkillsUSA had a good ACTE conference overall. There was a lot of traffic at our booth and a great deal of interest in the Skill Connect Assessments. SkillsUSA staff did five presentations during the conference – including two on the assessments – and national officers Loree Hayden and Vanessa Mendez took greetings to many of the meetings.

We continued a SkillsUSA annual holiday tradition on December 1. The first stakeholder appreciation dinner was held at the ACTE convention in 2001, and it has become an event to look forward to. We had 29 individuals attend this year’s dinner. As always, we had a diverse group of stakeholders around the table including student officers, teachers, school administrators, state association directors, corporate members, business partners and staff. A decade later, I’m still honored to be surrounded by this group of work force and education champions.

I had a great meeting with the Chicago Public Schools CTE Director Aarti Dhuypelia regarding the establishment of SkillsUSA chapters in the newly restructured CTE system in Chicago. She is also interested in advisor training for chapter management and in the Skill Connect assessments. Sarah Morton will schedule a demonstration of assessments and teacher training in the spring.

The Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences (ASTS) had a successful pre-convention training series that included a “mini Chapter Management Institute” for SkillsUSA instructors taught by Dr. Chip Harris. Two technical training seminars were also held, and ASTS rolled out the “Certified Career and Technical Educator” recognition program and announced the first two honorees. Board member Dr. John Gaal was one of the two inaugural recipients.

I participated in the well-attended Trade and Industrial Policy and Planning meetings. Here, John Gaal started to transition next year’s responsibilities to incoming VP Jeff Johnson. Jeff also participated in the board of directors meeting.

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