The national officer team was here in Reston, Va. and they were very excited. They had a challenging week’s worth of training but they were up to it. Trainers had the students up and at it by 7 a.m. every morning and straight through the day. The team was here at the National Leadership Center on the 29th for a meeting and lunch with the entire staff. This is a diverse group of students and they became a cohesive team by the end of the week.
The new national officers have been trained and are ready for assignments. If you are interested in having a national officer visit your state, please contact Deb Tripp at 703-737-0637 or Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622. The newly elected officers for 2010-11 are:
High School Division
Katie Grimnes (Wash.) – President
Emily Combs (Ohio) – Vice President
Krista Williford (Va.) – Secretary
Ariel Padilla (Texas) – Treasurer
Andrea Arbogast (Mo.) – Parliamentarian
Ricky Jordan (Mass.) – Region 1 Vice President
Victoria Crespo (Va.) – Region 2 Vice President
Katie Rhodes (Ohio) – Region 3 Vice President
Janie Martinez (Texas) – Region 4 Vice President
Robin Cronbaugh (Ariz.) – Region 5 Vice President
Sam Soto (Tenn.) – President
Loree Hayden (Ill.) – Vice President
Kendra Lisec (N.C.) – Secretary
TraShawn Brooks (Okla.) – Treasurer
Vanessa Mendez (N.M.) – Parliamentarian
This morning, more than 500 students are heading out into the greater Kansas City area to perform community service. This year, participating students and advisors will be working on a bridge, building a mountain bike trail, installing vinyl siding and creating a community garden. This community service event is sponsored by Timberland PRO, which has partnered with us at the national conference since 2002.
SkillsUSA University will be wrapping up today, and the delegates will have their last meetings and cast the final ballots for the students who will represent them as national officers for the upcoming school year.
Tonight, we head back to Kemper Arena for the Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Lowe’s. We will be honored to hear from Larry Stone, president and chief operating officer of Lowe’s since 2006. The winner of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle raffle will be announced tonight, and the new national officers will be sworn in. And of course, SkillsUSA Champions will receive their gold, silver and bronze medals.
Awards Ceremony tickets are available at the booth outside of 2103A in Bartle Hall. The cost is $10. They will also be available for purchase at Kemper Arena.
Can’t make it? You can always watch the live stream courtesy of School Video News. Details are available here: www.skillsusa.org/events/nlscvideo.shtml.
Today is the big day for SkillsUSA Champions from across the nation. The 2010 SkillsUSA Championships is today! With 96 contests and more than 5,600 competitors, the championships encompasses Bartle Hall, its Conference Center, Municipal Auditorium, American Royal Center and downtown Marriott, Crowne Plaza and Phillips hotels.
Make sure to take the time to stop by and see the contests in Municipal Auditorium and make the trip down to the American Royal Center (next to Kemper Arena) to check out the TeamWorks, Welding Fabrication and Welding Art Sculpture contests. The SkillsUSA Championships is supported by more than 1,000 companies and associations.
A new “green” event this year is the State Farm Innovation in Sustainability Showcase. Chapters will be displaying their projects from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Bartle Hall Lobby 2100.
But it’s not only contests today. SkillsUSA TECHSPO continues both at the outside street exhibits and in the lobbies throughout Bartle Hall. There’s still time to register for the Champions 5K Run. You have until 4 p.m. today at the Alumni booth (No. 232). There will be another Meet the Candidates session, business meeting and the SkillsUSA Delegates will cast their primary ballot for our new national officers.
Tonight, make sure you head out to Worlds of Fun theme park. It’s a great way to blow off steam after an exciting day of competition.
- We had a great Youth Development Foundation meeting in Calgary with some excellent discussion on the value of partnership with SkillsUSA and corporate reports on their activities. Board members including President Julie Yeater, Larry Rabalais, Russ Hoffbauer and Nick Morrisroe joined the YDF meeting. The board and YDF dinner was sponsored by Woodwork Career Alliance.
- Thanks to Russ Hoffbauer and Alan Hall, on August 27 we held what I hope was a very successful meeting with executives from State Farm Insurance Companies. New national officers Zia Green and Stephen Lupton gave what I consider one of the most powerful presentations I’ve ever seen by two of our students. Much of our focus was on community service, and Zia arrived with a portfolio of the work done in her instructor’s class – Advisor of the Year 2008 Cheryl Reese – and everyone was impressed. State Farm expressed interest in community development, continuing its support for teacher training and field staff, alumni and the WorldSkills Competition.
- The new SkillsUSA Store received its official launch with an e-mail promotion to just about everyone in SkillsUSA. The site is www.skillsusastore.org/skillsusa/welcome.asp.
- And, thanks to several people with cameras at the WorldSkills Competition and SkillsUSA’s Webmaster, it is possible to see some of the excitement of SkillsUSA’s WorldTeam in action: www.skillsusa.org/compete/worldteamphotos.shtml. There’s also a special section on news coverage up to this point.
- The 2009-10 new national officers excelled in training and have selected their officers. The presidents are Andrew Zigler from Texas (high school) and Annalee Santos from Florida (college/postsecondary). Brandon Mullings from Florida is the college/postsecondary vice president and JEC (junior executive council) chair. The entire 2009-10 national officer listing can be found here.
- Plans are underway for this year’s Washington Leadership Training Institute, and we are delighted to announce that Deputy Assistant Secretary Glen Cummings from the U.S. Department of Education has accepted our invitation to be the luncheon speaker on Monday, September 21. We’ve also invited Jane Oates, the new Assistant Secretary for Labor, to be our opening speaker and Dane Linn, Director of Education for the National Governors Association, to be with us as part of a panel presentation for advisors.
- SkillsUSA’s WorldTeam will be coming to town on August 27 for a final team gathering before leaving for Calgary. We have requested and are hopeful that Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will host a recognition event for them.
- Levels 1 and 2 of the new PDP online will be beta tested by about 30 teachers in August with plans to have these levels finished and ready for purchase by September 2.
- The Engineering Alliance initiative is moving forward. The Web site will be up this fall, and online leadership modules and contests are scheduled to be completed and ready for teachers in January.
There are few times during the annual SkillsUSA calendar that are more exciting and full of promise than right now. The new national officers for 2009-10 were in town for training this week preparing for their new roles and what’s ahead of them this coming year. The Training, Membership and Programs staff members worked with them. Yesterday, the officers visited the National Leadership Center to meet and talk with the full staff. We look forward to teaching and learning from these outstanding students and elected officers every year.
SkillsUSA had a good ACTE conference December 4 through 6. There were lots of visitors to our trade show booth. This year, we featured SkillsUSA’s program and the Work Force Ready System. Interest was high in both areas. According to staff, there was a steady stream of people coming by to see the demonstration of the Skill Connect Assessments. More than 30 people attended the 9 a.m. workshop on Skill Connect Saturday morning. Other staff members were all busy in the trade show and giving four additional workshops on the Champions for Change vulnerable community pilots, service learning, SkillsUSA programs and on how to use the combination of CSEP, PDP and employability skills assessments.
Of course, one of the best parts of any ACTE conference as far as I’m concerned is having student national officers there representing the organization and getting to spend time with the staff. Brittany Moon, high school division president and Zachary Ferguson, college/postsecondary secretary were the officers with us, and they did a great job.
Brittany was also with me on Thursday, December 4 while I visited some businesses in Charlotte. Kelly Persons of Lowe’s set up the visits and traveled with us for the full day. First, we visited Duke Energy where they’re interested in supporting initiatives in teacher training, sustainability and alternative fuels and diversity. Next, we visited Rodgers-Dooley Construction, one of the premier commercial builders in the area. Both firms are interested in the SkillsUSA program, but their focus is on the states where they do business: North and South Carolina, Ohio and Indiana. For its part, Lowe’s talked with me about expanding its national partnership as well as some new initiatives to increase support at the state level all across the country.