It’s the season for cards and short messages, so I’m going to keep this brief as the holidays come by.
On December 14, I visited the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond to discuss the addition of the Skill Connect assessments to the Virginia approved assessment list. It was great to see and visit with Liz Russell, state director of career and technical education, Ed Sullivan, specialist and corporate member of SkillsUSA and other old friends from back in the day. Liz was very supportive of the Skill Connect assessments, and she will submit the entire list to the Virginia Board of Education in January for approval.
As I mentioned in a prior post, we held a full-day meeting here at the national office with intelitek on December 10 to discuss sales strategy for the Skill Connect assessments. The plan is to finalize strategy in January for the sales season this spring. At a minimum, we will have 30 assessments available in March, plus the four assessments offered in partnership with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Particular thanks go to Board Member Greg Rintala for flying in from California to be part of the discussion. We benefited greatly from his experience.
Speaking of experience, on December 11, during the SkillsUSA staff holiday celebration, we recognized a cumulative 75 years of service from three staff members. Heidi Ambrose was honored for 20 years service; Susan Trent was honored for 25 years and Tom Holdsworth for 30 years. Several additional staff members were recognized for their first through seventh anniversaries. We toured George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and had a great luncheon on the grounds. It was a meaningful trip for staff to be surrounded by the history and patriotic feeling of Mount Vernon, the home of the “patriarch of liberty” to paraphrase The Marquis de Lafayette.
We are looking beyond the holidays. Meetings are coming up in early January with Project Lead The Way on the Engineering Alliance and with representatives from YouthBuild. The hotel lottery for the next national conference is complete. All the states are in the rooming block and all of the hotels are assigned.
It is the season to be grateful and I am. So is the SkillsUSA staff. We appreciate the support we receive from the state association directors, corporate members, national technical committee and all the other friends of the organization. We look forward to working with all of you to make 2010 our best year ever. Happy 2010!