Ask Tim

Beyond High Standards

Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.

Q: I know being a champion is more than winning SkillsUSA competitions. What do you think it takes?

Tim: First, standards are important. Whether they’re technical standards for a competition or personal standards we set for ourselves, they give us something to reach for. But, we can always reach higher.

For example, SkillsUSA has just released the 2008 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards. In driving our competitions, these standards have always been excellent, and it would’ve been easy to be satisfied with a quality system. But SkillsUSA, with the help of a major sponsor, decided to transform our standards into more than just a contest document. We now have a guide for a higher level of technical and academic competence.

Dedicate yourself to reaching for a higher level of accomplishment. That’s what truly exemplifies a champion. In this issue, you can learn from the example of TeamUSA, a group of our very best students who just returned from international competition in Japan. Then there are our WLTI champions: 251 students and teachers who reached the ultimate level of advocacy for career and technical education — and SkillsUSA — on Capitol Hill. Others, such as A.J. Taillacq, Dusti Sink and Jonathan Reyes, all reached higher to accomplish their personal goals.

You can also learn from our business partners, the driving force behind SkillsUSA. Their advice and personal perspective should help you better understand what it takes to succeed in our competitive events and beyond. Speaking of reaching higher, Lowe’s has stepped up to award the largest single corporate grant in our history. Lowe’s $1 million contribution will allow SkillsUSA chapters to make improvements to school and community, and it will also support states in running higher-level competitive events.

Finally, we’re going beyond a reach in membership recruitment at SkillsUSA. We’re stretching for our highest goal ever: to reach for 300,000 members. I hope you will read about our “drive for five” and help bring new members into the SkillsUSA family. To us, this goal is much more than a number; it’s our way of reaching for a higher level of credibility and respect for career and technical education and for SkillsUSA. This is our year to make a huge leap forward. I hope this will be the year that you also rise to meet your goals and demonstrate what it takes to be a champion. End of story

Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? E-mail or send a letter to SkillsUSA / P.O. Box 3000 / Leesburg, VA 20177. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2008 | Volume 42, No. 2
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