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2013 Advisors of the Year

The SkillsUSA State Directors Association created the Advisor of the Year award to recognize and honor dedicated career and technical education instructors who serve as SkillsUSA advisors. The Advisor of the Year program is sponsored by Delmar Learning, a part of Cengage Learning. State winners are submitted to the regional competition. At NLSC, regional winners are interviewed and a national winner is selected.


Champions at Work

Sharon FarringtonRegion 1
Sharon Farrington
Northeast Metro Technical High School
Wakefield, Mass.

For more than 26 years, Sharon Farrington has influenced a multitude of students as a SkillsUSA advisor. The dental assisting instructor at Northeast Metro Technical High School in Wakefield, Mass., received the Outstanding Dental Educator Award from the Massachusetts Dental Society in 2006, and she's brought that same level of excellence to SkillsUSA. She's been a trainer for SkillsUSA's Professional Development Program, for example, helping other instructors learn to implement the curriculum into their classrooms in the same effective way she has for many years."Through her efforts and guidance, our SkillsUSA program has flourished," says one of her peers. Many students have flourished, too, thanks to the selfless dedication and commitment to student success that's characterized Farrington's impressive career.

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Chef Darin NineRegion 2
Chef Darin Nine
Belleview (Fla.) High School

For 10 years now, Chef Darin Nine has been a SkillsUSA advisor at Belleview (Fla.) High School, where he teaches culinary arts. Nine tells his students that "quality" is more important than "quickly," and this commitment to excellence has manifested itself not only in his teaching, but in his students' performance. The PDP is a huge part of Nine's classroom, and he integrates the program into every aspect of his classes. Nine values the competitive aspect of the organization as much as anyone, but never at the expense of the leadership development and employability skills that go hand in hand with the technical component of his program. Nine helps train his state officer team every year, and his tireless work to secure industry support locally has paid incredible dividends, including a $10,000 Lowe's grant in 2011. But his tireless efforts to help his students realize their full potential have paid off the most, for him and the young people whose lives he's forever changed for the better.

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Cora Duncan-FosterRegion 3
Cora Duncan-Foster
Breithaupt Career and Technical Center
Detroit, Mich.

Cora Duncan-Foster has been a teacher for nearly 40 years, the last 20 at Breithaupt Career and Technical Center in Detroit. For the last 19 years, the special education teacher consultant has also served as a SkillsUSA advisor. Called "the heart and soul of SkillsUSA in Breithaupt" by SkillsUSA Michigan Director Tammy Brown, Duncan-Foster has earned numerous honors throughout her career, but the true measure of her success stems from the many young lives her caring, encouraging attention has dramatically improved. She's tutored, she's inspired, she's coached; in fact, Duncan-Foster has trained 26 state officers during her time as an advisor. Known for her infectious spirit and enthusiasm, Duncan-Foster has earned the highest level of respect from her peers and admiration from her students.

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Jackson TegardenRegion 4
Jackson Tegarden
Homer Hanna High School
Brownsville, Texas

Jackson Tegarden, an architecture and construction instructor at Homer Hanna High School in Brownsville, Texas, has been a SkillsUSA advisor for 28 years. During that time, he's epitomized what it means to "help each student excel." He's produced champions in architecture, customer service and engineering, including 64 district champions, 49 state champions and three national silver medalists. His graduating students also tend to find real success in their chosen fields. As with all exceptional advisors, Tegarden has devoted equal attention to developing his students' leadership skills, and he's trained officers at all levels of SkillsUSA. While Tegarden may be, according to a former student, "the type of teacher that comes along only once in a lifetime," he has unquestionably had a positive impact on many lives.

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Chuck VeloniRegion 5
Chuck Veloni
Aberdeen (Wash.) High School

For 10 years, Chuck Veloni has been a SkillsUSA advisor. The industrial engineering and radio broadcasting instructor at Aberdeen (Wash.) High School has created a program that's produced 26 state champions, 10 national Top 10 finishers, and two national officers. One of his students calls him "the best advisor anyone could ever hope for." His students have gone on to apprenticeship and training programs as well as high-paying jobs after graduation. Veloni also serves as his school's wrestling coach, supervises the school's radio station and freely gives much of what little personal time he has left to help his program and chapter become even more successful, from holding fundraisers to chaperoning state officers at events.

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Gerald Suggs Bob Sumner Jan Garrett-Desimone Linda Shelton Nancy Bell Cheryl Rees David Richard Larry Kuretsch Michael Pointer Jim Maynard Paul Elder Jennifer Leff John Crosby Thomas Renninger Region 5 Advisor of the Year Region 1 Advisor of the Year Region 3 Advisor of the Year Region 2 Advisor of the Year Region 4 Advisor of the Year