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State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor Celebrates CTE Month with Virtual Visits

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

To celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor virtually visited students to learn more about Career Pathways, Youth Apprenticeship Programs, and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO).

The first virtual visit at Arcadia High School included district administrator Lance Bagstad, high school principal Alan Herman, school board president Paul Servais, and CTE coordinator Britta Rotering providing an overview of CTE programming, a tour of several CTE program offerings, and an opportunity for the state superintendent to speak with students about their CTE experiences.

students working with car
Students learning with a car on demo lift

State Superintendent Stanford Taylor took a virtual tour of several Aradia CTE classrooms, starting with the automotive lab, led by Technology & Engineering Educator, John Peterson.

Students were learning, observing, and applying their skills with a vehicle on the demo lift.

students in agriscience lab
Processing meat in the agriscience lab

In the agriscience lab, agriscience educator Kevin Whalen led a meat processing day. Students were in the midst of processing brats and jerky while looking forward to eating their work when complete.

accounting students
Students working in accounting groups

Before touring an Accounting I class, the virtual tour made a quick stop in the health sciences classroom, where students can earn their CNA.

Then, business and marketing educator, Peg Baumgartner led an interactive lesson with students in small groups, talking through and applying accounting concepts they had learned.

The state superintendent then spoke with individual students to learn more about the different pathways available and Youth Apprenticeship options:

  • Joseph Rivera, a student in the health science pathway spoke about taking the CNA course this year, and how it prepared him for the future. “I like to help people and I think the CNA course was one way to take a step forward to become a nurse,” he said.
  • Blaine Poppe, an agriculture Youth Apprentice, is earning his CDL through the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). He also utilizes Youth Apprenticeship to leave school early to go work for a lawn care and landscaping business.
  • Zoie Pehler, a Youth Apprentice in supply chain, and active in FBLA, works at Ashley Furniture and will attend the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse in the fall. When asked what she has learned through FBLA competitions, she said, “Communicating, just like the bigger picture of the business world. Communication skills and leadership skills.”
  • Jose Ramirez, an engineering student and Youth Apprentice, works at Ashley Furniture where he completes jobs that help with CAD skills. He is a member of SkillsUSA and First Robotics and is planning to attend CVTC and then Stout for a bachelor’s in chemical engineering.
  • Gustavo “Goose” Rodriguez, is a Youth Apprentice at a local garage and plans to attend Western Tech for the auto technician program. He credits Youth Apprenticeship for learning many things, including diagnosing car problems, changing tires, and completing oil changes.

CTSO Student Leaders Virtual Visit with Carolyn Stanford Taylor

The second virtual visit to celebrate CTE Month consisted of a panel of student leaders from the six recognized Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) in Wisconsin, representing 46,000 student members.

State superintendent talking with panel
State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor; DPI Assistant Director, Career and Technical Education Team, Sara Baird; DPI Marketing Education/Wisconsin DECA Education Consultant, Tim Fandek; and Wisconsin DECA President, Olivia Lemanski talk during the virtual panel.

Student leaders from each of the CTSOs shared information about their organization and spoke with State Superintendent Stanford Taylor about challenges and successes this year:

  • DECA: Olivia Lemanski, is the president of DECA WI, from the Waunakee High School. She spoke about engaging members virtually in current programs this year, including activities and social media platforms to continue leadership, competition, conference, and service opportunities.

  • FBLA: Brooke Allemann, Wisconsin FBLA president from Cochrane-Fountain City High School, focused on challenges and rewards due to the pandemic this past year. The FBLA moved to a virtual conference as well, offering alternative options for those who did not have reliable internet access.

  • FCCLA: Scotlyn Roemhild, first vice president of WI FCCLA from Prairie Farm High School explained virtual options that are accessible and affordable for all members. They hosted a virtual leadership academy this year and focused on state-level leadership opportunities to make sure communication, collaboration, and support are maintained.

  • FFA: Joe Schlies, WI state FFA president, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls took a moment to recognize the importance of continued leadership development and skills. FFA leaders have developed and delivered more than 500 workshops and topics ranging from agricultural advocacy, diversity and inclusion, and much more.

  • HOSA: Gene Kim, vice president of membership development from Middleton High School spoke about the virtual shift to events this year, arguing that the HOSA experience has likely improved thanks to the organization's work. There has been an increase in HOSA chapters this year, and the fall leadership conference was successful, with support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Service projects also continued, including donations and bone marrow donor registration with the nonprofit, Be the Match.

  • SkillsUSA: Maleah Redmann, state president for SkillsUSA WI from Athens High School spoke of member engagement through the newsletter to help guide chapters. The two-day state conference will now be held over the course of the month to cater to all members. Redmann’s chapter was able to redesign the community garden, called Project Grow Room, to teach elementary students about where food comes from, agriculture, and design.

After speaking with each of the students, Stanford Taylor commended them for their service. “While it has been quite an unusual year for your organizations, you should be proud of your determination and passion to provide such rich and valuable experiences to your members and to your communities that you live and serve in. Thank you.”

For more information about CTE programming and CTE Month, visit the DPI Career and Technical Education web page.