Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welcome from the FCCLA State Adviser

I am excited to represent Colorado FCCLA as the new FCCLA State Adviser/ Assistant FACS Program Director! I have been involved with FCCLA since high school, which lead me to working with students and members as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. I am currently teaching at Standley Lake High School where I am a co-adviser (Malissa Sloan and Valerie Baylie) to our FCCLA chapter and sponsor the student council.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many of you and I look forward to meeting so many more. I will be working part time from 2pm to 6pm Monday – Friday until December 21, 2012. I will be answering questions or concerns during those hours and will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible. You can reach me by phone at 720-858-2330 or by email at I will begin full time for FCCLA on January 2, 2013.

Please contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments. Thank you for the work that you do and for helping FCCLA members see the possibilities! 

Robert Van Dyke

Monday, July 30, 2012

Updating FACS Curriculum in Boulder Valley School District

Updating FACS Curriculum in Boulder Valley School District- Julie Olsen

A couple years ago when Colorado FACS was rewriting their course standards, I was excited that the classes that I taught would soon be updated and made more relevant. Little did I know at the time that those new state standards would not just trickle down to my district. We (elected FACS teachers) would have to integrate and rewrite the previous BVSD curriculum and fit in the state standards into the new district format known as Curriculum Essential Documents. While not always an exciting task, writing new curriculum for courses taught can offer value and insightful learning experiences for the teacher. First, we developed a new course overview for every class taught that everyone including parents could understand. Second, we developed new specific vocabulary and topics to be covered in addition to state standards and outcomes. Last, curriculum maps were added in each document to bridge gaps of how each course connects with reading, writing, and math skills. Overall, writing CED's have been a valuable experience as a educator and for providing better curriculum to

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2011 National Leadership Conference

The 2011 National FCCLA Leadership Conference was held in Anaheim, California July 8 - 14. This was my second national conference as either a student or adviser. Malissa Sloan and I took 12 students to the conference and had a magical time! We arrived two days before the opening session to experience the magic of Disneyland and California Adventure. Our plane landed at 10:30 am, we got to the hotel by 11 am and was at Disneyland by noon. Just forewarning, if you go to Disney with Malissa be prepared to walk and see more of the park then you ever thought possible. We stayed at Disney until close on Friday and Saturday and had a great time.

This year I served as the event lead for the Culinary Arts STAR Event. Typically this event is held in a commercial kitchen, but we had to do the event in a hotel ball room without running water or proper refrigeration. Challenging was the theme of the event. The students and judges were a little shaken by this change in situation but managed to complete the event nicely. The only issue that we had were the tasting judges grading extremely tough and teams had to be given extra points to make a different medal ranking that all bronze. I learned that Colorado Food Event is leaps and bounds more organized then the national level.

At the opening and closing sessions, the national officer team built a skit around Saturday Night Live Skit format. The skits were cute and clever in the way it showed how FCCLA has evolved as an organization to meet the needs of the times without losing its focus on the family. The session was a little long for my liking but I enjoyed that SLHS was honored at the Runner Up chapter in the Career Connection National Program.

I attended Track 1 of the Adviser Academy Program, sponsored by the National Consultant Team. I felt that this track was the exact same type of training that the new adviser program was last year because it did the exact same activities and focused on teaching about FCCLA. I have to complete all five tracks to graduate from this program and am optimistic about learning more about being an effective adviser from the other tracks.  I would recommend this academy for new advisers that are looking to expand their adviser skills and knowledge of FCCLA.

Overall, we had a great time at the National Leadership Conference. Please watch this video to see the amazing time we had I learned a lot about being and adviser and came home with many teaching resources. This conference is a great way to strengthen your skills as an adviser and a great way for students to develop as leaders. I hope to go again next year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

State Conference 2012

This spring I had a wonderful time taking two junior girls to state conference. They were very enthusiastic and excited for their STAR Event Competition in Life Event Planning. I was nervous for them because they were adamant on planning a wedding for their event, but they ended up doing very well. They were called back for run-offs. I am proud of the work they did.
Again, I volunteered to be the Advocacy Event Chair. This is always a very educational experience and helps advisors to learn the ins and outs of different events. I think I am ready to Chair a different event next year. I enjoy chatting with students from all over the state as they come and go through the hallway. I always learn a lot from them.

Once we returned back to school, it is motivating for other students to see finished projects with awards and certificates. It is a good thing when juniors, sophomores, and freshmen attend because then they are really pumped up for the following year. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. State conference is always impressive for students and for me as an advisor.

National FCCLA 2011

I attended the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA from July 9-14, 2011 with one of my students and one of our state officers.  I was so pleased that I had two students who qualified for Nationals, and that one of them followed through and attended the conference.  I was honored to chaperone one of our state officers since her chapter and advisor were unable to travel to Nationals this year.  It was such a whirl-wind gathering the paper work and money to be able to go, but now that I have done it once, hopefully future travel with be a bit easier.  I did have one student who was going to attend the conference, and then a week before we were leaving, she backed down.  I was thoroughly disappointed, and never did get her to pay back the difference that she still owed.  The learning here for me was no matter what the circumstance, students must pay a non-refundable deposit in addition to fundraising.  This was my first time attending a National FCCLA conference and it was eye-opening, motivating, and exciting to be a part of it.

The opening general session was professional yet engaging.  I was so impressed with the work that the National Officer Team put in to making this a true “show.”  Everything ran smoothly.  The keynote speaker, Chef Jeff, was extremely motivating.  His stories were about perseverance and reaching your full potential.  I also attended workshops such as: Leadership Bootcamp, Integrating the Planning Process in the Classroom, and the Advisors Recognition Session.  I received some good ideas to take back and use in the classroom.  It was neat to hear Michael Benjamin address the advisors.  He talked said that FACS teachers do not teach basic skills, we teach essential skills, and that the essence of FACS education in to create healthy and sustainable families.  The keynote during the Advisors Recognition session was Cheryl Cran.  Closing Session was a little long for my liking, but I did get some good ideas to share with my chapter.           

I was a room consultant for the Illustrated Talk event and was impressed with most of the projects.  There were a couple that were a little bit shocking that they made it to Nationals.  I enjoyed sitting in the actual room with the judges because then I was able to hear the presentations not just see the portfolios.  In the future I will definitely volunteer to be a room consultant again.  

The students and advisors I was able to connect with over the week was definitely an opportunity for growth and learning.  This conference was worthwhile, and I was so happy to be able to share in this experience with the two students I brought.  I learned a lot about being an advisor and traveling out of state with teenagers.  I was impressed with the professionalism and caliber of the students who attend this conference.  This was a great way to strengthen my skills as a teacher and advisor and a great way for students to develop as leaders. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I learner as a Mentor

 Last August I was contacted by the Boulder Valley teacher induction program coordinator. He asked me if I was interested in mentoring not one but two new BVSD Family and Consumer Science teachers. My first thought was a if I would have time to give so many hours while being 3 months away from having my first child. After some discussion on the terms and flexibly of working with these new FACS teachers, I realized I wanted to help. I also wanted to help the "future" of BVSD FACS programs. The time management component would work itself out. After all, us FACS teachers know all about muti-tasking!

Shortly after taking my new roll as a mentor, I thought about my intention (besides the required components). I knew that after teaching for 6 years myself, being a new FACS and new to a district can
be a lot to wrap your head around. I really wanted to help educate, inform, and excite these new teachers about CTE, FACS, and BVSD. There were many sessions where I met with the two ladies from other BVSD High Schools to go over everything from district policy, CTE State accountability, and best classroom practices. Before, during, and after my maternity leave I worked to hopefully make the new teacher's first year a bit smoother.

It wasn't until near the end of of my mentor experience that I realized that I got more that I could have imagined from the program. I believe it's easy to get into a routine over the years with our teaching patterns. Once we develop our lesson plans, it's east to use them over and over again. Through working with these new teachers, I found a new spark for trying newer lessons, looking at teaching in different styles, and basically thinking outside of the box. I now believe that while I taught a thing or two to my mentors, perhaps I was the one who really learned a lot!

I urge your to always have a motivator to keep you fresh and hungry as a teacher. Sometimes it takes an unexpected experience but, through making an intention in the beginning of the school year, we are most likely to receive something by the end of the school year!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Interior Design 101 Workshop

Here are some great resources that teachers learned about during the Interior Design workshop.  Do you have other?  Write a comment below to add to our list!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 FCCLA State Conference

Once again, we, as Colorado FCCLA advisers and members, were treated to an outstanding FCCA State Leadership Conference! The conference was held Thursday through Saturday; April 12-14, 2012 at the Denver Tech Center Marriott.

I didn't feel like the opening session could get any better than last year's. Boy, was I wrong! As I exited this year's stellar session, I was excited and enthused to be a Colorado FCCLA adviser. I take my hat off to the state advisers and officer team who never cease to amaze me with their creative talent and ingenuity.

I was a co-chair of the new Colorado State Event titled "Get the Word Out." Orientation was on Thursday and the competition took place on Friday afternoon. We had a limited number of participants and I would assume that is because the event is new. It was rewarding to work with the FCCLA members and judges during the event. I would encourage all FCCLA advisers to consider co-chairing an event if you have not done so before. It is one of the most rewarding tasks you will do related to FCCLA.

Friday, the banquet was well-thoughout and planned. The dance was enjoyed by many FCCLA members. On Saturday, the highlight of the conference was the Awards Ceremony. It's always a joy to watch the excitement on the FCCLA members' faces as they are called up on stage. I've been doing this for 27 years and every year is as suspenseful as the previous years. I am excited that my son, Trevor, will be traveling to the National Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL in July to participate in the Job Interview STAR Event.

I love State FCCLA Conference. It is always a terrific experience and this year's conference was nothing short of that.

Mentorship Program

Mentorship is defined on the wikipedia website as "a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. However, true mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing help. It is about an ongoing relationship of learning, dialog, and challenge.

I have had the opportunity to participate in the CO FACS Mentorship Program this past year and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I firmly believe in supporting all FACS teachers, and especially FACS teachers who are new to the profession or are returning to the profession after an extended absence. I feel that a vital part of our professionalism as FACS teachers is to share ideas and activites that we've tried and have found to be successful in our FACS classrooms. My question has always been, "why re-invent the wheel?"

 I truly feel that the Colorado FACS Mentorship Program has benefitted me just as much as it has helped the mentees that I've worked with this past year. I feel that it is a worthwhile program and I encourage all new and/or returning to the profession FACS teachers to seek out and join the Mentorship Program.

Colorado FCCLA State Conference 2012

Taking students to the state conference was somewhat of a different experience for me this year. Although I have taken students in the past, it had always been at the most 4 girls and sometimes even less. This year 8 girls and 1 guy attended from Sierra. It was a great experience for both the students and me.

My students became enthused about going to this conference after attending a day long seminar at Johnson and Wales earlier in the year. Many of my students come from lower socio-economic families and have not done much traveling. For some of them, this was their first time going to Denver! And it was their first time seeing a college campus outside of our local choices. So, with the exposure to seeing other high school students involved in Family and Consumer Science classes type issues, they became excited that they could get to attend the 3 day conference.

Of course the biggest issue was how to pay for it all. I told them if they were willing to do the fund raising involved, we could go. So fundraising is what we did for most of the winter into spring! All the students who attended were in my Catering classes so the obvious way to raise money was through food. Sierra students and faculty were both the beneficiaries and the ones who funded our trip. Bake sales, teacher dinners and holiday sales kept us very busy, but eventually the money needed was raised.

There was much excitement leading up to the conference as none of my students had ever attended any type of conference. Most had never stayed at a large hotel! There were many questions and issues to be addressed, but all went smoothly and we arrived in Denver.

Without going into too much detail, my students had a great experience. Many of the experiences were eye-opening for some of them, beginning with the large nice hotel and nice rooms to having the hundreds of students walking around. Attending the first evenings gathering to dancing on Friday night they were constantly learning about new things they had never been exposed to before.

Though the FCCLA conference fulfills a variety of needs for students from many schools through out Colorado, from competitions to developing leadership skills, for my students attending this year’s conference may have had a little different meaning. I feel they learned that they can now look for opportunities that are available to them, do what it takes to get to there (fundraising), and then take advantage of what that experience has to offer. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

FCCLA State Leadership Conference 1977-2012

Since 1977 I have taken FCCLA students to state leadership conferences.  Now, I’ve had the opportunity to experience state leadership conferences with student in three states; Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.  This year I took ten FCCLA members from Canon City High school.  At the beginning of the school year attending FCCLA SLC (state leadership conference) is the motivation to be a member and a goal of 10 members to compete for.  So, it’s always a pleasure to see them attain the goal and help them achieve it. 

This year five of the members competed in STAR events.  It’s always interesting after all these years how the students, no matter how many times you tell them not to procrastinate, they are always working until the last minute on their presentations.  Three of my members have competed the last three years and “knew the drill” and they did well at competition.  Another member in which this was her first year in FCCLA and she was a senior was very confident in her preparation as she has had some 4-H experience.  This experience paid off in the end as she did fairly well during her competitive event.   Next, after all my years as an advisor I think the most joy is the junior division student during competition as they take everything seriously.  My freshman student worked diligently on her project and at 6:15 a.m. on the morning of competition she call me to ask if she can come to my hotel room to practice her speech before she has to set up.  I said to her – “wait a few minutes as I just go out of the shower”.  These are memorable experience as an advisor.  She, in the end, received a top gold in her event and that 6:15 a.m. practice session proved to be the “winning ticket” to success. 

The other five FCCLA members who attended the conference experienced the workshops and presentations which proved to be a very educating experience for them.  They were making the connections of what I was trying to integrate in the classroom and teach them at the FCCLA meetings.  On the bus ride home it was great to hear them discuss ideas for membership recruitment for next year and what competitive events they want to be involved in.  I sat in the driver’s seat with a satisfying smile on my face with the thoughts “mission accomplished” as that was the whole reason for these students to attend. 

My hopes are I will be taking students to SLC for the next five years and never tire of the adventures of the annual conference.  

To Pass or Not to Pass? The End-of-Year Moral Dilemma

To Pass or Not to Pass? The End-of-Year Moral Dilemma

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Realityworks, Inc. Announces 2012 RealCare Video Contest

Realityworks, Inc. is now accepting applications for the 2012 RealCare Video Contest. RealCare Program users have the opportunity to apply and submit a video for a chance to one of three prizes of up to a $1,000 donation to their organization or school. 

Contestants must create a video showing how the RealCare Program has made a difference in their organization or school. To be eligible, the school/organization must have a RealCare Program and both participants and instructor(s) must appear in the video.
Entries must include the following throughout the video:
  • Which school/organization and classes use the RealCare Program
  • How the RealCare Program has changed lives
  • Experiences and attitudes about teen pregnancy, parenting, and child care, etc.
All submissions are due April 16, 2012. Entries will be initially judged by number of views and the number of stars (ranking) per video. The top five most-viewed and highest-ranked videos will be the finalists for the contest. These five finalists will then be judged by a Selection Committee that will choose the first, second, and third place winners. The first place winner’s school or organization will receive a $1,000 donation; second place will receive a $500 donation; and third place will receive a $250 donation.

For more information on the RealCare Video Contest, visit or call Realityworks at 800-830-1416.

Brought to you by AAFCS

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Colorado Schools See Potent Influence From Nearby Medical Marijuana Sites

Have you discussed medical marijuana in your Health/Teen Choices courses? This article might be an interesting one to discuss with your students.

Colorado Schools See Potent Influence From Nearby Medical Marijuana Sites

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Study: Vaccinated Kids 2-5 More Diseases Than Unvaccinated

Do you cover the topic of vaccinations in your Child Development class? Add this article to your collection and have your students take a "position" in regards to vaccinations or no vaccinations-- you might be surprised at what they discover!

Big Study: Vaccinated Kids 2-5 More Diseases Than Unvaccinated

Monday, February 6, 2012

How Do You Make Your Resume Stand Out?

Your new job is just around the corner! Hit the road running by checking out this quick blog on making your resume stand out!

How Do You Make Your Resume Stand Out?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nutrition educators invited to join ‘knowledge sharing’ ENC-Teacher Exchange

Park Ridge, IL, January 11, 2011—Nutrition educators and other family and consumer sciences teachers throughout the U.S. interested in sharing, using or helping to develop effective nutrition teaching tools for students in grades 1 thru 12 are invited to go online to join a free knowledge-sharing program called “ENC-Teacher Exchange,” introduced this month by Egg Nutrition Center (ENC), science division of The American Egg Board headquartered in Park Ridge, Illinois.
As the ENC-Teacher Exchange program grows from infancy through fruition in 2012, it will feature specific types of nutrition education programs that, in the opinion of nutrition educators, resonate with their students. Teachers who join ENC-Teacher Exchange will be encouraged to share their best nutrition tools, which ENC will package with downloadable assets and make available for free at As ENC-Teacher Exchange gains momentum, a half dozen “3-teacher creative teams” will be culled from the membership in 2012 to develop new nutrition tools, or to refresh existing ones, that will be augmented by university-based nutrition researchers provided by ENC.
Charter members of the ENC-Teacher Exchange program are expected to come from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (, the widely recognized Washington D.C. Metro-based national non-profit representing family and consumer sciences professionals. AAFCS brings together FCS teachers, university educators, business and government professionals and others to achieve their mission of improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. AAFCS endorses the concept of ENC-Teacher Exchange, and has agreed to work with Egg Nutrition Center to help gain acceptance among FCS teachers.
ENC Executive Director Mitchell Kanter, PhD, conceived the ENC-Teacher Exchange primarily to create two-way dialog with teachers in response to America’s obesity epidemic, which he describes as “the number one nutrition-related issue of our time.” While “obesity” will be the primary theme of the program in 2012, ENC-Teacher Exchange may be expanded in 2013.
ENC’s egg-related research in universities over the years (, which includes studies illustrating that nutrient-dense eggs have only 70 calories and fit well into healthy lifestyles, led Dr. Kanter to conclude that ENC, working more closely with teachers, could provide viable education solutions. ENC decided a nutrition-education web site populated by nutrition tools developed “by teachers for teachers” could better advance nutrition education and serve as an ally in the fight against obesity.
Family and consumer sciences teachers and other nutrition educators are encouraged to join the ENC-Teacher Exchange—online application takes only a few minutes—at Members will be encouraged to participate in online forums to submit their ideas—which ENC will monitor—that will also serve to help ENC identify willing participants for “3-teacher creative teams” to develop new types of nutrition tools.