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