Director's Memo 2022-8-22
Consider joining a CTSO
Taylor Frech didn't feel like her local high school was enough of a challenge, so she decided to try something new. She said she didn't even know what DECA was when she signed up to join, but she soon discovered it was exactly what she needed.
DECA is a CareerTech student organization dedicated to preparing students in high school and college for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Frech said DECA provided her the challenge she had been missing.
“I began to fall in love with coming to school each day,” she said, “and I found ways to challenge myself through the marketing program and DECA.”
Read more of the August Director’s Column on the Oklahoma CareerTech website.
Metro Tech opens renovated conference center
Metro Technology Centers held a ribbon cutting ceremony recently for its newly renovated conference center at the Springlake Campus.
The conference center includes a 283-seat auditorium and a banquet hall that will hold 350 seated attendees, along with six meeting rooms, all of which have audio, video and video-conferencing capabilities.
The renovation was funded through a 2019 community bond initiative. Metro Tech will use the conference center to serve the community, said Superintendent Aaron Collins.
The tech center is also planning a mosaic project, “The East Side Experience,” for display in the conference center. It will incorporate artifacts donated by community members.
Read more about the conference center on Metro Tech’s website.
Oklahoma CareerTech Champion: Rachel Blackmon - Canadian Valley Technology Center and SkillsUSA
Rachel Blackmon is a hairdresser, master barber instructor and manager of an upscale hair salon in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Blackmon received a certification from Canadian Valley Technology Center several years ago, while she was a student at Ninnekah High School. But it wasn’t a cosmetology certification she received from CVTech. Blackmon chose a slightly less conventional career path.
Living in a tiny town and attending a tiny school, Blackmon wanted to get away, even if it was only for a few hours a day, she said. She hoped CareerTech would offer her that opportunity, as well as give her career skills for the future. She enrolled at CVTech’s Chickasha campus, her closest technology center, as a junior in high school.
That technology center campus didn’t offer a cosmetology program, however, so Blackmon chose graphic design. She joined SkillsUSA, the CareerTech student organization aligned with trade and industrial education, and competed at both the state and national level. She placed first at the state contest in the Customer Service event.
“Practicing and competing in that was a big help for what I do now as a service provider and manager of a hair salon,” she said. “I think it would have been a much longer road to being able to work well with clients, staff and students if I hadn’t learned these skills early on.”
Blackmon said she enjoyed everything about CareerTech, so much so that while she was at CVTech she served as student ambassador.
“I adored my teacher, Traci McNeff,” she said. “She is the one who encouraged me to join the ambassador program and compete in SkillsUSA. She saw potential I didn’t know I had. I believe that all the staff members there have the same heart for their students.”
McNeff taught Blackmon valuable computer skills in the graphic design program, as well as public speaking skills. Blackmon said the competitions boosted her self-confidence. Now, as a cosmetologist, she uses all of these skills to market and advertise her services and build her clientele.
“I would absolutely recommend going to CareerTech to anyone,” she said.
After high school, Rachel attended a private barber school and received her barber’s license and master barber instructor license.
OK Career Guide plans training sessions
The OK Career Guide team at Oklahoma CareerTech has created multiple opportunities for training in OK Career Guide and Kuder Galaxy, the career awareness platform for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.
Sessions have been planned for administrators, beginning educators and educators ready for more detailed training.
For more information and schedules, visit the Oklahoma CareerTech website.
Follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OklahomaCareerTech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech and read our blog, Oklahoma CareerTech Delivers. Find our podcast at https://www.cthorizon.org/.
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Write that novel. Start that business you’ve always wanted to. The ultimate high of life is the commitment to pursuing something. -- Diana Nyad