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OPENING LETTER This school year brought a number of new education initiatives for the state of Mississippi as we began implementing Common Core, introduced new teacher- and principal-evaluation models (p.30), and began baseline CPAS testing for CTE students. I commend the teachers, administrators, counselors, and other CTE educators for rising to the challenges. You took these changes in stride and continue to focus your efforts on helping Mississippi students reach their potential as students and future members of the workforce. As I read through the stories in this issue of Connections, over and over again I was reminded of your commitment to CTE in our state and of the amazing work your students complete in your classrooms, shops, and labs. Some of you are using the state-of-the-art simulators available to collision-repair and welding programs (p.22), and others are incorporating artistic projects to teach health sciences (p.25). Whatever the method, your students are completing creative, engaging projects and connecting their coursework to a bigger world just outside the classroom door. This issue also brings exciting news of the first agriculture academy in the state (p.10) and a new logistics pathway (p.20 ), along with compelling profiles of 34-year veteran agriculture teacher Dan Stuckey and the 2013 CTE Student of the Year John Andrews (p.17 ). Additionally, a number of school-based enterprises around the state are running successful businesses (p.13 ) and Attala students completed a service-learning project with the Natchez Trace Parkway (p.4 ). All of the work featured in this issue demonstrates how students are learning outside the classroom and gaining real work experience. Finally, as you all know by now, we converted learningmanagement systems this year by moving from Blackboard to Canvas (p.9). For the 900+ who have already moved your class sites, thank you for your hard work and commitment to creating as smooth a transition as possible. For those who are still in the process, please know that the MDE and the RCU are ready and willing to help in any way needed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance (, 662.325.2510).

Connections contributors


Lynn Eiland Kristen Dechert Ashley Brown Leanne Long Alexis Nordin Denise Sibley Suzanne Tribble Brooke Boyd Heather Craig

Want your school featured in

Connections? We want to hear about your success stories, awards, and program accomplishments. If you have a story idea, please contact Lynn Eiland,

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I did and that you share these inspiring CTE stories with stakeholders in your area.

Mike Mulvihill Director, Office of Career and Technical Education Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 3

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SERVICE LEARNING ON THE TRACE Attala County’s CTE students partner with the Natchez Trace Parkway to promote conservation By Alexis Nordin


tudents in Kenneth Georgia’s classes in the Kosciusko-Attala Career Technical Center need more than their pencils and notebooks to excel in his classes—they also need nets, boots, and GPS trackers as they hit the Natchez Trace Parkway for a second year of service learning. During his two-year tenure at the center, Georgia—who teaches students in the school’s agriculture and environmental science and technology (AEST) curriculum—has heartily embraced service learning as a way to push his students out of the school building and into nature. A teacher who has always wanted an “outdoors, hands-on career,” Georgia clearly relishes getting his hands dirty alongside his students. As a result, his classes often find themselves helping out at greenhouses, community garden plots, farmers’ markets, and elementary schools. But starting in the 2012-2013 school year, students may have been surprised to find themselves also wading through the murky waters of the Natchez Trace Parkway when Georgia’s school partnered with Natchez Trace Park Ranger Jane Farmer in the National Park Foundation’s Adopt-a-Stream program to monitor soil and water quality. Georgia first approached Farmer seeking outdoor learning opportunities for his students. “He contacted me here at the Natchez Trace asking if there was any way that he and his students could get involved, and I was looking for teachers who would participate in the Adopt-a-Stream program,” Farmer said. “[Adopt-a-Stream] hit a lot of his curriculum and objectives.” As Farmer described the program, Georgia acknowledged its learning potential but worried about possible hazards.



He admitted that he was “terrified” of his students encountering deep water, dense vegetation, and wild animals. When pitching the idea to school administrators and parents, however, he found strong encouragement and support. Far from being skittish, school officials and parents were intrigued. “Communication was the key,” Georgia noted, who asked Farmer to address administrators’ safety concerns upfront. Parents were also given an opportunity to voice their opinions, and all agreed to allow their children to participate in the first year of the program. Before the program began, Georgia and Farmer trained students repeatedly in safety awareness. As a result, no student suffered any injuries while on the Trace. “We had not so much as a scratch,” Georgia stressed, though the students did startle a few snakes. Farmer was often in the stream with the class in case of trouble. Using a National Park Foundation grant that Farmer received, the Natchez Trace Parkway provided all the necessary equipment for students, from protective clothing to sophisticated tools for tracking short- and long-term indicators of their stream’s health, such as pH, nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and insect life cycle. “The Natchez Trace Parkway furnished all of the tools and equipment for [the students] to use—the latest, up-to-date gear, the best of the best. They were able to study everything. Just the experience itself was so instrumental,” Georgia praised. The information students collected was shared not only with the park rangers, but also with the EPA and the Mississippi Adopt-aStream program. Attala County’s CTE students continue to work with the Adopt-a-Stream program during the 2013-2014 school year. Their primary focus this year is to partner with local el-

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ementary schools, bringing young children onto the Trace to drive home the importance of conservation. Georgia’s students also plan to launch a new initiative for elementary school students this year called “Where Does Your Food

“All of these are concepts one may not find per se in some traditional classrooms, but are hinges of career and technical education. Sometimes those lessons that aren’t so obvious are the ones that our kids really need to master and to

“I [enjoyed] every single day out on the job, no matter how hot it was. There [was] always something new to see, even though I may have [gone] to that creek the day before. I always found something interesting to observe and study. I love what the Natchez Trace Parkway is doing to involve the young people and help them become enthused to assist in other service projects.” —Ethan Hunt Come From?” The program aims to teach young students about food production—a need Georgia’s students recognized when they participated in FFA Week. “We learned that these [elementary] students have no earthly idea where their food comes from. Young kids struggle to make simple connections between food items such as a cucumber and a pickle, a hamburger and a cow, and so forth,” Georgia said. “That’s disheartening as an agriculturist and a little scary.” In September, the students invited local animal-agricultural professionals to visit their CTE center both to discuss job opportunities in their fields and to recruit their support for “Where Does Your Food Come From?” The group plans to bring not only local food producers and Extension Service professionals onto campus for the event, but also cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, and rabbits. The students will plan the program, identify and coordinate guest speakers, manage logistics, and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

take away from high school,” Georgia stressed. He believes the program will also help his CTE students build valuable networks with local industry professionals: “It would be really, really big if we can pull it off.” Georgia hopes that multiple service-learning initiatives will expose students to a plethora of college and career opportunities awaiting them in the natural sciences. “We are very submerged in our content areas, where [students] have to think, plan, construct, apply, and analyze, and I think that’s the direction learning has to go. We are really trying to prepare students for higher learning and careers—we’ve got to give them the skills that it takes,” he said. Instead of viewing service learning merely as a way to fulfill the supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs) of his curriculum or to help students meet their mandatory quota of FFA volunteer hours, Georgia sees service learning as an Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 5

feature TRACE

“Working with this project this summer has changed my perspective about the Natchez Trace. We met many objectives and came across many obstacles. This opportunity has also pushed me to continue to work hard to achieve my goal of working in the animal sciences.” —D.J. Snow opportunity to give back to the community while introducing his students to new career choices. “Our students have a chance to find those areas that they’re interested in,” explained Georgia. “It’s my job to get out and expose them.” Georgia’s service-learning strategy appears to be working. Students are now asking questions about careers they may have never previously considered, including how to become foresters, park rangers, game wardens, educators, and Department of Environmental Quality or USDA agents. “That is more rewarding to me than anything,” Georgia stated. Two of his students—D.J. Snow and Ethan Hunt— were hired by the National Park Foundation as interns on the Natchez Trace in summer 2013 to study the impact of local industries like cattle and turf farming on water quality. Farmer seeks to expand the Adopt-a-Stream program by recruiting more schools located within an hour of the Natchez Trace, for which her office can provide funding for buses and field trips. Farmer encourages schools farther away from the Trace to contact the Mississippi Adopt-aStream program to get involved with state-led conservation initiatives. “It’s been a good partnership,” Farmer said of her work with Attala County. “Over time, the idea is to get schools involved all along the Natchez Trace that have streams near their schools, or at least within a decent driving distance. They can go monitor these streams and use the skills. Then they can report back to us what they’re finding in the streams, and it will give us a database that will help us to have a picture of what is happening in the stream.” 6


Georgia and Farmer hope that Attala County’s CTE students will graduate ready to charge headfirst into the future, armed with increased college preparedness, a love of nature, and an appreciation for service. Meanwhile, Georgia looks forward to welcoming next year’s class. “We’ve got some other projects up our sleeve,” Georgia said. “We’re super excited and hope to leave a lasting mark on our community.”

For more information about the AEST curriculum, please contact Brad Skelton,


CROSS-DISCIPLINE LEARNING Loyd Star Attendance Center Develops Agriculture and Biotechnology Academy By Suzanne Tribble


he Loyd Star Attendance Center in Brookhaven was looking for a way to spark student interest in their agriculture program. In order to do this, they, along with the Lincoln County School District and Copiah-Lincoln Community College, created the first Agricultural and Biotechnology Academy in Mississippi. Biotechnology is the science of using cellular and molecular biotechnological processes to enhance animal and human life to combat diseases, improve the environment, research energy use, and improve manufacturing processes. Modern agricultural biotechnology includes genetic engineering as well. The Agriculture and Biotechnology Academy is intended to help students concentrate their studies in areas such as agricultural feedstock and chemicals, bioscience-related distribution, drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, and research, testing, and medical laboratories. This academy works as a cross-discipline team, with courses in math, science, history, computer literacy, and social studies included in students’ daily schedules. Integrated projects for each class are completed with each instructor in his or her particular class to reinforce learning. Also included in the curriculum are field trips, internships, and mentoring opportunities along with advanced technology in the classroom. Lesson plans cover cell biology, genetics, research, and biotechnology in plants, animals, medicine, food, and the environment. Students with a background in agricultural biotechnology are prepared for careers and postsecondary work in chemical engineering, agricultural engineering, environmental engineering, and microbiology. Brookhaven instructor Billy Sumrall said that many of his students come from small farms and communities and sometimes do not see the potential that agriculture has of being a higher-level occupation. Bringing new technology into the classroom and involving the students in real-life experiences is one way to boost their awareness. According

to Sumrall, the program helps students see agriculture in a new light. “The students get to work with community leaders and see working agricultural businesses in action,” he added. Having been an instructor at the Loyd Star CTC for the past six years, Sumrall has been preparing for expanding the agriculture program all along. The 1938 building in which they are housed has been renovated and now includes a small animal laboratory and a greenhouse, among other additions, and they have plans for even more structural upgrades. Last year, there were 42 agriculture students at Loyd Star. This year, with the addition of the Agricultural and Biotechnology Academy, the program has grown to 100 students. As growth continues, Sumrall hopes that next year they will have 150 or more students. The school has even hired an additional instructor: Billy Sumrall’s son, Seth Sumrall, was an agriculture instructor in another school district. He is now team teaching with his father. The two teach Introduction to Agriculture at the same time every day. In an attempt to bring more awareness about agriculture and the Ag and Bio Academy, the Sumrall team is developing interest at the local elementary and middle schools, including teaching an eighth-grade course and starting a junior FFA chapter at the elementary school. Although the program is low on funds, they hope to involve the junior FFA in exhibiting rabbits because they understand the importance of reaching out to younger students in the hopes that they will one day join the Ag and Bio Academy. Eventually, Sumrall would like 90% of Loyd Star students to be enrolled in an agriculture course. With around 35% enrolled now, they are well on their way to this goal. Sumrall noted that “this program is bringing new technology into south Mississippi in a field that is common to a lot of people.”



Mississippi’s Learning Management System

Supports students through community college.

Enhances learning at home.

Streamlined learning management system.

Multimedia friendly.

Engages students in learning by implementing various online apps.



CANVAS feature

BLACKBOARD-TOCANVAS CONVERSION Secondary and Postsecondary CTE Align Online Platforms By Leanne Long


n the spring of 2013, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Career and Technical Education moved from the learning-management system Blackboard to Instructure’s new, open-source system, Canvas, already used by the community college CTE programs around the state. This change supports students as they transition from secondary to postsecondary online education. Associate State Superintendent of CTE Jean Massey said, “We are pleased to provide educators with a Canvas classroom site.” She added that the conversion decision was made to align with the Mississippi Community College Board and results in cost savings.

to their students.” All parties involved wanted to make the stress on the teachers as low as possible while executing this shift in learning-management systems. Since school began in early August, the team has been fully engaged with teachers utilizing Canvas, and many of those teachers have embraced the change and noted their ease of use with the system. “We are aware that it will take time and effort to become familiar with the layout, as it differs from Blackboard. Many teachers accepted the challenge and jumped in and embraced the opportunity to create new, clean courses,” Bowen said.

Through the new platform, Mississippi educators will be provided 24/7 access to classroom materials, a flipped-classroom concept to allow student prework for new content, and online practice testing to prepare for statewide assessments. These experiences will provide students the benefit of a “research-based, highly-effective, engaged virtual classroom,” said Massey.

Some teachers have fully embraced the platform and are using it in their classes this semester, while others are still refining their course content and preparing to publish it in the future. According to Bowen, both practices indicate the transition is moving forward. “With any substantial change, time to adapt is always a challenge, but a challenge Mississippi Educators are up for,” Bowen added.

Working with the MDE and Canvas representatives, the Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) at Mississippi State University began the transition campaign in early May. To assist teachers with the process, RCU staff created guides and tutorials to prepare educators as much as possible before the July 1 adoption by the State Board of Education. The team continues to assist teachers with moving their course content, setting up their courses in Canvas, enrolling students, and even implementing a web- and phone-based help desk platform to expedite services.

Instructure’s Canvas has a number of features to offer teachers, including an intuitive interface that most users can easily navigate, a safe social network that connects teachers and students, easy-grading and early-intervention plugins, and more.

RCU Professional Learning Manager Marilyn Bowen has led the transition and said, “We anticipated that Blackboard users would be reluctant to make the change because countless hours of time had been spent by many educators to develop a course site that was both engaging and appealing

At the time of publication, 927 teachers had built Canvas classrooms, and 26,706 students were enrolled in the system. In the coming months, the RCU will continue to assist teachers with transitioning their Blackboard content to Canvas and will provide support to all teachers in Mississippi using the platform in their CTE classes. To create Canvas classes for your program or for Canvas assistance, e-mail or call 662.325.2510. Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 9

profile EDUCATOR


Lawrence County Technology and Career Center Introduction to Agriculture, Agriculture and Natural Resources Years of Service: 34

“It’s rewarding when you see kids come back and tell you how proud they are of what they have learned. Kids you don’t think you’ve taught enough come back and tell you that the only reason they have a job is because of what they learned in your class.” Tell us a little about what you teach and the purpose of your programs. Over the years, it’s changed a lot. Now, the emphasis of the program is on what it takes to produce the agriculture products and also on the environmental effects of the industry and other natural resources. The students also learn the basics of welding, carpentry, reading blueprints, and other shop work. When we can, we take on community projects as well. What or who inspired you to become a high school teacher? I grew up working this way. My dad was a carpenter, and we built houses and did other work. I got a lot of experience with FFA when I was in high school, too. I think it was a wise choice—must have been for me to stay so long [chuckles]. After 30+ years in the field, what do you find most rewarding about being a teacher? It’s rewarding when you see kids come back and tell you how proud they are of what they have learned. Kids you don’t think you’ve taught enough come back and tell you that the only reason they have a job is because of what they learned in your class. I’ve got one student who told me the other day that the only reason he was able to get a job welding is because he learned the basics in this program. I graduated my first doctor three years ago—after finishing up here, he went on to college and made it through vet school. Have you encountered adversity in your classroom, and how did you overcome it? There’s always something changing or something out there to confront. For us, we are out of the classroom a lot during the school year, and sometimes it’s hard for other teachers and administrators to understand the importance of the FFA convention or other activities to our students. We just have to explain that this is part of our curriculum and that these aren’t field trips; they are learning experiences for the students. These events take what we do in the classroom and apply it on a higher level. We just have to tie it all together. We might have started with the students in second grade with livestock shows, but one day they walk across that stage at the national FFA convention and win an award. 10


EDUCATOR profile

What do you think is most challenging for students working toward graduation, and how do you help them face that challenge? A lot of the students I get want to go out and work; they are ready to go get a job. Many of them are not interested in what they are learning in their academic classes, or they aren’t doing well on the tests they have to take. The emphasis placed on testing is stressful for students. We have an excellent counselor at our center and other staff members who help students work toward graduating. They work with these students on a daily or weekly basis to help them understand that if they don’t pass these tests, they aren’t going to walk in graduation. Sometimes I have an A student in the shop, but that student isn’t doing well in the other classes. We try to help them as much as possible—help them at least get a GED. Not every kid I teach is going on to college—that is a given fact. Some will. Some won’t. Some of them are going to work, and some think they can’t go to college. They don’t realize what they can do until someone helps them understand the options they have. How have you collaborated with other CTE or academic teachers over the years to develop lessons or projects for your students? In the past, we have worked with some of the biology and other science teachers. It’s good when we are able to teach the same lesson at the same time, so the students hear the material in two places. One teacher incorporated our milk project into her class, so the students got to use the skills they learned for FFA milk tasting in a science classroom. Have you ever considered moving into administration? I lack 18 hours from getting an administration degree. At one time, I intended to get that degree, but events in my life prevented it. At that point in time, I wanted the degree, but then I got busy and had two kids, and backed off of that path. It’s a lot more work than people realize it would be, but if I had gone that route, I would have wanted to be a CTE director. What is the benefit to the community of CTE in high school? CTE prepares students to be out in the workforce. We teach the students employability skills. I always try to help the students understand that when you get a job, you have to do what is expected of you in the job. Also, you have a semi-trained workforce that comes out of CTE programs. You have students who are going into welding or other fields, and they have that skill, but they have other skills that they learned in their CTE classes, too. In a single program, the students learn more than just one skill. They may do a little electrical work, or small-engine repair, maybe a little welding. These skills can be used in the community. Also, in FFA, we do a lot of community work. My second-year students went down to the fourth grade classes and led activities and workshops for a camp. We help with livestock shows as well, and have had several other community projects in town. Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 11


VIP LEARNING UPDATE “The training I received will allow me to begin my school teaching profession with confidence.� As reported in the Fall 2012 issue of Connections, the Vocational Instructor Preparation (VIP) program recently underwent a renovation. After completing the pilot using the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) materials, several changes were implemented in an effort to improve CTE teacher preparation and retention. The initial two-week summer session, previously held in regional locations, has been moved to one general location at Mississippi State University. This move allows for an increase in networking opportunities within each curriculum area and provides access to more resources, such as guest speakers and technology, as well as a more uniform delivery of content. Also, the number of teacher observations by VIP instructors has decreased from three site visits to two, one per semester. Additionally, topics have been re-sequenced to better fit the school year, and motivational sessions have been added in an effort to address the teacher as a whole person and provide encouragement and emotional support in addition to pedagogical support. Furthermore, an online class using the Canvas learning management system has been incorporated to allow VIP participants to upload documents rather than keeping hard copies of lesson plans, teacher reflections, and other artifacts that were previously turned in at the end of the year in a participant portfolio. The online class provides an additional venue of communication through discussion boards, e-mail messages, and announcements. The final change is the decision to use an observation form based on the Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric (M-STAR), allowing for a smoother transition for VIP participants to the state evaluation system implemented at their schools.






roviding students with authentic work experience that is relevant to what they are learning is a goal shared by most CTE educators. Work-based learning is an ideal method for doing this, but finding employment for students that is directly related to their curriculum is a challenge— especially in more rural settings. School-based enterprises (SBE) provide an opportunity for students to get training in the workplace and apply the skills they learn in the classroom. SBEs operate like regular small businesses and give students real practice in their technical areas as well as business skills such as accounting, budgeting, cash-flow management, marketing, and inventory control. Compared to other workplace settings, SBEs offer more opportunities for students to develop problem-solving and communication skills, work in teams, rotate among jobs, and make managerial decisions. SBEs are also more closely connected to the curriculum than other types of work-based-learning opportunities. Another advantage of SBEs is that they give students experience in entrepreneurship. Considering the U.S. economy consists mostly of small businesses, this experience is valuable. Other benefits associated with work-based learning include improved school attendance, a decrease in the dropout rate, and an increased chance of students getting a job soon after graduation. This article showcases five SBEs in the state that range from new startups to well-established enterprises. They are unique in many ways, but they all share one commonality— they were started as a way to give students the best learning experience possible. Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 13


Spring Plant Sale Millsaps Career and Technology Center The Spring Plant Sale operated by Rusty Coates’s horticulture class at Millsaps Career and Technology Center in Starkville has been in existence for nearly 20 years and has become an annual event that Starkville residents look forward to every spring. Coates started the sale as a way to raise money in order for his students to attend FFA events. Having a plant sale would not only raise these funds, but it would also add relevance to what his students were be-

The quality of their customer service is evidenced by the repeat customers they have each year from Oktibbeha and surrounding counties. The students advertise in the local newspapers and distribute flyers, but Coates said their best advertising is word-of-mouth. “[Customers] start calling as early as February asking about the sale,” Coates added. The Spring Plant Sale is open during regular school hours and on Saturdays. The plant sale has been good publicity for Millsaps and Starkville High School. “Parents encourage their kids to be in the program even if they aren’t planning

“School-based enterprises provide an opportunity for students to get training in the workplace and apply the skills they learn in the classroom.” ing taught in the classroom, said Coates. And the sale is definitely making money for the students. “The first year we had the sale, we made about $500, now we make around $20,000,” said Coates. Money from the sale goes right back into the business. They have used the money to build a larger greenhouse, construct raised beds and a platform for selling the plants, and to purchase materials and equipment used to cultivate more plants. Second-year students begin planning for the plant sale early in the fall. They analyze plant sales from the previous year to determine what they will sell in the spring. They also do research to determine if there are any new items that they can add. All horticulture students work in the greenhouse and must be prepared to answer customers’ questions. They need to know the best conditions in which each plant grows and the proper way to plant and care for the plants. 14


on going into horticulture because they realize how much they will gain from the program,” said Coates. Recently, Coates’s students have begun partnering with the marketing, management, and carpentry programs at the center. Last year, they sold bird houses built by the carpentry students and are keeping their options open to expand further. Custom Carpentry : Alcorn Career and Technology Center Fred Jackson’s Construction Technology class at Alcorn Career and Technology Center in Corinth takes custom orders and builds structures according to customer specifications. “These projects allow us to teach basic carpentry skills through a real-world, hands-on experience,” said Jackson. “Our projects are sold through our career-center newsletter and our local newspaper for the cost of materials used in the construction.” The funds from each project allow Jack-

ENTERPRISES feature son and his students to purchase materials for other projects and give the students the opportunity to work on more large-scale projects throughout the program. For the past four years, they have been constructing hunting houses and utility buildings. The original plans for the structures came from Lowe’s Home Improvement, but the

for their DECA chapter. Starting an SBE seemed like the perfect solution.The Tee Pee is a store run by marketing and CPE students at Itawamba. “The Tee Pee was started literally in a small tutoring room,” said Holland. “Mrs. Prestige and I donated the paint and shelves to begin with and grew from there.” “The students love The Tee Pee,” said Holland. “They get hands-on experience and are able to apply many

“Typically, these students would not have the opportunity to work on such large-scale projects. Taking custom orders from the public has not only given them this opportunity, but it has also taught the students how to solve problems and think like entrepreneurs.” students make modifications to accommodate customers’ requests. Jackson said that his students know that the quality of their work is a reflection on the entire program, so they hold each other accountable. They are also connecting with their community and learning the importance of customer service and meeting deadlines. “Promoting safety and building students’ self-esteem and confidence is one of our goals,” Jackson added. Typically, these students would not have the opportunity to work on such large-scale projects. Taking custom orders from the public has not only given them this opportunity, but it has also taught the students how to solve problems and think like entrepreneurs. Students who complete the program in their junior year also have the opportunity to come back and manage construction projects by enrolling in Career Pathway Experience in their senior year. The skills they master in this program will not go to waste, for entrylevel carpentry jobs in Mississippi are projected to grow nearly 26% by 2020. When students complete this program, they are well prepared for work in the field. And for those interested in postsecondary programs, Jackson said that it is not unusual for completers of his program to enter the Construction Engineering Program at Northeast Mississippi Community College after graduation. The Tee Pee Itawamba Agricultural High School Lori Holland and Sandy Prestige, instructors at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, understand the importance of teaching students how to think like entrepreneurs. Both instructors have a background in marketing, and Holland also supervises the Career Pathway Experience (CPE) program, which helps students find employment that is relevant to their career objectives. In addition to providing students with entrepreneurial and hands-on work experience, Holland and Prestige wanted a permanent fundraiser

business and marketing concepts. It is a great example of starting small and building a business from nothing.” The Tee Pee is located in the high school and sells school supplies, spirit items, and small gift items. The store is open before school, at lunch, and after school, and according to Holland and Prestige, it has been a success for DECA and the school as a whole. “Students know The Tee Pee is there for their convenience, and they buy many of their school supplies in our establishment,” said Holland. Money raised by The Tee Pee is used to assist students with DECA competition and other field trips associated with the CPE and marketing classes, and some funds are reinvested into the store. The first recommendation that Holland gives to anyone wanting to start an SBE is, “Don’t be afraid.” She added that one of the most important decisions when starting an SBE is determining how the finances will be handled. “Deciding where the money will be deposited and how payments will be made is crucial,” Holland emphasized. The teachers also suggest establishing a business plan just as you would when starting any business, saying, “It is extra work, but after a while, things flow fairly simply.” THS Wave Zone Tupelo Career and Technical Center The Tupelo Career and Technical Center (TCTC) shows school spirit by selling merchandise in the THS Wave Zone. Started in 2010, the store is run by marketing teacher Brookes Prince’s and CPE teacher Christy Jordan’s classes. Working in the store coincides with the marketing and CPE curricula, giving the students hands-on experience. Firstyear students are allowed to help with inventory and setting up the store, and second-year students are trained on and allowed to work the cash register. All students’ input is considered when choosing products to sell. Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 15

feature ENTERPRISES “What really inspired us was that instead of just talking about supply and demand, we would get to see it first hand,” said instructor Dre Helms. “We would be learning to run a business in ways that some teachers have never thought possible,” she added. In the business academy, students are learning real-world experience that will come in handy later in life. “When they start looking for after-school jobs, or just jobs in general, they’ll be able to say that they ran a coffee shop in high school,” said Helms. Students bake cookies and make the coffee drinks every week-day morning. All 10th graders, each of the six managers is over a particular aspect of the business, including inventory, finance, operations, marketing, human resources, and overall business. Each manager has a morning to supervise during the week, and other students are assigned a particular day of the week to work. Typically, the work team divides up; one student works the cash register, one takes orders, and the other three or four make the mochas, frappés, and smoothies.

THS Wave Zone is open before school and during lunch, and the target market is the high school students and teachers who are on campus each day. Teachers at other Tupelo schools ask about their products, according to CTE Director Evet Topp. “We even have parents come by during our hours of operation to purchase items for their children,” Topp said. Because the store is treated like a laboratory, they do not advertise much to the outside public. “Our profit is used strictly to restock our inventory,” said Topp. Having a school store has given students hands-on retail experience. Topp noted that after working in the store, students have a greater appreciation for the hard work needed to set up and operate a retail outlet. Assistance from local businesses can be helpful to SBEs, said Topp, who added that T-shirts, mannequins, and other items were donated to their store. “If other schools are interested in opening a school-based enterprise, I would definitely suggest that they get help from local businesses, especially when getting started,” said Topp. Mocha Loca Talon Marketing+Design Academy Florence High School The Mocha Loca Coffee Shop opened in October 2012 at the Florence High School (FHS) Talon Marketing+Design Academy as a way to give students hands-on business experience that complements the material they learn in the classroom. 16


Mocha Loca opens before school, so students, faculty, and staff visit the shop for their morning drinks and snacks. “We regularly have bus drivers, parents, and even community leaders stop by to have a cup of coffee,” said Helms. “Almost everybody that’s able to come visits us at Mocha Loca. Our superintendent Dr. Lynn Weathersby has even stopped by to surprise us a couple of times.” According to Helms, working in Mocha Loca has made students more responsible and more aware of what it will be like when they get a “real-world” job. The coffee shop has been a success so far. Helms noted that they broke even in their first month of operation and have been featured on local news outlets. “What we felt was our main success is that, by taking this class, students will leave high school knowing how to take care of themselves. When they graduate, they will be Adobe Certified and know what it takes to own and operate a business,” Helms explained. To advertise Mocha Loca, students distribute flyers, hang posters, promote on social media, and make announcements at pep rallies and other assemblies. The profits from Mocha Loca are split between the business academy, the DECA club, and the school. Helms said the academy plans to use its proceeds from the coffee shop to buy equipment and materials for a future SBE project; the DECA Club uses proceeds to fund business-related competitions in which the students participate; and the school will use proceeds to fund special projects that will enhance instruction and the learning environment for the students. As for giving advice to others considering a school-based enterprise, Helms said, “Just remember to have fun, but at the same time take it seriously, and always keep trying to be better and better.”

STUDENT profile


2013 CTE Student of the Year Kossuth High School Graduate NE Mississippi Community College Student in Agricultural Business Why did you decide to pursue this field? I decided to take an agriculture class because I loved animals. Then I got the opportunity to fill in for someone in the livestock judging at the state FFA conference and did really well. The next year, I did really well again in livestock and dairy judging, so I decided to major in agricultural business in college because I really liked it and found out I was good at it, too. What did winning CTE student of the year mean to you? At first, when I saw it was my teacher calling me, I was worried that I had done something wrong! [laughs] But when I found out it was for the award, I was really shocked and honored. I am really thankful for winning the award and am thankful to my family, friends, and teachers, especially my CTE teacher, Mr. Gilmore, for encouraging me. What benefit does CTE have for students? CTE helps you get out there and see the field you could be working in. My teacher academy classes helped me see what the teaching field was like—one day I might even teach agriculture—and my agriculture classes helped me learn about the tools I would use in the field. What are your future plans? My goal is to one day own my own business, maybe something with cows, sheep, and goats. At first, I’ll probably work for a company in agricultural business, but I hope to one day own my own company. Who are your role models and why? My grandparents, who raised me. They mean a lot to me, and I look up to them a lot. Mr. Gilmore, my agriculture teacher. He got me into the judging and even let me show some of his sheep. My technology teacher in high school, Mr. Hebert. He has always stuck beside me and encouraged me. Ms. Nethery, my teacher academy teacher, has always been there to help me when I needed it. What is your favorite memory from a CTE class in high school? When I was judging dairy at the state FFA conference, I was worried I wasn’t making the right decisions and was second-guessing myself. Then, at the awards ceremony, when they called out my name for the top individual award, I was blown away. I was completely in shock and really excited that all my hard work had paid off.

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 17


NTHS January 17 - State Conference Whispering Woods Olive Branch, MS

DECA January 10 - District III Competition Itawamba Community College Fulton, MS

FEA January 30-31 - State Competitive Events Conference Marriott Hotel, Downtown Jackson, MS

January 15 - District II Competition Olive Branch High School Olive Branch, MS

April 11-13 - National Conference Minneapolis, Minnesota TSA January 31 - Central District Conference February 6 - Northern District Conference February 14 - Southern District Conference March 26-28 - State Conference HOSA April 16-18 - State Leadership Conference Marriott Hotel, Downtown Jackson, MS June 25-28 - National Leadership Conference Disney’s Coronado Springs Orlando, FL



January 22 - District IV & V Competition Jones County Junior College Ellisville, MS January 24 - District I Competition Hinds Community College Raymond, MS February 23-26 - State Career Development Conference Marriott Hotel, Downtown Jackson, MS February 27-29 - Collegiate State Career Development Conference Marriott Inn and Suites Gulfport, MS April 23 - 26 - Collegiate International Career Development Conference Washington, DC May 3-6 - International Career Development Conference Atlanta, GA


FCCLA February 19-21 - State Conference Marriott Hotel, Downtown Jackson, MS SKILLSUSA February 4 - Region II Competition Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead, MS February 6 - Region I Competition Northwest Community College Senatobia, MS February 7 - Region III Competition East Central Community College Decatur, MS February 11 - Region IV Competition CoLin Community College Wesson, MS February 13 - Region V Competition Pearl River Community College Poplarville, MS

MS ACTE/MDE SUMMER CONFERENCE August 5-7, 2014 Hinds Community College-Rankin Pearl, MS 2014 MS-CPAS2 TESTING DATES Secondary: April 7 - May 1 Postsecondary: March 31 - April 4 SPRING 2014 ONLINE VIP MODULES VIP Module 1 - History and Philosophy of Vocational and Technical Education Start Date January 21 VIP Module 2 - Developing Instructional Materials in Vocational and Technical Education Start Date January 21 VIP Module 5 - Classroom Management in Vocational & Technical Education Start Date January 21

February 25 - Mississippi State Championships Regency Conference Center & Trade Mart Jackson, MS June 23-27 – National Leadership and Skills Conference Kansas City, Missouri

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 19


Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: New Logistics Pathway Hits the Road by Ashley Brown


ave you ever wondered how an item gets from the distributor to your doorstep? Almost everything that we use daily was brought to us from another part of the world, typically traveling via multiple modes of transportation and being stored in one or more warehouses before it arrives at its destination. This complex, multifaceted process requires a person with a specific skill set to see the big picture and to keep the process running smoothly. Secondary CTE students in Jackson and Desoto County now have the option to pursue a career in the logistics industry through a new pathway.

Access. “There are so many different types of software that if you know the concepts and inner workings of why you’re doing something, the ‘how’ is not nearly as complicated,” said Doss. In the second year of the program, students learn about supply-chain management. This function involves identifying the components of the supply chain and the relationships

In the two-year Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics program, students learn about the three main parts of transportation logistics: supply-chain management, transportation, and distribution. So far, 31 students are enrolled in the new curriculum, which focuses during the first year on distribution, the process of receiving, stocking, procuring, and shipping in the safest and most timely manner. Students learn about warehouse equipment and technology, including forklifts, conveyor systems, and other materialshandling equipment, as well as how to manage a warehouse using software that allows a company to scan and inventory stored goods to track product quantity and location. James Pittman, the logistics instructor at the Career Development Center in Jackson, said that technology plays a big role in the logistics industry. “Learning how to use [the technology], and knowing why it’s used, helps a person to know how to do their job better,” he said, noting that such technologies as the barcode and scanner make the logistics industry more efficient, helping to track inventory as it is moved in and out of the warehouse. Mike Doss, instructor at the Desoto County Career and Technology Center East, agreed. His students have made their own warehouse-management system using Microsoft 20


between the components to see how the logistics industry works with companies to provide inventory management and shipping to their customers. Second-year students also study transportation, determining how trains, trucks, ships, and planes could work together to provide the best modes of shipment. Pittman said this knowledge is beneficial to


students because it prepares them for employment in the field. “It opens their eyes to the fact that we all depend on transport of items to get to us,” said Pittman, adding that it helps students to see that “in economics, time is money.” Students analyze the costs, potential hazards, import and export laws, and inspection processes for the different modes of transportation. They also learn how to set up an intermodal transport facility to function as efficiently as possible. In Desoto County, students attend class in a brand new 2,500-square-foot warehouse facility using lab time to ship books for the non-profit organization First Books,

“Almost everything that we use daily was brought to us from another part of the world, typically traveling via multiple modes of transportation and being stored in one or more warehouses before it arrives at its destination.” which provides books to children in underprivileged situations. This creates a problem-based, hands-on learning environment for the students. “They are accepting the challenges,” said Doss, who is proud of the high-level thinking his students exhibit as they plan warehouse layouts and delivery routes. Students who finish the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics program will be prepared for careers in the transportation industry, a growing business in the state of Mississippi. According to Doss, “It would be feasible [for students] to get a nice paying job right after graduation” because companies have already asked about when the first group of students will graduate. The industry ties to the program are strong, not only because it will feed the workforce, but also because logistics-industry representatives from Mississippi helped guide the curriculum development. National companies with local sites provided information about the transportation-logistics industry, including UPS, AAA, Cooper Transportation, Southeastern Freightlines, American Eurocopter, Williams-Sonoma, and Lockheed Martin. Teaching any new subject can be a matter of trial and error, but the two logistics instructors are participating in professional development opportunities as they implement their curriculum. In September, the instructors traveled to a national logistics conference in Utah with Lemond Irvin from the Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum

Unit. There, they interacted with top companies in the field, including Kellogg, SYSCO, and Wal-Mart, to learn about warehousing, supply chains, and best practices. Both Pittman and Doss found the conference to be valuable to their teaching, returning to Mississippi with information they have been using to teach current lessons and to plan future instruction. “Every class I took was beneficial,” said Doss. Introducing new secondary CTE programs takes time, and efforts are now being made to increase the number of schools and CTE centers that offer transportation logistics in Mississippi.

For more information about the program or to offer it at your school, contact Tim Bradford, MDE program supervisor for Transportation and Logistics, Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 21


21ST-CENTURY TECHNOLOGY FOR 21ST-CENTURY JOB TRAINING Welding and Collision Repair Students Use Simulators in the Classroom By Suzanne Tribble


he future is happening now in Mississippi as new virtual-welding and automotive-painting simulators are being used for the first time in the CTE classroom. The Mississippi Department of Education has introduced simulators that eventually will be utilized in welding and collision-repair programs around the state. Dale Box, the first instructor to use a welding simulator in a Mississippi CTE classroom, is optimistic about the prospect of using these simulators in the future. He said, “If I had 10 to 15 of these in my classroom, it would be a great thing.” He went on to state that even though the systems are costly, they would save on materials costs in the long run. Tom Wallace, director of the Greene County Vocational Center said, “Incorporating the simulator into our program has provided our students an opportunity to use up-to-date technology. This generation of students has grown up with virtual reality from the time they could walk. This training simulator has bridged the gap between hands-on learning and the technology that students are used to having at their fingertips.” Currently, Greene County welding students are learning the basic welding procedures and proper techniques of welding using a simulator. This highly engaging technology provides realistic simulations to metal-fabrication welding. With a simulator, the students learn to weld in a safe environment with realistic experiences at their fingertips, and 22


they can complete more passes using the virtual system than with traditional training. The virtual reality training provides real-time feedback and is similar to a video game. The virtual welding system also saves energy and reduces the use of costly materials. Box stated, “I have 12 to 14 students in a class, and the hardest part is that they all want a turn on the simulator.” Currently, he starts his students on the welding floor, and if they are continuously making the same errors, he moves them to the simulator to give them more practice, guidance, and to help them understand their mistakes. Welding at the Greene County Vocational Center is a twoyear program designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in basic steel fabrication. Wallace added, “It will be interesting to see how the students that have used this resource progress compared to our traditional models.” Similarly, Jerry Cox, the collision-repair instructor at Pearl Rankin Career and Technical Center, is the first instructor to try the new painting simulator in his classroom. The painting simulator is designed to train students to spray primer or paint in a way that reduces the amount of paint used and time spent painting. The system provides a visualization of paint thickness and overspray and has customization features, including paint-volume and spray settings. Students can practice and be assessed in a cost-effective manner using highly engaging technology with the new simulator. Cox said, “The simulator improves muscle memory and


The First Four Months

2,142 courses



29,356 students

skills development with every pass of the spray gun.� The simulator also seems to increase interest in learning: “The students are excited about using the simulator because it is like a video game to a certain degree,� added Cox. The Collision Repair Technology program provides students with skills for jobs in the collision-repair and refinishing trade. The program covers theory, practical repair, and refinishing work, including heavy collision repairs, frame alignment, and panel replacement. In both the welding program and the collision-repair program, there are costs regarding materials like rods, wire, metal, paint, and primer. These costs are rising each year, and having enough materials for students to practice with can be challenging. The longstanding issue of having the resources and materials necessary to teach welding and collision repair is being relieved with these simulators. The students are able to learn and perfect the motor skills required for doing their job without wasting material or encountering safety hazards while learning. With job demands exceeding the number of qualified workers available, the occupational outlook is great in welding and in collision repair. The initial outlay can be costly, but with employment opportunities increasing, Mississippi CTE programs are stepping up to meet these needs using 21st-century technology.

1,083,718 assignments


discussion topics


files uploaded


media recordings

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 23

History of CTE in the United States The Morrill Act establishes Land-Grant Universities in each state for the purpose of discovering new knowledge in agriculture and mechanization. Calvin M. Woodward introduces the nation’s first complete curriculum for “manual training” to Washington University, in Saint Louis. The Second Morrill Act broadens the mission of the land-grant colleges, especially in their work with the farming and rural-dwelling populations. It also guarantees them continuing annual appropriations to support their work. A nationwide movement on behalf of vocational education culminates in the founding of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education. At this point and for several years to come, the effort targets states, encouraging each to incorporate a full vocational curriculum. The Smith-Hughes Act provides continuing funding to establish secondary programs in agriculture, home economics, and trade and industry; it also included adult education in agriculture and home economics. The Association for Career and Technical Education was founded as the American Vocational Association. The George-Reed Act extends and amends the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 and increases federal support for vocational education. In Mississippi, Agricultural Education Subject Matter Service, sponsored by the Division of Vocational Technical Education and the Agricultural Experiment Station, is inaugurated to develop and disseminate vocational agriculture materials to teachers. The George-Barden Act more than doubles annual appropriations for all forms of vocational education. The Vocational Education Act expands existing programs, including funding for vocationaleducation research, work-study programs for students, construction of area vocational centers, new equipment and facilities for existing programs, and Supervised Experience Programs. The Vocational Education Amendments of 1976 are approved by Congress and signed into law by President Gerald R. Ford, forbidding gender discrimination or bias in vocational-education’s programming. The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act provides funding for specialized programs in vocational education. Perkins III reauthorizes The Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act and provides funding for vocational education. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 is signed into law and extends to 2012, changes the name to Career and Technical Education and adding local accountability. The Mississipi Department of Education renames the state office as the Office of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development.





Health Science Program Uses Project-Based Learning to Incorporate Academics and the Arts By Leanne Long


en years ago, as I walked into my first Vocational Instructor Preparation (VIP) class, known way back when as Preservice Orientation, I met an Allied Health teacher who was beginning her first year of teaching secondary students. I watched as she impressed me with innovative ideas for the classroom. She was focused on her students’ success and engaging them in learning through alternative teaching strategies. Meet Judy Dalgo, a Health Sciences instructor at Ocean Springs High School. She currently has 27 Year 1 students and 17 Year 2 students. In years past, there have been more than 60 students on the waiting list for Dalgo’s program. While there is no application process for acceptance into a Health Science class, there are qualifiers that Dalgo looks for in choosing the best students. Biology is the only prerequisite, but other factors for selection include GPA, absences, and discipline. This year, there were enough slots to accept all who met the qualifications, and she does her best to accept all who want to move to the second year of the program. A nurse for 12 years, Dalgo’s teaching background includes nine years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College–Jackson County Campus where she primarily taught Level IV, which was the second year of Medical Surgical Nursing, covering topics like critical care, emergency, cardiology, neurology, and pulmonary. Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 25


Activity vs. Project According to the Southern Regional Education Board’s New Teacher Induction material, an activity is a learning experience in which students gain knowledge, procedures, and/or skills. An activity is designed with a predictable outcome. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself, and it covers one to three class sessions. A project, on the other hand, is “designed around authentic problems or tasks, structured so that students are involved in extended inquiry, and usually lasts one or more weeks in duration.” The learning experiences I am writing about today are project-based. In Dalgo’s classes, students are often asked to apply their knowledge to unique situations. This application allows their learning to be extended to higher order thinking levels, said Dalgo. About academic integration into her CTE classroom, Dalgo added, “I was thinking there are many ways to approach teaching and learning. There is so much we can do to have fun while learning and give the students a different way to approach a subject.” When using project-based learning, instructional time, including preparation and class sessions, is crucial. “Time always varies with the different students each year. I believe if it is a worthwhile project, the time is well spent. As long as the students are learning something, whether it is a healthcare skill or a life lesson, I’m glad to give them the time. I can also tell if they are actively engaged by how proud of their work they are,” said Dalgo. When asked how she keeps her classes fresh and her students inspired, Dalgo admitted that it isn’t always easy; however, she said that incorporating new projects is especially helpful. “I have a vision for what I hope the students 26


will accomplish with each activity or project, and once that vision has been achieved, I feel so satisfied. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, the feeling is amazing,” Dalgo said. Dalgo also involves the community in designing her class projects. For example, the local hospital and clinics support her students through clinical shadowing programs, as well as donate supplies and provide speakers to her classes. She has also written for and won grant money that helps improve her program, including funding from the Ocean Springs Educational Foundation, the Mississippi Humanities Council, Learn and Serve America, Donors Choose, the Retired Teachers Association, and the Mississippi Department of Education, to name a few. Here are a few examples of the unique projects used in Dalgo’s classroom.

Health Science I Pathogen Vines, Legal Trials, and Tiffany Brains While Dalgo also values traditional learning activities, what makes her such a stand-out teacher is that she equally recognizes the need to make learning entertaining at times. For instance, during the infection-control unit, Dalgo’s students create correctly shaped stuffed pathogens and decorate the room with “dangling bacilli, spirilla, and cocci.” These creations represent a more traditional classroom experience, but Dalgo, noticing her students’ love of their smartphones to entertain each other with funny videos on the social media platform Vine, thought it would be fun for them to present a skit about a pathogen they had selected to write a paper on. Each first-year student made up a quick skit that the class filmed using a smartphone. Because the students had already done research for a formal paper and presentation, no additional research was required for this project. The whole project, from inception to final voting for the best video, took about an hour of instructional time, said Dalgo,

HEALTH SCIENCE feature adding that the fun the students had was priceless. The winners in each block even took home a few bonus points for their efforts. To see all of the videos from the project, search #drdalgos2ndblock or #drdalgos4thblock on Vine. For the legal issues unit, Dalgo and her students hold court with a mock trial that involves a psychiatrist who is charged with malpractice and whose patient is accused of murder. Complete with a robe and a gavel bearing her name, Dalgo impersonates Judge Judy from the popular courtroom reality television show. When asked the impact of this project, Dalgo said that this is a new strategy, and she is not sure of the outcome, but “that it will be fun no matter what.” Blending art and science for the past three years, Dalgo’s students have made stained glass brains to learn the different parts of that organ. Students use an anatomically correct pattern to draw onto the glass, cut out the “brain,” and piece it back together using the same techniques that Louis Comfort Tiffany used to make his famous stained glass. In this project, students learn a craft, are creating something of beauty, and learn anatomy, said Dalgo. Currently, this innovative instructor is writing a grant proposal to Donors Choose to pay for the glass to continue the project. Health Science II Frankenstein, Styrofoam, and Papier Mâché Dalgo’s students incorporate art in their first year, but in their second, they continue linking science to artistic endeavors through written works. Over the summer, they read The Healing of America by T.R. Reid, a book about health-care delivery methods around the world. Then, the students write an essay describing the delivery system they consider most appropriate for the United States. Additionally, these Health Sciences students read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which Dalgo links to a lesson about Adolf Hitler “unleashing a monster on the world” and extends the idea to the study of other unethical human experiments from world history. This complex unit that ties together science and art allows for an enlightening conversation of ethics with her students, said Dalgo. For three years now, Health Science II students have been making one-foot-tall Styrofoam heads depicting mental illnesses. The heads illustrate the students’ concepts of what the mental illness or disease feels like. For example, this year, a student created a head portraying Alzheimer’s disease. The head was painted purple with a black highway encircling it with wrong-way messages, question marks, and questions, such as “who are you?” included. The project was inspired by an exhibit Dalgo saw at the public library in Fairhope, AL, called “Heads Up, Alabama.” The studentdesigned heads are on display at the Ocean Springs Public Library and the school media center and have been entered into a coast-wide art competition, with one of Dalgo’s stu-

dents winning second place. Described as “inspirational” by a local artist in Ocean Springs, nearly 25 heads are currently on display in Dalgo’s classroom. Continuing to tie art into her classroom, in the spring of 2013, Dalgo’s students made giant three-foot papier mâché ears, a recreation of a Paris art exhibit dating back to the 1800s. Using their papier mâché versions, the Health Science II class taught preschoolers about hearing. The students then tested the hearing of the preschoolers and some high school students using an audiometer, finding one high school student and five preschoolers who needed referrals to a physician. Along with the Styrofoam heads, these papier mâché ears are now on display at the Ocean Springs Public Library. Although Dalgo clearly tries to make her lessons fun, learning is most important to her. All of her projects are graded with a rubric or grading guidelines, and most are a component of a larger unit so that students learn to address the needs of the project while incorporating the content of the class.

If you are interested in more details about any of these projects or about how to incorporate projects into your curriculum, contact Judy Dalgo, Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 27


CTE STUDENTS PARTNER WITH RAM TRUCKS AND SUPERTALK RADIO Dodge Ram trucks is partnering with the National FFA in a promotion campaign celebrating the Year of the Farmer, which began with Ram’s January 2013 Super Bowl commercial featuring the “So God Made a Farmer” monologue given by Paul Harvey at the 1978 National FFA Convention. This promotion continues with a recent production of four radio advertisements with Ram trucks and Mississippi FFA members offering thanks to their agriculture mentors. These ads aired through August and September on SuperTalk radio stations across Mississippi. The four FFA members who recorded the radio ads were State FFA President Kayla Walters from Stringer; Matt Spradling from Mantachie; Will Gibson from Newton County; and Jessica Smith from Pearl River Central.

MS ACTE Past-President says


During the MS ACTE/MDE Summer Conference, MS ACTE’s very own Rex Buckhaults threw the first pitch for the Mississippi Braves vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos game on Wednesday, July 24th. Although the Blue Wahoos beat the Mississippi Braves, summer conference attendees and organizers had a great time at the game and networking with one another at the after-hours event.




for Business Fundamentals students

In fall 2012, the Holly Springs Career and Technical Center Business Fundamentals and Marketing programs began partnering with the Bank of Holly Springs for job shadowing and career-planning experiences. Bank Compliance Officer Samantha White conducted the Money Smart Program at the CTE center, which included 10 sessions related to enhancing financial skills and creating positive banking relationships. Additionally, students were invited to job shadow at the bank and to work directly with department heads to understand the many facets of the banking industry. White said, “If we educate [students] now, they will be better equipped to face the real world.”


METAL FABRICATION STUDENT WINS $5K Drake Broome, former Metal Fabrication student at Lamar Technical Center, placed third in the nation at the SkillsUSA competition this summer in Kansas City, MO. Broome competed against 23 other students in sheet metal and took home a bronze medal as well as gift certificates worth over $5,000 for tools. These tools are coming in handy in his new job as a machinist at Columbia Diesel.


Business fundamentals and marketing instructor Bill Glover of Prentiss County Vocational Technical Center reports that his students in Booneville recently completed a career simulation designed around guerilla marketing, thanks in large part to a grant from Mississippi Professional Educators. The $500 grant allowed the students to purchase design software, printing paper, plastic covers, and pay for printing costs for public service announcement posters. The goal of the project was to give students a real-world view of how advertising campaigns are created and used in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. After learning about guerilla marketing, the students formed advertising teams to create the posters around the themes of healthy lifestyles, drug prevention, dropout prevention, parental involvement, or a theme of their choice. The winning theme was “Seatbelt Safety.� The printed posters are being used throughout the 10 schools of Booneville and Prentiss County School Districts.

MS STUDENTS IN NATIONAL FFA BAND Two Mississippi FFA members were selected to showcase their talents as part of the 2013 National FFA Band at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY in October. They reported to Louisville five days before the convention kicked off to join band members from across the nation in performing numerous times during the National Convention. The students selected were Sarah Freeman from Newton County and Haleigh Hux from Loyd Star.

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 29


CTE TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATIONS: A YEAR-END UPDATE CTE Centers Pilot New Reforms for Educators Across the State by Alexis Nordin

The 2013-2014 school year has brought changes in the way the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) evaluates educators—a prospect causing both excitement and consternation as the state’s evaluation tools continue to undergo field testing. For teachers, the evaluation process will be implemented gradually by the MDE over the next three years, with full implementation in 2015-2016. Eventually, a teacher’s overall numerical score on a 1-4 rating system will be based on his or her Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric, commonly known as M-STAR, score (30%), student growth score (50%), and the professional growth goals score (20%). However, in the 2013-2014 year, teachers’ ratings will be based only on the M-STAR component. All teachers, includ-

than when they started,” said Betsey Smith, interim manager of the Mississippi Assessment Center at Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit, which administers the MS-CPAS2. Jean Massey, associate superintendent of CTE, added, “The objective for our first year of baseline testing is to inform the CTE teacher-evaluation process. We are collecting data so that we have realistic expectations for future cohorts of CTE students.” CTE teachers who may be nervous about their scores on the M-STAR rubric can relax, said Lois Kappler, project manager at the RCU. “CTE teachers should remember that they are already implementing 80% of the M-STAR rubric. Highquality, effective teaching is the same for everyone, regardless of the subject matter. Some indicators on the M-STAR

“CTE teachers and directors may rest easier knowing that MDE officials have stressed that the next few years of the teacher- and principal-evaluation systems are intended to be formative in nature so that both processes can be further studied and streamlined.” ing CTE teachers, are scored using the same M-STAR rubric, which is available online at the MDE’s Teacher Center website, CTE pathways are currently piloting a method to calculate individual student growth using a baseline assessment and an end-of-year assessment, in which students entering CTE classes take an MS-CPAS2 assessment at the beginning of the year and a comparable assessment at the year’s end. The goal is for teachers to demonstrate student growth by showing a significant increase in students’ scores over the academic year. “Every teacher’s goal is to move the needle—we all want students to finish each class knowing much more 30


rubric are actually easier for the CTE teachers to hit because their classrooms are so hands-on,” Kappler noted. Instead of CTE teachers becoming overly focused on ratings, Kappler believes they have an opportunity over the next few years to improve their pedagogy: “This is a perfect time for teachers to be more reflective about their classroom practices, set professional goals for themselves, and start directing their own professional development.” CTE teachers and directors may rest easier knowing that MDE officials have stressed that the next few years of the teacher- and principal-evaluation systems are intended to be formative in nature so that both processes can be further studied and streamlined. CTE teachers and directors—like


E-Learning: flexible learning for you. their counterparts in traditional academia—will receive numerical evaluation scores in 2013-2014 for data-gathering purposes, but the MDE will not officially classify educators as “Distinguished,” “Effective,” “Emerging,” or “Unsatisfactory” in 2013-2014. Like teachers, CTE directors are also being evaluated with a new evaluation model, which was first piloted in 2012-2013 by the MDE’s Office of Federal Programs with 219 principals representing 34 districts. Starting in 2013-2014, the Mississippi Principal Evaluation System (MPES) rolled out statewide, requiring participation by head principals of public schools serving the state’s K-12 population and by CTE directors. Districts were given the option to include alternative-school principals and assistant principals as well, while advisory boards continue to address the latter two groups’ specific needs in an evaluation tool. Almost 1,500 principals and CTE directors are participating in the new principal-evaluation system this year. CTE directors are evaluated on four components of the MPES, including a Year 1 student goal (25%), a Year 2 student goal (25%), two organizational goals (20%), and a leadership survey (30%). “Districts have demonstrated their commitment to helping us meet the federal requirement to implement a consistent evaluation policy for our principals statewide,” said Debbie Murphy, bureau manager of the MDE’s Office of Federal Programs. Murphy stressed that the MPES Advisory Board, comprised of volunteers in administrative roles across the K-12 spectrum, has been instrumental in providing feedback about the MPES during its first year of statewide implementation. “We rely on that group to voice our administrators’ priorities and concerns,” Murphy said. “As a former principal myself, my goal is to ensure that the MPES is fair and transparent to all administrators.”

featuring Certification of Online Learning (COOL) CTE Endorsement Courses M-STAR Online Modules for Educators Offering classes to fulfill CEU and SEMI requirements.

The evaluation processes for CTE teachers and directors are closely linked. “CTE directors will provide feedback on teachers’ performance using the M-STAR rubric, and CTE teachers will provide feedback on their directors’ performance using the survey tool,” Kappler explained. “Each party will have input in the other’s evaluation process.”

Further information and training on both the teacher- and principal-evaluation systems will be offered by the MDE throughout the 2013-2014 school year. For more information, contact Lois Kappler, Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 31

feature AWARDS

Achievement in Mississippi Mississippians recognized at the 2013 Mississippi Association for Career and Technical Education/Mississippi Department of Education summer conference: MS CTE Teacher of the Year Mary Hill Health Science Instructor Petal High School

MS CTE Teacher in Community Service Award Lori Holland Cooperative Education Instructor Itawamba Agricultural High School

MS CTE Student of the Year

John Andrews Alcorn County Career and Technology Center

The State FFA Star Farmer Jessica Nicole Smith Pearl River Central FFA Chapter The State FFA Star in Agribusiness Jonathan Poe West Lauderdale FFA Chapter The State FFA Star in Agriculture Placement Chase Irby West Lauderdale FFA Chapter The State Junior Star Farmer (Middle School) Amelia Buckley Covington County FFA Chapter



AWARDS feature HOSA winners

Health Occupational Students of America

The 2013 HOSA National Leadership Conference was held June 25-29, 2013 in Nashville, TN. Mississippi HOSA had 177 students, advisors, and guests in attendance. There were numerous Mississippi competitors called to the stage at the Awards’ and Recognition Sessions. Of those competitors, three were recognized as placing in the top 10 in 56 competitive events and one received 1st place. Philadelphia-Neshoba County CTC students Alisha Sifuentes and, Dakota Wright placed first in the nation in Community Awareness. KeiAndra Pride, North Panola Career and Technical Center, placed 3rd at the HOSA State Leadership Conference at Natchez Grand Hotel and Convention Center in Natchez, MS. She also submitted and won the State theme “Changing the world of health care one patient at a time.”

SkillsUSA Award Winners

Hayden West, Mississippi Sr. FFA Sentinel, and Gracie Green, Mississippi Jr. FFA Sentinel placed 11th in the National SkillsUSA Prepared Public Speaking (Automotive Mechanics) competition and placed 5th in the National SkillsUSA Welding Fabrication Team (Welding) competition. Jesse Scroggins, won 1st at district and state competition with SkillsUSA. He competed at nationals in June but did not place. He graduated from Booneville High School last May.

FEA Award Winners

Future Educators Association

Anna Katherine Peel placed second in Lesson Planning and Delivery at the National FEA Conference. Anna Katherine is completing her second year of Teacher Academy this year. Lydia Hall was recognized as one of seven for the Leadership Award at the National FEA Conference. Hall was also one of the recipients of the new scholarship program for educators that Mississippi State and Ole Miss have developed. (Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program She received a full scholarship to Ole Miss. She completed the Teacher Academy Program at Madison Career and Technical Center.

FBLA Award Winners

Future Business Leaders of America

West Oktibbeha County High School’s FBLA chapter advanced to the state level. Tenth grader Justin Jones (now an 11th grader) placed first in Introduction to Parliamentary Procedures at the state level. The chapter advisor is business education instructor Marcus Henley.

CTE Teacher Award Winners and Accomplishments

Jesse Cornelius at Nettleton High School was recently selected as the Agriculture Teacher of the Year in Mississippi. Kristy Camp at Choctaw County High School was recently selected as the Rookie Agriculture Teacher of the Year in Mississippi. Welding Instructor Jack Jones of Tishomingo County Career and Technical Center worked in conjunction with manufacturers and instructors from Colorado and Kansas on a national manufacturing test for seniors. Naomi Jordan, Madison Schools, was recognized at the Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA) National Conference in Nashville as Mississippi’s HOSA Advisor of the Year for 2013.

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 33

feature AWARDS

FCCLA Awards

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America The 2013 National Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Leadership Conference winners are as follows. The students also presented their project to FCS teachers at the MS ACTE summer conference in July.


Talicia Henderson South Panola High School-Childcare Event: Illustrated Talk Category: Occupational

Imani Tines South Panola High School-Childcare Event: Illustrated Talk Category: Occupational

Alyssa Lee Forrest County Agricultural High Event: Chapter Showcase Display Category: Senior

Jackria Williams South Panola High School-Foods Event: Chapter Showcase Manual Category: Occupational

Jarius McBride Laurel High School Event: Recycle and Redesign Category: Occupational

Sarah Mitchell Webster County Career/Technical Event: Chapter Service Project Display Category: Occupational

Austin Smith Poplarville High-Career Development Event: National Programs in Action Category: Senior

Subrena Nall Webster County Career/Technical Event: Chapter Service Project Display Category: Occupational

Emily Boone Poplarville High-Career Development Event: National Programs in Action Category: Senior

Myra Reeves Webster County Career/Technical Event: Chapter Service Project Display Category: Occupational

Kimbreanna Chapman South Panola High School-Foods Event: Chapter Showcase Manual Category: Occupational

Chantryce Morris South Panola Highschool-Foods Event: Chapter Showcase Manual Category: Occupational


AWARDS feature

Elissa Ann McCool Carl Keen Career/Technical Center Event: Promote and Publicize FCCLA Category: Senior

Jessica Putnam Poplarville High-Career/Technical Event: Chapter Service Project Display Category: Senior

Miracle Williams Carl Keen Career/Technical Center Event: Promote and Publicize FCCLA Category: Senior

Johnnecia Davis Wayne County Career/Technical Event: Culinary Arts Category: Occupational

Jaleia Arrington Laurel High Career/Technical Center Event: Focus on Children Category: Occupational

Montanna Goodwin Wayne County Career/Technical Event: Culinary Arts Category: Occupational

Dreamie Monley McComb Career/Technical Center Event: Job Interview Category: Occupational

Courtney Strickland Wayne County Career/Technical Event: Culinary Arts Category: Occupational

Molly O’Brien Poplarville High Career/Technical Event: Chapter Service Project Display Category: Senior

Makayla Walker Laurel High-Career/Technical Center Event: Focus on Children Category: Occupational

Fall 2013 CONNECTIONS 35

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Connections Fall 2013  

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