As another year winds down for our organization, I hope
you and your students have had a year of success and
With many districts having spring break over the week of
our next scheduled board meeting, the date has been changed
to Thursday, April 15th. Diane Miller from MDE will have a
presentation at 1:00, so the meeting will be short. Please
attend if you can. Our May 13th meeting is in Faribault, so
watch for emails regarding the agenda and location. We are
hoping to draw coordinators from southeastern Minnesota and
the south metro. The meeting will be followed with
networking and information sharing.
As the end of the year draws near, consider running for
the MnACTE/SNP Board. Contact Steve Czech at,
firstname.lastname@example.org, by April 15th if you are
interested or have questions. A draft ballot will be
presented at the board meeting, however nominations will be
open until its approval (person must be present or have
accepted a nomination).
MnACTE/SNP is accepting applications for this year's
Student Grant Awards. Up to six students will be awarded
$250 grants. Nomination forms are on our website and any
current member may nominate or sponsor a student. Also,
MnACTE is accepting nominations for the four Minnesota CTE
Awards until June 15, 2004. It would be great to have some
MnACTE/SNP members nominated.
Start planning now to attend next year's statewide
conference. This is the last major ECHO edition for the
year, but look for a short end of the year report just
before summer. Have a nice Spring and end of the school
Robert W. Lindgren
Work Experience Coordinator
Area High School
401 Huntsinger Avenue
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Fuddruckers: An Outstanding
Through the eyes of a work coordinator, finding an
employer who will extend themselves by inviting young adults
with special needs to learn work skills in their competitive
site is truly a gift. Fuddruckers in Coon Rapids is that
gift for our Transition Plus program in the Anoka-Hennepin
School District #11. Through the generosity and diversity
commitment of the management (Brent Curnow, current general
manager and Chris Vande Yacht, former general manager),
several young adults from our program have been given the
opportunity to learn the duties, responsibilities and
importance of keeping a restaurant setting clean as well as
practice the "soft skills" necessary of a good employee.
The employees work an early shift of 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.,
Monday-Friday; they learn and maintain job skills with the
assistance of a job coach. Brent sees the school district
making an investment into this valuable situation by
employing the job coach while he's making a commitment to
employ the young adult workers. He's pleased with the
situation and sees the relationship as being beneficial for
Tim F. (student), Brent Curnow (general manager),
Kevin M. (student)
Transition Plus feels fortunate to work with Fuddruckers;
the community is fortunate to have an employer like
Fuddruckers in our local area. Thank you, Fuddruckers, Coon
Rapids, for being a supportive business. We appreciate
Anoka-Hennepin School District #11
Partnership Creates Opportunities for
I have been working with the students of the Anoka
Hennepin School District's Transition Plus program for over
a year now. I have come to know the students and staff well
and feel as though I am part of a team, although I am the
"new kid on the block". I work for Anoka County's Transition
and Customized Employment program, which is a federally
funded program working with transition students in the
county, Transition Plus students being the largest of the
population. I have many students on my case load, and each
one has unique abilities, that is why I was not surprised to
find that some of them were interested in the construction
trades, some in carpentry, some cement masonry.
One student I have been working with has been working as
a framer for a year and a half now, and there are many more
following in his path. Through the help of work coordinators
from Transition Plus and TCE staff alike, we were able to
discover a connection to the Carpenter's Union. The members
of this union have been very helpful and informative.
This winter, I was introduced to a student who is
interested in cement masonry. At first, I did not know how I
was going to be able to help him since I did not know what
"cement masonry" was. The wonders of the Internet brought me
the knowledge I needed and led me to the apprenticeship
coordinator for the local union for cement masons.
Surprisingly enough, the man in charge of the apprenticeship
program is the father of two girls I had worked with a few
summers back. We had an immediate bond, and it has been a
Transition Plus and TCE staff have all learned a lot
about the construction trades, and it is all due to the
friendliness of members of the unions. Both groups have
presented to the students of Transition Plus, as well as
other schools, and are more than willing to bend over
backwards to ensure comfort and education for all involved.
The cement mason's union is now beginning an "industry
orientation" course, which is geared toward young adults
searching for a career path. It is a two-week, 80-hour
course presenting the basics of the industry, giving the
young men and women a chance to explore the idea without
diving headfirst into an unknown realm. We will remain in
high hopes that this new discovery of the union trades will
continue to have positive effects for TCE and Transition
Transition To Customized Employment
It has now been a year since the board approved a change
in the membership renewal process. I am pleased to say that
things are going smoothly. Member's renewals are now due in
either March or October and are valid for one year. NAVESNP,
our national organization, coincides with us in the renewal
The fees you pay are divided among our organization and
the National Association for Vocational Special Needs
Personnel. Twenty dollars stays with our state organization
and twenty dollars helps support the national organization.
Additionally, if you choose to become a member of MNACTE or
ACTE, those fees are forwarded to those organizations.
We have 100 members who are current. We also have 8
retired members. Once a person retires, they remain on the
mailing list but are not expected to pay dues. The number of
current members fluctuates and we would like to see it grow.
If you have colleagues who are not members, encourage them
to join. If you have let your membership lapse, please
renew. A renewal form is available on our web page. You may
print it and send it to me with your fees.
We encourage you to maintain your memberships and
promptly send in your renewals. This really helps in cutting
down on numerous reminders and mailings. If you have any
questions or concerns about your membership, please feel
free to contact me.
Have a great spring!
Reminder: If your address or email address
changes, please contact Bob Lindgren at email@example.com.
It is important to keep current email addresses as we are
doing more electronic notices and less paper mailings. Also,
let others know about the website and our organization.
April 15th Board Meeting: Open meeting with guest
speaker and ballot presented for next year's slate of
Guest: Diane Miller, MDE, will speak at 1:00.
Location: Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn
Time: 12:30 (lunch beforehand)
May 13th Board Meeting: Student grant winners will
be announced. Networking, opportunities for coordinators in
the Southeast area of Minnesota.
Location: Faribault (specific site to be
Abbreviated Echo: The May/June edition will have
announcements and end of the year information along with
next year's meeting dates.
ACTE Region III Leadership Conference: June 23-25,
2004, Kansas City, MO
MnACTE/SNP Annual Membership Board Meeting:
October 14th, 2004 at Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn
ACTE National Convention: December 9-11, 2004, Las
MnACTE/SNP Statewide Conference March 3-4, 2005 at
the Earle Brown Center, Brooklyn Center.
"It's Fun to Work at the YMCA . .
Many of the students at Bridges want to work in the
childcare field until they experience it first hand. Dirty
diapers and howling toddlers are not for everyone and
require a special person with a knack for working with young
children. For Katie Aus, however, it is a perfect match.
Katie has been working at the Emma B. Howe Family YMCA
Childcare Center for six years. Darcy Hokkanen, counselor
with the Anoka County Job Training Center explains, "Katie
is a young woman who exemplifies what collaboration of
services can do to assist a young person in becoming
successful as she prepares to graduate from the school
system. By combining federal funds from the Workforce
Investment Act and state funds from the Minnesota Youth
Program, we have had the privilege of helping Katie meet her
academic and vocational goals. As Katie has been completing
her High School graduation requirements, she has taken
advantage of the opportunity to work in the public sector
while gaining important job keeping skills and work skills.
She has become an invaluable part of the staff at the YMCA
in the child care center. It is not uncommon to hear that
Katie has volunteered for additional hours above the hours
that she is paid for
she is so dedicated to her work
there and really loves the children. Katie working at the
YMCA is especially exciting because the YMCA is starting to
complete more in-depth training with her in anticipation of
her being hired on there as part of their permanent staff.
We are so pleased to have Katie as part of our program as
she has demonstrated what a young person can accomplish when
given the opportunity." Stacey Ivy, manager at the YMCA
daycare, has this to say about Katie, "I have watched her
grow and learn. She is a part of the YMCA family. When Katie
is not here the kids really miss her."
As Katie is preparing to graduate from Bridges and the
Anoka-Hennepin District #11 school system, her smile and
enthusiasm will be sorely missed. The staff wish her nothing
but the best as she continues to learn and grow as a person,
as well as continuing with her duties at the YMCA. It's fun
to work at the Y . . .M . .C . . .A! Go ahead, sing a few
bars . . . you know you want to!
Rosann Tschida and Mike Bisping
Anoka-Hennepin District #11
Anoka County Workforce Center
YMCA, Coon Rapids
Overcomes Disability to Fulfill Livelong Dream
of Becoming a Police Officer
It has always been her desire to be a Police Officer. And
now, Megan Schroeder, student at Transition Plus in Anoka,
is fulfilling her dream by participating in the Explorers
Program, Champlin Police Reserves and the Civil Air Patrol.
These activities are volunteer and require many hours of
passion has always been to help others and she was
determined not to let her disability deter her from
achieving her goals. Megan attempted a college course at
Anoka Ramsey Community College and stated, " even though I
did not achieve academic success the experience gave me a
real insight to what I can and cannot do. I realized I would
not be able to handle the schooling (paper pencil tasks)
required to be a Police Office and I wouldn't meet the
requirements to join the military. So, I did the next best
thing and joined the Explores program." From there Megan was
accepted into the training program for the Champlin Police
Reserves and has also become involved in the Civil Air
Megan's training in the Champlin Police Reserves will
consist of learning how to drive a squad car, control
traffic, detect drugs, give parking tickets and how to
search a person. Megan said "it's all hands on training,
with real experiences in the field."
Megan's involvement in the Explorers Program will consist
of her participating in many competitions, which involves;
first aid, traffic stops, domestics, burglary, search and
Megan has reached the status of senior member in the
Civil Air Patrol program. As such, Megan provides support by
supervising and counseling up to 30 young cadets ranging in
age from 12-18 years old. Megan told me "everything in the
Civil Air Patrol is at Military standards and regulations."
Megan also is part of their color guard and competes in
At this time all of Megan's time spent in these programs
is volunteer. Even though Megan will often times volunteer
up to 20 hours a week she still has been able to maintain
employment at a printing company, as well as, continue to
participate in classes at Transition Plus.
Megan's goal is to eventually become a Community Service
Officer, which would be a paid position. Megan is an
incredible young lady that has shown much perseverance and
overcame many barriers to achieve a dream she has had since
she was a little girl. Megan's accomplishments should be
commended. I am very proud of her.
Kim Swanson, Case Manager / Work Coordinator
Anoka-Hennepin District #11
The following are awards that are or will be available to
MnACTE/SNP members or students for 2004.
2004 MnACTE/SNP Student Grant Awards &endash; up
to five available and you can find a nomination form at
http://www.mnactesnp.org at the Grant Awards 2004 link
Deadline: May 7, 2004
2004 MnACTE Awards - The following link has the
nomination forms: MnACTE
Awards 2004 forms.doc
Teacher of the Year
Outstanding New CTE
Deadline: June 15, 2004
2004 NAVESNP and ACTE-Special Needs Awards
Teacher of the Year
Student of the Year
Direct Service Provider
Indirect Service Provider
Deadline: sometime in October 2004
2005 MnACTE/SNP Awards - Information on the
nomination process will be available in the fall of 2004