June 9, 2005

Editors: Valerie Mattioli and Cathy Braun

MnACTE/SNP Home Page: http://www.mnactesnp.org

President's Report

WOW! Summer is here and another school year is wrapping up quickly. As I sit down to write my last "President's Report" for the ECHO, I find that I am reflecting on these past three years both professionally and personally with lots of satisfaction. Not only has it been another successful year for our organization, but it has continued to progress and serve our membership and students throughout the time I have served on the board. I would like to express my thanks to those who served on the board this year and also those that were on the board during my first two years; your help has made my term as president go smoothly. Also, thanks to all of you who have kept your membership current as that enables us to provide opportunities for you and your students. One of those benefits is that, again this year, MnACTE/SNP has awarded eight Student Grant Awards of $250 each; congratulations students (see article). We had a very successful 2005 statewide conference, and again, I want to thank those who planned the conference, those who attended, and to congratulate award winners (see April ECHO). Start making plans to attend the 2007 statewide conference as planning has already begun. Thank you to all those who agreed to run for one of the positions on the board; thanks to everyone who voted, and congratulations to those who were elected to serve on next year's MnACTE/SNP Board. LuAnn Tauer will be an excellent president and will have the support of the new Board which will be made up of qualified professionals who will continue in our efforts to serve our members and promote services for our students. The elections will be ratified; those elected will conduct the Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 13, 2005, 12:30 p.m. at Hennepin Technical College-Brooklyn Park Campus (see article). I have enjoyed the opportunity over these past years to meet many of you and have realized what a wonderful and professional group of individuals you all are. This is a great organization, and I hope that we continue to promote it. I look forward to continuing working with the board and MnACTE/SNP members to provide the best opportunities for our students. Thanks again for all your support during these past three years.

Relax and have a great summer.

Submitted by:
Robert W. Lindgren
Work Experience Coordinator
Area High School
401 Huntsinger Avenue
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Office: 218-237-6479
Fax: 218-237-6401


$1,000 Grant Received from State Farm Insurance

The Wayzata TRACK (Teaching Responsibility and Character to Kids) Work Program staff in conjunction with other Special Education staff and High School and Middle School Science and Art teachers received a $1,000 grant from State Farm Insurance for their proposal of developing a Rain Garden. The Rain Garden will be used as a prototype for the City of Plymouth. The students produced a power point presentation and brochure that was presented at a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 15th. The money from the grant will be used to design, dig, plant, and educate the students about rain gardens. The students also took a trip to the Science Museum to learn more about rain gardens and their environment.

Valerie Mattioli and Cathy Braun
Wayzata Schools

2005 MnACTE/SNP Grant Awards

MnACTE/SNP awards financial grants to students who have overcome barriers to achieve his/her highest potential for success. These $250 grants are to be used to assist the student in accessing or completing a career/technical program. The financial awards have been distributed to eight students this year. The students are nominated by MnACTE/SNP members.

Amy Johnson, Transition Plus, Anoka Hennepin District 11. Amy was nominated by Tom Carlson. Amy was selected Outstanding Career and Technical Special Needs Student of the Year and was honored at the MnACTE/SNP Conference in March. Amy is an Honor Student at Anoka Ramsey Community College and is employed as a school bus driver and works at Subway. She has her Emergency Medical Technician certification from Anoka Technical College and will graduate from ARCC with an Associate of Arts degree this spring. Amy has joined the Navy and will receive training to be a Medical Technician. Congratulations Amy!

Vathida Phouthasack, Intermediate District 287 VECTOR North Transition Program. Vathida was nominated by Barb Jolicoeur. Vathida was selected Outstanding Career and Technical Special Needs Student of the Year and was honored at the MnACTE/SNP Conference in March. Vathida is working on completing the Medical Transcriptionist Advanced Technical Certificate program from Hennepin Technical College. Vathida is employed by the Maple Grove Police Department transcribing arrest reports. Vathida will use her financial award toward her tuition costs. Congratulations, Vathida!

Jennifer L. Gardner, Park Rapids Area High School. Jennifer was nominated by Robert W. Lindgren. Jenny plans to further her education with classes in Child Care/Teacher Aide. Jenny has been in a work experience program for three years and has been employed in the district's pre-school program as an aide. At this time Jenny is employed by the Mahube Community Council as a Teacher's Aide in their pre-school program. Jenny has discovered that she can be successful with supports through her exploration of schools and her awareness of her disability. Jenny continues to take on new tasks and is willing to learn. Jenny will use her grant toward her goal of independence and employment in her career choice of child care. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Allan Hinnenkamp, Richfield Senior High. Allan was nominated by Patricia Larson. Allan is planning to attend the Richfield Transition Plus Program next fall and has participated in job training for several years utilizing Opportunity Partners SET sites. Allan would like to attend Opportunity Partners Summer Career Camp and will use his grant toward the tuition. Allan continues to be interested in learning about different careers and plans to work on bus training, improving attendance, and positive strategies for dealing with others as part of his goals for the future. Allan is always eager to volunteer to help with a chore or errand, is hardworking and dedicated. Congratulations, Allan!

Dan Laske, Transition Plus, Anoka Hennepin District 11. Dan was nominated by Tom Carlson. Dan was considered at risk when he attended high school and enrolled in a WECEP class. With the support of his work coordinator, Dan passed classes and maintained a job. After he entered the Transition Plus program, Dan decided to take the entrance exam at Hennepin Technical College in December 2003 and passed. During this time Dan began to make some major changes in his life. He began to advocate for himself in a mature and thoughtful way. Dan took the 8 required general ed classes during Spring Semester of 2004 before he started the Auto Mechanics program. Dan is currently in his 3rd semester at HTC in addition to being employed at Broadway Rental since May 2002. Dan will use his grant toward tuition costs. Congratulations, Dan!

Lisa Ann Loeffler, Mounds View Public Schools, District 621, CLT Program. Lisa was nominated by Susan Hoch. Lisa has gained independence, self confidence and self awareness. Currently Lisa is holding down three jobs requiring three different work skills. Her work supervisors have enjoyed watching her grow into an independent adult. Lisa was fearful of taking the Metro Transit bus system and now uses it for her main mode of transportation. She has recently qualified for public housing and has spent months budgeting her money and planning for her new apartment. Lisa's apartment is fully furnished, and she is responsible for the management of her monthly bills and budgeting. Lisa is a non-reader and is familiar with her style of learning. She understands her needs and is able to advocate for accommodations. Lisa has learned that there will always be people in her life to listen and help and that coping with her anxiety will always be a part of her life. Congratulations, Lisa!

Blia Moua, Transition Plus Services, St. Paul Public Schools. Blia was nominated by Karin Tomervik. Blia attended Century College for two years and was described as an exemplary student by an instructor. Blia has been employed by McDonald's for over five years and is currently an Assistant Manager. Blia provides financial help to his large family; he assists his siblings with school work and his parents with gardening and transportation. Blia's original career goal was to become a law enforcement officer, but after two years, Blia recognized a need for a career direction change to better fit with his interests and abilities. He struggled with reading and writing. He is currently attending Saint Paul College in the machine tool program. Blia will use his grant to help him achieve his employment goal. Congratulations, Blia!

Kaitlyn Rochell, Irondale High School. Kaitlyn was nominated by Beth Quest. Kaitlyn recently received a letter of acceptance from Itasca Community College . Kaitlyn's career goal is to become a probation officer, social worker or a child protection worker. She has spent considerable time researching careers and post secondary schools and has sent an accommodation letter to Itasca Community College explaining her disability, learning styles, learning needs and accommodations that would work best for her. Kaitlyn has learned to cope and understand her disabilities. She is employed by the YMCA and Carbone's Pizza and is actively saving toward her college tuition. Kaitlyn will use her grant to help with her goals. Congratulations, Kaitlyn!


Reminder: If your address or email address changes, please contact Bob Lindgren at rlindgren@parkrapids.k12.mn.us. It is important to keep current email addresses as our organization has chosen an electronic format for most communication. Also, let others know about the website and our organization. In the current policy-making climate, it is important to join and maintain membership in MnACTE/SNP as well as MnACTE and ACTE. Decisions on key legislation are being made which include Minnesota's permanent CTE levy and the reauthorization of IDEAS and Perkins. The larger our numbers, the stronger and more unified our voice will be.

MnACTE/SNP Board Work Session: August, 2005 (date to be determined), Park Rapids.

MnACTE/SNP 2005-2006 Board Meetings: Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park, MN, 12:30 p.m. in Room H195.
October 13, 2005 - Annual Membership Board Meeting;
November 10, 2005
January 12, 2006
February 9, 2006
March 9, 2006
May 4, 2006.

MnACTE Board Meetings:
June 21, 2005, Chaska
August, 2005 (day to be determined), Park Rapids

ACTE Region III Leadership Conference: July 10-12, 2005 at Indianapolis, IN

ACTE National Convention: December 8-10, 2005 New Orleans, LA


Service Learning Projects at Wayzata High School

Laker's Breakfast Nook

Through service learning projects, hands on learning occurs at Wayzata High School on a regular basis. Many service learning projects have been developed by teachers of DCD students in conjunction with the Wayzata TRACK (Teaching Responsibility and Character to Kids) Work Program staff. Together, the staff and students follow through with the projects. One project is a restaurant within the school serving staff breakfasts twice a week. The restaurant is called Wayzata Laker's Breakfast Nook. The students take the orders over the phone or collect written orders that are placed in their private mailbox. The orders are then filled and delivered directly to the teachers. The entire process is student run. The restaurant offers Caribou Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, yogurt, strawberries, bananas, Bruegger Bagels, mixed nuts, trail mix and muffins. Students learn communication skills, customer skills, money skills and food prep. They take responsibility of their behavior and can earn Scooby-Do bucks to gain the privilege of watching the bi-monthly movie. The restaurant has been a great success with plenty of hungry teachers. The skills the students learn are invaluable.

CTIC Career & Job Fair

The South West Community Transition Interagency Committee (CTIC) celebrated its first Career & Job Fair on April 11, 2005. Over 85 students participated from the South West Suburban school districts, including Bloomington, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Mound Westonka, Richfield, Wayzata and Intermediate District 287.

A special thank you goes to the organizations and businesses participating in the first time event to offer advice about career paths and job preparedness for the future: Organizations supporting the Business Leadership Network, Northwest Airlines and Medtronic were available to share information about their corporations and advise students about careers within their organizational structure. Also attending was the US Federal Credit Union, the US Navy, the Royal Cuisine (Hopkins), Old Country Buffet, Wellbridge, Goodwill Easter Seals, Davanni's, Panera, Dairy Queen, and VSA Arts.

Students participated in a curricular activity while interviewing the business representatives available for the Career Fair. Human Resource representatives assisted students with applications for potential job openings and offered extensive advice regarding employment within their companies.

The purpose of the Career Fair was to support students with disabilities get beyond attitudinal barriers that sometimes take place in the community and the work place. Students were able to connect directly with business representatives on a more informal basis regarding career paths. This is not always an easy task. It requires understanding, patience, and the compassion to work with and train youth so that they can better prepare themselves for employment. Defining one's 'self' through vocation is significant.

Essentially, it is the employer who takes over where we leave off, helping students to gain more extensive skills that are applied to active learning on the job. It is a natural course of events for all learners. It can be even more significant for the students whom we work with, depending on the type of disability that they have.

This event could not have taken place without the enthusiasm and support of Best Prep, who helped us network with many of the participating employers.

We look forward to next year when the South West CTIC has their annual Career Fair!

Colleen Haggar
Hopkins Schools

8th Grade Orientation

At Wayzata High School we believe that one way to teach work skills is through service learning projects. One of those projects is an orientation for 8th grade students with DCD, planned and presented by the high school students with DCD. The goal of the service project is to inform the 8th graders about life at Wayzata High School in the hopes of helping them feel more comfortable about this transition. As part of this orientation, the high school students are responsible for creating a power point, a video, and a newspaper for middle school students. In addition they must prepare "conversation starters" to use when they have lunch at McDonalds with the students. Some of the skills that students are exposed to as a part of this service learning project are: how to use the library to check out equipment, how to operate the video camera, how to operate the digital camera, how to create both a power point and a video, and how to use Printshop for creating newspapers. At all times, students must learn to present themselves professionally as they converse and take pictures of a large number of staff; they then present themselves to the 8th grade class. Communication skills and working as a team are required from beginning to end. Both the high school students and the middle school students seem to enjoy this project.

Valerie Mattioli and Cathy Braun
Wayzata Schools

2005-2006 Board of Directors


LuAnne Tauer

Past President:

Bob Lindgren

President Elect:

Karen Aalund


Kim Landecker/Cathy Braun


Valerie Mattioli


Sue Sorenson

Newsletter Editor:


WEH/ Work Based Learning Coordinator - Special Needs

Lori Eden
Ann Hicks
Pat Larson
Deb Olsen

WED/Work Based Learning Coordinator

Winston Kindem
Beth Quest
Mick Seme
Barb Weldon


Wayne Turkowski

Transition Coordinator:

Beverly Rath
Colleen Haggar
Nicki Karulak

Administrative Affiliates:

Paula Krippner

Post Secondary Rep:


Paraprofessional Rep:


Ad Hoc Members

Steve Czech
Sheri Gatchell
Bonnie Holt
Suasan Hoch
Lezlie Ingvalson
Darla Jackson
Dean Shawbold