A noticeable trend appears to be developing within our
organization. Members have increasingly become more involved
in our initiatives and activities. This development has
emerged from both outstate and metro area members, and the
board is encouraged by these efforts. One of our most
pressing goals is to continuously inform and involve
membership on policy that may directly affect our
profession. It is quite enjoyable to work with members who
may not have time or resources to serve on the board, but
have an interest in the betterment of their vocation. I
encourage all members to become more involved and share your
talents and expertise toward improvement of our profession
Over the past few months, I have had several inquiries
and conversations with members and nonmembers regarding the
establishment of statewide regional networks. Our board
meetings are held in the metro area and members outside this
region find it difficult to attend. It has been suggested
that to better serve our membership, we should investigate
the establishment of regional groups for informational,
networking and problem solving purposes. I would appreciate
any ideas or interest from members regarding how to begin
this process. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the arrival of Spring!
403 Jackson St., Suite 206
Anoka, MN 55303
Bonnie Jackson Recognized in Pioneer Press for
National Vocational Special Needs Teacher of the Year
This article was written by Jenee Osterheldt and appeared
in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, February 10, 2002.
Bonnie Jackson teaches life.
"I always tell my kids, 'Give a man a fish and you feed
him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a
lifetime,' " said Jackson, work experience coordinator for
Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul. "I don't get
people jobs, I give them the tools to get and keep
This type of motivation caught the attention of the
National Association of Vocational Education Special Needs
Personnel. In December, the organization selected Jackson as
Teacher of the Year for her work at Arlington High School in
Jackson deserves the recognition, said Bill Dunn,
principal of Arlington High School. She designed and
implemented the work experience program for Arlington High
School. By assessing each student's needs and abilities,
Jackson matched students with career exploration
There are a couple of things that impress me about
Bonnie," Dunn said. "She is very professional. She knows her
job and knows how to meet the needs of her students."
She also has great relationships with the people she
works with, he said.
While she enjoyed her experience at Arlington, Jackson
wanted to return to the classroom where she said her
strengths are and challenge herself with a new school.
Jackson currently teaches vocational education to
students with disabilities at Highland Park Senior High
Out of 1,400 students enrolled at Highland Park, 200 of
them have disabilities.
People assume special education indicates a low IQ,
Jackson said. There are physical, mental, emotional and
"Teaching self-advocacy is important," she said. "I teach
my students to recognize their disabilities and to not be
ashamed. It's OK to have a disability."
Jackson has 55 students involved in career exploration or
paid internships at local businesses. She stresses the
importance of teens becoming productive, self-sufficient
The most challenging part of teaching is reaching each
student, she said.
"You can't expect them all to fall into line. It's like
putting together pieces of a puzzle," Jackson said. "I
always try to do the best I can by each student, to push
each individual to reach their full potential."
Winning the award for her work was an honor and a
humbling experience, Jackson said. "We come in, do a good
job and go home," Jackson said. "So it's not an aim or an
expectation. It's great to be honored by your peers."
Jackson, who grew up in Hopkins, didn't know exactly what
her job would be but she knew she wanted to work with
She majored in vocational rehabilitation at the
University of Wisconsin-Stout. Once she started student
teaching, she knew she wanted to teach teens, Jackson
"I'm glad I fell into this, because it is the perfect job
for me," she said, adding that after 24 years, it still
When asked what keeps her coming back, she joked "the
"Like anything, there are days when you think you can't
do it anymore," Jackson said. "But something always happens
and reminds you it's the right fit."
Her reminder is her students.
She recalled what they said when she won the award and
asked if they were going to throw her a party.
"They said I wouldn't have won the award had they not
done what they were supposed to be doing," Jackson said.
"They said I should throw them a party."
ACTE Conference/NAVESNP Awards
The conference was very well attended by Minnesota
people. It was fun to see all the voc eddy's such as Bonnie
Jackson, Dan Smith - Lezlie and Brian, Jim Brown, Lloyd
Petri, Kris Laughlin, Ron Dittmer, Jean Ness, and the many
more that were there also.
The weather was great, in the 70's most of the time. New
Orleans is a great city for a large conference, as they have
great facilities and good entertainment. The food was super
and you can walk to almost anywhere, especially Bourbon
I attended many great sessions, but the one thing that I
did notice was that there was not a lot of sessions in the
special needs area.
One of my objectives for attending the conference was to
see and congratulate Bonnie Jackson from St. Paul schools
for her National Award of Outstanding Vocational Special
Needs Teacher of the Year (NAVESNP). I thought that I was to
be the presenter of this award, and I did, when she won the
state award. The awards at the luncheon were all presented
by NAVESNP people, who did a very good job. I did have a
speech prepared and bought a new suit, oh well, I needed one
The luncheon was very well attended. They even had to set
up more tables and some people didn't get food. The wait
staff got into a fight during the luncheon, but that stopped
in due time.
Bonnie's husband, Bob, and her parents flew down to New
Orleans to show support for Bonnie. In addition, many St.
Paul colleagues came to support and congratulate Bonnie.
This award that she won, recognizes outstanding efforts,
accomplishments and dedication made by a vocational
instructor of students with special needs.
Bonnie won a credit voucher of $500.00 to be used for the
purchase of Piney Mountain Press Education products. She
also received a $200.00 travel stipend from MnACTE/SNP to
compliment funding provided by St. Paul Schools for
attending the conference. Congratulations to our National
voc Eddy of the Year.
Transition Plus Services Coordinator
White Bear Lake Schools
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Tom Strom Attends January Board
At our January meeting, Tom Strom met with the Board Of
Directors to discuss issues the Department of Children
Families and Learning (DCFL) and MnACTE/SNP could work on
Tom stated a possible opportunity to strengthen state
requirements for Work Experience Programs has presented
itself through the ongoing development of the Minnesota
State Plan for Transition Services to Youth with
Disabilities. Many Work Experience Coordinators have
contacted DCFL for advice on issues surrounding their
programs. Common concerns include increased caseloads and
decreased time to coordinate/supervise students. It also
appears that some school districts are assigning work
experience responsibilities to special education teachers
and receiving special education state aid. These programs
have not been approved by DCFL and the districts are not
held accountable for meeting state standards including
vocational licensure. There appears to be less authority
from the state on how schools offer programs, and local
districts are developing programs that most easily meet
their needs. What is happening in our state does not reflect
The new Minnesota State Plan For Transition Services
To Youth With Disabilities may provide a vehicle by
which our programs can be improved. This plan is in
developmental stages and is intended to help bring the state
into compliance with federal transition laws. It is in our
organization's best interest to become a resource to those
who are responsible for this plan, and we have recently
formed an advisory group to work with the divisions of
Special Education and Lifework Development at DCFL. Deb
Johnson is our main contact, and we have scheduled our first
meeting for 2/28/02. Several MnACTE/SNP members will be
involved in this process, and as it develops, we will keep
Also, Tom made the board aware of a self-assessment
document developed by DCFL which is based on program
standards and measures. This tool could be used to assess
your program and make improvements. The document is
available online at the DCFL website.
I also have information on the program improvement
process that Anoka-Hennepin District #11 used for our WEH
programs. Email me with questions if you are interested in
Anoka-Hennepin District #11
Students Cook and Serve Lunch
Tina Andreotti and Ryan Molloy are special education
students who cook and serve lunch four days a week at
Lincoln Hills School. Tina is from the Transition Plus
Program and Ryan is from the Connections Program. These
programs serve students ages 18-21.
TIna started cooking and serving lunch at Lincoln Hills
in the fall of 2000. The district was having a difficult
time finding a head cook for the school. So, Lu Ann Tauer,
the teacher at Transition Plus, though it would be a good
work site for students in Transition Plus. The district was
considering canceling the lunch program until Transition
Plus offered to staff the program. The program has been a
A staff person supervises either Tina or Ryan on their
days to cook. They each work two days a week. The students
and staff in the building are happy because the students
have done a good job and they can still get hot lunches. The
lunch program serves about 50 people a day.
Tina and Ryan enjoy their jobs and have learned many
skills in the process. The former head cook, Cherill trained
them in sanitation, cooking and serving skills. It took some
time to learn the whole process. They also learned people
skills while serving lunch.
Ryan's comment about the program is, "I hope I can keep
this job as long as I'm in the Connections Program because I
like the job."
Tina says, "I learned to keep my cool when serving lunch.
It can be fun if you try."
(Paraprofessional at Richfield Transition Plus)
"Dealing with Difficult Personalities"
Despite the fears that many educators expressed at the
thought of flying, which contributed to a lower than
expected attendance total, the 2001 ACTE convention proved
to be educational and entertaining. Several amenities, such
as between session refreshments and the exhibitor's lunch
were trimmed. But the individuals who made the trek to New
Orleans were rewarded with some inspiring speakers and
numerous choices of thought provoking breakout sessions.
My personal favorite was "Dealing with Difficult
Personalities" by Dr. Askins of Western Kentucky University.
All of us deal with people daily that we feel are difficult
or resistant to ideas that we deem rational and imperative.
Conversely, others may see our insistence on a certain
course as resistant to their totally logical solution to a
given hypotheses. We all have no trouble spotting the
classic characteristics of difficult people in others,
especially in the ones whose opinions we disagree with. It
is much more of a challenge spotting these negative
characteristics in colleagues with whom we agree, and almost
impossible in ourselves. Resistance to change, invasion of
our turf and fear of the unknown make it difficult to
inaugurate new ideas and opinions. We not only have to fight
these resistances in others, but make sure that we are
receptive to the ideas and opinions of others. Keys to
conquering these resistances include: being likable, giving
status to the resistance, not aggravating the situation, not
forcing the person into a defensive position, compromising
and patience. The secret to dealing with difficult
personalities is first and foremost to treat other people's
ideas and opinions as we want our own opinions treated.
St. Paul Schools
St. Paul, MN
Mark Your Calendars!
Region III Leadership Conference
"Touching All Bases: Career and Technical Education for
the 21st Century" is the theme for the ACTE Region III
Leadership Conference. Held on June 19,20,21, you will want
to attend this great conference at the Double Tree Hotel in
Bloomington, Minnesota right next to the Mall of America.
Plans for the conference are well underway complete with
inspiring and informational speakers, relevant industry
tours in the local area AND lots of fun!
Lloyd Petri, Minnesota's Region III representative, is
chair of the conference: he has done a great job inviting
key leaders in career and technical education as well as
getting the best people to help him plan the event:
Senator Paul Wellstone, ACTE 2002 Policy Maker of the
Year, has been invited to attend and will be recognized at
ACTE President Diane Mondry from North Dakota will speak
at the Awards Dinner on June 21st. Janet Bray, ACTE
Executive Director, plans to attend the meeting also Our own
Dan Smith, Region III Vice President, will attend and
provide us up-to-date information on ACTE activities and
Program chairs, Robert Meyer from Rochester and Kathy
Pearce from Anoka-Hennepin, promise there will by dynamic
sessions that address current topics and issues for all
career and technical educators.
Business and industry tours include the Summit Brewery in
St. Paul, the Ford Assembly Plant in St. Paul, and the
Minnesota Business Academy in St. Paul according to chair
Steve Mumma from Wayzata.
Of Course, social chair Kris Laughlin from Robbinsdale
assures us there will be plenty of networking opportunities
in the late afternoon and evening hours.
We hope you can join us! Registration fee is $150.00.
Conference registration deadline is June 3, 2002. Checks
only are accepted. Make checks payable to:
Minnesota Association for Career & Technical
C/o Florence Newton
500 World Trade Center, 30 E. 7th St.
St. Paul, Mn 55101
For further information, contact Lloyd Petri at (651)
297-1484 or e-mail at
Chris Becker Receives National Student
Wayzata High School and VECTOR Program graduate Chris
Becker won the National Association of Vocational Education
Special Needs Personnel/Piney Mountain Press, Inc. Student
Award at their national convention in New Orleans on
December 15, 2001. This award goes to a vocational/technical
student who is a member of a special population and has
overcome barriers to achieve highest potential for success.
The purpose of this award is to assist the winner to access
or complete a vocational/technical program. Chris received
$1,000.00 from NAVESNP and Piney Mountain Press, Inc. for
Chris was first recognized as the 2000 Minnesota
Association of Career and Technical Education/Special Needs
Personnel (MnACTE/SNP) Outstanding Student of the Year at
the MnACTE/SNP Conference in February, 2001. Chris
exemplifies all the qualities of excellence that truly
define the word 'outstanding' and is very deserving of this
award. Chris completed his fourth year with the VECTOR
Program in May, 2001. Chris received services from VECTOR
that have supported him in his effort to earn a diploma in
Electronic Publishing from Hennepin Technical College. He
also accomplished this goal in May, 2001.
Chris' journey toward discovering his full potential
started when he was 6 months old. It was then that he was
diagnosed with spastic Cerebral Palsy. Chris is a
quadriplegic. Speaking is difficult, but most people can
understand him if they listen. Because he can write only
with his mouth, he has learned to develop enhanced
memorization skills. He uses a head mounted laser and
lightboard or a turbo mouse to operate his computer. He
relies on others, and his helping dog Bryn to have most of
his personal needs met. As Chris says, he could have given
up many times, but he has a mission 'to make an impact on
the world', so this thought does not enter his mind.
Everyone who works with Chris or knows him as a friend
concur that he approaches all of life's demands with a
positive attitude, determination and perseverance. Chris has
developed good self advocacy skills that he uses with his
PCA's, instructors, and peers. He is a very well rounded
individual involved in many extra curricular activities
while maintaining a good balance with all of his school
commitments. He is a role model and mentor to other
students, demonstrating an excellent work ethic, effective
use of resources to reach his goals, and is self motivated.
Chris' peers find in him an excellent resource who
cheerfully, patiently, and with great skill and enthusiasm
shares what he knows to help them become better more
ISD 287, Vector
Brooklyn Park, MN
A Continuing Partnership - Simonson's and Osseo
In November 1998 Simonson's Salon & Day Spa in Maple
Grove entered into a collaborative School-To-Work experience
with Osseo Area School's Community Based Vocational
Assessment and Training program (CBVAT). Simonson's is a
full-service salon and spa offering hair, face and body,
nails, and day spa services in Maple Grove, MN.
Bill Hoff is the fifth student to participate in such a
work-based learning experience with the salon. Bill was
hired in April 2001, and has continued his employment for
the current school year working 1.5 hours a day. Bill
performs a variety of tasks while on the job. Most of his
time is spent on washing, drying and folding towels. In
addition he takes care of light custodial tasks, and
occasionally works on special projects, which have included
assembling gift packages for guests. This paid career
exploration offers Bill the chance to develop interpersonal
and technical skills, which will enhance any career he
chooses. Throughout this experience Bill has had the support
of many adult mentors. Terry Toops, his work coordinator,
supported Bill through the application and interview
process. Beth Miller and Terri Hauser, his trainers, support
Bill on the job guiding him as he learns general work
expectations such as dependability, cooperation, and
initiative. His Simonson's supervisor, Theresa Steichen,
recognizes the salon is an active learning environment in
which Bill can learn by doing, and develop and improve his
work skills and abilities. With the CBVAT program prior
work-based learning experience for Bill has included
employment at a video rental store and an optical lab class
at a technical college.
While working Bill earns high school credit for
graduation and is enrolled in a work seminar at Osseo Senior
High School. He continues to learn the specific skills
needed to help him succeed on the job, and is able to
practice them on the job. Theresa provides Bill with
feedback in a variety of work-skill areas through daily
communication and formal evaluations every three months.
Salon staff enjoy working with Bill and can be seen
interacting daily with him. Theresa says she enjoys the
opportunity to offer students a paid work experience while
exploring careers. Bill says he enjoys his daily work at the
salon, and his complimentary haircuts by staff are a
favorite benefit! The Osseo School's CBVAT program looks
forward to a successful and continuing School-To-Work
partnering relationship with Simonson's.
Osseo Area Schools
Together We are Better
National Paraprofessional Conference to be Held in
The 21st National Conference on the Training and
Employment of Paraprofessionals in Education, Rehabilitation
and Related Services will be held at the Radisson South in
Bloomington May 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2002. Since the national
conference is scheduled in Minnesota, there will not be a
state paraprofessional conference in Hutchinson this spring.
MnACTE/SNP has been an active sponsor of the Hutchinson
At the National conference, participants will gain
knowledge of new dimensions in the roles, preparation,
supervision and career mobility for the paraprofessional
workforce. The conference is targeted toward
paraprofessionals, policymakers and administrators in state
and local education and personnel developers in 2 and 4 year
colleges and inservice programs.
In addition to a wide variety of breakout sessions,
nationally known keynote speakers, Eric Chester and Crystal
Kuykendall will provide motivation, techniques and knowledge
for overcoming challenges facing today's educators.
Registration fee is $150 for administrative/professional
personnel and $60.00 for paraprofessionals.
For more information and registration material see
Job Olympics was a Blast!!!
On January 25th, Richfield High School Work Coordinator,
Pat Ujifusa and Richfield Transition Plus Instructor and
Work Coordinator, Lu Ann Tauer put on the first Richfield
Job Olympics. Students from Pat's work development classes
and the Transition Plus Program competed in a variety of
areas. Students were judged on interviewing skills,
application completion and resume writing. The judging panel
was made up of members of the Richfield Work Experience
Advisory Committee, which included past teachers, Optimist
Club members, employers, school board members and adult day
Students were expected to fill out job applications
neatly, with correct spelling and with complete information.
There was even a "trick" illegal question that students were
expected to respond to appropriately. Students were allowed
accommodations such as having a pocket information sheet to
copy information from and help with writing. In the mock
interview competition, students were expected to dress
appropriately, have good eye contact, show confidence and
ask and answer questions well. In the resume writing
contest, students needed to include content such as a
specific objective, education, work history, name, address
and telephone number, references and special skills or
Both Richfield High and Transition Plus Students prepared
and practiced ahead of time and the competition was fierce.
Certificates, ribbons and prizes were given out for first,
second and third place in each category and a special "Most
Professionally Dressed" award was given to the best dressed
competitor. Two Grand Prizes were given out to the two top
overall competitors which included a free nights stay at the
Doubletree Grand Hotel-Airport. Grand Prize winner Micah
Johnson stated, "This was cool, I got a lot better at
Lu Ann Tauer
Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone
Named ACTE Policy Maker Of the Year
Congratulations to Minnesota's Senator Paul Wellstone who
was recently named ACTE 2002 Policy Maker of the Year award.
This prestigious award is presented annually to an
individual who has made a significant impact on policy
related to career and technical education. Senator Wellstone
will be honored at the ACTE Policy Seminar to be held on
March 17-19, 2002 in Washington D.C.
Throughout his eight years of public service in the
United States Senate, Senator Wellstone has made education,
workforce and economic development a priority. He currently
serves on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee
and has served on conference committees negotiating final
terms of legislation, resulting in a positive impact for
career and technical education. Recent legislative
accomplishments include major contributions to the Carl D.
Perkins Vocational Education Act, the Workforce Investment
Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Individual with
We are grateful to Senator Wellstone on his continued
support. If you would like to send a word of thanks to
Senator Wellstone, please e-mail or write him.
- Region III Conference, Bloomington, MN. June 19-21,
- MnACTE/SNP Statewide Conference March 6 & 7,
2003. The location will be the Earl Brown Center in
As some of you may have heard, HF 351 (the budget
reconciliation bill) passed out of conference committee on
2/20/02. Going into conference committee, secondary
vocational education was in the bill as a permanent levy.
The formula was the same as current law with one change.
They raised the $7,500 minimum to $10,000. Unfortunately,
during the conference committee on the 25th, Senator
Pogemiller (Minneapolis) argued that secondary vocational
should not be a part of HF 351 and wanted to remove the
entire provision from the bill. After a few hours of debate
and a lot of behind the scenes work an amendment was brought
to change the permanent provision and only allow secondary
vocational education to be a ONE YEAR levy. Yes, it happened
again. They only renewed the levy for one year. The formula
will still be current law with a raising of the minimum from
$7,500 to $10,000.
"3-50-3" is our slogan for all MnACTE members this
2001-2002 school year. We ask that every career and
technical educator in Minnesota follow this idea.
- 3 letters to your local legislators
- $50 donation (reimbursable back to you through state
- 3 face-to-face visits with your state
It's a realistic request for all of us. Think of the
impact on our state!
Contacting Your Legislators
Do you know who your state representative and senator
are? Do you know their e-mail address or phone number? It's
easy! Click on or use the following websites for names and