February 6, 2004
Editors: Lu Ann Tauer and Lezlie Ingvalson

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

President's Report

Greetings during the time of year we are getting the cold and snow. It seems that we have had so little of either the last few years that we are not accustomed to it. This issue of the ECHO contains a number of articles about the recent ACTE National Convention in Orlando. Please read them, as each MnACTE/SNP member attending has written at least one article. You will see that Minnesota did very well with nominees and award winners at the convention. (See article.)

The MACTE/MnACTE Winter Conference will be held February 10 & 11 at the Holiday Inn St. Paul North in Arden Hills. Contact Ginny Karbowski at Ginny.Karbowski@anoka.k12.mn.us for registration information. MnACTE/SNP award winners will be recognized at the Friday evening banquet.

You may have noticed that we have made a change to the organization's membership renewal schedule. Renewal notices will be sent twice a year -- March and October. Those who renew in March can start the renewal process anytime now. You can print a membership form from our website and send it in. MnACTE has gone to the same format and we all hope this will be successful. I encourage those who are not members of MnACTE to consider joining. As the umbrella organization, MnACTE members' efforts have been crucial to the overall career and technical education effort. Their work, as well as that of others, was a factor in helping to make the levy permanent last year. Funding for paraprofessionals is also available. The larger the membership, the bigger impact they can have when representing us to the legislators regarding CTE issues. In addition, consider joining ACTE as it is about the only group representing CTE interests on national legislation, such as the Perkins Reauthorization. Check out their website, www.acteonline.org. You play a very important role in the education and success of those special needs students that we all work with, so please be proactive in promoting not only our area but also all of CTE. Keep your membership current, and consider joining MnACTE and ACTE. Also, consider serving on the MnACTE/SNP board, (See article.) or working on a committee, such as next year's statewide conference.

Submitted by:
Robert W. Lindgren
Work Experience Coordinator
Area High School
401 Huntsinger Avenue
Park Rapids, MN 56470
218-237-6479 &endash; office
218-237-6401 &endash; fax


Advanced Time Management & Personal Organization

At the ACTE Conference held December 11-14th in Orlando, FL I was able to attend a session titled, "I'm Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me!" The session was intended to teach busy people the skills and techniques that will help them manage their lives. Some of the steps and techniques included were consolidation of details by creating a complete system. This included critical components like keeping a calendar, developing to do lists and filing away items that are not needed right now. Another set of skills included documentation and retrieval. By controlling information as it comes in, it can be more easily retrieved at a later date. An additional important step was follow up. Strategies were discussed to follow-up on details needed at a later time so they don't fall through the cracks.

Many helpful tips were presented. The most basic tip was encouragement to use a calendar. This is to record special dates or major project deadlines. The use of only one master calendar for both professional and personal activities was also recommended. This is to help avoid missing any activities or double booking. The calendar should include a Don't Forget column to record to-do's and a place to record messages and documentation. I really enjoyed the session and was able to come back and incorporate many of the tips right away.

Submitted by:
Lu Ann Tauer
Richfield Schools





Career Cruising

Website Review

I recently used my budget to purchase a site license for my school district, Richfield Public Schools, that I have found to be very helpful to my own students with special needs as well as all others within my school district. I also have used it, personally, to help my son search for college choices. The site is careercruising.com and you may receive a free trial offer for your school or program by contacting Steve Yaun at 1-800-562-1079 or stevey@careercruising.com.

This web site is a comprehensive career guide that is divided into four main areas; a career interest inventory, a career exploration guide, a college and university guide and a portfolio tool. Information from the first three areas can be saved by the student for future reference by creating a personalized student portfolio. This information can be accessed only by the student from school, home, and public library at any time. A site administrator can also easily review information and, if necessary, look up forgotten passwords.

In the career interest inventory, entitled Career Matchmaker, students answer up to 116 questions, rating their responses on a five-point scale. It then provides a list of forty careers that would match the student's interests. Careers can further be delineated by the amount of education required; for example, if a student indicated he/she only wanted to complete high school, the Matchmaker would only indicate those choices in the personalized list.

In the career exploration section, students can explore hundreds of different careers. A filter sorts alphabetically, by school subject, by career cluster or by keyword. In depth information is provided for each career, including a job description, working conditions, earnings, education and training requirements, a sample career path, related jobs and links to other web sites. Perhaps the best feature is that each career profile offers two interviews from people actually working in that career. Users may read them or view multimedia interviews (either a video or sound clip). This is a great advantage for students with reading limitations. Careers are also broken down into a daily dairy, so students get an idea of what a typical day would be like. This section would be terrific for students doing research projects designed to help them decide their future plans.

The college/university search section is a wonderful resource for students interested in learning more about post-secondary options. It lists thousands of two- and four-year institutions as well as career and technical schools throughout the country. Searches can be sorted by state, by actual name, by programs offered, or by keyword. In each profile, a wealth of information is provided, including the type of school, location and setting, admission difficulty, enrollment statistics, expenses, program options, athletics, majors offered and financial aid.

Submitted by:
Patricia Larson
Richfield Schools





2003 National ACTE
Convention Report

This year the National ACTE Convention was held in Orlando December 10&endash;14. Approximately 3,200 people attended. The weather was ideal for those of us who chose to walk to and from the Convention Center--sunny and in the low 70s, although it was raining when we left on Sunday. There was a wide variety of sessions to choose from, including general issues for all the divisions, as well as those specific to a division. As in the past, I attended some of the Special Needs sessions, but most of the ones I attended were general or administrative in nature. These included sessions on Perkins Reauthorization. At the opening general session, I listened to Susan Sclafani, Acting Assistant Secretary of OVAE, and Hans Meeder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of OVAE. They spoke to an overflowing crowd on the Administration's plan for Perkins and their vision of the future of CTE. On Saturday, I attended sessions that spoke to ACTE's plan for Perkins and vision of CTE, along with how this all fits into NCLB legislation. (See the article on Federal Funding from the ACTE Report I have also submitted.) I also attended the Special Needs opening session, which was a panel, discussing tips and best practices in ways for special needs students in CTE programs to be successful and also meet the requirements of IDEA in the secondary and post-secondary levels. On Saturday the NAVESNP & Special Needs Awards luncheon was held. Minnesota had three winners. (See article.) Specking of winners, Region III nominated three Minnesota individuals for ACTE for awards. Cliff Vrieze won ACTE Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to all the award winners and nominees from Minnesota. Each day started with an opening session for all to attend. Included in these sessions was a keynote speaker's presentation. Friday's speaker was Neil Howe, author and speaker about generations in America. He provided insights into the new generation called the "Millennial Generation". These young people are post "Generation X", born after 1982. He signed his newest book, Millennials in the Workplace, at the convention. The book gives some provocative insight into the youth of today along with the implications for society, education, and work. I felt that how he described this group was very positive and optimistic for the future. One of the characteristics of the group is its willingness to volunteer and perform community service projects. In addition to the sessions, there were over 250 exhibits in the Career Tech Expo. These enabled us to learn about the latest available products. On Friday afternoon I helped co-present with Ginny Karbowski in the Region Roundtables on "Work Safe/Work Smart". That evening about 17 of Minnesota representatives met and went for dinner, an annual tradition, before attending the evening convention functions. Saturday was the Delegate Assembly. I was one of seven delegates representing Minnesota in this important process relating to ACTE. Added benefits from attending this is the opportunity to network with fellow CTE educators and come away more informed about what is happening in the field of CTE. As always, this is a worthwhile convention to attend. I encourage everyone to try and attend next year's ACTE National Convention, December 9-11, 2004, in Las Vegas. Early bird registration will end June 30, advanced registration ends November 1. There will be no Sunday session. Check ACTE's website for information, www.acteonline.org.

Submitted by:
Robert W. Lindgren
Park Rapids Area Schools


Mark your calendars: Remaining dates for 2003-2004 board meetings.
Dates: 2/12/04, 3/11/04, 4/15/04, 5/13/04 (May location TBD)
Location: Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park
Time: 12:30 (lunch beforehand)

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 we are doing more electronic notices and less paper mailings. Also, let others know about the website and our organization.

Federal Funding, Perkins: This report from 1/22/04 details the current status of Perkins funding. ACTEREP.doc

Board Elections

With spring fast approaching, we will be seeking nominations for next year's board. There will be at least two openings, and in most cases four, for each of the sections represented on the board. Open officer positions include the positions of secretary, ECHO editor, and possibly president-elect. The section positions are one-year terms and the officer positions are two-year terms. You need to be a member in good standing to serve on the board. Board members select the ad hoc members to serve on the board. If you are interest in being nominated, or have questions regarding serving on the board, contact Steve Czech at Steve.Czech@anoka.k12.mn.us. Current board members and positions are listed on the home page of this website. The term begins with the Annual Membership Meeting in the fall. Please consider submitting your name or the name of someone you know, as a candidate!

Submitted by:
Robert W. Lindgren

Minnesota's National
Award Winners

Three individuals from Minnesota were recipients of the National Association of Vocational Special Needs Personnel (NAVESNP) annual awards. Lu Ann Tauer, Eric Sime and John Hamilton were presented with their awards at the SND/NAVESNP awards luncheon held Saturday, December 13 at the Orlando Convention Center.

Lu Ann Tauer, casemanager and work experience coordinator for Transition Plus in the Richfield School District received the award for Outstanding Vocational Special Needs Teacher of the Year. Lu Ann was recognized for empowering her students by creating opportunities for them to become active participants in their education programs. She was commended for her hard work, enthusiasm and positive attitude! In addition to the plaque she received from NAVESNP, Piney Mountain Press awarded Lu Ann with a certificate for $500 to be used for curriculum purchases for her class.

Lezlie Ingvalson and Lu Ann Tauer after Lu Ann received the Outstanding Vocational Special Needs Teacher of the Year award.

Eric Sime received the Direct Vocational Special Needs Support Person of the Year award. Eric, who currently works at Rochester Community and Technical College as an ADA coordinator/special needs advisor, has worked for the Minnesota State College and University (MnSCU) system for 12 years. During this time, he guided students with disabilities through their college experiences, challenging them to believe in themselves and accomplish their goals.

Eric Sime accepts the Direct Vocational Special Needs Support Person of the Year award.

John Hamilton was recognized for going above and beyond in his efforts to help students with special needs in the Richfield School District. He received the Indirect Provider of Major Support Services and Contributions to the Field of Vocational Special Needs award for the ongoing contributions he makes as a member of the district's work experience advisory committee and community supporter of students with special needs.

John Hamilton receives the Provider of Major Support Services and Contributions to the Field of Vocational Special Needs award.

Other award winners include, Abe Piper, a 2003 graduate of Indiana County Technical Center in Pennsylvania. He received the Student Award. Piney Mountain Press gave him a $500.00 award that he will use to continue working toward a degree in Communication Media at Indiana University in Pennsylvania. The Outstanding Special Needs Educator award went to Donnalie Stratton who works for the Kentucky Department of Education. Sue Bittel-Krampe, who coordinates youth services at Apollo High School in Owensboro, Kentucky also received the Indirect Provider of Major Support Services and Contributions to the Field of Vocational Special Needs.

The award recipients and other Minnesotans in attendance: Bob Lindgren, NAVESNP President - Carol Wagner-William, Eric Sime, John Hamilton, Abe Piper, Lu Ann Tauer, Ron Tauer, Piney Mountain Press Representative-Cliff Rice, Ginny Karbowski

Submitted by:
Lezlie Ingvalson
Richfield Schools






MnACTE/SNP Board Member is featured in Metro Newspaper

The Career and Life Transition Program, a joint initiative of Mounds View and Roseville Area public school districts was featured in the January 4, 2004 issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Career and Life Transition Program is headed, and was started, by MnACTE/SNP Board Member Susan Hoch. Susan was able to explain, in the article, how the program teaches students life skills such as how to interview for a job and ride a city bus. There are 46 students in the program that have disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain injury, mental impairment, Down Syndrome and seizure disorders. Success is measured in different ways, depending on the person. The program philosophy is to focus on abilities, not disabilities.

The program is located at a shopping center where they learn to shop for groceries, greet strangers and work in mall businesses. The students even run a small shop under the direction of Junior Achievement, selling student created crafts, greeting cards, stamped kitchen towels and tie-dyed T-shirts. Susan was quoted saying, "we essentially say to them, 'We're going to work with what you have.'" "When you start to see people for what they've got- not what they don't have- you go far." Nice job Susan!!!!!!

Submitted by
Lu Ann Tauer
Richfield Schools