Light the Torches – a poem

Light the Torches

–For all those who take classes and work in community colleges

 Light the torches, spark the fires,

Melt the flux and fuse the wires,

We’re teaching a man to fish.


Trim the hair and set the style,

Paint the nails, it takes a while,

We’re teaching a woman to fish.


Write the words, sing the songs,

Star what’s right and check what’s wrong,

We’re teaching them all to fish.

Dice the spuds and grill the meat,

Mix the dough for something sweet,

They’re learning how to fish.

Take the temp, record the chart,

Check the pulse and hear the heart,

They’ll soon know how to fish.


Down the aisle in caps and gowns,

Celebrate! We’ll have no frowns,

They’ve all learned how to fish!


–Susan May Pelto

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CCCS Update 9-24-2014

Dear CTE Administrators and Directors,

 Staffing Updates

It is with condolences for CCCS and congrats for CDE that I announce the departure of Jennifer Jirous, Program Director for STEM, ARTS and IT.  Jennifer’s final day with CCCS will be Friday, September 26th.   In early October she will transition to the Colorado Department of Education as the Manager of Adult Partnerships with the Colorado Department of Education. In this new role, she will be developing and managing a work plan for implementation of HB-1085: The Adult Education and Literacy Act of 2014. Passed this last June, HB-1085 will fund adult-education providers that are part of collaborative “workforce development partnerships”. The goal is to increase the number of low-literacy, low-skilled working-age adults who acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills and help them move as quickly as possible to additional skill acquisition, post-secondary attainment and employment.

We appreciate and have benefitted greatly from Jennifer’s energy and expertise over the past 6 years.  Under her leadership Colorado has seen a rapid expansion of CTE program serving the needs of students interested in STEM, Arts and IT.  Jennifer says, “I expect to still be working closely with K-12 (especially CTE), community colleges, and other education providers and agencies in the state. I look forward to working with you all in this new capacity and thank you for the opportunity to provide support to you over the past six years. It has been an interesting journey and I look forward to this new chapter! Please join us in wishing Jennifer well on her new adventure.

I am excited to announce that Tony Raymond, has agreed to serve as the Interim Program Director for STEM, ARTS and IT during the search process.  Please let him or I know if you have questions related to program approvals in these areas.  Please note that we will be posting the position announcement for Jennifer’s position as soon as possible.

Announcement for a new positionProgram Director for Teaching and Learning is available at  This position will manage new instructor onboarding including mentoring, credentialing and professional development.  In addition, this position will be the CCCS lead on our work with standards, assessments and curriculum work.

Last but not least, we are pleased and fortunate to welcome Lauren Wojcik as the new Assistant Program Director for Health and Public Safety and State HOSA Advisor.  Lauren Wojcik will come to us in early October from the great state of Michigan where she taught and worked as a Student Services Coordinator for Michigan HOSA. In the role of Student Services Coordinator, she motivated Michigan’s HOSA chapters through class presentations on professional and character development, coordinated competitions, and recruited private and public sector supporters of HOSA to contribute to Future Health Professionals. Lauren has worked with the National Consortium for Health Science Educators in communications and marketing and the Michigan Health Council. Her enthusiasm and love for HOSA is contagious.

Colorado Association of Career and Technical Administrators

The first CACTA Board and Task Force meeting of this new school year will be on Friday, October 3 at Pickens Technical College in Building A Room 119. Pickens Tech is located at 500 N Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011.

The CACTA Board will meet at 9:30 followed by the Task Force meeting at noon. All CTE Administrators are welcome to participate in the Task Force meeting and discussion.  Lunch will be served!  Please reply to Teina McConnell  with your lunch RSVP.  For meeting information contact Mimi Leonard @

Contact information for Colorado’s CTE staff is at:

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CTEA Rocky Mountain Region Conference 2014

I hope the beginning of your school year has started out on a positive note. I am sure by now that you all are in the “teaching groove” and are now beginning to think about professional growth opportunities. One such opportunity is upon us – the 2014 CTEA Annual Conference on October 23– 24, 2014.

The CTEA Annual Conference is an opportunity for career and technical education/STEM/Tech Ed/Industrial Arts teachers to gather, exchange ideas, learn new tips and techniques, and to celebrate professional accomplishments. Details about the conference are available here.

Conference Registration is now OPEN!

The registration for the 2014 CTEA Annual Conference on October 23 & 24, is now open! The cost per registration is $100. If you have questions about your registration or payment please contact Marc Finer at

To register for the conference, please click here.

ITEEA Membership

This year, ITEEA has given us permission to offer a 1-Year Professional Membership for $50. Please take this opportunity to register/renew your ITEEA membership by checking the box on the conference registration form.

Membership Benefits include:

  • Eight complimentary issues to Technology and Engineering Teacher
  • Eligibility to present at the ITEEA Conference
  • Eligibility for Individual and program/school recognition and awards, including CTEA Teacher of the Year, CTEA Program of the Year, etc.
  • Eligibility for grants and scholarships
  • Network with your peers through ITEEA’s Networking tools
  • Free Resume posting on ITEEA’s Career Connection

Call for Presenters

This year’s conference theme is “If You Build it . . . .” I personally would like to encourage those of you that have “built” something that has rigorously engaged your school’s students in both academic and CTE courses to come share your accomplishment as a presenter at the CTEA Conference. Help us BUILD a great conference and volunteer to present. Remember, by presenting at the Conference, you will meet the “leadership” component of the state Teacher Evaluation form. In addition, if you are chosen to be a presenter, you will receive a 25% discount on your registration fee.

If you have a great project/technique/lesson, your fellow CTE educators would love for you to share it. Your presentation would last between 45 to 55 minutes. Register to be a presenter here. If you have any questions about presenting, please contact Ben Nuebel at


If you are a Vendor and would like to participate in our Vendor Fair, please fill in the Vendor Information form here. Please forward this link to current vendors that you work with and would like to see them present at the CTEA Conference.

Hotel Reservations

If you would like to reserve a room for the 2014 CTEA Annual Conference, please contact the staff at the TownPlaceSuites Denver at 303-232-7790 to book your stay. Click here for more details.

Classroom Improvement Grant

The Colorado Technology Education Association, in cooperation with supporting vendors, has created and funds the CTEA Classroom Improvement Grant program. The purpose of this grant is to support teachers for classroom improvements such as purchasing supplies and materials, repair equipment or provide for professional development in order to help improve the educational setting for their students in their classrooms.

To apply for the CTEA grant, you can complete the form here. The deadline to register is October 10, 2014. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. to be considered for the grant.

If you are a vendor and would like to support the grant, please contact Diane Gaston at for more information.

Program of the Year Nomination and Technology Education Teacher of the Year Nomination

Every year we like to recognize our amazing colleagues for their hard work in Technology Education. Nominate your colleagues today! For more information on the nomination process, click here. All nominees must be a member of ITEEA. Contact Pam Wilkins if you have any questions regarding ITEEA at

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Colorful instructor makes splash in Trinidad arts scene

In slightly more than a year in Trinidad, Art Professor Vilas Tonape has made his mark on the local art scene. His positive attitude makes everyone believe they too, can draw.

Tonape graduated from the most prestigious art school in India, Sir J.J. School of Art, in 1992. His Master of Fine Arts came from Texas Christian University in 1996. He has taught art at the college level in Florida, Georgia and now Colorado. He arrived in Trinidad in August of 2013. By December, faced with more students than expected in his painting class, he enlisted volunteers to help build more easels for his studio on the 4th floor of the Berg Building.

“What you want is a disciplined training,” said Tonape. His approach is very much step by step. Continue reading

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Mid-August CTE Updates from the Assistant Provost

Important Perkins Performance Announcement

In Colorado’s July 1 Perkins First Installment Award Letter, we received notification of additional “Special Conditions” (attached) which will have to be followed in the 2014-15 year.  These conditions are due to failure to meet, for three consecutive years, the necessary performance level for one of the secondary (high school only) core indicators of performance of Perkins IV.  Specifically, we missed the mark on secondary technical skill attainment (2Sl) each of the past three years.  This measure uses Concentrator Completion Rate for its measurement approach.

Based on conversations with our secondary institutions we believe our downward trend in our completion rates is a result of:

  • Decreasing school budgets which limit elective options so courses are not available for a student to complete the pathway.
  • Continuation of high stakes academic testing influences school administrators to invest more in academic requirements and less electives offerings.
  • Lack of understanding by administrators and counselors that CTE programs area sequence of courses not just independent elective experiences which negatively impacts availability and accessibility of courses.

We firmly believe that due to the adjusted performance level and our work with school districts and consortiums that have failed to meet the measure, that we will meet/exceed the target for the 2013-14 reporting year.  Specifically we will:

Analyze data to determine low performing school districts and programs.

  1. Provide on-site review of data submission processes to ensure all students that can be counted are being counted.
  2. Provide on-site targeted technical assistance to revise program structure as appropriate and necessary.
  3. Eliminate problematic courses and/or close low performing programs.
  4. Coordinate closely with USDE contacts for timely submission of quarterly reports and utilization of technical assistance.

We would ask that all secondary Perkins recipients review their 2S1 Technical Skill Attainment Measure performance and consider how they can strengthen their performance.  For more information and or ideas contact Lorrie Toni, Perkins Director, Julie Eddy, Accountability Director or Scott Stump, Assistant Provost for Career & Technical Education.

STEM Education Roadmap Public Release

On Wednesday August 27 from 4:30 – 7:00PM, the public is invited to attend a reception celebrating the release of the Colorado STEM Education Roadmap. The event will include a panel discussion of the growing demand for STEM competencies, and overview of the work to increase access to high-quality STEM education for all students, and how stakeholders can invest in and become part of the evolving public-private partnership supporting these efforts.  Space is limited and RSVP to Angela Baber at is required.

For additional information, see  .

Diversity in STEM Initiative

On September 12, the community college system office, in partnership with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), will kick off a yearlong initiative to increase the diversity of community college STEM programs. The initiative will include implementation of the research based PIPE-STEM process within participating colleges.  Participants currently include the Community College of Denver, Pueblo Community College, and CHAMP grant participants. The event will take place from 9-3 at the Pikes Peak Community College Rampart Range Campus.

For additional information or learn how to become involved, see or contact Jennifer Jirous, STEM/Arts Program Director at


CACTA (Colorado Association of Career Technical Administrators) Announces Taskforce Dates

For many years, CACTA has hosted monthly Taskforce meetings during the academic year.  Each Taskforce meeting focuses on a timely topic for CTE and allows ample time for questions, discussion and recommendations.  For topics and additional information contact Mimi Leonard, CACTA President Elect.  Times and locations for the 2014-15 Taskforce meetings are:

  • October 3 – Noon – 3:00 – Pickens Tech (Lunch provided)
  • October 15 – 1:00 – 3:30 – CCCS (President’s Conference Room)
  • November 19 – 1:00 – 3:30 – CCCS (President’s Conference Room)
  • January 21 – 1:00-3:30 – CCCS  (President’s Conference Room)
  • March 18 – 1:00-3:30 – CCCS  (President’s Conference Room)
  • April 15 – Noon-3:00 – Pickens Tech (Lunch provided)

Colorado Health Science Meetings

Colorado Health Science teachers will be meeting at Lowry Conference Center on September 12th for Health Science pathway, curriculum and HOSA updates. There’s also the National Health Science Curriculum Conference will be held downtown Denver at the Embassy Suites October 14-17. There will be 350+ Health Science teachers attending from across the country.

For additional information contact Tara Bell at

 Please let us know if you have any questions!

Contact information for all CCCS Staff:             http://www.coloradostateplan.comCTEcontacts.htm

Colorado CTE Calendar:   2014-15 Colorado CTE Calendar

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Attorney starts $250,000 scholarship fund at Trinidadd State

The Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation is pleased to announce that Denver attorney Franklin D. Azar, has established the Franklin D. Azar Scholarship Fund at Trinidad State Junior College with a very generous contribution.  Azar pledged his support to aid TSJC students with their educational expenses by committing $250,000 to the scholarship fund over the next five years.  Continue reading

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You’re Invited: Colorado STEM Education Roadmap Event

Colorado STEM Education Roadmap Release Event

Celebrating Colorado Leadership in Talent and Innovation

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Culinary Nutrition – FACS Core Secondary Course Addition

Thank you to the Colorado Culinary Nutrition Curriculum Team for their hard work and commitment in creating a new, innovative, relevant and exciting program designed to impact the overall health of students through nutrition, lifestyle, and sustainability education. This new course is meant to compliment any and all FACS Core courses, as well as serve as a basis of knowledge for students interested in nutrition, dietetics, or culinary career paths. For more information, contact Michelle Koch at or 720-858-2291. Course outlines, standards and a list of comprehensive resources are available.

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College and Career Readiness Technical Assistance and Resources

The System Office now has a Career & College Readiness Initiatives (CCRI) Department! In collaboration with CDE and CDHE partners, the department consists of the following:
• Tracy Thompson, ICAP Implementation Specialist
• Kendra Rodriguez, CO-PALS Project Manager
• Lauren Jones, Program Director for Career Guidance, Counseling and ACE

Services include: technical assistance, trainings, facilitation of various initiative implementation planning conversations and action steps, ‘hot topic’ professional development, among other creative endeavors to support all things PWR for CO students. Resources available at:

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CCCS CTE Staffing Updates

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of Jennifer Girvin, Assistant Program Director for Health and Public Safety. Jennifer will be leaving our office on August 26th for a position with National HOSA. We appreciate and have benefitted greatly from Jennifer’s energy and expertise over the past 5 years. Under her leadership Colorado HOSA has grown 225% to over 1,500 secondary and postsecondary members. Please join us in wishing Jennifer well on her new adventure.

Please note that we will be posting the position announcement for this position as soon as possible. In addition we will soon be positing an announcement for a new position: Program Director for Teaching and Learning. This position will manage new instructor onboarding including mentoring, credentialing and professional development. In addition, this position will be the CCCS lead on our work with standards, assessments and curriculum work. Both positions will be posted at shortly.

Last but not least, we are pleased to announce that Jo O’Brien has joined our staff full-time to continue her excellent work leading the Manufacturing Career Pathway implementation. She can be reached at Jo.O’ Please join us in welcoming Jo to CCCS!

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