By Robert Kilmer, Career and Technology Education Director
Throughout the year you can open the newspaper and read about the athletic accomplishments of Morgan High Students. Morgan has a reputation around the state of being one of the most competitive schools in the state. Very seldom do I go to a meeting around the state when someone does not comment on Morgan High’s accomplishments on the playing field. Many of our athletic programs can and do compete with schools three to four times our size. The students are amazing and have shown over the years a dedication and work ethic that is unsurpassed by other schools in the state. What you don’t see as often are the accomplishments of the students, athletes, and clubs in the classroom or in educational competitions. While these competitions don’t usually make headlines in the newspapers they still demonstrate the work ethic and accomplishments of Morgan’s students.
Morgan High School offers opportunities to participate in educational competitions and the Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs sponsor many of these. Through CTSO’s (Career and Technology Student Organizations), which are all connected to specific classes taught at the High School, students are able to learn real life, work related skills and then compete on regional, state, and national levels against all sizes of schools. These competitions are not regulated by school size but are open to all schools across the state and country.
At Morgan High School students are able to take classes that are classified in five major groups including Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences, and Skilled and Technical Sciences. Each of these classifications offer a CTSO for students to demonstrate the skills learned in their classes. National FFA represents the Agriculture classes, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) represents Business, FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) represents Family and Consumer Sciences, and Skills USA represents the Skilled and Technical Sciences classes.
National FFA which is the former Future Farmers of America is one of Morgan High Schools most successful programs. With 17 state championships in a row they have made a name for themselves at the state and national levels. They currently have 77 members and at the recent state convention Morgan students competed in Prepared Public Speaking, FFA-Creed speaking, and Outdoor Recreation Proficiency.
In addition to these competitions students were involved in many other activities. This year Ethan Porter earned his State FFA Degree, where he had to earn/invest $1500 dollars in a Supervised Agricultural Experience project. To qualify Ethan had to be in Ag classes for 3 years, and complete 25 hours of community service. Niccole Haslam met the requirements to earn the American FFA Degree this October. The American Degree is the highest award a FFA member can earn, only 5% of all FFA members ever attain this award. Shawn Francis, Christina Anderson, Bryan Chappell, and Katie Spens competed in October at National FFA Dairy Foods Evaluation Career Development Event where they placed with a Silver award. Shawn Francis was in the top 40 across the nation as an individual.
Currently, these students are preparing for 16 Career Development Events (CDE’s). They range from Livestock Evaluation, Agricultural Sales, Agricultural Communications, and Environmental issues. Five community members are helping train these teams.
The Agriculture program offered three new classes this year including Agriculture Systems & Technology, Veterinary Assistant, and Floriculture & Greenhouse Management. As a result the program was able to obtain new small engines with a grant from the Honda engine company and provide Valentines flower arrangements as a fundraiser to purchase new supplies for the Floriculture classes. They are also planning the 4th grade Farm Field Day. The students will be working with 12 agricultural awareness groups to prepare workshops including the Pork producers, Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom, and The Soil Conservation District.
FBLA recently participated in the regional competition and had 27 students qualify for the state competition that takes place next week. The business classes range from Computer Technology to Desktop Publishing to Business Web Page Design and also include more traditional business classes such as Accounting and Business Law. In these classes students are creating projects of their own design including the creation of new web sites including the new CTE web site. With new technology they are able to create projects in Desktop publishing that weren’t possible before and they are able to fully utilize the Adobe Suite programs which include: Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Students have created podcasts in Computer Tech and Web Design and rather than just the regular reports or PowerPoint’s on a topic, the students get the chance to creatively teach the class a concept.
Our Health Sciences students have the opportunity to participate in a Health Sciences fair that will be held at Davis Applied Technology College on April 15th. Any students interested in attending should contact John Rock. So far this year 22 health sciences students have certified in First Aid, AED, and CPR. In addition we offer a Certified Nursing Assistant program that certifies many students every year to work in the medical field and prepare for the nursing programs at the Universities.
The Welding, Cabinet and Millwork, Building Construction, and Photography classes compete in the Skills USA program. This year the welding students competed in the region competition at DATC where only the top student is able to move on to the state competition to represent our region. Morgan’s David Tennant made the cut and will represent our region today at the state competition at SLCC.
The Family and Consumer Sciences classes which include Interior Design, Foods 1-3, Culinary Arts, Adult Roles, and Fashion Merchandising offer students insight and training into the world of Consumer Sciences. Many students leave Morgan with opportunities for employment and advanced training in the form of scholarships and internships. FCCLA had 5 students who qualified to compete at the state competition on Wednesday. Two of those are Holly Rhodes and Hannah McDermott. They are competing in Entrepreneurship and Public Speaking. They are expected to do an awesome job based on their previous experiences. Unfortunately their competition will not end until Thursday and this article went to press on Wednesday.
We have expanded our photo program to include studio photography and TV production. The photography classes had the opportunity to take pictures at a community veterans’ benefit dance and concert. They have also been involved in helping to produce the internet broadcasts of the sporting events at MHS and plan to begin a weekly broadcast in the fall. The TV production class is also working with the student body officers in their daily production of the school announcements.
CTE is also taught at the Middle School where the CTE Intro Classes in 7th grade let the students explore and experience a little bit of every program available to them in the CTE area. They are able to “test the waters” in each area so they can see what they are interested in. Middle School level CTE consists of FACS, Applied Technology, and Business.
In 8th grade, the CTE FACS Exploration and FACS Clothing & Textile classes lets the students explore more in-depth in the FACS classes. They learn Independent Living Skills, along with cooking and sewing skills. They learn that sewing is more than just sewing clothing. It can be a hobby, skills to mend clothes, sewing for fun, crafting and just letting the creative side flow. Basic cooking skills are introduced as well as learning to actually cook food in the microwave, rather than just heating up frozen food or leftovers. The Middle School also sponsors an after-school program called “Creative FACS” for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Students can stay after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and participate in cooking and simple crafts. The only cost to students is their time. They learn cooking skills, independent living skills and social skills.
Students in the Applied Technology program will study career choices in Construction, Manufacturing, Engineering, Power, Energy, and Transportation. This is accomplished through the construction of projects and the study of processes used in today’s industries.
The Middle School Business program teaches computer basics, marketing, and the study of business processes that are used throughout the industry worldwide.
As you can see the CTE department is working diligently to provide students with quality educational experiences in the Morgan School District. Four of this year’s Sterling Scholars are representing the CTE Programs and even more will receive scholarships to help them as they continue their education. CTE is constantly working with students to help them understand the importance of post-secondary education. We work to help students develop a pathway to success so that students understand what will be required of them in order to meet their personal educational and professional career goals.
For further information concerning any CTE program you may contact the school guidance counselors or any of the teachers in the CTE program.