September 4, 2012
A newsletter from Career and Technical Education - Washington
Farewell, Tom Lopp
On Friday, August 31, Tom Lopp announced his retirement from more than 35 years in career and technical education, effective October 1. Tom has served CTE in myriad ways over the years, including:
  • Agriculture Science Teacher, North Thurston School District
  • Vocational Education Director, Tacoma School District
  • Executive Director, Washington Vocational Association
  • Job Skills Director, State Board for Vocational Education
  • Assistant Superintendent for Vocational Education, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • President, American Vocational Association
  • Region 5 Vice President, American Vocational Association
  • Assistant Superintendent for State & Federal Legislation, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tom was instrumental in the creation of the Washington Award for Vocational Excellence Scholarship, bringing Jobs for America's Graduates in the 1990s and again in the last two years.

In a message to OSPI employees, Tom said: 
I believe in Superintendent Dorn's vision and had hoped to be a part of making it a reality. I am passionate about my government relations work and all we, at OSPI, do to improve and enrich the lives of the students in Washington State. When I worked the Hill, my two priorities were all students and  the quality work the team at OSPI does for education. I have been lucky, I loved my career so I have never had to work a day in my 39 years in education.

We wish Tom much-deserved rest and the enjoyment of his retirement.
CAD Modeling Competition

The University of Nevada, Reno is organizing a competition for high school and home-schooled students, whose objective is to 

attract them to 3D CAD modeling. CAD modeling is an important STEM area. The competition is based on an innovative free web browser based CAD system, and it is completely free for the students.


The goal for students will be to create the best 3D design in NCLab using PLaSM, NCLab's free web browser based CAD tool. Usage of PLaSM is very simple as you will find in this tutorial. The contest is not limited to the U.S. but the official language is English. PLaSM is a new addition to NCLab so all competitors have equal starting conditions. Once more - everything takes place directly in the web browser, no purchasing or installation of any software is needed. First webinar will take place on September 5.


The competition will close on November 30, and winning designs will be announced on December 15.  

More information, including registration info is available at

GRADS on Moodle

A new Moodle webpage ( has been created for GRADS teachers to communicate with each other, view and download framework files, and keep up to date on the latest news and upcoming events. Check it out.

High-Demand Grants Due Soon
Designed to increase the quality and rigor of secondary CTE, improve links to postsecondary education, encourage and facilitate academic instruction through CTE courses, and expand access to and awareness of the opportunities offered by high quality CTE, High-Demand Grant applications are due soon: September 21, by 5pm.

Visit iGrants Form Package 414 to apply. Grants range from $20,000-$60,000 for recipients.
Announcing Family and Consumer Sciences Fall Conference
On October 28-30, join fellow educators at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, WA. Registration begins Sunday, October 28, at 1pm, for the preconference, and Monday, October 29, at 7:30am, for the full conference.

Highlights will include:
  • Pre-Conference Sessions, including a cooking demo and cook-off featuring the students at the Northwest Culinary Institute, fashion and marketing.
  • Keynote Speakers Seth Aaron Henderson, Fashion Designer & 2007 Project Runway winner, and  Pati Palmer, Pattern Designer, Fit Expert and CEO of the Palmer/Pletsch Company.
  • Educational Vendors, such as the Washington State Dairy Council, Wheat Commission, and Beef Council with the latest updates and materials for FCS teachers.
  • At least 30 Breakout Sessions, featuring presenters with the latest educational materials in all the disciplines of family and consumer sciences.
  • Networking and Area Meeting Sessions, where FCS educators can share their ideas, meet col-leagues and professionals and representatives of all the areas of family and consumer sciences. 
Registration deadline: October 15. Register at Questions: contact Vicki Zimmerman at or (509) 464-8547.
Skills centers making inroads in Washington: Article
A recent article in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce highlights the growth of skill centers in Washington and their impact on student education opportunities. Read if you have a chance:
State Superintendent Randy Dorn Honored with Champions of Digital Literacy Award

On August 1, Certiport, the official test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, presented the Champions of Digital Literacy Award to Randy Dorn, Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dorn was chosen for his work advocating technology training including Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Technology Associate certification for all high schools in Washington State.


In his three years as Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dorn has improved the state assessment system, argued successfully against cuts to education funding, and expanded early learning opportunities for all students. In 2011 his office partnered with Certiport Platinum Solution Provider CCI Learning Solutions to implement the Microsoft IT Academy Program. Since the program launched, more than 14,000 certification exams have been taken in Washington.


"Under Randy Dorn's direction, the State of Washington has become a model for statewide certification implementations to help students gain real world skills they can apply to the job market or in the classroom," said Ray Kelly, CEO, Certiport. "Randy has also worked to integrate technology learning into the state's common core standards to provide students across the state with access to relevant and in-demand technology skills that will accompany them throughout their academic and professional careers."


Read the rest of the annoucement here:

Washington ACTE 2012 Award Recipients

The Washington Association for Career and Technical Education's Awards seek to promote excellence in Career and Technical Education by recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of Career and Technical Education, programs that exemplify the highest standards, and organizations that have conducted activities that promote and expand Career and Technical Education.

Cogratulations to all awardees. Awards were presented at this year's WA-ACTE Summer Conference in August. Winners included:
  • Tricia Littlefield, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Bonney Lake High School, Teacher of the Year
  • Lance Wrzesinski, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Centralia College, Outstanding Career and Technical Educator
  • Michelle Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Southlake High School, Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher
  • Debbie Romesburg, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Clarkston High School, Outstanding Teacher in Community Service
  • Kim LaFortune, Career Guidance Specialist, Lake Stevens High School, Career Guidance Award 
  • Dave Weidkamp, Technology Education Teacher, Lynden High School, Program Award for Excellence in Teaching 
  • Roxanne McNerney, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Sunnyside High School, Outstanding Service Award
  • Senator Rosemary McAuliffe (1st Dist.) and Representative Tim Probst (17th Dist.), Legislator of the Year

Find out more about these awards at

Early Childhood Education Portable Background Checks
A background check is required for individuals who may have unsupervised access to children in a licensed child care setting. "Unsupervised access" is defined in state rules as:
  • An individual will or may have the opportunity to be alone with a child in child care at any time for any length of time; and
  • Access that is not within constant visual or auditory range of the licensee, an employee authorized by the Department of Early Learning (DEL), or a relative or guardian of the child in child care.
It is the responsibility of the licensed child care provider to follow the state rules and ensure that anyone with unsupervised access to children has a cleared background check. If a licensed provider is found by DEL to be out of compliance with this requirement, they are subject to enforcement action.

For more information about background checks, visit
Extended Approval Period for Training Organizations - MERIT System

As of August 17, there are 73 state-approved trainers and an additional 102 who have submitted applications and are in the process of being approved. This is a huge accomplishment in 11 months.


DEL has extended the training approval period for STARS training organizations to January 1, 2013. They want to make sure those applicants who submitted before the September 1 deadline are processed before the provisional approval period ends.


Trainers who have not submitted applications have an additional four months to complete the process and that current STARS-approved organizations may use the organizational level STARS approval until January 1, 2013.*


DEL will be evaluating a percentage of statewide training on an annual basis to give more information about whether the new system is working, and to be able to provide additional support and feedback to trainers. DEL is relying on partners to help improve the quality of training around Washington, as it is a critical link in the professional development system.


If you have ideas on how DEL can continue to build our capacity of high quality state-approved trainers, please contact by emailing, and place "Trainer Approval Process Feedback" in the subject line.


*You may temporarily see the approval date in MERIT still listed as August 31, but you will be able to create trainings beginning September 1. The date in MERIT will be updated to reflect this change.

Real World Design Challenge

Registration is now open for the 2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge. The Challenge starts in the fall, but you can sign up today.


The Real World Design Challenge is an annual aviation design competition for teams of 3-7 high school students. The Challenge is free for students and teachers. And each teacher that signs up a team will receive $1 million in professional engineering software as well as access to mentors from industry, government and academia. 


Every team that wants to participate needs to register even if they participated in the past.


Teams can register by clicking the following link Registration for the 2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge is now open. Sign up today, or by going to and following the registration link there.  The team's teacher/coach should do the registration.
FIRST Grants (Lego, Tech, Robotics) Available

For the 2012-13 school year, visit iGrants to access FIRST grant applications. Applications are due September 14.


Grants break out into three categories:

  • FIRST Lego League - form package 605 (grades 7-8)
  • FIRST Tech Challenge - form package 606 (grades 7-12)
  • FIRST Robotics Competition - form package 424 (high school only)

You must log in to iGrants as a school, rather than a district, since the grants will be awarded to individual public schools. Please carefully read the "Profile" page for specific eligibility information.


Questions: contact Dennis Milliken at or at (360) 725-4467.
Skilled & Technical Sciences Fall Advisor's Meeting

All skilled and technical science subject matter teachers are invited to participate in the Fall Advisor's Meeting. Please advise your teachers of this opportunity. The meeting will help teachers know leadership requirements, up-to-date template for course approvals including information on 21st Century Skills, Common Core, Common Technical Core and the professional development program. Dates include:

  • September 18 - Puget Sound Region; 6:00pm, Mt Si High School, $6.00 BBQ boneless ribs dinner. Please contact Jim Wickens ( with your RSVP
  • September 19 - Eastern Region; 6:00pm Northern Lights Brewing Co., 1003 East Trent Ave. Spokane WA. Order off the menu. Please RSVP to Will Sarett (
  • September 20 - Central Region; 5:00pm, YV Tech, dinner provided, $15.00 at door. Please RSVP to Ray Cyr (
  • September 26 -  Southwest Region;TBD  Clark County Skills Center. Please RSVP to Tom Whittingham (
  • September 27 - Olympic Region; 6:00pm, AAA Buffet in Tacoma (10310 S. Tacoma Way)  Please RSVP to Keith Kuniyasu (

Please copy Denny Wallace ( in your responses above so we have an idea of presentation materials.

STEM Lighthouse Schools Grant Application Due

OSPI iGrants Form Package 545 is open for 2012-13 STEM Lighthouse School applications until October 5. STEM Lighthouse schools originated in 2010 with the Legislature's passage of House Bill 2621. The bill directs the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to designate as many as three elementary, three middle and three high schools each year as lighthouse schools. The schools "serve as resources and examples of how to combine the following best practices:

  • Small, highly personalized learning communities;
  • An interdisciplinary curriculum with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), delivered through a project-based instructional approach; and
  • Active partnerships with businesses and the local community to connect learning beyond the classroom."

Criteria used to determine the lighthouse schools included demonstration of increased student achievement; how the instruction mirrors the world beyond the classroom; involvement of under-represented populations; and involvement of business, industry, community, parents and postsecondary practitioners. Awards for selected schools are approximately $20,000.


Program Contact: Dennis Milliken, STEM Program Supervisor, OSPI, (360) 725-4467 or

SkillsUSA Leadership Training
Join the SkillsUSA Advisor/Student/Chapter Leadership Training, October 5-7, Cispus Learning Center in Randle. $65/Person which includes accommodations, food and ropes course. 10 clock hours will be available for advisors. Registration due September 28. Contact Bruce McBurney ( go to for more information.
Grants for SkillsUSA

Two grants are available from Lowe's to benefit SkillsUSA Chapters and projects:

  • Schools in Need - Deadline November 1. Grants range from $2500 to $25000. Classroom improvements, upgrading or providing tangible tools for learning technical skills, leadership development opportunities or providing for competition clothing .
  • CareerSafe Vouchers - Deadline December 1. CareerSafe vouchers allow students to take an online assessment and earn their OSHA 10-Hours Construction or General Industry safety credential.

For more information, visit

Call for Volunteers: SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA Washington needs trades and industry individual to help form Technical Advisory Committee to plan, organize and carry out the 80 + contest held at the State Conference. In additional judges are needed. 


Please invite applicable advisory committee members  to attend this Wednesday, September 12, planning meeting at Renton High School, 5:30pm. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP with Bruce ( or Denny (

Professional Development for Aerospace/Manufacturing
An October inservice is in the development stages regarding Aerospace/Manufacturing. Potential topics for the professional development will be; (1) Tooling U update & reports, (2) Core + Projects 1-4, (3) How to use Precision measuring instruments, (4) Use and operation of Aerospace Manufacturing tools and equipment, (5) Quality assurance, (6) Industry Partners insight and possible tours. More information will follow as available. The last two weeks of October are target for this one to two day training opportunity. Contact Denny ( to get on the mailing (interest) list.
Apprenticeship Preparation Program Recognition
This program establishes the process through which education-based preparatory programs can seek and obtain formal recognition form the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC) for their efforts to link students to registered apprenticeship. For more information contact Denny Wallace at or call (360) 725-6241.
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In This Issue
Farewell, Tom Lopp
CAD Modeling Competition
GRADS on Moodle
High-Demand Grants Due Soon
Family and Consumer Sciences Fall Conference
Skills centers making inroads in Washington
State Superintendent Randy Dorn Honored
Washington ACTE 2012 Award Recipients
Early Childhood Education Portable Background Checks
Extended Approval Period for Training Organizations - MERIT
Real World Design Challenge
FIRST Grants (Lego, Tech, Robotics) Available
Skilled & Technical Sciences Fall Advisor's Meeting
STEM Lighthouse Schools Grant Application Due
SkillsUSA Leadership Training
Grants for SkillsUSA
Call for Volunteers: SkillsUSA
Professional Development for Aerospace/Manufacturing
Apprenticeship Preparation Program Recognition
Quick Links

Career and Technical Education - Washington does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, sex, religeion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran's status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.