Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Student Spotlight: Sarah Irving, CRTC Cosmetology Program

Student_Spotlight_Sarah_Irving.pngIf you ask Sarah Irving what she likes best about the CRTC Cosmetology Program, the Merrimack Valley senior will likely say it’s the friendships she’s formed over the past two years by working and learning beside a group of students who all share the same interests. “By spending so much time together working towards the same goals, you end up creating the kind of bond that you know you can depend on one another,” she said. “You really end up becoming a kind of family.” (She even confided that the students like to call the teacher, Ms. Kimberly, “mom”) Sarah grew up interested in hair, makeup and style in general, often experimenting with her friends to create “that look.” She also had an older sister who went through the CRTC Teacher Prep program, and so when she was a sophomore in high school she knew she wanted to enter the Cosmetology program here. “This program has exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I didn’t realize just how many things I’d be learning to do in this class.” Sara’s favorite activity is participating in SkillsUSA, which is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives that offer local, state and national programs and competitions aimed at promoting technical skill development and career readiness. Sarah has been a state SkillsUSA officer for the past two years, and recently won gold in the state competition. The next stop is the national competition in Louisville, Ky, in June. This means a lot to me because SkillsUSA has been a big part of my life for the past two years,” Sarah said. “Competing nationally means the chance for big scholarships, opportunities, and meeting new people from around the country.” However, in order to compete, Sarah will first have to raise close to $1,000 toward travel, food and lodging expenses. To help her close the financial gap, Sarah has started a GoFundMe page in hopes of getting some help, and says she’d appreciate any donation that helps her to make this opportunity a reality. “Sarah was extremely professional at the state SkillsUSA competition,” said Kimberly Hannon, who teaches the Cosmetology program at CRTC. “She’s one of my hardest working students, and she always puts a lot of positive energy into whatever she does.” In the classroom, Sarah is a real team player, Ms Kimberly added. “She works well with everybody I pair her up with, and she always approaches challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude.”
Sarah is still unsure what she will do after graduation, but wherever she’s headed, she says the career readiness skills she’s learned at the CRTC are sure to help her get there.
“The best thing about the CRTC is that you learn some real skills, you learn how to act professionally, and you learn how to have fun doing it.”

Director Spotlight: CTE Competitions Report

27 March 2017
CTE Competitions Report
By CRTC Director Steve Rothenberg

Over the past few weeks, CRTC students from many of our programs have competed in statewide competitions.  It’s been an energizing ride with students pushing themselves to strive for professional excellence.  We’ve done well!

This past Saturday, our Teacher Prep students competed against 85 or so other students from seven different high schools at the Educators Rising Competition.  Our students excelled and placed: Children’s Literature K-3 (1st), Creative Lecture, Ethical Dilemma and Impromptu Lesson (1st).  

CRTC students also competed statewide at SkillsUSA NH events in Cosmetology, Construction Trades, Culinary Arts, Automotive Technology, and Graphic Design; at HOSA competitions in Health Science; and at Prostart Culinary Competitions.  About 12 CRTC students will be traveling to Orlando, Louisville, or Phoenix in late June to compete nationally, two will also go as statewide officers, and two teachers will go as state advisors.  These organizations, Educators Rising, SkillsUSA, ProStart, and HOSA are considered CTSO’s - Career and Technical Student Organizations.  They are national organizations with state chapters and essential components of the overall CTE experience.

In addition to CTSO’s, there is First Robotics, an international high school robotics competition that gives students real-world engineering experience.  A handful of our Computer Engineering/IT students were members of the larger CHS student team in the First Robotics Competition at Bedford High School, also on Saturday.  The team is particularly strong this year and expectations to reach the regional championship is particularly high.  The energy in the packed Bedford High gym was crazed, including a large Concord contingent.  Our team consists of a pit crew, drivers, and more.  The pride of our robot is a rigged device call a gypsy that lifted the entire robot up a rope.

Lastly, if you’re interested in seeing the scope of these competitions and the type of feedback received by students, check out this video

(turn the volume up) of professional chefs giving feedback to our ProStart competitors.  It’s as authentic as it gets!

We congratulate all students who competed and wish everyone the best as competitions continue.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Student Spotlight: Danielle Baker CRTC Health Science Program

Student Spotlight: Danielle Baker CRTC Health Science Program

Danielle_HS_Student_Spotlight.pngDanielle Baker’s mother is a nurse, and so she pretty much grew up being exposed to the world of health care. So when it came time to choose a career pathway, Danielle, a senior at Merrimack Valley High School, immediately knew that she wanted to apply for the CRTC Health Science program.

“I’ve always been around the medical aspect of things and I just kind of fell in love with it,” Danielle said. “So when I heard about the Health Science program at the CRTC it sounded like a really good way to go.”

Last year, Danielle was part of a CRTC Health Science team that scored first in the state HOSA future health care professionals Forensic Medicine competition, and she went on to Nashville, Tenn, to compete in the national HOSA competition there. “It was an amazing experience,” she said. “It was a great place to network and to meet a lot of people who have the same interests and ambitions as you do.”

Danielle plans to go on to a career in emergency medicine. She currently volunteers with the Penacook Rescue Squad, and is working on her Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) certifications, which she should have before she graduates.

“Danielle’s persistent drive to succeed and learn makes her an exceptional student,” said CRTC Health Science teacher Sharon Bean. “Danielle never takes the path of least resistance … she is always looking for opportunities to learn.”

Danielle demonstrates leadership skills by presenting herself in a professional manner, whether in class, competitions, or group activities, Mrs. Bean said. Danielle is vice president of the senior class HOSA chapter, and she often is called upon to lead and participate in group activities such as the recent CRTC Preview Day tours, she added.

“The best thing about having Danielle as a student is her consistent positive attitude, which she brings with her into the classroom every day,” Mrs. Bean said. “She is wise beyond her years as far as maturity goes.”

After graduation, Danielle plans to attend college and pursue a nursing degree with the goal of becoming a registered nurse specializing in emergency medicine. She added that she will put the LNA certification she’ll earn at the CRTC to good use, gaining experience by working part time and summers in hospitals or medical offices throughout her college years.

“It’s a terrific program with lots of great opportunities,” Danielle said of the CRTC Health Science program. “It’s a great way to get immersed in the health science field, network with people, and figure out which jobs in the medical field you do or don’t want to pursue.”