NE CTE Newsletter | February, 2021 | Vol. 1, Issue 3

Celebrate CTE Month – Tell your Story! 

February is CTE Month, which makes it the perfect time to tell the story of CTE within your district, school, program, or classroom! February has been proclaimed CTE Month in Nebraska. Use this month to educate district patrons, community members, parents, and students about the CTE program offerings within your district. Empower students to use their voice to advocate for CTE programs and CTSOs with elected officials at the local, state, and federal level. Take this time to connect with local business and industry leaders to grow existing partnerships or build new ones; help them see the relationship between strong CTE programs and a robust workforce.

However you choose to celebrate Career & Technical Education this month, make sure to share with others! On social media, use #NebraskaCTE and #CTEmonth. Invite your local press to any events you hold or share a press release about CTE and CTE Month with them. There are endless ways to promote the remarkable work your CTE programs are doing to empower learners to turn their passion, talents, and strengths into successful careers and fulfilling lives. 
Click here for CTE Month Marketing Resources

Perkins V

Now available! The updated Perkins Management Guide.
Check it out here.
CTE Facts:  
Did you know 70% of CTE students are satisfied with their ability to engage with employers, compared to only 32% of prospective CTE students? 
Did you know parents and students of CTE  are twice as likely to report they are "very satisfied" with their children's ability to learn real-world skills as part of their current education compared to parents and students not involved in CTE?
- Advance CTE: "The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education Fact Sheet" 

Intent to Participate
The new Intent to Participate in Perkins funding form will be available on February 1st, 2021. This form is submitted through the NDE Portal and is due March 1. This is an annual form to be completed by ALL districts to confirm qualification for Perkins funds and to participate in the 2021-2022 funded grant year. All districts must complete the form whether or not they intend to participate in the grant activities. All districts that intend to participate must have completed their 2020-2024 Local Application. If you have questions, please contact Teri Sloup by email at

Coming Soon—Perkins Grant Application for 2021-2022! 
We are excited about the upcoming Perkins grant year! The process to closeout the current year’s grant and prepare for 2021-2022 is easier than ever. You will simply need to upload a completed template that will be provided into GMS and submit an annual budget. The template will ask a few short questions on the progress of the past year’s activities and goals, and if there are changes to the planned activities for the coming year.  Then, an annual budget will be uploaded using the same template used before. 

We will be emailing the templates and instructional information to all Grant Contact staff as soon as the templates and 2021-2022 allocations are available. A tentative opening date is planned for March 15-April 20. 
You may have heard the NDE is moving! All CTE staff will have new phone numbers beginning February 1st. Please check this site for the revised contact information. 

Launch Work-Based Learning!

Kicking off on February 2, 2021 at 12 pm CST., Launch WBL provides focused support to help you launch your school's Work-Based Learning (WBL) program.
  • Launch WBL! introduction video 
  • First professional learning module, titled “Launch WBL!” 
  • Zoom room for the follow-up WBL Office Hours (1st one is February 9, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, CST) 
Please visit the new Launch WBL! web page for more details and for these links, available 2/2/21! 

Center for Student Leadership
and Expanded Learning

Member Spotlight from each CTSO 

Throughout the school year, Career and Technical Student Organization members have been hard at work advocating for their organizations and CTE. As we kick off CTE Month, we wanted to highlight just a few of the members that have shown outstanding leadership and achievement over the past months in their organization! We will continue to highlight chapters and members throughout the month through social media.

DECA - Nikoleta Skoufis, Junior, Papillion LaVista South High School.  As our chapter’s current vice president of membership, Nikoleta has gone above & beyond expectations. This year, she successfully helped recruit 21 alumni, 26 professional, & 106 student members! This helped our chapter reach achieve the Thrive Level in the National DECA membership campaign. She also created DECA masks for our early bird membership incentive & assisted in planning & executing our chapter’s DECA week activities & event to recruit students to take business classes & join DECA next year.  

EDUCATORS RISING - Senior Omaha South student, Emma Bailey, is the 2021 President of Educators Rising.  Ever since she was little, she has known she wanted to go into the teaching profession. Her family values education. Not only do both of her parents have teaching careers, but her extended family members are also in the education field. Emma likes to say, “Teaching is in my blood”. Having practically grown up in a school as she ran the halls as a toddler, helped her mom set up her classroom each year, and volunteered for numerous school activities, Emma knows what it is like to be a teacher, both inside and outside the classroom.  

Throughout high school, Emma has been able to pursue classes that piqued her interest in education and joined the Educators Rising Chapter at Omaha South. Some of the activities she has participated in include a community trick-or-treat night for families to come to a warm and safe environment, play games and collect candy; interacting with students on another level by assisting elementary students with a fire drill; writing pen pal letters to fourth graders; and reading to ACP students. Having these opportunities motivates her to pursue what she would like to do in the near future.
As President of Nebraska Educators Rising, Emma has been able to view teaching from both sides - not only from the student's perspective but from the teacher's perspective as well; and she has witnessed many teachers who go above and beyond their normal teaching duties for their students. According to Emma, “I am not in it for the income, but for the outcome.  I want to be that educator who makes a difference in a child’s life, whether it be in the classroom or in the real world."  

FBLA - Senior, Teja Farley serves as the Syracuse FBLA chapter president. Teja goes above and beyond to get members involved and excited about FBLA. She empowers others by her own personal goals and achievements. While serving as chapter treasurer her junior year, Teja set goals to take her skills to the next level. Though she did not attain a state FBLA officer position, she did achieve her goal of qualifying for the National Leadership Conference and participated in the 2020 National Online Leadership Experience in the Sales Presentation event. 
Teja has achieved the Future, Business, and Leader Level of the National Business Achievement Awards and is working on the America level. She has chaired major chapter projects including American Enterprise Report, March of Dimes Walk, Connect with Business and the Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Teja is a two-time recipient of the Syracuse FBLA Outstanding Member Award. 

"Teja has done an amazing job serving as the Advocate Committee's Executive Assistant. She's been the backbone of this group, and we wouldn't be nearly as productive without her astounding leadership."
-Wyatt Nun, Nebraska FBLA State Reporter 

“Teja has been an incredible member within FBLA and truly represents what this organization stands for. Her leadership, drive, and compassion inspire members not only in her chapter but across the entire state. We are so fortunate to be able to call Teja a member of the Nebraska FBLA family!”
-Lucas Lunzmann, Nebraska FBLA State President

FCCLA - Abby Lawton, a junior member of the Overton FCCLA chapter, collected nominations for families in need or deserving of a free Thanksgiving Meal Kit in November. Then she shopped for the meal kit contents and delivered them to families in Overton the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Her kit contained everything from turkey and potatoes to cranberry sauce and pie. In total she gave away meals for 50 people. She received many generous donations to cover the cost of the meals from community members.

Angie Ehlers, Overton FCCLA chapter adviser, says,  “Abby has always had a mission of spreading kindness since she joined FCCLA in 7th grade. We are so proud of her and the lives she has made better through her project.” Abby was also featured on NTV’s news segment “Show Me Something Good” on Monday, November 23; the segment can be viewed here. 

FFA - Blake Kirchhoff, a member of the Superior FFA chapter, was selected by the National FFA Organization as the American Star in Agribusiness. 
Growing up on his family’s farm outside of Hardy is what sparked Kirchhoff’s interest in agriculture and ultimately what led him to join his local FFA chapter. “I knew that I wanted to pursue some sort of a career in ag, so I figured FFA would be a good resource to figure all that out,” said Kirchhoff.
Throughout his time in the Superior FFA chapter, Kirchhoff did gain more knowledge about careers in agriculture through his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). An experience that would end up leading him to receive this honor. When asked how Kirchhoff chose his SAE he said, “Originally, I wanted to raise sheep as an SAE, but had no way to handle the large round bales that I would need. As a result, I decided to purchase a small square baler so I could produce hay that was easier for me to handle.” With no one else in the area who made small square bales, the then high school student decided to start custom haying on the side to help pay for the baler he bought. By the time he made enough money to pay for the baler, he had left the sheep industry and decided to custom hay as a full-time SAE.
Kirchhoff ended up diversifying his SAE even more to include custom round baling, custom swathing and custom alfalfa planting. “Usually when I did this custom seeding, I was also contracted to make the hay. This was very beneficial to my company as it once again allowed me to increase total acres. Throughout this whole time, I was also buying more and more of my own equipment to become more self-contained. The first year I made about 50 acres of hay, and in 2019 I made around 1400 acres total. In 2020, I expect to make just over 1500 acres.” 

Anyone who has ever worked in haying knows it requires hard work, but that’s what Kirchhoff enjoys. Kirchhoff is now a senior at Kansas State University majoring in Agronomy in the Precision Agriculture option. He said he credits his accomplishments to his FFA chapter and advisor, to his many customers and finally to his family. “They have all helped me get to where I am today and for that I am grateful.” 

PBL- Kimberly Frey is a sophomore accounting major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and this is her sixth year with the FBLA-PBL organization. Kimberly is Nebraska's State Vice President of Finance and UNL’s Treasurer and Secretary. She joined PBL because of the amazing experiences she had in FBLA—competing at SLC, attending NLC, making friends from other schools, and so much more.

She knew that PBL would allow her to build skills for her future career and make incredible memories along the way. What Kimberly likes most about PBL are the people—the members, the advisers, and the business professionals. “I’ve made friends and connections that I would have missed out on if I wasn’t in PBL. The people make the organization great.” Kimberly was nervous about running for leadership positions, but she is so glad that she stepped outside of her comfort zone and went for it. “Being an officer has given me opportunities to stretch my strengths and find new ones. PBL provides the chances to grow; you just have to take them.”  

Featured Program

Wakefield High School has an extensive Career and Technical Education Program. The CTE program offers a total of 21 different courses for students to take, including two Health Sciences dual credit classes through Northeast Community College. Wakefield CTE staff have worked hard to retain students and provide personal growth opportunities. 
The Business Program offers a wide variety of business and technology courses. Certifications are also offered for students to acquire; W!SE financial literacy program and Microsoft Office Specialist.

The Wakefield Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter has grown to 55 active members this year with 11 students that will compete at State FBLA. 

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program offers many courses including dual enrollment opportunities. Students taking FCS are not only learning valuable college & career readiness skills but they have the opportunity to be certified in: CPR, Stop the Bleed, and ServSafe Training.

Wakefield Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter has 79 members, 14 competed at State Leadership Conference, and 1 member ran for State Peer Officer Team. In addition to outstanding members the FCCLA chapter has received multiple awards at the state level.

As part of the Wakefield reVISION process the Skills and Technical Sciences (STS) classroom and shop has been updated.

The new SkillsUSA chapter has 21 members and 16 competing at State SkillsUSA. STS students have had the opportunity to work on our school’s new weightlifting facility as well as attending Wayne State College to learn more about postsecondary STS careers. 

Save the Date 

  • National School Counseling Week 2021 (#NSCW21)
    “School Counselors: All In for All Students,“ will be celebrated
    Feb. 1–5, 2021. For event calendar, webinars, activities, plus participation in the School Counselor of the Year Gala at American School Counselor Association visit 
  • Nebraska Career Education Virtual Conference
    Date: Monday, June 7–Wednesday, June 9
    When: 9:00am–1:00pm CST daily
    Where: Virtual
    Registration Opens: April 15, 2021
    Visit the conference website.
  • 2021 Richard Katt Outstanding Nebraska Career Educator Award
    Due Date, March 1st

    This award honors one educator from each of the following career fields:  
    • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
    • Business, Marketing, and Management
    • Communication and Information Systems
    • Human Sciences and Education
      (Family and Consumer Sciences/Education & Training)
    • Health Sciences
    • Skilled and Technical Sciences
  • Intent to Participate in Perkins Funding
    Form will be available starting February 1st.
    Form submissions due by March 1st.

For more information:
(402) 471-2295
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Career and Technical Education
301 Centennial Mall South, 6th Floor
Lincoln, NE 68509

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