Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES News Article

WEMOCO CTE Center earns highest SkillsUSA honor

Model of Excellence logo

One of the largest student organizations for career and technical education has bestowed an elite honor upon Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Career and Technical Education.

The WEMOCO CTE Center SkillsUSA chapter has been named a 2023 Model of Excellence, an honor given annually to the nation’s top 24 SkillsUSA chapters. The Model of Excellence program recognizes a chapter’s application of the SkillsUSA Framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

“Our Models of Excellence represent the very best in SkillsUSA chapter achievement and community involvement,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis. “These students represent America’s future skilled workforce and are future leaders in their local communities. It is a tremendous honor for these chapters and the recognition validates these outstanding SkillsUSA programs and schools.”

The focus of Models of Excellence is student-led activation and intentional learning. These students learn and practice the skills that every employer seeks, including leadership, initiative, communication, teamwork and problem solving.

“Participating in SkillsUSA provides WEMOCO students an opportunity to apply their industry-aligned knowledge and gain valuable experience as leaders,” said CTE Executive Principal Jill Slavny. “This honor is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, teachers and staff members.”

The WEMOCO SkillsUSA Chapter is being recognized in Workplace Skills for the World Teen Mental Wellness Day (WTMWD) activity. Students identified an opportunity to spread awareness of mental health resources and did so by providing every student and staff member with a business card of resources, as well as a poster for each classroom and office space.

“Our officers noticed many of their friends at WEMOCO were struggling with their own mental health issues and they wanted to help anyone who was struggling,” said Jennifer Probst, WEMOCO SkillsUSA lead advisor and Dental Assisting teacher. “They knew that they wanted to spread awareness of mental health and provide resources that our students could access anywhere, anytime.”

“This activity helped not only our officers grow in the ability to manage a complex project effectively but also show that they have mastered the SkillsUSA Workplace Skill of Planning, Organizing and Management,” added Probst. “I’m so proud of all the dedication and hard work these students put into this project and how they were able to reach 100% of our students and staff.”

For the 2022-23 school year, 225 students joined the WEMOCO SkillsUSA chapter and have participated in teambuilding, community service and leadership activities. Students were also eligible to compete in local, regional and state competitions.

The Model of Excellence is the highest honor the WEMOCO SkillsUSA Chapter has received through the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence program. This is the fourth consecutive year the chapter has been recognized. In 2022 and 2021, the chapter was a Gold Chapter of Distinction, the second highest level of achievement, and in 2020, it was named a Quality Chapter.

The 24 SkillsUSA chapters selected as Models of Excellence will compete for national notoriety during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta from June 19-23. Chapter representatives will participate in a series of interviews and discuss a student-led project tied to the SkillsUSA Framework. The top three schools will be announced during the awards ceremony on June 23 and will have the opportunity to share their stories through SkillsUSA in publications and training sessions.

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