At the end of June each year when most students are busy planning some much deserved down time over their summer vacation, students involved in the TSA (Technology Student Association) program at Cedarcrest High School and Tolt Middle School were actively honing their skills and perfecting their presentations in preparation for the 2012 National TSA event in Nashville, Tennessee.
The TSA programs at both Tolt and Cedarcrest help to bring technology and the arts to life in many forms, as students gain knowledge in subject matter such as: photography, fashion design, technology, video production/game design, music production, promotional graphics and architectural modeling.
The TSA program, which began in 2006, is a collaborative effort involving teacher/advisors Tim Kennedy, Mike Miyoshi and Donna Bielstein, the career and technical education director at Cedarcrest High School and Mark Klune from Tolt Middle School.
Initially, a year was spent researching what program would best fit the needs of the students, and in the fall of 2007 Mr. Miyoshi and Mr. Kennedy began recruiting students for this impressive and innovative program at the high school.
Then in 2009 the state Legislature allowed for grants to be given to bring CTE courses into the middle school educational programs.
With the support of Dr. Anthony Smith, then-Tolt Principal Janet Gavigan, and Tolt staff Karen Hough, Charlene Short, Tony Minaker and Mark Klune, research was completed with a focus on the framework and curriculum to ensure that it would meet the criteria for the middle school grant funding process.
Director Donna Bielstein explains, “TSA is not nearly as large as other more established CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organizations), however it is growing rapidly. Cedarcrest and Tolt are two of the most dominant competitive chapters in the state of Washington.
“Both Tim Kennedy and Mark Klune were named TSA advisors of the year during their first two years of existence! These teachers are dedicated, hard-working, and competitive, and they provide excellent opportunities for leadership, professional, and career development for our students.”
After spending hundreds of hours during the school year creating, designing, and making impressive professional presentations of their original work, the students were awarded the following at the 2012 National TSA event:
CHS student achievements
TSA Gold Achievement Award for Technical Content, Leadership and Service
Emily Rule and Devon Young
TSA Technology Honor Society Award – Emily Rule
Chapter of Excellence (Washington) – Cedarcrest High School
Congratulations to the following CHS finalists:
Devon Young – Music Production
Devon Young – Prepared Presentation
Keaton Estes and Devon Young – Game Design
Colton Green – Future Technology Teacher
Alexa D’Atri– Promotional Graphics
Note: Tolt Middle School TSA student achievements will be printed in next month’s issue.
CHS TSA advisor, Tim Kennedy, shared the following: “When Cedarcrest students made their first trip to the national competition in Denver four years ago, Washington state was one of the smallest delegations with only approximately 40 participants. This year the Washington State TSA director announced that our state participation has not only grown but has broken a record, with impressive participation count of over 115 attendees.”
When asked of his experience at Cedarcrest with the TSA program over the years senior Devon Young said, “The Technology Student Association has provided me with the confidence to pursue my goals. Through this organization I have learned that my future success is not going to be determined by other people or potential fate; but rather, by my determination to go after my dreams without any regrets. TSA showed me that I am in control of my own destiny and as a result I am attending Eastern Washington University where I will continue to pursue my dream of working in the film industry.”
Cedarcrest 2012-13 TSA President Becca Bramwell is proud to be a part of the great work being done in the TSA program, and is looking forward to the coming year as TSA has plans of branching out into the community. She explains, “One event in particular we are hoping to create are display nights... where parents, teachers, students and members of the community will be invited to come and see the amazing work TSA students are creating. Our hope is to reach out and become more bonded with our community ... enabling our students and our community members to become more aware and experienced with regard to new technologies. We hope to grow our membership so that we can touch even more lives with our innovative projects.”