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Valley Academy wins SkillsUSA awards
Construction students, teacher, superintendent recognized by state, region

Valley Academy’s construction club, pictured with advisor and construction instructor Travis Black, are recognized at the April 12 SkillsUSA competition in Phoenix. Photo courtesy Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education

Valley Academy’s construction club, pictured with advisor and construction instructor Travis Black, are recognized at the April 12 SkillsUSA competition in Phoenix. Photo courtesy Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education

COTTONWOOD – Two years ago, the Verde Valley’s career and technical education program established its first construction club.

On April 12 in Phoenix, the Valley Academy Construction Club finished first in the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Contest for workplace learning.

“Your chapter’s work in applying the SkillsUSA framework of personal, workplace and technical skills defines the intentional learning we seek for all of our chapters,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence in his April 16 congratulatory letter to Valley Academy. “Through your example, we are able to better quantify the learning that business and industry seeks from career and technical education. Your chapter is a role model for our organization and we are proud of you.”

Lawrence also stated in his letter that Valley Academy’s victory qualifies the career and technical education program is eligible to apply for a $2,000 grant.

The Gold Chapter of Excellence, according to Valley Academy Superintendent Bob Weir, is the top award for the state’s SkillsUSA competition.

Weir said that Valley Academy Construction Club students submitted projects based on the working relation between the Habitat for Humanity Float and the Shed project, as well as other club activities.

By winning the Gold Chapter of Excellence, the Valley Academy Construction Club is one of the top-eight in the nation for the workplace category, Weir said.

“Only two from Arizona schools received the national ranking and Valley Academy was the only one in the workplace section,” Weir said.

Valley Academy will send construction instructor Travis Black and four of his club/student members to the Nation SkillsUSA convention in Kentucky, scheduled for June 24-28, 2019.

Black named Advisor of the Year

Valley Academy construction instructor Travis Black was recognized as the 2019-2020 SkillsUSA Arizona Advisor of the Year at the April 12 SkillsUSA State Leadership and Contest Convention in Phoenix.

With his award, Black has been nominated for SkillsUSA Region 5 Advisor of the Year, with the winner to be announced later this year.

For Black, this is his second year as an advisor. Said Weir, “this is an outstanding accomplishment” for Black, as well as for his students and for Valley Academy.

“We are very proud of him and this accomplishment,” Weir said.

Weir named Region 5 Administrator of the Year

A year ago, Weir was recognized as Association for Career & Technical Education’s Administrator of the Year for Arizona.

On April 12, Weir was named the association’s Region 5 Administrator of the Year. Weir will now compete for the national award at the association’s December convention in Anaheim, California.

According to Weir, these awards “would not be possible without the supportive and caring Valley Academy Governing Board, outstanding staff, supportive satellite CTE teachers and administration and the awesome students.”

“It is good to see that hard work, honesty, openness and striving for a goal is rewarded,” Weir said.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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