DE TSA Shares Four Ways to #TalkTSA

 

A key component of national TSA’s strategic plan is “Telling Our TSA Story.” Mike Fitzgerald is the state advisor for Delaware TSA and Delaware SkillsUSA. He also provides leadership throughout the state as the education associate for the Career Clusters of STEM; information technology; architecture and construction; manufacturing; and arts/AV technology and communications for the Delaware Department of Education. Now, Mr. Fitzgerald shares several ways to #TalkTSA, as Delaware TSA spreads the word across the state—and beyond:

Plus One. “This past year we expanded partnerships and sponsorships,” says Mr. Fitzgerald, who points out that Delaware TSA is:

  • Collaborating with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on Junior Solar Sprint. In April 2018, teams of middle school students competed in time trials, as well in engineering design and creative design. JSS is marking 20 years in Delaware!
  • Partnering with the Delaware Department of Transportation to launch a TRAC Bridge Design competition designed to encourage middle and high school students to tackle real-world problems and consider careers in transportation and civil engineering. 
  • Supporting the U.S. Navy to start a SeaPerch Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition in Delaware.
  • Coordinating with the Delaware VEX Robotics executive planning team to grow tournaments statewide, culminating with the annual TSA VEX Championship.

Buddy System. Mr. Fitzgerald is sharing Delaware TSA’s path to success in the state he formerly called home. In 2016, he reached out to the Indiana Department of Education, where he once served, and collaborated with Indiana TSA. Mr. Fitzgerald helped guide them to plan, organize and deliver TSA in Indiana, by sharing technical knowledge, planning calendars, and monthly conference calls.

Take the Lead. In fall 2017, Delaware TSA state officers—in collaboration with officers from Business Professionals of America, DECA, Educators Rising, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, HOSA, and SkillsUSA—hosted the annual Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) at Delaware State University. The FLC, which drew 831 participants, was sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education, and Delaware State University. Delaware House Minority Leader Daniel Short served as guest speaker. Workshops emphasized leadership and service through career and technical education. “Attending the FLC and meeting other CTSO officers greatly benefited me, because not only did I learn so many new things about leadership, but I’ve been able to learn ideas on how to strengthen and expand DE TSA,” says 2017–18 Delaware TSA State Reporter Priya Gupta. Delaware TSA also held its annual Winter Leadership Lunch in February 2018.

Step Up. Mr. Fitzgerald reaches out across the state to recruit professionals to serve as mentors, leaders, coordinators, and judges. In a blog about Delaware TSA’s 2018 state conference—attended by 900 people from 35 chapters—CompTIA’s Lisa Fasold talked to volunteers: “These students are off the charts,” says Kate Williams, a Boeing engineer whose daughter is a TSA alumna. “They’re our future leaders.” Adds Skip Ford of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, “Stand back in amazement and watch these young folks go. They have fantastic skills and demonstrate professionalism and leadership.”
 

For more information on these and other ways to spread the word about TSA, contact Mike Fitzgerald at mike.fitzgerald@doe.k12.de.us.