MO TSA Shares Five Ways to #TalkTSA

Missouri TSA is spreading the word about TSA across the “Show Me State” and beyond to boost a key component of national TSA’s strategic plan: “Telling Our TSA Story.” Tom Schlimpert is the Missouri TSA state advisor and director of engineering and technology education at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He shares five ways to #TalkTSA:

State Swap. Missouri state officers initiated an exchange program with neighboring Kansas TSA, so state presidents and advisors could attend each other’s state conferences. "Attending other TSA state conferences shows how other states work, and allows all of us to share ideas, practices and techniques—and remain connected and ever improving as an organization,” says Robert Reese, Missouri TSA president.
Pay it Forward. Through a new Chapter Mentoring Program, Missouri TSA state officers hope to connect advisors and members of new chapters with those of established chapters to provide support, build relationships and share ideas.

Justin Junge, a 12th grader who serves as Missouri TSA Northeast Region VP, noticed many chapters attending the Fall Leadership Challenge fell into one of two groups. “Either the chapter was a veteran chapter that understood everything from fundraising to Parliamentary Procedure, or it was new and never ran a full, official meeting,” he recalls. So Junge came up with the mentoring program. “I hope these chapters will foster friendships and build a better networked Missouri TSA. When this system becomes an active part of Missouri TSA, I believe it will lead to a stronger Missouri TSA.”

Neta Apple, Butler High School TSA chapter advisor and current Missouri TSA board president, agrees. She finds new teachers typically are on overload and may not be able to launch a TSA chapter on their own. “Having experienced students who can work with students in new(er) chapters will greatly augment the results,” she says. “If they have students who are interested, and who have help from experienced students, it can ease the burden on the new TSA advisor and help the chapter succeed."

Get on Board. Jim Hogan, a former TSA state advisor who is now a classroom teacher and a TSA chapter advisor at Adrian Middle School, organized state officers and chapter members to present to the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) about TSA and CTSOs (Career and Technical Student Organizations). Now, an MSBA office window boasts a huge banner of their TSA team!

Capitalize. Also in March, Missouri TSA state officers and several board members hosted an information table and met with legislators at STEM Day, sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce at the state capitol building in Jefferson City.

Strengthen CTSOs. Missouri state officers hosted an information table and several board members presented at the state Project Lead the Way (PLTW) conference. Among the topics addressed: TSA fundamentals, how students benefit, and how to start a chapter. Mr. Schlimpert reports TSA is a preferred CTSO for PLTW engineering and computer science programs—and Missouri TSA works closely with PLTW leadership to strengthen these relationships.

“Opportunities to promote TSA through natural connections abound,” explains Mr. Schlimpert. “It takes strategic planning, committed leadership, and purposeful actions. TSA and our students are worth the effort!”

For more information on these and other ways to spread the word about TSA, contact Mr. Tom Schlimpert at