I want to welcome everyone back from your holiday break and I hope that you could enjoy your time off and are recharged for the new semester. Now is the time to get started thinking about the spring competition. Registration needs to be completed by February 3rd and the spring regional competition dates will mostly be held on March 3rd, 2017. Remember to check with your regional to confirm the dates and times as well as what competitions are being offered. Some regionals are hosting on alternative dates due to scheduling issues. Around half of our sites will be offering the team architecture and engineering competitions that were piloted last year. Also, remember that this year there will be no charge for alternates to be added. The $10 competition fee per student was updated last year as well as the online registration which seems to have worked well for most people. All the information needed will be listed under the competitions tab and teachers tab of our website. Our website also got a needed refresh last year and is now mobile friendly. As we continue to work on making it a bigger resource hub for our students and teachers please let us know of any suggestions that you might have. The IDEA board will be meeting on February 3rd to finalize competition arrangements. The state competition will be held on April 22nd, 2017. I look forward to seeing all your students competing in their respected areas.
This spring brings also brings other exciting changes for the IDEA. As you are aware, we are underway in our rebranding and modernization effort for our organization. We have taken a membership poll and we will retain the IDEA naming but will be known as the Illinois Design Educators Association going forward soon. While I know some of us aren’t big fans of change we felt that this modernization was necessary to reflect the current state of our organization. Drafting has traditionally been a term that students and adults do not always understand easily. Many programs have changed their drafting class names to drafting and design or just design classes. Also with the changing environment of some schools throughout the state offering more design classes through Project Lead the Way we also wanted to continue to include them in our organization to help it grow. With this name change, we are also looking to design a new logo and are currently working with students in the graphics design program at Illinois State University to come up with some ideas that reflect our vision and history as well as the new name. I along with the rest of the board will do our best to assure that our history of our organization is preserved in this transition. We will make sure that the new logo represents a vision that everyone in our organization can be proud of and that will help us continue to expand for years to come.
Our efforts to expand the organization will continue as well. We had a great turnout this fall at the fall conference and could offer our educators Autodesk certification free of charge. We anticipate expanding this other Autodesk products next year and I encourage you to get your certification as well as have your students get certified. I am also challenging all of you to continue to reach out to other educators in our field and help them get involved with our organization. Our organization offers valuable professional development and networking in the fall and competition opportunities at the regional and state level in the spring. We need you as educators to stay involved by sending your students to the competitions and by reaching out to new educators and other educators in our field and telling them about your experiences with our organization. This is even more crucial as we are seeing many retirements and few new teachers to fill these positions. As a former student who competed in the IDEA when I was in high school I can certainly say that giving your students the experiences we offer is what they will remember. While I know that we all have busy schedules and do not have a lot of extra time please remember how important it is that you give your students these opportunities to compete and be a part of this organization and other organizations such as Skills USA. We are also looking to expand efforts to offer more regionals in the central part of the state. If you are a teacher in this part of the state and would like to get involved, please contact us as we continue to bring new regional locations on board. We need your help to continue to grow.
I would also like to challenge you to make our voices heard as an organization and showcase all the positive things everyone is doing in their programs. As you know as a teacher PR is very important in these elective areas. I would like to expand our IDEA social media efforts to our site and allow you as teachers to share your good things you’re doing as well as good resources that we can share with other educators. Also, the students really appreciate being acknowledged by their local television stations or newspapers. Don’t hesitate to share the good things they are doing or even the winners from the competition. While we are starting to do better at this as technology educators we still need to continue to work on these things that other organizations such as the FFA do very well in Illinois. Also, do not forget to encourage your students to apply for our Ryan Brown scholarship to Illinois State University. This is a good opportunity for any student who will be attending Illinois State University. If you have any input on any of the competitions or the future of the organization, please feel free to contact myself or any of our other board members. Thanks for allowing me to serve you as president and good luck to all your students this spring.
President- Illinois Drafting Educators Association
Vocational Coordinator of Special Populations
OSHA Authorized Trainer- Construction & General Industry
ROE #21- Franklin County EFE
- Regional Competition: March 3, 2017
- State Competition: April 22, 2017
- IDEA Fall Conference: October 26, 2017
- ITEC-IDEA Conference October 27-28, 2017