SkillsUSA SkillsUSA Champions Spring 2011 : Page 14

SkillsUSA leadership events open the door to national recognition or Mary Cantrell, Ph.D., SkillsUSA’s leadership training is key to students reaching their full potential. As director of Manatee Technical Institute (MTI) in Bradenton, Fla., she requires all students to join SkillsUSA. If they’re reluctant, she tells them to attend a different school. Why so adamant? The leadership component wasn’t that important to her until she witnessed one student’s transformation. He’d been arrested for inciting a riot on campus, and, at a loss, his instructor assigned him to join the Opening and Closing Ceremonies team. “All of a sudden,” Cantrell says, “all that ‘bad’ leadership was ‘good’ leadership. Up to that point, for me, it had to be skilled for it to matter. And I realized, ‘Oh, wait a minute, I’ve made a terrible choice here.’ Because it’s leadership , that’s what really makes the difference. It’s the ability to get people to be more than they think they can be. That’s what SkillsUSA is about. F “Ever since then, yes, I want students to do the skill events. That’s important. But, also, I need students to participate in the leadership. That’s where their full potential can be reached.” MTI was under threat of shutting down when Cantrell first arrived. She was hired with this caveat: “Fix it, or we close it.” “So,” the director explains, “I said, ‘We’re going to be nationally recognized for excellence in technical training.’ I had this vision, and having other people see this vision ... all of a sudden, through SkillsUSA, that happened.” Numerous SkillsUSA Championships medals later, often more than any other school nationwide, she says the dedicated staff at MTI is critical. “Every August, our staff has a new crop of students to prepare to be nationally competitive. The MTI instructors have faced this challenge and done the impossible. It takes an 40949-5 entire team to do what MTI has done.” photo: Lloyd Wolf • Give new meaning to Motor-head Hydraulics: Fundamentals Of Service Just one of the 27 books from John Deere Publishing. Learning the operation for hydraulic systems in automotives are simpler than students may think. With Hydraulics , you can show your class the “how-to” necessary for diagnosing problems, testing components in off-road vehicles, trucks and automobiles. Hydraulics is a simple language instruction manual that provides new learners with basic steps to increase their knowledge. With 15 informative chapters, this book can support the beginners or even the most experienced mechanics. Filled with remarkably designed illustrations, Hydraulics gives students clear demonstrations for greater under-standing. From photographs and pictorial diagrams to troubleshooting and diagnostic charts. This is the ideal handbook to help trainees comprehend all the theories of automotive hydraulic systems. www.johndeere.com/publications Call (800) 522-7448 to order, to inquire into prices, or to get our free catalog! 14 SkillsUSA Champions Spring 2011 74935_40949-5.indd 1 12/19/07 1:25:52 PM

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