Morgan Ondracek had three hours to make a lesson plan.
So the Fremont teenager came up with the plan, interviewed and pitched her plan to the judges.
Ondracek earned one of the highest awards in the nation at the 2022 SkillsUSA Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Ondracek recently learned that she had received an early childhood education competency point certificate.
More than 5,200 students participated in the National Showcase of Vocational and Technical Education.
The skill point certificate represents demonstrated readiness for work in the student’s occupational specialty. Students can add the certificate to a job portfolio.
A 2022 graduate of Fremont High School, Ondracek attended the national event after winning a state competition.
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To win the state competition, she also developed a lesson plan, took an online test, took an interview, and demonstrated her plan.
This lesson plan involved a book, “Froggy Gets Dressed”. The plan involves children, ages 3-5, cutting out a picture of Froggy from the clothes and coloring them in. They would then paste the clothing pictures onto Froggy in the order someone dressed.
“Most kids this age still need help getting dressed, so this would teach them to put their coat on after putting on their shirt,” she said.
Kids can learn a lesson while doing something fun.
It can also help a child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination when working with scissors, for example.
Ondracek won the state competition in April. She was excited to go to the national competition.
“I was a little nervous, but it was fun,” she said.
The lesson plan at the national competition also included a book.
“For the state, we had to choose the book, but in Atlanta they gave us a certain book that we had to use,” she said.
This book involved emotions.
In his plan, children could draw a picture of an emotion – happy, sad, or scared – and then, if they felt one of those emotions, they could find that emotion in the book and talk about it.
She also had a mock interview for a teaching position and gave a 16-20 minute demo of her plan. She read the book to the judges and walked through the steps of the plan.
Ondracek said she learned a lot from this experience. The judges offered suggestions, such as moving around more when presenting a lesson to help students stay more engaged.
She is happy to have participated in the contest.
This week, Ondracek was involved in another opportunity, participating in Spoudazo, a Christian music and theater ministry.
Ondracek plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall. She wants to become a nurse and work in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Fremont High School principal Myron Sikora expressed pride in Ondracek’s achievement.
“We are very proud,” Sikora said. “We have had several students who have gone to competitions over the summer and been very successful so we are thrilled any time our students can go beyond Fremont High School and compete and find success. It is a great honor for them. It is a great honor for the school and a great honor for the community.
Students, like Ondracek, were invited to the national event to demonstrate their technical skills, workplace skills and personal skills in 108 hands-on professional and leadership competitions, including robotics, automotive technology, drawing , criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking.
Industry leaders from 650 companies, corporations, trade associations and unions screened and assessed candidates against their standards for entry-level workers.
“This career and technical education showcase demonstrates SkillsUSA at its best,” said Chelle Travis, Executive Director. “This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members.”