BIC instructor Elected ABEA President-Elect

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monda Hutchison, Buffalo Island Central High School business instructor, Workplace Readiness mentor and FBLA adviser, was elected to serve in a leadership role for the 2013-14 Arkansas Business Education Association (ABEA).

Monda Hutchison

Hutchison was elected president-elect at the annual ABEA Conference held in July at Hot Springs. The top leadership officer positions include president-elect, president, and past president. Having these positions assures there will be a smooth transition from one year to the next. Holding the position of president-elect automatically places Hutchison on the board of directors for the Arkansas Career and Technical Education organization. Members will attend a fall planning retreat the last of September.

"ABEA has an amazing conference each year," Hutchison said. "If I could only attend one conference, I would never miss ABEA. The Arkansas Career and Technical Education (ACTE) conference is held in conjunction with the ABEA Conference. We start with ACTE and end with ABEA. I have only missed about two conferences the entire time I've been teaching.

"At the ABEA Conference, we interact with other teachers, as well as our state staff. We share ideas at round table sessions, group meetings, and even during meals, bringing this information back to our classrooms. Before we had iPhones, I'm the one who always took a notepad and pen with me, even when we went out to eat. There is so much valuable information to receive from other teachers, even in an informal setting."

Hutchison said it is such an honor and privilege to be chosen by her colleagues to serve as president-elect. She has served as a presenter at several conferences including ABEA, ACTE, Co-op in-service training sessions, ACGA (Arkansas Career Guidance Association), and she served as board member for two years for ACGA and six years for the ABEA board. She was also named ACGA Teacher of the Year for 2012. In addition, she has been a member of SBEA (Southern Business Education Association) and NBEA (National Business Education Association) throughout her teaching career.

Hutchison has 25 years in education and received her BSE and MSE in Business Education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She also taught as an adjunct faculty member of Arkansas Northeastern College for six years. While working on her MSE, she worked as a graduate assistant in the dean's office of the College of Business for two years. She also received the ASU MSE Graduate Teacher Award.

Her first full-time job, business-related experience she could bring into the classroom, began at Citizens Bank of Jonesboro, in the Trust Department, working there four years. She started her teaching career at Monette High School (now BIC High School), teaching there for five years before going into banking again. She worked for 11 years at the former Monette State Bank/MidSouth Bank before going back to the classroom at Buffalo Island Central. The position she held at the bank upon leaving was assistant vice-president and cashier.

In addition to teaching, she serves as a mentor in the Career Guidance Department, helping teachers become certified to teach College and Career Readiness, f/k/a Workplace Readiness, and Career Readiness and was on the Frameworks Committee to update the frameworks to correlate with Common Core Standards. She normally works with four to five mentees each semester and has served in this capacity for approximately five to six years.

Hutchison, as well as other teachers, also unofficially mentor new business teachers via the several business education listserves of which she is a member. These listserves are valuable sources of information.

Hutchison is completing the final stages of training to be certified as a WorkKeys proctor. Then she will be able offer the WorkKeys test to her College and Career Readiness (formerly Workplace Readiness) students to obtain industry certification, called receiving a Career Readiness Certificate, at no cost to the students. The proctor training would have completed the proctor training earlier, but due to her mother's being critically ill in the hospital on two occasions in Little Rock and Monticello for about three months, she had to delay finishing for a short time. The training will be completed in the near future, and last year's seniors will be able to come back and take the test, along with this year's juniors and seniors. Students must be at least 17 years old to test.

Hutchison wrote and received a $60,000 new program start-up grant for Digital Communications I-IV, formerly called Desktop Publishing 1-2 and Multimedia 1-2. The equipment has arrived and the software should be in soon. Four of her classes have almost reached capacity in size, and she believes this is a result of receiving the new equipment and software.

Hutchison is very thankful to her advisory committee members, who have supported her along the way to receive this grant. The members are invited to a special meeting and luncheon in their honor each year during Vo-Ed Week. They will be invited for a tour of the department after the new computers and software are in place.

In addition, Hutchison's Computerized Business Applications classes (CBA) will be participating in the Microsoft IT Academy on-line training, which will help her students to become certified in Microsoft Office 2010 and later MS Office 2013.

Hutchison has received several awards throughout her years but the most rewarding to her is when her students excel. Since 2003 she has had 20 students qualify for National FBLA Level competitions, and approximately 17 have been able to go.

"It is so gratifying to have my students come back to me and say what a positive impact I had on their careers," Hutchison said. "I'm really excited about this year's group of students. Many of them are already telling me how much they enjoy being in my classes. Teaching is a part of my ministry. My 'kids' are why I'm here."

Hutchison expressed her appreciation to the teachers of the state for their confidence in her by electing her to serve as 2013-14 ABEA president-elect.

She is married to Randy Hutchison and they have one son, Dr. Chad Hutchison. Chad and his wife, Alethea, live in Franklin, Tenn., and have a daughter, Blythe Elaine, 10, and a son, Zaine Phillip, 9.

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