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Kofa High School Instructional Leader named Regional SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year

Norm Champagne, Instructional leader for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Kofa High School, has been named the SkillsUSA Region 5 Advisor of the Year.

The region encompasses 12 states, including most of the west coast. Champagne has been awarded a number accolades for his work with SkillsUSA, including winning state advisor of the year in 2018. He has taken students to the SkillsUSA National competition an incredible 16 times.

Champagne began teaching CTE in 1983 when he joined the staff of Antelope High School. After teaching for 16 years, he moved to Kofa High School in 1999, where he has been an integral part of the Yuma Union High School District CTE community. When asked about the start of his career, Champagne said that working with the student leaders that CTE creates has “lit the fire” under him to be successful. He is currently the Instructional Leader for the Kofa CTE program, where his primary mission is to support the teachers and students of the program.

Champagne stated that his greatest career accomplishment is that he is “proud of every kid that graduates and is doing well.”

“Doing well” might be an understatement. Kofa High School Students have represented the region at the SkillsUSA National Competition more often than not during his tenure at Kofa and has grown into YUHSD’s largest overall CTE program with 23 different program offerings and 86 sections. SkillsUSA course offerings have expanded to nine different SkillsUSA programs, many of them offering certification in viable and well-paying career paths right out of high school.

“When Norm began at Kofa 20 years ago, there were only five program offerings,” YUHSD Associate Superintendent Lisa Anderson said. “Since then, he has been an integral part of the district’s growth in CTE. We have more than 7,700 students enrolled in at least one CTE class across the district, and leaders like Norm are one of the main reasons why.”

The Region 5 award is a crowning achievement to Champagne’s 36 year career in CTE. “I’m awestruck that I was nominated for the Region 5 advisor of the year,” he said.

Champagne will be traveling to Kentucky in June where he will be one of 5 “National Advisor of the Year” contenders.