National TSA Officer Blog

August 2018
Alexander King
National TSA President

It is truly my pleasure to serve as your 2018–2019 national TSA president. I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with upholding the values ingrained in our organization’s 40-year history. Why not begin this new school year with the introduction of your new national TSA officer team? We are six individuals whose hometowns span from Colorado to Pennsylvania. Each of us brings special character traits that allow us to serve TSA to the best of our abilities.

Your national TSA officer team met from July 17–20 in Reston, VA to develop our program of work. Immediately we made a connection and felt as if we had been close friends for years and would become lifelong friends.

Your national vice president from Alabama is Isabella Eleogo—a free spirit with a kind heart whose joyful personality is beyond contagious. Audrey Garoutte from Missouri is serving proudly as national TSA secretary. She has been given the nickname of “team mom,” which suits her because of her nurturing personality and willingness to care for others. From sewing patches on blazers to having a first aid kit, she makes it her goal to take care of everyone on the officer team.

Serving as your national TSA reporter from Pennsylvania is Ben Abt, who has become like a brother to me. Ben is from Pennsylvania and with me being from Georgia, I have been teaching him the culture of the South. From Colorado is Emma Hopson, your national TSA treasurer. She has such a big heart and desire to serve others. Her drive and passion for this organization is tremendous. Also from Missouri—your national sergeant-at-arms, Ashley Stokes—the “punniest” person I know. Before meeting her, I thought I was a Harry Potter fanatic, but Ashley definitely takes that title.
Your 2018–2019 national TSA officer team is excited to announce this year's social media hashtag: #OneTSA. More than 250,000 students from around the country come together with the common goal of “learning to lead in a technical world.” We may come from different schools, different cultures, and different backgrounds, but we proudly represent #OneTSA. Be sure to use this hashtag on all of the national TSA social media platforms. We are eager to serve our great organization this year!


June 2018
Shanda Manasco
National TSA Secretary

The 2018 National TSA Conference is just around the corner! This year’s conference will be held June 22nd–June 26th at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Throughout the year, the national officers, Georgia TSA, and TSA staff have been working to prepare a successful conference for you to compete, meet other members from around the country, share ideas, and have a great time.

At this year’s conference, TSA will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. We hope you will join us in “A Celebration of Success,” where we will reflect on all of TSA’s accomplishments throughout its 40 years, as well as the acheievements of our present members.

During the business meeting at the national conference, delegates will vote on the amendment that was created this school year by a committee of state presidents and chaired by national TSA Vice President Jessica Strait.

We give our special thanks to the committee for coming up with this proposed amendment. Throughout this school year, committee members worked very hard and took time out of their busy schedules to take a survey and attend conference calls to discuss their thoughts and ideas on the best way to elect national officers in the future.Throughout the process, the committee has been dedicated to what is best for our organization. I encourage all delegates to study the amendment before the business meeting on June 26th so that they have a clear understanding of the amendment.

I also encourage members to be sure to check out the 2018 National TSA Conference webpage for more information on the schedule, speakers, attractions, travel information, and even a conference countdown! We are counting down the days until we will be celebrating in the beautiful state of Georgia. The national officer team is looking forward to seeing you there,


May 2018
Jessica Strait
National TSA Vice President

As the 2017–2018 school year draws to a close, senior members of TSA find themselves at the end of their TSA careers. Although our time as competitors may be over, we are thankful that any former TSA member who is no longer in high school is eligible to join the National TSA Alumni Association.

After graduation, you can easily join the association and stay involved in TSA. You can even run for office on the National TSA Alumni Association Council, just as you may have run for national office in TSA.

Alumni members are involved at the state and national level, sometimes functioning as judges, event coordinators, or even as behind-the-scene assistants to keep everything running smoothly.  The National TSA Alumni Association also has a number of committees in which collegiate or professional members can participate, allowing you to get involved in public relations, membership, finance, and more.

Regardless of your involvement in TSA leadership or committee work while in high school, becoming an alumni member will continue to give you the opportunity to support TSA outside of the competition setting. Plus, having a network of connections in the professional field will be beneficial as you prepare to enter the workforce. Not to mention, you can keep in touch with the wonderful friends you made throughout your time as a TSA competitor!

You will never truly leave TSA after graduation once you become a member of the National TSA Alumni Association.


April 2018
Preston Crawford
National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms

This year, TSA marks its 40th year of engaging middle and high school students in STEM competitions and leadership opportunities. Over the years, an estimated nearly four million TSA members across the country have used the knowledge gained from their TSA experiences to make work/career decisions.

TSA alumni are part of the technology that exists in our world today. These are the alumni who were inspired to enter careers in construction, design, energy and power, transportation, medical technology, robotics, law, public service, and much more. Just think, buildings and cars have been designed and constructed by TSA alumni—inspired through competitive events such as Architectural Design and Dragster Design. Many career choices were inspired by the opportunity to explore a wide range of learning through TSA in the middle and high school years.

The world is being shaped by people who are sitting where we are now. As a member of the Technology Student Association, I look for ways to learn new skills that I will be able to use one day in my career.

I developed an interest in graphic design and competed in the event my eighth grade year. I learned how to use photo editing software. One day, I hope to use these skills in my career. I have also competed in electrical applications. Electricity and the science behind it was very foreign to me, but I was challenged to learn new ways to solve problems.

Nothing felt better than to finally get the bulb to light up. I competed in Prepared Speech, which showed me that I enjoyed public speaking. Another event I competed in was Chapter Team, which taught me about parliamentary procedure and working on a team with others.

Finally, being a TSA member gave me an interest in leadership. Not all the skills I have, I learned in events; many of the skills I have now, I learned while holding office. Local, state, and national office have all taught me many things. It will be a mix of the STEM ideas, leadership and teamwork skills, and public speaking skills that I will take away from my time in this association and use in my career later in life.

What skills and knowledge will you take away from your time in TSA? Just 40 years ago, a student had no way to learn all of this by belonging to one organization. Today, I and countless others show the impact of TSA, and I am grateful that this year we are celebrating the anniversary of the start of such an amazing organization!


March 2018
Aala Nasir
National TSA President

There are lots of exciting things to look forward to in the month of March. While people across the nation scramble to finalize their brackets as they decide who they believe will take home the national title of the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, excitement also ensues as TSA members work diligently to complete their LEAP resumes and put the finishing touches on their competitions as they prepare for their respective state conferences! Yes, it is finally that time of year!

Ever since middle school I have always looked forward to state conference because it was a time to celebrate all the hard work that was put into my projects, meet up with my friends from different parts of the state, and determine whether or not I would be able to compete at the national level in June.

With that being said, I have a couple of pieces of advice for those of you that are preparing for state conference:

1. Work hard for the next couple of weeks and get your projects completed. Procrastination can be enticing but putting in a little extra effort and landing an opportunity to compete at the national TSA conference will be so worth it. 

2. When you arrive at your state conference make sure you take some time in between competitions to breathe, grab some food, and be sure to get your sleep. We can all get caught up in the excitement of the state conference but please make sure you stay healthy as you go through your conference days.

3. Make sure you really live in the moment. Take the time to get to know other people because you just might find a best friend. Take advantage of the opportunities and activities that the state officers have worked really hard to provide when you are not competing. Get to know the candidates running for state office. Whatever it is, make sure you leave with the full state conference experience. 

Before you know it, the national TSA conference will be here and I cannot wait to see you there. 


February 2018
Jessica Strait
National TSA Vice President

The month of February brings TSA members a holiday just as significant as Valentine’s Day: Advisor Appreciation Week!

From competition preparation, to serving as a resource for chapter members, to booking hotel reservations, to conference registration, to something as thoughtful as making sure everyone is wearing their name tag - where would we be without our TSA advisors? Whether serving at the state or local level, our advisors take care of many things in front of and behind the scenes All so we can focus on our competitive events.

TSA Advisor Appreciation Week is Feb. 12–16, 2018 and it is the perfect time to show your advisor how grateful you and your chapter are for all they do.

I encourage you to consider working with the members of your chapter to recognize your advisor. Ideas might include putting together a small gift such as their favorite dessert or a gift card to a local restaurant. If you are short on time or resources are at a minimum a greeting card signed by all chapter members is a wonderful personal gesture.

Your advisor takes on hours of extra work each week because they care about you and your fellow TSA members. TSA advisors are our local teachers, state advisors, judges, and parents. Advisor Appreciation Week is the perfect time to show them how thankful you are for their very special contributions to TSA.


January 2018
Shanda Manasco
National TSA Secretary

Happy New Year TSA! I can’t believe 2018 has arrived. To me, the new year always feels like a fresh start, a new beginning, and a great opportunity to make beneficial changes. While you may be thinking of ways to make 2018 one of the best years yet, here are some of resolutions I am going to try to accomplish throughout the new year:

  1. Be Kind. I want to spread joy to those around me. It is one of my favorite things to make someone smile or laugh so I will try my best to share happiness as much as possible. Whether it be a compliment or a random act of kindness I hope to bring joy to others.
  2. Stop Procrastinating. It is really easy to put homework, projects, or decisions off until the last minute. It is not fun having to rush to meet a deadline so for 2018 I am going to put priorities in place for what needs to be done in order to manage my time better. I plan to keep a calendar of responsibilities.
  3. Contribute More. I want to keep myself busy in the new year so I plan to volunteer more. I think contributing to your school, community, or friends is a great way to give back so I am very excited to jump right into serving others this year.
  4. Worry Less. Stress is very common for high school students but I am not going to let it get the best of me in the new year. Whether it be school assignments or deadlines I am going to try my best to get everything accomplished within a reasonable time and have a positive outlook on things that might become stressful.
  5. I hope you will make a list and keep a calendar of your new year resolutions so you can approach the year ahead with less stress and more joy. All my best to every TSA member for a wonderful year ahead!


December 2017
Preston Crawford
National TSA Sergeant-at-Arms

Has your chapter participated in leadership activities such as attending leadership conferences or performing community service? Encourage your chapter to participate in LEAP Legacy Chapter to demonstrate their leadership successes for a chance to be recognized at the 2018 national TSA conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

LEAP Legacy Chapter is a comprehensive leadership recognition program offered to middle and high school chapters as an optional national TSA activity that includes a competition component. Chapters demonstrate – and are evaluated on – their involvement in LEAP activities related to The Student Leadership Challenge-Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader (SLC-Five Practices)*.

Chapters complete LEAP Legacy Portfolios, which consist of a cover page, activities template and supporting documents, that are submitted electronically by chapter advisors via Portfolio submissions are evaluated by judges assembled by national TSA. Based on minimum qualifying scores, one middle school and one high school per state will be selected as semifinalists. Ten middle school chapters and ten high school chapters will be selected to advance as national semifinalists. National semifinalist chapters compete as participants in the TSA Meet and Greet event at the annual national TSA conference.

First through third place middle and high school chapters will receive $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively. First through third place chapter winners also will receive trophies on stage at the national TSA conference awards ceremony.

For more information on registering to compete in LEAP Legacy Chapter, please visit:


November 2017
Yoshua Torralva
National TSA Reporter

My favorite time of the year is getting back into the swing of TSA. Current members have amazing ideas and new members cannot wait to be involved! With every new year it is important for chapter officers to organize and help the members develop the goals they want to achieve. In this blog I will describe a goal setting process I have used successfully throughout my time as a chapter officer.

The process begins at the annual fall Florida TSA Leadership Conference where our chapter officers meet and brainstorm ideas for the year ahead. The chapter secretary records all of the ideas. Then on a large sheet of paper we create a calendar and one by one we discuss our ideas and determine what measures we would need to take in order make the idea a possibility. If all of the officers agree on an idea it is written on the calendar. Then, after a month or so into the school year we display the calendar for all TSA members to see. The officers hold a chapter meeting to discuss the ideas and get input from the members by using parliamentary procedure to set goals thus allowing everyone to share their input in an orderly manner. During the meeting the members organize committees and set dates for fundraisers and dues.

This method is an effective way to set attainable chapter goals in a collaborative environment. It has also benefited our Chapter Team competitors! I hope this method of goal setting is as helpful to your chapter as it was to mine!


October 2017
Simon Jolly
National TSA Treasurer

As the conductor raises his baton, each member of the orchestra prepares themselves for the coming downbeat. Bow on the string, trumpet in position, mallet above the drum, a moment of complete silence and anticipation. The downbeat arrives and the orchestra launches into making music. A great deal of coordination and connection combine to create the beautiful music that the audience hears from the orchestra.

As we embark on the first movement of a new school year marked by the start of chapter meetings and the selection of competitive events it is exciting to think about what this 40th year of TSA’s existence has in store for each of us. A celebration of success, surely, and it is likely that our own individual chapters and fellow members will continue to have the greatest impact on our TSA experience this year.

It is this most integral piece of any member’s TSA experience in their chapter that forms a community of members united by the common mission to lead in a technical world.

However, the creation of a community within your chapter is something that takes work. A chapter united by fellow members as much as by TSA itself is something that is formed through active participation and leadership.

Integral as much to chapter success as it is to orchestral musicianship, the connection to a larger group ensures one does not lose sight of their end goal. Each week as a member of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra, I dive into works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich not as an individual but as a member of a larger music making body. As the melody is passed from section to section I work to find my place within the broader sound of the orchestra to create the music the composer intended.

As a TSA chapter member I know it is important to develop relationships and find our place with other members of the chapter in pursuit of competitive success. You are competing for your chapter as much as you are competing as an individual. The excitement for a fellow chapter member making the finalist board should only be rivaled by that chapter member taking the award’s ceremony stage.

I hope you will actively participate in weekly chapter meetings that involve activities that foster member connection, participate in National TSA Week together, organize a chapter bonding event outside of school, and create a chapter that has fun together and supports one another.

As the judges click their pens to begin scoring I look to my fellow TSA teammates around our Biotech board. We nod in affirmation of our preparedness knowing each of our planned talking points to the last minute detail. These are the same members I work with for countless hours, travel with across the country, and consider some of my closest friends. The interview begins and we relay our presentation with refined precision and answer the judges’ questions with deliberate cohesion from member to member. We take the stage as champions.

Whether a member of an orchestra or a member of your TSA chapter I encourage you to create a community and your year will be defined by a celebration of success.


September 2017
Aala Nasir
National TSA President

On behalf of the national officer team I am pleased to welcome you to the 2017- 2018 school year. Every year I find myself saddened by the conclusion of summer vacation but quickly overjoyed at the thought of jumping into another TSA season.

Speaking of summer, the national TSA officer team met in Reston, Virginia in July to plan and develop our program of work for the upcoming year. Among the work we accomplished was developing the new TSA hashtag, #WeAreTSA. Needless to say, the national officer team is ecstatic and honored to have the opportunity to serve this amazing organization that has shaped us into the individuals we are today!

I am certain I am not alone when I say that TSA has been an integral part of my personal growth. Whether it is learning how to speak in front of a large audience, code applications, or problem solve, TSA has taught me lessons that stretch far beyond a curriculum framework. This phenomenal organization continues to produce the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders and that is a feat to celebrate.

As an organization a quarter million members strong we celebrate because we are able to accomplish more because we work together. Through the networking that is done across our state borders and collaboration with other officers and teammates, the bonds created in TSA last a lifetime. There is not one person that is completely responsible for the success that TSA has achieved thus far rather the credit belongs to the advisors, parents, and participants in TSA for the last forty years. It is because of you and the many that came before you that TSA is the great organization it is today. How fitting we celebrate these accomplishments at the upcoming 2018 National TSA Conference embracing the conference theme "A Celebration of Success."

Join me today in using #WeAreTSA throughout the year to celebrate your chapter and state accomplishments as part of the world’s premiere STEM-based career and technical student organization, TSA.

We are "Learning to lead in a technical world." We are the innovators, discoverers, and achievers of tomorrow. We are the future. #WeAreTSA.


Check out the latest National TSA Officer Blog, posted each month right here on the TSA website. Thank you for being a TSA member and best wishes for success in the year ahead!