The 2018-2019 DETSA State Officers traveled to Mallard Lodge on July 12th for the annual summer retreat. At the retreat, the officers created the 2018-2019 plan of work, planned monthly service projects, and started planning for the Fall Leadership Conference (FLC).  The officers also had time to “make a splash” when we went out canoeing. It was a great time! As a team, we were able to have fun, bond, share thoughts, smile, laugh, and begin to build lifelong friendships. The State Officers look forward to making 2018-19 the greatest year in service to you! 

Top state medalists from throughout Delaware represented Delaware at the National Technology Student Association (TSA) conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on June 22-26, 2018.  Students competed with national finalists in events such as computer-aided design; dragster design; engineering, inventions & innovations; leadership strategies; manufacturing prototype; medical technology; on-demand video; promotional graphics; structural engineering; system control technology; video game design; VEX robotics, website design and more. The conference was the largest in TSA history, with more than 8,000 individuals in attendance from across the country. It was also the largest national attendance in Delaware TSA history with 127 members participating in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM); leadership; and service focused events.

Highlights include:

  • Delaware students earned eleven (11) top ten national honors.
  • William Grieder of Cab Calloway School Of The Arts and Jeff Epting of Gauger-Cobbs Middle School were honored as Chapter Advisors of the Year
  • Caesar Rodney High School, H.B. duPont Middle School and MOT Charter School were recognized for Chapter Excellence
  • Apuroop Mutyala and Tyler Rouwhorst from MOT Charter School,  Connor Wagaman of Concord High School, Rishi Gundakaram of Caesar Rodney High School, and Skyler Brand of Lake Forest High School were inducted into the TSA Technology Honor Society.
  • Apuroop Mutyala of MOT Charter School, Adhi Babu, Mithra Sankar, Mythili Satheesh, and Reece Hamlet from H.B. duPont Middle School earned the Gold TSA Professionalism Award

Delaware’s Results:

Place Contest Name(s) School
2 Prepared Speech Shira Beals Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
4 Promotional Marketing Jessica Williams Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
4 Website Design Will Lambert, Kirti Daga, Grace Hite, Arundhati Dole, Mia Xie, Ashley Bao Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
4 CAD Engineering Patrick Taylor Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (HS)
6 Children’s Stories  Michaela Somers,   Olivia Knestaut , Andrew Iskandar, Sara Wien, Will Lambert, Sarah Kupchik Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
7 Children’s Stories  Meilin Morris, Michelle Mai, Samra Iqbal Postlethwait Middle School
8 Challenging Technology Issues  Olivia Knestaut , Molly Gerard Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
8 Coding  Ashley Bao, Arundhati Dole Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
8 Technology Problem Solving  Adam Hanna, Meghana Yarlagadda Caesar Rodney High School (HS)
9 System Control Technology  Sarah Kupchik,  Riley Burns, Sakhi Grewal Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
9 Debating Technological Issues  Apuroop Mutyala, Divita Taduvavi MOT Charter School (HS)


Participating Schools:

  • Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (HS)
  • Cab Calloway School Of The Arts (MS)
  • Caesar Rodney High School
  • Fifer Middle School
  • Gauger-Cobbs Middle School
  • Henry C. Conrad Schools of Science (HS)
  • Indian River High School
  • Lake Forest High School
  • MOT Charter School (HS)
  • Newark Charter High School
  • Postlethwait Middle School
  • Seaford Senior High School
  • Sussex Central High School

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) dedicated to students interested in the future of invention, innovation, engineering, and technology. Through TSA, members have the opportunity to participate in technology-focused competitive events, take part in community service work, and become leaders for the organization in their school, state, and at the national level. TSA incorporates curricular and co-curricular experiences to emphasize the importance of knowledge, leadership, skill development, and teamwork.

To learn more about DETSA, please contact Mike Fitzgerald by phone at: 302.735.4015 or by email at:

Past DETSA State President Connor Wagaman (Concord High School) shared “despite having always enjoyed science and math, I once had a strong aversion to technology; I was wary of its potential to waste time – unaware of its power to improve the world. Then, in eighth grade, I joined the PS duPont Technology Student Association. It was amazing! Mr. Singer, our advisor, kept the lab open late, and the atmosphere focused – but fun. In ninth grade, I decided to run for TSA state office. Mr. Singer, with his decades of TSA experience, eagerly offered to aid me with my campaign. I returned to my middle school, where he helped me craft my speech, platform, and campaign materials. I was successfully elected State Treasurer! Mr. Singer has continued to be there when I need him. He would drive me to Dover for our monthly state officer meetings and helped me register for the national conference. As TSA State President this year, I was overjoyed to once again work with Mr. Singer in his post-retirement role as assistant state advisor. In spite of his brusque outward appearance, Mr. Singer is always someone I can ask for help, whatever the topic. But, most importantly, Mr. Singer made me a part of a community of students that shares my dedication to helping others, and reminds me of all a determined group can achieve.” DETSA is proud of Connor and Mr. John Singer for their outstanding contributions and state service. They are both extraordinary individuals. They prove in their actions and deeds to be first rate from the diamond state!

A key component of national TSA’s strategic plan is “Telling Our TSA Story.” Mike Fitzgerald is the state advisor for Delaware TSA and Delaware SkillsUSA. He also provides leadership throughout the state as the education associate for the Career Clusters of STEM; information technology; architecture and construction; manufacturing; and arts/AV technology and communications for the Delaware Department of Education. Now, Mr. Fitzgerald shares several ways to #TalkTSA, as Delaware TSA spreads the word across the state—and beyond:

“I may be small, but I can do it all.” That was the theme of Priya Gupta’s campaign slogan as she ran for office at the Delaware Technology Student Association (TSA) state competition last month. Standing at barely five feet tall, Gupta exemplified the gung-ho attitude of the nearly 900 middle school and high school students competing in the Delaware STEM contests.

As a freshman at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, DE, Gupta is currently the state reporter for the Delaware TSA and was competing against another dozen students to remain on the board for the coming school year, as well as competing in five STEM events at the state competition. Her sister, now an analyst for a hedge fund, had been National TSA President, and Gupta wanted to follow in her footsteps. Gupta was TSA chapter president of her middle school. Last year, she won the national competition for web design for middle schoolers. This year her team won first place in web design at the Delaware state competition and will go onto Nationals in June.

Celebrating the Delaware TSA’s 40th anniversary with 35 chapters from across the state, the state conference had 1746 entries in 62 contests. Sample contests included: architecture, CAD, digital video production, dragster design, engineering design, flight, maglev vehicles, robotics, rocketry, structural engineering, system control technology and video game design. Each TSA competitive event required students to apply engineering and technology, solve technical problems, conduct research and invent solutions.

Students worked individually and in teams in the contests. The teams were often incredibly mixed, with racially diverse girls and boys working equally on solving problems. Sometimes one student would seem to lead a project, and then another student would speak up and contribute their insight.

TSA volunteer Kate Williams noted how well the students can think on their feet. Williams, an engineer for Boeing, became active in TSA about five years ago after her daughter joined a TSA chapter.

“These students are off the charts. They are so professional and get pumped up to show their skills. Sometimes they come in nervous, but they dress well and are articulate. They’re our future leaders,” remarked Williams.

Those leadership skills build continually as the kids move from middle school to high school levels within TSA, as leadership training is built into every TSA contest. Many of the students are already using their skills outside of school. Gupta uses her web design talents to build websites for local small businesses.

“My favorite thing about TSA is the leadership skills, technical skills and friendships you have the opportunity to build,” said Gupta. “I want to strengthen and expand Delaware TSA in any way I can.”

Gupta says nearly her entire friendship circle is in TSA. She advises other kids to join TSA, and she pledged that if she won election to be a state officer again, she’d develop a packet to help chapters gain more members and get existing members to participate in more competitions, fundraisers, service events and other activities.

Gupta tells her fellow students, “You don’t have to be a tech pro. You can apply your skills in different TSA events, like children’s stories and fashion design.”

When asked how to grow the program, Mike Fitzgerald, the TSA state advisor for the Delaware Department of Education, said, “What we need are more volunteers to help run competitions and direct kids to the right place within the conference. We don’t need money as much as we need volunteer time so that we can hold more competitions.”

Skip Ford from the Air Force Reserves had answered the call to volunteer and helped at his first TSA event in Delaware. Ford with two other active duty Air Force C-17 loadmasters from the Dover Air Force Base ran the flight competitions. Ford has been involved in STEM for 20 years and saw TSA as a way “to let young folk know that the military is involved in STEM and that there are lots of opportunities working in and with the military.”

Ford encouraged others to volunteer for TSA. “Stand back in amazement and watch these young folks go. They have fantastic skills and demonstrate professionalism and leadership,” said Ford.

Tech industry professionals can get involved in TSA at both the local and national level. While all the state competitions are over for this spring, the National TSA competition is in June in Atlanta. Contact Lynda Haitz to volunteer. As a TSA sponsor through NextUp, CompTIA is organizing a group of its Atlanta-based AITP members to help at Nationals. AITP members can contact Colleen Loeffler Phonwiang to learn more.

Then this fall, tech industry professionals can look to their local schools to volunteer at TSA chapters and contact their state TSA leaders to volunteer at the 2019 state competitions. The kids involved in TSA exemplify the diversity and leadership we hope to always see in the tech industry. Now, we need more tech industry professionals to step up to mentor these rising tech stars and show them the possibilities their careers could go.


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