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BOARD HEARS OF THRIVING CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
On the occasion of February’s designation as Career and Technical Education Month, the D60 Board of Education received an update on the status of CTE programs throughout the District.
Career technical education provides students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and develop skills they will use throughout their careers.
As a delicious testament to the District’s successful CTE programs, the board enjoyed a catered dinner courtesy of the East High School Hospitality/Tourism Management and ProStart program.
“Whether it is through the Work-Based Learning restaurant lab ‘The Golden Feather,’ catering events, or preparing for competitions sponsored by the Colorado Restaurant Association, our students are always hard at work doing more than cooking,” noted Christopher Madrill, manager of Career Technical Education and Concurrent Enrollment.
This month and in April, District scholars will participate in ProStart and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) conferences.
“Both organizations are part of the Family Consumer Science Pathway, and advised by Janae Passalaqua at East and Nancy Cornell at Central,” Mr. Madrill said.
Mr. Madrill went on to highlight the DECA (formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) programs.
“DECA students from East, advised by Jacqueline Armenta, Centennial, advised by Joseph Petrick, and Central, advised by Kim Van Hee, competed at the Career Development Conference held at The Broadmoor Resort,” Mr. Madrill said. “FBLA chapters from Centennial, advised by Joseph Petrick, Central, advised by Brad Ranson, and South, advised by Rachel Cesario, will compete at the FBLA State Leadership Conference in April.”
At the HOSA, or Health Occupation Sciences of America, state conference in Denver, the District was represented by teams from Central and Centennial.
“This is the first year Central has had a HOSA, advised by Janette Ackerman and co-advised by Justen Cox,” explained Mr. Madrill. “At Centennial, Kelly Anaya is the lead adviser, and Bret Orton, Victoria Anaya, and Jeff Wilkerson co-advise the program.
Central's Hazel Taylor and Silem Marcial earned the right to advance to the HOSA international conference.
“Another group of first-time advisers who rallied their students at Central are Jamie Withnell and her co-adviser Michael Ling, who reinstated the Technology Student Association (TSA) for their engineering program. They are learning more about the program’s state conference and attending field trips to local manufacturing industries.”
The ACE (Alternative Cooperative Education) program is designed to serve at-risk/special needs students in need of general career readiness. At the Successful Career Students of Colorado conference, there was participation from Centennial (Holly Harsh); Central (Kelly Zerfas Roth); South (Lindsay Tapia Vinci); and Paragon (Ian Martinez McGraw and Michelle Lucero.)
“All our ACE SC(2) advisers volunteered at this conference for the first time so they can bring back curriculum ideas to their classrooms,” the board learned.
In April, Pueblo will host the state conference of SkillsUSA: a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.
“Under Matthew Grable, a new adviser at South, students are expected to compete in the Criminal Justice portion of the conference, while fellow South advisers Kristyn Graham Bieniewicz and Lauren Montoya are preparing their multimedia teams for the event,” Mr. Madrill said.
Centennial’s adviser, Jacob Lewis, is similarly preparing his Multimedia scholars for the competition.
At East, the implementation of the SolidWorks Computer-Aided Drafting program is the result of a collaboration involving Pueblo Community College, East administration and Manufacturing teacher Pat Laughlin, and the District Technology Department. Through this program, a certification is available in addition to preparation for advanced study.
At the middle level, CTE programming will be ushered in at Corwin International Magnet School, with expansion into multiple middle schools expected.
“The model currently being written at Corwin will be similar to future pathways that we create in the realm of Middle Level Programming as we support our high schools with a talent pipeline and interested students ready to learn more about the various careers our CTE programs cover,” Mr. Madrill explained.
In the arena of Work-Based Learning, East’s Teacher Cadet Program, advised by Terri Pacheco, is currently in the field experience portion of the curriculum.
“We are excited to see students entering the classrooms throughout the upcoming semester and learning first hand how to teach through field experience,” Mr. Madrill said.
Based at Centennial, Bulldog TV is under the CTE umbrella.
“We have worked closely to identify obstacles and have overcome them thanks to a great partnership between Jacob Lewis and our administration. Through networking, relationship building, and industry partnerships, we were able to purchase Tricasters and Switch Boards at one-fourth the cost.
“Bulldog TV will remain its own entity, but 100 percent of the students are SkillsUSA members and Career Technical Student Organization competitors,” Mr. Madrill noted.
Through the CareerWise apprenticeship program, a future educator and current drum major is offering lessons to students outside of the classroom and leading colleagues within it. A maintenance apprentice is working with the District Facilities department on Fridays and will work longer hours during the summer.
As created by Centennial HOSA students, the board was entertained by a Public Service Announcement on behalf of the Mental Health Awareness Campaign for Colorado that placed fifth at the state conference.
The board also heard from East’s Janae Passalaqua on the ever-popular “Food Truck Wars” event: this year a partnership between ProStart and DECA students.