CTE Winter Update

Learn about Leschi's CTE program!

Hello CLS families!

CTE stands for Career and Technical Education. It is a collection of courses that focus on teaching skills students can use in the workplace. All families should know about these courses so you can help your students choose the pathway or pathways that best match their talents and interests. This year, 70% of our high school students are enrolled in at least one CTE course, and we have added an exciting internship option this year. We want all of our students to graduate with a plan for their future, and CTE classes really help with this! Take a look and encourage your student to start dreaming big!

Hospitality: Culinary Arts Pathway

Our Culinary Arts Pathway is a great fit for students who want to learn how to cook, understand management, or want to own their own restaurant! This pathway will help develop the skills needed to prepare a restaurant menu, provide excellent service and be a chef!

Career Opportunities in the Puyallup Tribe:

  • Chief Leschi Schools: Food & Nutritional Services
  • Emerald Queen Casino & Hotel
  • Tatoosh Grill
  • Paradise Deli
  • International Restaurant
  • Asian Garden
  • Palace Deli
  • Catering Services
  • Summit Sports Bar
  • Coffee Bars

Meet the Teacher!

Hello, I am Cherilyn Williams! This is my first year as the CTE culinary teacher at CLS. Something interesting about me is that culinary wasn't my first passion, and I actually moved to Seattle to become a professional photographer. Instead, I attended culinary school to become a Chef! Originally, I am from Hawaii, where I was born and raised, and I am also part Hawaiian. In my career of over 30 years, I've worked as a professional Chef, owning my own food business to managing various food service establishments and commercial kitchens. After years in the food service industry, I decided my next career journey was to teach cooking skills. I taught cooking classes to adults for a few years but wanted to work with our youth in the nonprofit sector. The CTE pathway was the ideal pathway for me to teach culinary skills, because not only do our students learn the art of cooking, but they also learn vital skills to be successful in the industry as a professional culinarians such as leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and business skills. I love teaching these skills because for me it is a way to give back, and nurture our communities, that fosters our youth for a better tomorrow.

Meet the Teacher!

Hi, I'm Carl Lorton Jr., from the Quinault Indian Nation. My father is Carl Lorton Sr. and my mother is Susan Johnson. I enjoy teaching Indigenous Culinary Arts because I believe traditional ways of farming and harvesting foods grown in our backyard should be taught to our youth. In class we are canning handpicked blackberries, filleting and cooking coho salmon, braiding fresh garlic grown in our garden, planting and harvesting from our Indigenous culinary garden that is maintained by our students and Culture program.

A fun fact about me is that I have fished in the Bering Sea for King Crab and outside Chinook territory of Bay Center Washington for Dungeness Crab.

Science & Engineering: Natural Resources Pathway

If you are interested in protecting wildlife habitats and the environment while meeting the ever-growing demand for clean water, outdoor recreation, and scenic beauty, then studying natural resources is right for you! Studying natural resources will prepare you for professional opportunities in environmental monitoring, such as endangered species and wetland delineation, restoration of disturbed land, and management of forested lands. Students may work for tribal, federal, state, and local land management and planning agencies or non-governmental organizations and legislative bodies concerned with land use policies and laws.

Career Opportunities in the Puyallup Tribe:

  • Chief Leschi Schools: Science Teacher or Grounds Crew
  • Land Use Office
  • Shellfish Department
  • Hunting & Wildlife Department
  • Fisheries Department

Meet the Teacher!

Hey, I'm Elsie Mitchell, the Natural Resources CTE teacher at Chief Leschi! I love teaching CTE because of the community support to teach a quality hands-on science program that integrates many different professionals and areas of science study. I got my first teaching job in Indonesia at an international school, and came back to Canada after a couple of years to work at another private school as a lab technician and middle school math/science teacher. I then married a Tacomite and started working at Chief Leschi in 2018. I have two bachelor degrees from Trinity Western University, a masters in Biological Science Teaching from Miami University and have 5 years of teaching experience. A fun fact about me is that I know my way around a weed wrench!

Education Careers Pathway

The Education Career Pathway is your opportunity to make a positive lifelong impact on others! This pathway will help develop your skills in teaching, planning, child development, and administration.

Career Opportunities in the Puyallup Tribe:

  • Chief Leschi Schools: Teacher, Para, Counselor, Administration, and Coach
  • Grandview Early Learning Center
  • Puyallup Tribal Health Authority (PTHA)
  • Youth Center
  • Children's Services
  • Indian Welfare Children's Program
  • Community & Family Services

Meet the Teacher!

Hi, I'm Jessica Kinne! I am the Education Careers CTE teacher at Chief Leschi. I have a Masters degree in Family and Consumer Science Education and this is my second year teaching at Leschi! I love teaching CTE because this is where I believe that I can truly inspire students and provide them with relevant hand on skills that that they can take beyond high school and into their careers and homes. Currently in the education careers pathway, we are preparing our internship students to start their internship experience next semester as well as preparing our teaching academy students to complete a practicum in an elementary classroom next semester. One fun fact about me is that I lived in Macau, China and taught 8th grade English for a summer while working on my masters degree. I am excited and eager to continue the great work taking place in our education careers CTE pathway!

Audio & Visual Technology Pathway

In this field, students will work with high-end equipment and cutting-edge technology! Students will apply artistic talent to practical problems and learn visual art principles that will align them with the necessary skills and techniques to work in a variety of creative design and entertainment fields. Creative students who see themselves designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, or publishing multimedia content will want to pursue courses in this pathway!

Career Opportunities in the Puyallup Tribe:

  • Chief Leschi Schools: Fine Arts Teacher, Communications, Technology Department
  • Emerald Queen Entertainment
  • Media & Marketing
  • Events Crew
  • Puyallup Tribal Communications

Meet the Teacher!

Hey, I'm David Derr! This is my second year as Leschi's Audio and Visual Technology CTE teacher. Originally, I'm from Houston, Texas where I worked for 16 years as a Television Director with multiple Houston sports teams, including the Astros, Texans, and Dynamos. I am also a trained Clinical Psychologist. I love teaching because I like collaborating and connecting with students. Growing up is a tough process and I am overjoyed to be able to support young people as they learn to understand themselves and the world around them. Currently, my AV students are working on developing their stories for short films and my graphic design students are creating engraved styled currency using their own portrait and Coast Salish design elements. In my free time, I am usually out hiking, riding motorcycles, skiing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and playing music.

Health Sciences: Medical Careers Pathway

Are you interested in science, helping others, or discovering new things? Students in the Health Science Pathway learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-high school education and training opportunities from apprenticeships and two-year college programs to a four-year college and graduate programs.

Healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States. In Health Science: Medical Careers Pathway you can prepare for a career that promotes health, wellness, and diagnosis, treat injuries and diseases.

Career Opportunities in the Puyallup Tribe:

  • Chief Leschi Schools: Nurse
  • Puyallup Tribal Health Authority (PTHA)
  • Salish Cancer Center
  • Elder Services Wellness Center: CNA, LPN, RN, Dr., Dental Assistant, Dentist, Hygienist

Meet the Teacher!

Hello, I am Kayla Smith and I am the Medical Careers CTE teacher! When I was in high school, I took CTE classes that lead me into my career as an athletic trainer with a health and fitness teaching endorsement from Washington State University. I worked as a student athletic trainer with the WSU football team and got to travel with them when I was in college. After graduation, I started working at ATI Physical Therapy as an athletic trainer and working at CLS was my first assignment! Now, I am currently in my 4th year of being an athletic trainer and my second year as a teacher!

Annual Nondiscrimination Notification (Methods of Administration)

The Chief Leschi School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its program or activities and provides equal access to clubs and activities. The Chief Leschi School District offers classes in many career and technical education (CTE) program areas:

  • AV Production
  • Culinary
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Natural Resources

All students are able to choose to pursue any of these pathways under Chief Leschi Schools’ open admission policy. For more information about CTE course offerings contact Nancy Nelson, CTE Director, Nancy.Nelson@leschischools.org. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs. The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies:

Scott Halasz
Athletic Director

Willie Stewart
Student Services Administrator

Plan for your future!

CTE is a clear path to the career of your dreams and the goals of your life! Our CTE pathways could help you land job opportunities at tribal enterprises and more! Learn more at leschischools.org/cte.