The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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April 2021 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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Quarter Four is Underway!

We hope you all had a relaxing, rejuvenating Spring Break!

Now that the last quarter of the school year is here, many of our CTE students will be taking their industry certification exams. It's an important time for them and our programs, as we measure student learning and growth in workforce preparedness.

April is Financial Literacy Month! Economic and financial education is important to preparing students for college career and life. Our department has teamed up with the Office for Leading and Learning to provide additional resources to our students and community. We thank our community partners, including Pasco-Hernando State College, the University of South Florida, the Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education, Financial Planning Association of Tampa Bay, Florida Council for Economic Education, and local financial institutions, for joining us in this effort to promote prosperity and financial security for Tampa Bay's workforce.

Click here to view the District School Board of Pasco County's proclamation recognizing Financial Literacy Month and Teach Children to Save Day.

Please feel free to contact us at 813-524-2204, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @PascoCTE!

Stay safe, keep it simple and be well,

Lori Romano, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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CTE Students of the Year Honored!

On Monday, April 19th, Superintendent Kurt Browning and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kim Moore visited River Ridge High School's Academy of Engineering to surprise and congratulate CTE High School Student of the Year, Stavros "Teddy" Tsengouras, and CTE Middle School Student of the Year, Terry Pixler. They were recognized for their achievements at the Tuesday, April 20th, School Board meeting.

Pictured above (L to R) with robot "Nao":

Business Teacher Chad Mallo, RRHS Principal Dr. Toni Zetzsche, Stavros Tsengouras, Superintendent Kurt Browning, Engineering Teacher Samual McAmis, RRMS Principal Angie Murphy, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kim Moore

Huge thanks to all the schools who nominated exemplary students, and congratulations to these finalists:


  • Hunter King, Anclote High
  • Elijah Fowler, Cypress Creek High
  • Jacqueline Pollok, Cypress Creek High
  • Alexandria Moore, Hudson High
  • Culton Yaeger, Pasco High
  • Stavros Tsengouras, River Ridge High
  • Samuel McAmis, River Ridge High
  • Jasmine Elovich, River Ridge High
  • Kyle Doran, Sunlake High
  • Christopher Jeffers, Wendell Krinn Technical High
  • Dominic Slay, Wesley Chapel High
  • Anna-Karina Polanco, Wiregrass Ranch High
  • Savannah Yoder, Wiregrass Ranch High
  • Emile Limoges, Zephyrhills High


  • Madison Billistrea, Bayonet Point Middle
  • Maryam Victor, Charles S. Rushe Middle
  • Tristan Smith, Crews Lake Middle
  • Nathan Barnett, Crews Lake Middle
  • Ahmi Santiago Turner, Cypress Creek Middle
  • Everett (John) Giddings, Cypress Creek Middle
  • Sydney Ficks, Cypress Creek Middle
  • Kayla Arnst, Dr. John Long Middle
  • Kelsey Llorca, Pasco Middle
  • Dakota Henry, Pasco Middle
  • Avery Hoskins, Paul R. Smith Middle
  • Ke'Anna Collins, Paul R. Smith Middle
  • Terry Pixler, River Ridge Middle
  • Krish Gupta, River Ridge Middle
  • Sean Donahue, Thomas E. Weightman Middle

Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation

If you're on the east side of Pasco County, be sure to keep an eye on the construction of Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation, scheduled to open in August 2022. Located on the southeast corner of Curley Road and Keifer Road, the school will focus on Career and Technical Education "sectors", including Engineering, Health Services, Cyber Security, Building Trades, Transportation, and Digital Media/Multimedia Technology. See below for aerial photos of the project, taken in mid-March.

Here is the YouTube video featuring the groundbreaking:

Junior Achievement presents JA Inspire!

Your class/school is invited to participate in JA Inspire Career Expo Live Day on April 21st from 8 am -2 pm!

Since opening on February 2nd, JA Inspire Career Expo has added new speakers and career cluster booths! Please encourage your students to participate in the Q and A opportunity on this day!

Junior Achievement appreciates your support in helping us inspire Tampa Bay Area Youth to find their Dream Career.

• JA Inspire Virtual Career Expo offers Tampa Bay Area students the opportunity to learn about Florida's high-wage/ high demand jobs, and the education required to be successful at no cost to schools!

• Students prepare to visit by completing the interactive JA Inspire Career Expo Curricula.

• Students can explore the JA Inspire booth and 92 other company and cluster booths as they like, to view videos, flyers, pamphlets and collect info to review later via their virtual backpack.

• Students can view new speakers in the Auditorium and will have access to the platform 24/7 until May 1st! Please see attached list of speakers which will offer students great tips for their future!

• JA Inspire Virtual Career Expo contains gamification* (restarted April 1st) to motivate and entice students to learn more about careers from each of the different career clusters and Virtual Booths.

*Gamification” is the process where students will receive points for:

- Viewing booths and videos and flyers within booths

- Visiting booths within each of the career clusters

- Saving flyers, videos, pamphlets from booths in their Virtual backpack to view at a later time

- Watching speakers within the Auditorium and completing the post survey.

The top 50 Students with the highest points will be listed on the Leader Board!

If you class is interested in participating on this live day, please email JA by April 12th so we can let our sponsors know how many students will be participating to have proper company staff coverage.

For more info: Contact Kym McGee (727) 424-8922 or

Big Prizes for Big Ideas!

The Pasco Young Entrepreneur Competition will be held as a virtual event on the evening of:

Thursday, April 29th

This event will showcase the creativity and ingenuity of our Business Management and Analysis Students as they present a unique product and business plan addressing a specific problem.

The competition is meant to awaken an entrepreneurial spirit in our business students. The shark-tank style event sponsored by the Pasco Education Foundation will produce 3 top winners who will be encouraged to utilize prize winnings to bring their product ideas to fruition!

1st Place: $1,000

2nd Place: $500

3rd Place: $250

Keeping Up with JROTC @Anclote High

JROTC is a comprehensive character development course in high school. We teach a broad spectrum of subjects, including American history, how government works, our Constitution, etc. We train students (cadets) personal skills such as studying effectively, taking tests, developing winning habits, overcoming fears of failure, and setting goals. We also train them in leadership skills such as motivating others, problem solving and making sound decisions. They develop skills in public speaking, writing effectively, and working as a team.

This year some of our traditional events/activities were modified or cancel due to COVID 19. We still have an organization day and awards night schedule for 4th quarter for cadets to enjoy and be recognized.

Wilfred Placeres
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AHS JROTC Leader Earns Scholarship

Congratulations to C/MAJ Hunter King for being awarded a three-year Army ROTC scholarship. Cadet King plans to attend Florida Southern University in Lakeland Florida. Cadet King has been in JROTC for the past four years and currently serving as the battalion executive officer.
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Kindness Matters at CCMS

Our Cypress Creek Middle School School Counselors sent the “Kindness Boomerang” video link for Kindness Week. We watched it in our Digital Media classes and then students were assigned to create “Kindness Matters” Promotional Flyers to advertise Kindness Week.

Notice the very first image. One of our 8th grade students, Adrianna Seraphin, created a vector art drawing of one of the opening scenes of the video – where the young man helped the elderly lady across the street carrying her groceries. We talked about that scene after the video and noted that the boy not only helped her across the street but also spent time talking to her and listening to her stories.

Here’s the link to the Kindness Matters Promotional Flyers from CCMS Students:

- Submitted by Stephanie Steffens

JWMHS Mustangs Aim High!

Congratulations to all those J.W. Mitchell High School Digital Design and Foundations of Programming students who have certified in Python, Photoshop, and Illustrator!

- Submitted by Barbara Stuchell

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BEEP! BEEP! Roadrunner - Commercial Art is After You!

Marchman Technical College students were surprised by a VIP visitor to our campus. Eric Dodson, owner of Roadrunner Digital, drove one of his three signage trucks to share his business story and explain how this loaded-with-technology truck works. Students not only learned how to design digital signage using light, they saw their designs "up in lights".

We appreciate Eric Dodson taking his time to inspire our students and drive the workplace right up to our door!

- Submitted by Linda Bourne

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Congratulations to the following J.W. Mitchell High students who competed and won an award in the Virtual FBLA State Leadership Conference, placing in the top five.

Salma Balile- 5th Cyber Security
Alexander Carruthers- 2nd Coding and Programming
Kyle McIntyre- 5th Entrepreneurship

Good luck to those and all of District XI who are eligible, as they move on to compete at the National Leadership Conference this summer!

- Submitted by Aschell Glaves, Business Teacher

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Kudos to CCHS' Engineering Academy

Teacher Nathan Baker recently heard from a graduate of the Cypress Creek High School Academy of Engineering, Marco Svolinsky, who is now completing his freshman year at Syracuse University:

Hello, Mr. Baker!

I hope this email finds you well in yet another school year of uncertainty and shifting winds. We still have a long way to go in terms of current events but I think the worst days are most definitely behind us. That said, how are you and your third year of seniors doing? I’ve been seeing on your Instagram page that their senior projects are being completed and it does make me miss toying with the VEX kits every day in class and in club. It is definitely hard to fathom how time has absolutely flown since I was in your classes doing the same work they are, yet the lessons you taught us and the principles we worked upon have been some of the most beneficial and easily transferrable experiences I could possibly have between high school and university.

Being able to experience Inventor back in Intro to Engineering Design and once again as a TA in junior year have given me a monumental advantage in using Solidworks for my classes. Whereas other students here find themselves struggling in how to maneuver the program and actually go about design complex parts, having the experience of Inventor under my belt made translating to Solidworks a very quick and easy adaptation to make. Though Inventor is still an entirely different program from Solidworks, the perk of CAD systems is they share fundamental similarities that make my experience with it absolutely invaluable. On top of that, coding in robot C is helping me now in understanding Mat-Lab and your curriculum on the physics of objects from trusses to circuits are quickly coming up once more in my physics and statics courses. I truly can’t even begin to express just how amazing of a preparation your classes have been for my engineering undergrad thus far. Every day walking to my classes makes me smile because I truly do enjoy what I am doing here and a giant portion of that must be attributed to the lessons and principles you taught to me in my time at the engineering academy. Your program is an excellent preparer for the realities of college and the true nature of the engineering field. The truth really is that while the perquisites of calculus and physics are indeed tiresome and rather dry at times, my engineering classes always feel like the kind of creative and playful hubs that are akin to the atmosphere of the engineering academy which I continue to enjoy and appreciate having the experience of.

But now that I’ve likely blabbered on and repeated the word “experience” about 20 times, I hope you and your family are doing well and your students in the engineering academy continue to enjoy and pursue the challenges you put in front of them. The whole point of this email has been to 1) check in and see how you are doing back at cypress and 2) to truly express how much of a benefit undergoing your curriculum in high school has been to me now in college. If you would ever like to bring me in on a zoom for the class to answer questions about what I am doing in college or how the whole experience differs from that of high school, my weeks tend to be very full but I have an entire day off on Tuesday, March 23rd courtesy of a University named “wellness day” of no classes. And/or, I am also open to emails from any students you have that may have questions or want an insider’s perspective on how things pan out in secondary schooling. Of course, I’m still but a freshman finishing his first year but there is no doubt that I could still share quite a lot about how being a full-time engineering undergrad is its own experience all together!

All the best,

Marco Svolinsky

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HOSA Innovators Win Big!

Three students from Dr. John Long Middle School earned first-place honors in the Florida State Leadership Conference for HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). They competed as a team in the "Exploring Medical Innovation" category with their entry, "3D Bioprinting". They now move on to the International Leadership Conference for HOSA taking place this summer!

- Submitted by Anna-Maria Livdal

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Building Skills at Thomas E. Weightman Middle School

Scholars Sean D, Caique S. and Garrett J. have completed their Microsoft Specialist Program with three Microsoft Certifications earned. Also, "Soft Skill Fridays" have been a success in Semester 2 by growing students' life and career ready skills.

Pictured above: Coding and team building made a productive day the day before Spring Break. It is so rewarding to see natural leaders emerge through interaction with peers and student's collaborating.

- Submitted by Jenna Eyers, Business Teacher

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Keeping the Wheels Turning at Wesley Chapel

Since COVID-19, Wesley Chapel High School Automotive Technology students haven't been able to work on outside vehicles. Instructor Brad Odell purchased vehicles for the students to work on as well, in addition to several project vehicles that they are currently working on. Powder coating is a new avenue they ventured down this year as well as beginning to modify Principal McDermott's administrative golf cart, which was in need of a makeover. The academy hopes to finish out this year with some strong candidates for the work force as well as inspire the next group of students graduating to the next level in the Automotive Mechanics pathway.

- Submitted by Brad Odell

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Student Success @MTC

Do you get excited when you see a person make gigantic, positive changes right before your eyes? Of course you do, because we are all educators! Making positive changes in the lives of others is what makes us teachers tick!

First, I want to share a glimpse of our program. Our MTC Adult Education team is dedicated to our students and we individualize our instruction. We have students enter our community from so many different avenues of life. Some quit high school, and some have been in the workforce. Others finally get a chance to focus on their own priorities. We have all styles of learners, and many different academic levels. Our population includes some very successful people in our community, and they come to finish their GED, just for personal reasons. The stories are unbelievable!

I would like to introduce an amazing young lady named Janessa. Her success story is an example of how our Adult Education program at Marchman has changed lives in Pasco county. Mrs. Janessa Compere came to MTC in 2017 as a shy, insecure, young lady. High school had turned into a challenging situation. Her school had mentioned alternatives, but it was not the right time. She was out of school for over two years. Janessa had a special man in her life, and she knew it was time to start moving forward with her life.

Janessa entered as a very quiet and shy person, with little self -confidence. Her daily attendance, and her dedication to listening, and taking copious notes soon helped her to gain more knowledge. Her TABE scores were high, and she was a “dream student”! Janessa soon realized she could pass her GED tests. She also had a “Study Buddy” named Harley. The two young ladies sat together, and they actually spoke at their graduation! Janessa says she was “kinda afraid” of me in the beginning. I taught her three academic areas and Mr. Moschner taught her math. As time passed, she soon came to realize I was a gentle giant, and her GED credential was all that mattered to me!

Janessa is now in the Cosmetology program with Miss Dana Johnson at Marchman Technical College. She is an exemplary student who has an amazing future, and she is already employed in her field! Janessa will graduate May 26, 2021!

- Submitted by Ms. Cindy Carson, MTC Adult Education Instructor, Marchman Technical College

MTC Student Writer Publishes First Book

Chris Angilella, a student in my class who has Autism, recently had his book published on Amazon. Marchman Technical College hosted a socially distanced book signing for him on March 10th, 2021. School board member Megan Harding as well as ABC Channel 10 News attended the event. Gayle Guyardo, Newschannel 8 also covered the event and the publication of his book. The book is titled Dotty's Freckles. He wrote his book to inspire people who have a disability and send a message that they are exceptional and can accomplish anything. His signature tagline is, "We are all different, let's embrace it."

- Submitted by Kim Taylor

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JIEC Students Learn by Teaching

ESOL students at James Irvin Adult Education Center had a very productive February and March. As a review of the Dolch sight words, the students were required to create their own lesson to teach their classmates. Anahi Padilla was awarded the "Best Teacher" certificate for her innovative word search. As an introduction to simple present verbs, students had to give a presentation focused on commands.

Pictured are: Mario Godinez presenting on "How I Make Origami" and Joanna Cevilla showing the other students how to make napkin holders. Simon Ocando demonstrated a piece of his own business by showing all of us how to make homemade pizza. Students learned how to play "Go Fish" with different verb tenses which turned out to be quite a fun experience.

Finally, students practiced conversational skills using the Venn Diagram to learn about each other. Students are currently focused on the simple past tense and they are busy working on projects about past jobs, past vacations, and other past experiences.

- Submitted by Rebecca Sandy

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Meet Emily Lamb, CTAE Learning Design Specialist

When did you begin working for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education?

August, 2020

What was your position and where did you work before joining CTAE?

Business Teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

My favorite thing about working for CTAE is that I have the opportunity to meet so many teachers, both new and experienced. I love being out in the schools and seeing all the amazing things they are doing in their classrooms and with their students. Being able to support teachers as they pursue this new, yet wonderful and challenging experience of being a CTE teacher, is so rewarding.

Where did you grow up?

Tampa, Lutz, Land O Lakes

Which teacher inspired you most when you were younger?

My High School Business Teacher

Where did you attend college or post-secondary education?

University of South Florida

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend most of my time with my husband and kids, mostly as a chauffeur to their sports and activities. We love to spend the day grilling out and hanging by the pool on the weekends. We also love to go to the movies and play card/board games. We also love weekend getaways to Orlando.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?

I began working as a CTE teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School in 2002 and absolutely loved every minute of it. After 18 years in the classroom, I am thrilled to bring my experiences to the CTAE team and play a small part in leading this amazing group of teachers.

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We want to hear from you!


• What ideas have you come up with to adapt your CTE courses to an online format?

• What's been your favorite new tool, app or resource this school year?

• Please share information about your program that you would like considered for the CTE monthly newsletter (photos, awards, events, certifications, etc.).

• Don't forget that you can email Pam Willoughby ( with news and photos you want posted on our social media platforms at any time throughout the month.

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