CATEC November Newsletter

Stay Up-to-Date on All the Things Happening at CATEC

Keep In Touch

There are lots of ways to know what is happening at CATEC. Keep in touch with us to know what our students are doing and all the ways we are working to improve our local workforce.

High School

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Adult Education and Apprenticeship

Are you an adult interested in continuing your education? CATEC's Adult Education and Apprenticeship Program offers +100 in-person and online classes. Scholarships are available. Keep in touch with this program to learn more:

Director's Message

Spread the Word about CATEC

Dear CATEC Students and Families,

The week of November 15th was National Apprenticeship month. Did you know that 200+ CATEC students are apprentices? Apprenticeship is a hands-on, relevant educational opportunity for students to learn a skilled trade. Apprenticeships can last up to four years and result in a master-level certification in the skilled trade. At CATEC, students have the opportunity to begin pursuing an apprenticeship. We will connect them with an employer and support them through their first year. Once they graduate, they will have a year of apprenticeship under their belt. CATEC is full of opportunities for students and this is just one!

As we near the end of the calendar year, students will begin registering for their 2022-23 classes. Please help us spread the word that CATEC is a wonderful school with amazing opportunities for students. Hearing from students and parents that had a great experience can be very powerful!

The holiday season is coming and I am wishing all of our students and their families a wonderful break! I hope everyone has time to celebrate and enjoy fun traditions. We are looking forward to an amazing 2022!


Stephanie Carter

Schoolwide Information

Calendar Dates

December 1- Adult Education & Apprenticeship Opportunity Fund Scholarship Form Due

December 1- Adult Education & Apprenticeship Auto Tech Scholarship Form Due

December 8- Half Day, No PM Students

December 10- CATEC Center Board Meeting

December 15- Technical Eats! Food Bus Serving Lunch in the CATEC Parking Lot

December 20- January 3- Winter Break

In the News

CATEC's Culinary Arts program fulfilled nearly 50 Thanksgiving catering orders this November. Learn more about this CATEC tradition from the Daily Progress.

School Counseling Services

Ms. Wilson, CATEC's School Counselor, is on-site daily to assist students with scheduling issues, college dual-enrollment registration, and individual needs. In October, Ms. Wilson and Assistant Principal Smith conducted individual check-in and goal-setting meetings with all students. They reviewed the school year, offered support, and made short-term and long-term goals with all students. These goals will be revisited in Semester 2. Building Trades student Niko Rogers was selected as CATEC's Student of the Month, based on academic and behavioral excellence in the classroom. To reach Ms. Wilson, you can email her at or call her at 434-973-4461.

*Ms. Wilson is out of the building on maternity leave. Please welcome our school counseling intern Tessie King, who will be providing student support until Ms. Wilson's return. Ms. King can be reached by email at and 434-973-4461.

CATEC Students are Professional: Workplace Readiness

CATEC values making sure students graduate with the technical skills and workplace skills necessary for entering the workforce. CATEC has implemented a "CATEC Students Are Professional" mantra to ensure students understand what it takes to be successful in our building and in the workforce. Students are expected to act in accordance with industry standards and practice the 22 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth.

In November, students practiced skills related to respect for diversity and teamwork skills. Additionally, students participate in monthly Career Development sessions where they practice skills needed to get jobs and keep them to create a lasting career.

CATEC Academics

CATEC offers academic courses that are both embedded in trade curricula and offered as stand-alone courses. Taking trade and academic courses at CATEC allows students more flexibility with their scheduling as well as learning class materials in authentic ways.

English 12 & Government: Megan Panek and David Topper

Government & English 12 students began unit 2, which focuses on political participation in the digital age. They have defined the main political ideologies (liberalism & conservativism) as well as investigated what the 2 main parties in the US believe. They also investigated what some third parties believe and debated the pros and cons of having a 2 party system. Students just completed a powerful lesson on how voting rights have changed over time and are researching specific voting requirements here in Virginia. Next month they will dig into different types of bias in the media and how the media, as well as other factors, influence voter turnout and our elections.

English 10 & 11 embedded in Culinary 1: Megan Panek

English 11 embedded in Culinary 1 completed an intensive nonfiction reading unit. They set reading goals and read articles related to their trades at their individual reading levels using a program called Newsela. Students focused on finding main ideas, supporting details, and determining text structure. We will be honing in on the text structures of argument and problem & solution in upcoming units.

English 11 embedded in Cosmetology 1: Megan Panek

English 11 embedded in Cosmetology 1 completed an intensive nonfiction reading unit. They set reading goals and read articles related to their trades at their individual reading levels using a program called Newsela. Students focused on finding main ideas, supporting details, and determining text structure. We will be honing in on the text structures of argument and problem & solution in upcoming units.

Economics and Personal Finance: David Topper

In Economics and Personal Finance, the class is continuously “investing” in these young financiers' futures. For the month of December they are wrapping up transactional accounts (checking and savings) units. They are having discussions around online bill pay, allocation of funds and how to best manage their money so they can have a little more jingle in their pockets. In an effort to make all of this more realistic, they have begun using Mimic Personal Finance online simulation. In this simulation, young learners must go in and balance their accounts (pay all bills, transfer funds and attempt to manage a positive cash flow). Each week in the simulation is equivalent to a month in real time. There is also the “Wheel of Life” which will be spun each week and can have positive and negative financial results (i.e. receiving a bonus or an unexpected transportation issue). The goal is to help them plan for the unexpected while still realizing their financial dreams and Personal Finance class is the gift that keeps on giving.

Geometry embedded into Building Trades: Jake Sills

In November, students have been working on an Urban Planning project. Students had to create a 2-D map of a part of a city. Within this 2-D map they were given certain on what shapes and geometric definitions to implement. Once finished, students had to create a 3-D map using SketchUp.

Profile of a CATEC Student

Each month, we introduce you to two current CATEC students. Here at CATEC, we know our student body is diverse and interesting and we want to share their stories with our community.

Ahmir Thomas, Auto Body Technology

Ahmir Thomas is an Automotive Body Technology student who likes keeping busy in school and on the track. Thomas, a senior at Albemarle High School, has run track for the last two years, focusing on improving his skills in the triple jump. Thomas says he likes seeing himself improve each time he participates in an event. He says he likes CATEC because he is never bored when he's doing hands-on learning. He is undecided about what he wants to pursue after graduation. He may enter the workforce in the Auto Body Tech field and/or he may continue his education.

Dulce Hernandez, Emergency Medical Technology

Dulce Hernandez is an Emergency Medical Technology student at CATEC's main campus. The Monticello High School senior brings her personal experiences as a cancer survivor into her passion for the medical field. In 2015, Hernandez was diagnosed with cancer in her native Jutiapa, Guatemala. With little hope of recovery, a chance meeting with a doctor in Fairfax helped her get the medical treatment she desperately needed. With bone marrow and T-cell transplants complete, she has begun taking medical-related coursework at CATEC and has also become a legal resident of Virginia. Hernandez plans to continue her path towards citizenship, which will take 5 years to achieve. Additionally, she hopes to continue her education at PVCC and then transfer to UVA where she can become a pediatrician. She says she has learned a lot going through her experiences and wants to help children like the doctors who helped her.

This month we are highlighting an aspect of CATEC's mission that provides opportunities for high school students to learn on-the-job training and adult apprentices to get their academic training as part of their required apprenticeship hours. Internships and apprenticeships are essential to preparing CATEC's students for success and help build relationships with local employers. Learn more about these work-based learning opportunities below.

Meet Our Current Auto Service Technology Interns

Electricity Internship and Apprenticeship Interview Event

On November 30, 10 Electricity students participated in an internship and apprenticeship interview event. These students connected with local electrical employers who are looking for their next generation of their workforce.

What is a Registered Apprentice?

National Apprenticeship Week

CATEC is excited to highlight its adult and high school Apprenticeship programs during National Apprenticeship Week. National Apprenticeship Week brings together businesses, communities, and educators to showcase opportunities available through apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships at CATEC

CATEC’s Apprenticeship programs consistently serves more than 200 apprentices each semester and the numbers are growing. CATEC’s Apprenticeship programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and provide employer-sponsors and their employees with required related technical instruction hours needed to satisfy a full apprenticeship program. CATEC’s Adult Education and Apprenticeship Program Manager Shannon Tomlin says, “Apprenticeship is a highly desirable form of training for students and workers because it is first and foremost a job. It allows for: learning job skills while earning an income, wage progression, and a widely recognized and portable certificate of completion and proficiency.”

The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program is an employment training model that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of local employers. Through a combination of on-the-job training, work-based instruction, and industry-recognized credentials, the program meets the needs of nearly 2,000 Virginia employers using custom curriculum to train their workforce. Registered Apprentices complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours of related technical instruction for each year of apprenticeship, averaging four years. Successful completion of the Registered Apprenticeship Program earns the apprentice nationally recognized state certification as a Journeyperson. All apprentices are registered through the Department of Labor and Industry apprenticeship consultant.

Apprenticeships for High School Students

Registered Apprenticeships are also available to high school juniors and seniors. Students are enrolled in career and technical education classes and regular high school classes. Additionally, they are hired as registered apprentices and complete work-based learning experiences through their local employer. Businesses, workforce professionals, and educators see Youth Registered Apprenticeships as an effective way to start high school students on a career path that leads to good wages and advancement opportunities. Tomlin says, “Our skilled trades industries are facing a severe worker shortage. The Youth Registered Apprenticeship program bridges the needs of our current business partners and our future workforce.” According to the Department of Labor, after apprenticeship completion, 94% of employees retain employment. Since January 2017, there have been more than 583,000 new apprenticeships.

2021 School-to-Work Signing Day Event