The TCALC Connection

Connecting Students to Industry through CTE, Summer 2019

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

June 3-28 TPS Summer Enrichment Camps

June 18 StepUp Job Fair at TCALC 11-2pm

June 22-25 Educators Rising Nationals, Dallas, TX

July 1 Online Enrollment Opens

July 25 In Person Enrollment Day (at home schools)

July 29-Aug 1 New Teacher Orientation

Aug 6 All Teachers Back to School

Aug 13 First Day of School for K-6th and 9th

Aug 13 StepUp Job Fair at TCALC, 4-7 pm

Aug 14 First Day of School for 7, 8, 10, 11, 12th

10 Students Receive TCALC Honor Cords

A committee of TCALC student leaders was formed, with the goal of discussing and setting criteria for our first TCALC honor cord recipients. The criteria is as follows:

  • TCALC GPA = 3.5 or above
  • 90% or better attendance, includes excused and unexcused absences
  • TCALC Pathway Teacher Recommendation
  • Minimum of two semesters in the same TCALC pathway
  • 20 hours of community service, related to the pathway of study, or 20 hours of out of class time focusing on the pathway, explanation and artifacts required.

2018-2019 TCALC Honor Cord recipients include:

  • Matthew Caudill, Web & Digital Communications
  • Angelica Comahig, Web & Digital Communications
  • Madison Cobb, Web & Digital Communications
  • Angel Elliott, Web & Digital Communications
  • Caleb Jennings, Architecture, Design, and Construction
  • Melissa Paz, Teaching as a Profession
  • Jose Salinas, Web & Digital Communications
  • Joshua Vazquez, Web & Digital Communications
  • Erin Watts, Teachings as a Profession
  • Riley Zook, Teaching as a Profession

Engineering Reflections, from Ms. Eubank

We have had a great year in the Engineering and Applied Math Pathway. Students earned OSHA-10 cards and Yaskawa MOTOMAN certifications and gained proficiencies in Ladder Logic software programming. They also learned and practices using many crucial processes including the Engineering Design Process, the Tech Surfing process and the Project Management Process. To give you his summary of the year, the following is a short article written by junior Garrett Jones who will be returning next year for a second year in the pathway:

“In the engineering and applied mathematics pathway at TCALC, we practiced multiple different things having to do with using our minds to their limit to solve complicated problems and implementing math that we learn along the way to show our work. For the first semester, we programmed Yaskawa Motoman robots. We learned how to make the robots trace letters by plotting coordinates and using different commands to alter the path that the robot would take. Later in the year, we learned how to use ladder logic to solve problems in simulations including opening and closing garage doors, turning lights off and on with switches, and automating a production line to fill boxes that travel down the line. The use and practice of these programming practices will be greatly beneficial to me in the future when I am met with the situations that I have prepared for.”

Student Highlight - Jose Salinas

Jose Salinas has been the Assistant Webmaster for the Web and Digital Communications Pathway this year. He began his computer skills at Topeka High as a freshman in Integrated Computer Applications. He took MultiMedia and Web Design at Topeka High and was named Assistant Webmaster in May 2018. Jose reports, "Last year was more like an Introduction to the Web and Digital Pathway. Learning lots of introductory skills."

He entered TCALC with three other top computer students in the fall of 2018. Jose reports, "This year is more of an at your own pace type of learning. Some people are doing online classes, others are catching up on assignments. Some of us are working on internships daily. The experience is truly like an office job. You learn as if you were at a real job. You are given a real task then you have to figure out how to complete said task. Sometimes you could be given instructions. Other times you just make your own."

Jose had heard about TCALC before last August through his computer teacher, Anne Hageman, and thought that, "TALC sounded like this really professional place and a big opportunity and sounded very interesting to do project based work." He was looking forward to learning in a real world working environment. Gaining computer skills and experience because of the internships was what he was hoping to gain from the Web & Digital Pathway.

Now that he has had a year of the TCALC experience, he says that TCALC is "...definitely better than what I thought it would be like. The environment is so peaceful and calm. The work is hands on experience. What I mostly like is figuring things out on my own." He likes the freedom to work independently on real projects.

Jose has contributed to the pathway with his unique talents. His most revered skill is being able to troubleshoot most any coding problem - even if it's someone else's. Students know his knack for fixing issues so they have regularly tapped into that expertise for most of the school year! Jose now realizes that he is really good at problem solving. He is stubborn when it comes to a task that he knows he can get done. He learned that he doesn't give up easily. Jose is always looking for a challenge and to learn something new. He likes being able to multitask and learn time management in this real environment. Being looked to for his expertise has been rewarding. He likes that students are able to take the lead on projects once they have a base of skills. He learned lots that he never knew was possible. The collaboration with the other top students has been a true asset for Jose and the others.

Jose says he is a better person now because of his work here in this pathway because he can understand that things take time to get done. Not everyone learns at the same pace and if you can help someone else do it. Helping others is a good social experience for all and plus you show them something new. Jose is not sure he will be able to work as well after leaving the security of TCALC as he knows he won't be as comfortable as he was at TCALC. But he thinks he is prepared for life after high school and has somewhat of an idea of what he is going to do. Jose's recommendations with regards to trying TCALC. "It's a great experience. I say all should try it at least for a semester. It is a great place! Everyone is friendly. You learn so many things you wouldn't learn in your home school."

As for the Web & Digital Pathway, Jose recommends anyone who likes computers in general should try it, especially shy & quiet people. We aren't just restricted to learn about web related stuff. We also learn programming, visual designs, how to make a logo, project management, etc. Never be scared to try it. Take risks because you could find something you are good at that few others are. Very few students who are good at coding ever thought they would be. They just tried it one semester and found out!

Outside of school, Jose also has worked 35 hours per week at the Mexican Taco Shop as an Assistant Manager and is good at figuring out how to fix things on his car like replacing a head gasket! Some of his personal strengths that we saw are his humor, his knack for finding memes and music to match any situation. He hopes to get a job working behind the computer or as an IT professional in his future.

From Chef Eichorn: What a Chef Coat Represents

Chef coat is a symbol for young and experienced chefs, we become unified in knowledge that is passed down. When someone wears a chef coat everyone is equal in their possibilities, only you can determine your potential, hopes, dreams and goals. A chef coat must be worn with pride, respect, and dignity.

A chef coat can enable you to give back to your local community and will provide a chance to travel the world filled with exotic spices and aromas. To wear a chef coat is a chance to feed the elderly, the poor, the homeless, and children in need. To wear a chef coat you become the definition of hospitality, welcoming strangers, family, friends into your kitchens and homes while providing food, warmth, and comfort creating memories.

To be a chef you must also be an artist, a scientist, athlete, a motivational speaker, a leader, a team player, problem solver, a dancer, a therapist, and sometimes a referee. There will be days when the chef coat seems too heavy, and some days you may contemplate setting the coat down. Remember, the coat is a responsibility, a gift to start over new each day. Wear your coats with pride, self acceptance, and patience. Keep your coats clean, and heads held high even on days your may want to scream or cry. A chef coat, simply put, is every student who ever wanted to paint the stars of their own universe with spices, flavors and dreams. I believe in you, and you must believe in yourselves too. Put on your coats it’s time to get to work.

Officer Gogian Encourages Students and Patrons to Partake in Community Engagement

Summer break can be a fun and exciting time for students and educators alike. From vacations to time at the pool or seeing that new blockbuster movie, there seems to be a steady stream of entertainment options available to fill your days. With all of those activities readily available, it is easy to overlook the massive number of volunteer opportunities present throughout our community. Take some time this summer to engage with your community. Genuine community engagement can build trust and social bridges through getting to know one another, understanding, and working toward common goals. A community that serves together will grow together.

Volunteering can come in many forms. It could be helping an elderly neighbor with their lawn care or cleaning up litter in your neighborhood. It can be as colossal as helping build a playground at a local youth center or assisting with constructing a house through Topeka Habitat for Humanity. A little bit of your time and effort can make a world of difference for someone else. Spend some time this summer doing something that will make a positive difference.

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Big picture

Emerging Technologies and Summer Internships, from Web and Digital Communications

One of the benefits of this pathway is being able to learn about new technologies. This May our pathway is learning how to fly a drone. Flying one outside takes a license and lots of training, so we are only flying it inside TCALC in open spaces. It looks easy to operate but is even difficult in the confines of TCALC. Most of the seniors were able to fly it before graduation and even a few juniors got in on the action. Students brainstormed how to use this technology for personal and client projects. Being able to think about new possibilities and new challenges using emerging technologies will propel our students for their futures, whatever it may be.

Our Juniors have been working feverishly on finishing some websites before summer begins. They are using what we have learned this year about project management to plan how the websites will be kept up-to-date over the summer. Amazing discussion surrounding these topics from "just" juniors in High School! They have all expressed interest in holding leadership positions for their senior year and are helping shape what that will look like. The Leadership Team for the Web and Digital Pathway's upcoming year looks to be stellar again! Next year's level three and four seniors include: DayLynn Hughes, Trejon James, Hunter Boorn, Marcus Rodriguez, Jayden Beals

Staff Highlight: Mr. David Harbert, IT Service Technician

Mr. David Harbert joined the district and the TCALC team in May 2018 as our Information Technology Technition. He serves as the point of contact for our students and staff, as well as our business partners, for all kinds of IT support. As a graduate of TPS, David is proud to be part of the team that helps to make a difference for our future generations. David is also a graduate of Washburn University, he is CompTIAA+Certified, and is experienced in ITIL, Network+, and Microsoft. He tends to be our technology hero on a daily basis!

David and his wife have three children, he enjoys photography, woodworking, and creating. He is also a Mason and Shriner, and he loves volunteering in the community.

We're on FACEBOOK!

To keep up on the regular happenings, find us on

Facebook at "Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers" or @tcalctps


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture