The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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May 2022 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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Preparing for a Smooth Landing!

It's hard to believe our 2021-2022 journey is reaching its destination!

This has been a year of amazing growth as we have implemented new processes, supported school leaders and teachers, recognized student achievements, and planned for the future of Career, Technical and Adult Education in Pasco. It truly has been a time of believing "the sky is the limit" as we continue to align our work and goals to align with the needs and aspirations of our learners at all levels.

Please take a few minutes to read through this edition and celebrate the educators and their students who are at the heart of all we do here in CTAE!

As always, we are "Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce" and we appreciate your support of our students and schools!

Please feel free to contact us at 813-794-2204, 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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Pasco Young Entrepreneurs' Competition

Congratulations to Pasco’s young entrepreneurs who competed in the 2022 Pasco Young Entrepreneurs' Competition! The PYEC is a fun, annual “Shark Tank” competition where students have the opportunity to share their business plan and idea concept to a panel of judges from our local business community. The winning team receives support and seed money to develop and bring their product to market!

A special thank you to our business partner judges who share their love for everything entrepreneurship and help our students gain confidence with their “power” skills, such as presentation, public speaking, teamwork, perseverance, and time management- just to name a few!

Another special thank you to our amazing Pasco County Business Education and Marketing teachers who help to prepare our students with the essential skills they need to be successful in life, career, and college, and to our LOLHS Culinary students (and their highly skilled instructors) who provided hors d’oeuvres! Last but not least, a HUGE shout out to CTAE Program Specialist Michael Butler who coordinated this event!

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Pasco County Schools Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education hosted its first “Beyond: College and Career Expo" for graduating seniors at Zephyrhills High School and Fivay High School. Students from ZHS, CCHS, PHS, FHS, AHS, LOLHS, JWMHS, and HHS participated in the two events. Student shad the opportunity to learn about apprenticeships, technical schools, post-secondary colleges and even apply for immediate employment with several companies.

We had a great turnout from our business and post-secondary partners including representation from:

• U.S. Armed Forces

• Local Government

• Law Enforcement/Department of Corrections

• Health Care/EMS/Emergency Services

• Retail/Commerce

• Career and Workforce Development

• Hospitality

• Construction/Manufacturing

• Engineering

A "huge" shout out to Jennifer Batchelor, Emily Lamb, Pam Willoughby and our Career Specialists for leading this important work! And to ZHS and FHS for hosting this awesome event!

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Marchman Medal Winners

The following Marchman Technical College students earned excellence at the state SkillsUSA competition.

Advertising Design
Gold: Rebekah Baker (post secondary)
Gold: Morgan Nieman (secondary)
Bronze: Michelle Aiken (secondary)

Gold: Elena Banet (secondary)

Silver: Ellissa Pruse (secondary)

Thank you to our SkillsUSA advisors Kellyann Haudricourt and Jonica Teague for coordinating this student competition. We would also like to recognize Jen Warren, Kevin Bouffard, and Kristy Joe Dockery for their support in Jacksonville at the competition.

- submitted by Alicia Leary

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We want to hear from you!

• 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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Wildcat Nominated for FFA Role

Lana Guzman, Pasco's Outstanding Senior, has been nominated to serve as the Area V Vice President of Florida FFA. This is the first time Wesley Chapel High School has had a FFA State Officer Candidate. If elected, Lana (pictured: front row, far right) will be installed during next month's State Convention & Expo in Orlando.
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Mustangs Make Their Mark

The Stampede yearbook and "The Hoofbeat" newspaper editors from J.W. Mitchell High School traveled to Los Angeles for the National Scholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association Spring Conference from April 6-10. The Stampede was inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame for ten years of All-American yearbook critiques. Seven of the students won individual awards in national contests, and The Stampede placed ninth in the nation for Best in Show. Seven students won individual awards, too!

- submitted by Susan McNulty

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Wildcat Filmmakers Shine!

Congratulations to Wesley Chapel High School’s Digital Video Technology teacher, Stephanie Bertig and her amazingly creative students for an outstanding representation in the 22nd Annual WCHS Student Film Festival! The student short films showcased all of the ideas and skills they’ve developed. It was truly impressive, especially for the capacity crowd of students that attended the event at the Performing Arts Center at Wesley Chapel.
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Inspiring the Desire to Teach

Congratulations to our 19 River Ridge High School “New Teacher Academy” students who signed official contracts with Pasco County Schools, guaranteeing them a teaching job when they finish their college teacher preparation programs! Thank you to teacher Beth Murdock Warren Hess for being the beacon of light for this program and her students!

New Teacher Academy Signing Day
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Littlest Learners Explore Jobs

Marchman Technical College hosted Calusa Elementary for their alphabet countdown. "J is for jobs." Kindergarten students had the opportunity to learn about many new careers.

- submitted by Alicia Leary

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Catering in Full Swing for Spring!

Students in Land O' Lakes High School's Academy of Culinary Arts have been especially busy this spring! They've catered numerous events throughout the district and have even cured, smoked, packaged and sold their own bacon. Kudos to Chefs Jessica Cooper and Jeremy Blythe for teaching and training their young chefs to continually showcase their culinary skills and customer service.
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Wildcats Preview 2022-2023 Technology!

Thomas E. Weightman Middle School students are getting excited for next year's Coding Discoveries class as they learn about Cue Robot.

- submitted by Jenna Eyers

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HOSA National Competitor

Dr. John Long Middle School HOSA is proud to announce student competitor Kahlan Crespo placed third in the state of Florida in "Foundations of Medical Terminology" and will advance to the Intenational Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this June. Congratulations!

- submitted by Anna Maria Livdal

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FHS Shares Prom Promise

The Fivay High School Criminal Justice Program was asked to support a Prom Promise event in conjunction with the Pasco Fire and Rescue, and Sheriffs Departments. CJ4 Senior students took charge of the task and rewrote the existing activity script while adding a great new ending. The event culminated in one of our 18-year-old students being air lifted from the staged accident scene. The event, performed before the junior and senior classes, is intended to give student drivers a realistic depiction of the results of a drunk driving accident. Special thanks to teachers J.T. Heckler and Taylor Greenwood-Von Frank for their heartfelt rendition of parents.

- submitted by Denis Riel

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Adult ESOL Learners Continue to Shine!

April was jam-packed with fun-filled learning experiences for Adult ESOL at Wesley Chapel. Students once again had the opportunity to visit Marchman Technical College as the Phoenix ambassadors graciously provided guided tours of the beautiful campus and its amazing programs. Instructor Rebecca Sandy presented the Award of Excellence to Maria Belen Quinones in front of all of the participants which was a lovely surprise.

In the classroom, students challenged themselves with a variety of tasks to learn the simple past tense. The English learners created biography posters of famous Americans. Ximena Millan, Martha Pajaro, and Edithmar Jimenez took home first place honors for their "enlightening" presentation of Thomas Edison. Students went fishing to practice irregular past tense verbs in a fast-paced game designed by a former student.

The evening ESOL classes have come a long way in a very short time. Students have become more confident in speaking in front of others as evident from their recent presentations. They really love dynamic activities such as our English egg hunt where they had to answer grammar questions inside of the eggs that were hidden all around the room. For some students, they had never participated in an egg hunt before, so this was a unique learning experience!

Finally, the morning class did an impromptu drama production of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." This was actually a preview of our end-of-the-year spectacular that will feature poetry, songs, and drama. It's going to be great! Stay tuned!

- submitted by Rebecca Sandy, ESOL Instructor

Pasco Adult Education @Wesley Chapel

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Meet Learning Design Specialist Jennifer Schweigert!

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

March 2022

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

Business and Math Teacher @ Amityville Memorial High School (Amityville, NY)

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

So far, I love learning about all the amazing programs that the CTAE department offers. I look forward to working with and getting to know all the teachers as well.

Where did you grow up?

West Islip, NY (Long Island)

Which teacher inspired you most when you were growing up?

My high school business teacher and my middle/high school home and careers teacher. I took so many electives with both of those ladies that when I decided to go into teaching, I knew that I wanted to do what they did!

Where did you attend college or post-secondary education?

SUNY Old Westbury (B.S. Managerial Accounting), Dowling College (M.S. Secondary Math Education), Canisius College (Graduate Master's Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership and Supervision)

What do you like to do in your free time?

Both of my kids are really active in travel sports, so I don't really have free time. For the next few months, any free time will go into unpacking and setting up my new home. I love to take in the sun and enjoy the weather (the real reason I moved here)! I also enjoy hanging out with my three dogs and a cat.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?

My favorite thing to learn is new educational technology! I enjoy finding new ways to engage students, as well as make my teaching life a little easier! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to brainstorm together.

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