The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

September 2021 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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First Quarter is Taking Flight!

It's already September!

From Pine View Middle School's Agriculture students nurturing baby hedgehogs and guinea pigs, to River Ridge High School's Business students holding mock interviews with business partners, to adult education graduates celebrating on both sides of the county... We're already hearing great things about the engaged learning happening in career, technical and adult education classrooms and labs throughout our district.

Each month, we ask our teachers and administrators to share highlights of their career academies, programs and courses. We'll capture them in "The CTAE Connector" and bring them to you, our community stakeholders.

Our theme this year is "The Sky is the Limit!" We truly believe that our students can reach their goals in college, career and life, especially with the strong support, curriculum and hands-on learning Pasco County Schools offers through career, technical and adult education.

Please join us in our journey - you never know where it may lead!

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

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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Educators in the Workplace

Pasco County CTE Instructors and Career Specialists experience workplaces firsthand!

From Monday, July 12 to Wednesday, July 14, 2021, fifteen educators traveled to community business partners to learn more about their companies and organizations. Stops included:

  • AmSkills
  • II-VI Aerospace & Defense
  • JL Video
  • SMARTstart Grove Entrepreneur Center
  • Pasco Fire Station 37
  • Pasco County Jail
  • Ironworkers Local 397
  • Baycare Medical Center of Trinity
  • Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation

Pasco-Hernando State College hosted the final luncheon session, where Turner Arbour from the Pasco Economic Development Council shared news about the growth of business and industry in our county, not only over the last 10 years, but the projections for the coming decade.

The purpose of Educators in the Workplace was to offer educators experiences necessary to develop an understanding of diverse career options, workplace competencies, and labor market trends inreal world settings. Participants gained knowledge of practical applications

relevant to CTE programs helping to ensure the success of Pasco County students.

Outcomes included:

  • Creating a vital link between classroom learning and “real world” living.
  • Developing innovative programs for meeting educational goals.
  • Developing partnerships between educators and businesses that will help students succeed in college and the workplace.
  • Building a ‘tool kit’ for work-based learning to provide for students.
  • Providing an answer to the student question, “Why do I have to learn this?”

CTAE Program Specialist Jennifer Batchelor is looking forward to growing Educators in the Workplace each summer so even more teachers and career specialists can benefit from the knowledge and partnerships of businesses throughout Pasco.

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MTC Commercial Art Creates!

Commercial Art students in Linda Bourne's classes at Marchman Technical College have been busy creating Geico and travel ads based on tips learned from designer John McWade.

They also learned about cuneiform, the first form of written communication dating back to around 3000 BCE. They sanded a stylus from a chopstick, used clay for the tablet, and a translator to write "I am a designer" and sign with their cuneiform initials. It was not easy. They have a new appreciation for ancient Sumerian scribes!

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Knights Learn Business Skills

River Ridge High School's Chad Mallo invited representatives from Walgreen's, Chick-fil-A and Publix to hold mock interviews for students in his Business Academy courses. Students wrote and submitted resumes prior to interview day.
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Celebrating Pasco's Adult Education Graduates and Program Completers!

A Heart for Early Learning

Adult Education Instructor Barbara Sheets is proud of all the students who complete her program, and shares the story of one special Early Childhood Apprenticeship student. Her name is Demi Jones and she is part of our Pasco County Schools team working with the early childhood programs at Woodland Elementary in Zephyrhills. Demi is very passionate about education both for herself and her young learners. She has created some awesome goals of creating a comprehensive early learning program that includes a large focus on trauma informed care. Demi was Wesley Chapel's student speaker at graduation and offered all the grads the encouragement to be dreamers and lifelong learners. Congratulations, Demi!

Erica Henry's GED Success Story

Erica Henry addressed her fellow graduates at August's Adult Education graduation at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge:

My name is Erica and I'll start by saying "We did it!"

As I stand before you all today, I want to stress the fact that we all come from different journeys. Some have had it tougher than others and some are here today and are right on time with graduating while others are ahead of their class and then there are the people that I consider the "late bloomers" like myself. I stand here to proudly say that we are all ready for the next step life throws our way. We made a big accomplishment today!

Honestly, it has taken me a very long time to be confident in saying that! I pushed off graduating for years now. Thought that I didn't need it. Or it would come in time. To feel this empowerment is unbelievable!

I watched my graduation class of 2016 move on with their lives, graduate, go off to college. Everyone was moving on, starting new journeys and I started to feel as if I was going nowhere. Have you been there?

Life. Froze.

I could have been there, right there with them, but I wasn't. Going into my senior year, drugs really grabbed a hold of me. I battled them prior to this time but once they really grabbed my education from me was when my life went on hold.

I wanted to stop feeling, to freeze all emotion. My family life wasn't the greatest. I battled my parents divorcing and feeling like the black sheep of the family. With all the tension and misunderstanding I felt, it seemed easy to drop out and party. If only I knew what I was doing to my life at that time. But I just wanted to stop feeling. Have you ever wanted to just stop all feeling?

For years, I was just another human walking earth, until one day it became tiring. So much time had passed and I was tired of not feeling good enough or proud of who I was. I knew I had to get out of the hole I was in or I wasn't ever gonna feel and be better.

Along the way I rejected so many hands reaching out to help me, to pull me out. It was difficult for me to believe in myself let alone have others. But when I finally figured it out, I grabbed sobriety and got on my feet and bettered myself. Education became a part in that commitment soon after. I battled for a couple years thinking I couldn't possibly go back to getting my diploma with everything I've forgotten over the years. How much more difficult it'd be re-learning everything. But taking a leap of faith and taking that TABE test, I found out I knew more than I thought!

The teachers here at Marchman helped me through the rest as if it came naturally. I was lucky to have a small class for math and my other studies. My attendance was pretty solid and I began to take the official practice tests... and I was closer than I thought! I was "in the green"... which means likely to pass.

Remember that?

Look at us now!!! The teachers in Adult Education helped each one of us believe in ourselves and prove that IT IS POSSIBLE!

So thank you, thank you for giving us a fighting chance in each of our journeys. And once again graduates WE DID IT!

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Meet Dr. Lynn Deitrick, CTAE Health Science Specialist

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

January 2020

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

James A Haley Veterans Administration Hospital, Center for Research and Rehabilitation, Qualitative Research Specialist

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

As an RN, it gives me great pleasure to support the District Health Science programs and our terrific teachers. Our teachers are training the next generation of health care professionals, and I enjoy being able to assist the teachers with this important work.

Where did you grow up?

New Jersey

Which teacher inspired you most when you were younger?

Dr. John Gregg - he was an ear, nose and throat physician and a visiting professor of medical anthropology at the University of Tennessee when I was a grad student there. His passion for caring for Native American patients on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota free of charge was inspiring and his passion for medicine led me to become a Registered Nurse after finishing my masters in Medical Anthropology. I still remember his advice years later.

Where did you attend college or post-secondary education?

I got my BA at Penn State University, My MA at the University of Tennessee, My Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Monmouth University and my Doctorate at the University of South Florida

What do you like to do in your free time?

I don't have much free time since I also teach several on-line courses as an adjunct instructor for State College of Florida outside of my work with Pasco District Schools. When I do have free time I like to spend my free time working with my church women's group, spending time with my family and my dog, swimming, reading, sewing, crafting and cooking.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?

I am a published researcher and author. I have written or co-authored over 18 articles about my work or projects I have been involved in that have been published in peer reviewed journals, and have presented my research and writing at numerous professional conferences. I also serve as a peer reviewer for several scholarly journals.

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