CATEC Newsletter

December 2020-January 2021

2020-2021 School Year Information

CATEC wants to make sure you stay informed about the most important information regarding our 2020-2021 school year. Please visit our Website, download our free CATEC, VA app wherever you get your apps, or follow us on Facebook (@CATECHighSchool ),Twitter (@CATEChs), and Instagram (@catechighschool).

In December, CBS19 reported on our students' return to in-person learning. Additionally, Fire Horse Pictures created videos about CATEC and all of its programs, which we are excited to use to spread the word about our course offerings.

Director's Message

Happy New Year, CATEC Students and Families! The start of a new year is always time for reflection and planning. As I reflected on this past year, I want to thank our entire school community. The CATEC community has shown much grit and resilience through the various challenges and obstacles 2020 presented. I am so thankful to be part of this community.

It is hard to believe we are rounding the corner into the second half of the school year. February 1st marks the beginning of semester two. Students are half way through their courses and we expect this semester to be much more hands-on. With the beginning of the new semester, we are also returning for face-to-face instruction following the hybrid model we implemented in December. We are also making plans to have smaller classes attend two days a week. It is our goal for our students to get as much hands-on learning as possible the second half of the school year.

As always, please feel free to reach out. We are here to help and support in any way possible! Together, we will continue toward our mission of preparing our students for life after high school.


Stephanie Carter

CATEC Director

School Counseling

The School Counseling Office is located in the Career and Counseling Office. Ms. Wilson has created a Calming Room to help students (and families) find calm if they need a break during the day. If you have any questions, please email

Career Development & Workplace Readiness

In Career Development this month, students learned about things they should do before applying for jobs, including setting up their voicemail messages, creating professional email addresses, and looking at their social media from the perspective of employers. Students also analyzed job postings specific to their CATEC industry and reviewed tips for filling out a job application completely.

Programs focused on the following VA Workplace Readiness Skills: #8 Respect for Diversity, #20 Professionalism, and #9 Customer Service Orientation.

Automotive Body Repair

In December and January, Auto Body Repair students completed dent repair metal theory and body filler application. Students had hands on dent repair practice and had opportunities to complete 5 I-CAR auto body industry certifications. These certifications make students marketable upon completion of the program. The second semester will allow students to start refinishing as the first unit of study. In January, we celebrate the Auto Body Repair program as part of National Auto Body Council Day. You can read more about the program here.

Building Trades

In the past two months, Building Trades students have completed their final assessment for Career Safe and earned their OSHA1-10 Cards. This makes students very marketable when applying for jobs. Students built scale model houses and identified subfloor and wall framing members. Additionally, CATEC highlighted two second-year Building Trades students who have worked as apprentices for Southern Air, Inc. since last year. To learn more about Daniel Snoddy's and William Gilbert's experiences apprenticing through CATEC, click here.

Cosmetology I and II

In December and January, Cosmetology I students practiced solid form haircut, blowdry with thermal round brush, and thermal curl. Students worked on their Decades Design and setting up their digital portfolio. They also worked on completing their Barbicide certifications. Cosmetology II students spent December and January focusing on the study of hair removal. They worked on their Decades Project and will begin working on their State Board Vision Board.

Culinary Arts I and II

Intro to Culinary Arts and Culinary Arts I students started December with knife skills. All Culinary students learned about vegetables, their classifications, and cooking techniques. This month, they are learning about poultry, pork, and beef. At the end of January, they will learn about fish and seafood. They were able to cook a lot in the last month! Culinary Arts II students made a fennel ratatouille. Both classes made chicken francese and had a take-home recipe of chicken cacciatore for extra credit. They made Asian-style braised pork belly with rice and veggie stir fry and beef tenderloin medallions with cream sauce with mushroom ragu and mashed potatoes. The program hopes to make fish en papillote and a shrimp dish. In December, we highlighted the Culinary Arts program's relationship with Wegmans. Wegmans generously donates food and products to our program. You can read more about this relationship here.


In the past two months, Electricity students have been busy. They completed their final assessment for Career Safe and earned their OSHA1-10 Cards. There a few remaining students who need to take this assessment. This makes students very marketable when applying for jobs. They moved on to practicing technical skills that include: conductors, identifying conductors, building circuit boards, single pole, three way and four way, switch operations, and Intro to the National Electrical Code.

Fire Science

Fire Science students have spent December and January working with their Personal Protective Equipment and their rope and knot skills. Each week, students do a Fire Emergency Incident Critique and the students have done a great job with strategy and tactics. Students will be completing their CPR and First Aid Online Courses this month so they can be tested on those skills in the near future. Please encourage students to complete this work as soon as possible.

Nurse Assistant

In December and January, Nurse Assistant students learned how to take vitals signs (temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure). Students also learned how to make an unoccupied and occupied bed as well as practicing measuring height and weight. Ask your child to show you a hospital corner while making their bed! Students finished their Basic Skills Unit and are currently working on their Personal Care Skills Unit. Students are learning about helping patients with bathing, oral care, dressing, grooming, feeding and toileting. Please ask your student to show you what they have learned! Students can practice skills such as taking temperature, measuring pulse and respirations, taking blood pressure, making a bed, and helping with grooming at home. Practicing at home with family and friends will build confidence in their skills when we have limited time in the lab.

Veterinary Science

In the past month, Vet Science students studied and performed urinalysis. They also learned urogenital anatomy and physiology and respiratory anatomy and physiology. Students will continue learning hands-on skills when they return to the building in February.

Academic Courses: English 11, English 12/Government, & Personal Finance/Economics

English 11 students are finishing quarter two by writing How-To Blogs that showcase skills they've learned in Cosmetology I this semester. These blogs will be published on the CATEC Cosmetology blog site. More information is to come. In quarter three, students will be creating beauty tutorials, writing argument blogs, and preparing to take the Work Keys Writing exam in March.

English 12/Government students are wrapping up their unit on the judicial branch by researching and arguing a landmark Supreme Court case. They are delving into why and how these cases changed America and thinking critically about whether they agree with the SCOTUS's ruling. In quarter three, students will learn all about the legislative branch and how it functions. They will also dive into important social issues facing our nation right now that Congress has the power to address.

Personal Finance/Economics students focused heavily on Savings Accounts. They discussed the concept of Paying Yourself First and studied how saving money starting at an early age, pays off mightily in the long run. They also completed a project on savings goals where each of the students had to pick 15 items they would like to buy in the future. They sorted those 15 into short, medium, and long term goals and then selected the top goal from each. For those top three they researched cost and were charged with developing savings plan to reach each of them. To do this they focused on a concept called Periodization, where you take a big goal and gradually break it into bite sized chunks of savings. Next up in Semester 2: personal finance simulator, credit, insurance and all of our favorites...TAXES.

Adult Education and Apprenticeship Programs

It is not too late to enroll for Spring semester classes! New this semester is EMT, Medical Billing and Coding and Medication Administrative Assistant. Spring semester classes resume the first week of February. The program has published its Spring Catalog on its website and is now registering students and accepting scholarship applications. The program also accepts Veteran's benefits.

Visit or call us at 434-973-4461 for inquiries.