The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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May 2023 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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Completing Another Amazing Year of Charting CTAE Student Success!

It's hard to believe that summer is just a few short weeks away!

As we wrap up the 2022-2023 school year, we give thanks to the remarkable educators who lead career, technical and adult education classrooms throughout our county. They truly inspire the students who have learned so much in their courses and programs. Because of those teachers, many students are completing the year with industry certifications, state licenses, and Digital Tools certificates. They have mastered real-world skills and are ready to take these to the next level. We celebrate their successes!

Speaking of celebrating, we are so proud of the Pasco County CTE Students of the Year! Zephyrhills High School senior Michael Leach not only works half the school day at the UPS Store, but he also runs his own manufacturing business. He learned many relevant skills in Lisa Dawson's Digital Information Technology and Business Entrepreneurial Principles courses. We know he will continue to grow after graduation next month.

Our CTE Middle School Student of the Year, Nicholas Campbell, has already made quite an impression in the agriculture courses at Pine View Middle School. Teacher Audra Skinner mentored Nick and his teammate to fourth place in the national FFA agriscience fair last year! Nick aspires to be a veterinarian and will attend the International Baccalaureate program at Land O' Lakes High School this fall.

Michael and Nick are just two of the wonderful students who make us proud to lead career, technical and adult education in our county. Everything we do is centered on building the most relevant, real-world, career-connected learning we can for them, because, as always, we are "Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce!"

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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MTC Students Win at SkillsUSA States!

Marchman Technical College celebrates another successful year at the SkillsUSA State Championships held April 10th - 13th in Jacksonville, Florida. Here are the medal winners this year.


High School Gold- Emily House (Instructor - Kellyann Haudricourt)

College Gold- Paige Weber (Instructor - Jonica Teague)

College Bronze- Jordan Paradisis (Instructor - Jonica Teague)


High School Gold- Caden Osborn (Instructor - Brian Logaglio)

Marine Service

High School Gold- Keegan Ford (Instructor - Kevin Bouffard)

High School Silver- Adonis Zawalich (Instructor - Kevin Bouffard)

High School Bronze- Gavin Larsen (Instructor - Kevin Bouffard)

Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair

High School Silver- Earl Hill (Instructor - John Herig)

Early Childhood Education

College Silver- Regina Esposito (Instructor - Katrin Chefero)

Marchman Technical College is also proud to announce two students elected to serve as SkillsUSA State Officers for the 2023-2024 school year.

Alaina Butchko- Cosmetology student (Instructor - Kellyann Haudricourt)

Kazmier Gorkowski- Automotive Service student (Instructor - Michael Feola)

Marchman Technical College also received the GOLD Chapter of Distinction Award, which recognizes achievement as it relates to the integration of the SkillsUSA Framework in the chapter program of work activities. This award was one of only two Gold awards for all schools and chapters in the state of Florida.

Emily House and Paige Weber from Cosmetology, Keegan Ford from Marine Service and Caden Osborn from Welding will advance to the SkillsUSA National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia in June. We are proud of ALL of our student's accomplishments!

- submitted by Tonia Shook, Director, Marchman Technical College

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FFA Students Achieve State and National Honors

Our district’s agriculture programs continued to grow and shine this past school year. Students in FFA and 4-H chapters at Academy at the Farm, Centennial Middle School, Hudson High School, Hudson Academy, Pasco High School, Pasco Middle School, Pine View Middle School, R.B. Stewart Middle School, Thomas E. Weightman Middle School, Wesley Chapel High School and Zephyrhills High School won awards at the state and county fair, and many are competing at the state level.

As a result of the hard work of the teacher advisors and members of the FFA chapters at Pasco High School, Wesley Chapel High School and Zephyrhills High School, several students and one chapter will be recognized for outstanding achievement at the summer state FFA convention in Orlando.

As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA Degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree, members must meet qualifications such as receiving a State FFA Degree, holding active membership for the past three years, completing secondary instruction in an agricultural education program and operating an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program. Community service, leadership abilities and outstanding scholastic achievement are also required.

Congratulations to our American FFA Degree nominees, Wesley Chapel High School graduates Lana Guzman and Rebecca Lyons, and Zephyrhills High School graduate MaKayla Shipley.

The State FFA Degree is the highest degree that the State FFA Association can bestow on a member. This degree, which is a high and rare honor earned by less than two percent of FFA members, encourages personal growth and achievement. It requires hard work and commitment and is the culmination of agricultural and academic experiences and opportunities across several years. Congratulations to the following students who are being recognized for earning their State FFA Degree:

From Pasco High School:

  • Courtney Whitman

From Zephyrhills High School:

  • Gabriella Hardy

  • Austin John

  • Philip “Trey” Mann

  • Emma McKelvey

  • Kenady Miller

  • Jaedyn Seigler

Last, but not least, Zephyrhills High School’s Senior FFA chapter, led by advisors LeAnne John and Taylor Snedeker, has been named one of Florida’s Finest Chapters and selected as a finalist for the National Chapter Award. Both the Senior and Junior FFA chapters have exceeded maximum quality chapter points and earned Premier Chapter status. The Junior FFA chapter is in its inaugural year, making this an even more impressive accomplishment! Congratulations, Bulldog Aggies!

These FFA members and chapters have so much to be proud of! We look forward to celebrating with you and all of Pasco County Schools’ chapters during this summer’s state convention.

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KRAI Builds Collaborative Learning Experiences

This is a full size (approx. 900 square foot) home that was built inside our Electrical department's classroom/lab for real-life wiring usage. It is a fully framed home, minus the final siding and roof. This was completely constructed by the Building and Construction students. Our goal in this program is to make sure that all projects are built to proper specifications that would pass code and inspections.

- submitted by Joel Marlin

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KRAI Electricity Program Sparks Learning

The Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation Electricity Program now has 14 students who have completed the first level of our program (CORE), including all eight certifications! Five electricity students are more than half way to their Level 2 certification completions. These students have worked extremely hard to make this outstanding progress and we can’t wait to see how far they go!

- submitted by Rebecca Marschall

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KRAI Designers Study Surrealism

Students in the Digital Media/Multimedia Design program at Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation studied surrealism and created their own surrealistic art using Photoshop. As a celebration, the students went on a tour of The Salvador Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg, where they were able to enjoy the works of the well-known surrealist artist.

- submitted by Stephanie Bertig

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CSRMS Students Earn Honors

"I am so proud of how hard all of my students have been working in my classes. I want to give a huge shout out to them. Charles S. Rushe Middle School Students ROCK CTE!"

- Teacher Katherine Mandelberg

Between Computer Applications in Business 1, Computer Applications in Business 2, and Digital Information Technology, CSRMS students have earned the following certifications so far this school year:

  • 78 CIW Word Processing Essentials Digital Tools certificates
  • 80 CIW Multimedia Essentials Digital Tools certificates
  • 93 CIW Cyber Security Essentials Digital Tools certificates
  • 78 CIW Spread Sheet Essentials Digital Tools certificates
  • 11 MSO PowerPoint 2016 Industry Certifications
  • 11 MSO Word Expert 2016 Industry Certifications
  • 7 MSO Outlook 2016 Industry Certifications

Their certificates have been printed in color and placed in certificate folders. They will be presented to them during the award ceremonies at the end of the year.
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Coding Creates Amazing Mazes at TEWMS!

Students in Thomas E. Weightman Middle School's Coding Discoveries II became an amazing maze corporation this semester. They began by establishing team roles using Scratch software to first blueprint, then create and code an epic maze. This inspired other Business Wildcats who were able to try out their skills to code their way through the maze.

Congratulations to those scholars who earned their Digital Tools certificates!

- submitted by Jenna Eyers

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Gator Chefs Win Sweet Heat Culinary Creation Competition

Congratulations to TWO teams from Land O' Lakes High School's Academy of Culinary Arts, who were selected as finalists for Beef O' Brady's Sweet Jalapeno Contest.

  • The Sweet Heat Fried Chicken Sandwich – Augustine Alfonso, Trey Bozeman and David Little
  • ALT Steak Sandwich – Marina Stokes and Kayden Rothausen

The chefs were challenged to create unique dishes using the restaurant chain's newest sauce. The students and their teacher, Chef Jessica Cooper, were invited to Beef's corporate office on Wednesday May 10th, where they prepared and presented their sandwiches to a focus group. The five final recipes were tasted and The Sweet Heat Fried Chicken Sandwich was the winner! It will be featured as a limited edition menu item at the Wilderness Lakes Beef O' Brady's in Land O' Lakes. We look forward to enjoying this culinary creation this summer!

- submitted by Jessica Cooper

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Teaching the Future at River Ridge High School

River Ridge High School hosted a “signing day” for high school students who are declaring their intent to return to teach in Pasco schools after college. The 33 students are graduating from the New Teacher Academy (NTA) at River Ridge High and Pasco eSchool where they have had the opportunity to explore their chosen profession.

The New Teacher Academy is one of Pasco Schools’ many strategies for addressing the ongoing teacher shortage, in this case by preparing “homegrown” teachers who come directly from our schools and our community. The 33 student graduates are nearly twice as many as last year, when Pasco held its first signing day.

“This is a day of celebration for these students and for Pasco County Schools,’’ said Beth Hess, lead instructor of the New Teacher Academy. “With the doubling of the numbers this year, we are excited to see the program grow. We’re achieving our goal of inspiring our own students to return to teach in our classrooms.”

This was also a special day, as NTA graduate Raynee Meek received a $1000 bonus for returning to Pasco to teach at Bexley Elementary School following her recent college graduation. George Papaemanuel presented Raynee with a mock check as part of the district's "Grow & Stay" initiative.

- photos and information courtesy of Pasco County Schools Communication Department

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Meet Baily Abbott

What's your title/position in CTAE?

Program Specialist

When did you begin working for CTAE?

January 30th, 2023

What was your job before working for CTAE?

Electronics Instructor at Wendell Krinn Technical High School

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

What I find most enjoyable about working at CTAE is having the opportunity to take all of the great experiences that our students receive and being able to help enrich or provide more opportunities. It helps that there is such a great team at CTAE that work so hard for our students.

Where did you grow up?

Bettendorf, Iowa

What teacher inspired you most when you were younger?

Mr. Phillips and Mr. Christensen

Where did you attend college or receive post-secondary education?

The University of Northern Iowa

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy being around water and observing the wildlife that surrounds us. There is an abundance of beauty if you take the opportunity to appreciate it.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?
What I love most about Career and Technology Education is understanding how the various parts of our world work. How electricity powers devices, a machine that can easily lift 2,000 lbs., or how computers talk to each other and that is only to name a few. Some of the most simple things around us are made with complex processes. I think that is what most people do not understand about this area of education is this: rather than being just a singular skill to be learned, CTE is a combination of all the others. Technical education is taking all other knowledge combined and applying it.

Thanks for being part of Team CTAE, Baily!

We want to hear from you!

• Please share information about your program that you would like considered for the CTAE 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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