The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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April 2023 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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Real-World Learning Shines in Pasco County!

As you'll see in the many stories that follow, students and teachers in our CTE and Adult Education programs have been very busy this semester!

April brings more opportunities for CTE students to earn industry certifications, state licenses, and Digital Tools certificates. Seniors will be invited to explore career and post-secondary options at the two Beyond: Career and Tech Expos. Students in entrepreneurship classes are completing semester-long projects, and the top ideas at each school will compete at the Pasco Young Entrepreneurs Competition when we wrap up Financial Literacy Month.

Our team continues to be involved in developing business partnerships through our districtwide Career Advisory Council and the Pasco/Hernando Local College Access Network (LCAN). We're advising school-based administrative teams as they prepare for the 2023-2024 school year, with many of them expanding CTE offerings. Before the year is over, we'll be recognizing our outstanding high school and middle school CTE students.

Even as testing for credentials of value is in full swing, students in our CTSOs - like FBLA and SkillsUSA - have been competing in events. JROTC and criminal justice programs are shining in state and national competitions. FFA chapter members - with support from their agriculture teachers - spent most of February at the Florida State Fair and the Pasco County Fair, where many of them won top honors for their Supervised Agriculture Education Projects, including livestock, horticulture and leadership.

While the recognition is wonderful, the real meaning of these honors doesn't escape us: students are mastering standards and truly gaining real-world skills as a result of the learning in which they are engaged in classrooms and labs throughout our county. We are proud of the work being done each and every day, as we continue to see students grow and excel. It's definitely an exciting time to lead this important work!

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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Find Your Future at BEYOND! Career & Tech Expos

If you are associated with a local business or post-secondary institution, and would like to educate our students about career opportunities within your company or organization, please sign up to attend our BEYOND! Career & Tech Expos. Last year, several businesses hired students at the events! Click HERE to access the online signup form.

Even though the expos are hosted at Fivay High School in Hudson and Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation in Wesley Chapel, senior students from neighboring schools will be participating. See the graphic below for the information being shared at high schools throughout the county.

For more information, email Jen Batchelor at

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GROW Pasco 2023

CTAE was proud to partner with the Pasco Economic Development Council and SMARTstart Pasco at the annual GROW Pasco 2023 conference in March. CTAE Program Coordinator Pam Willoughby and Program Specialist Jen Batchelor networked with area businesses who shared entrepreneurship principles, skills and resources to support our learners!
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HHS Cobra Appointed to U.S. Military Academy

Congratulations to Hudson High School Outstanding Senior Emmanuel Cruz for receiving an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point! Emmanuel is a student in Samuel Harmon's Army JROTC courses.
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HHS JROTC Leaders Headed to National Competition

The Hudson High School JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) academic team has qualified for the national championship, which will take place this June in Washington, D.C. Questions are mostly ACT/SAT type questions. It was one of 32 JROTC Academic Teams in the Nation to make the finals and one of four in Florida. Congratulations, Cobras!

- submitted by Sam Harmon

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WRHS Students Prepare for College and Careers

Wiregrass Ranch High School College and Career Specialist Kris Hensley offered College and Career Planning Overview sessions for juniors and seniors and their parents during the first semester of this school year. For the second semester, she built upon the overview training by creating a series of workshops for juniors. This series includes a kickoff session and nine additional sessions for students and families. The sessions unpack various aspects of college and career planning, including the use of resources including Naviance. Families and students have committed to attending all sessions, and relationships are being built within each group. Families are bringing refreshments, etc., making it a wonderful inaugural event.

- submitted by Kris Hensley

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RBSMS FFA Members Shine at County Fair

Agriculture students at R. B. Stewart Middle School competed in the Pasco County Fair and two of them earned top honors.

Congratulations to Emma Bishop for Winning Best of Breed and Best of Show in the Pasco County Fair Youth Goat Show.

Congratulations to Adrienna Jones for placing first on her record book for the Pasco County Fair Youth Plant Show and Sale. She also placed second in Garden Center Knowledge.

- submitted by Jessica Reagan

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MTC Commercial Art Students Skate to Success

The skateboard design project at Marchman Technical College always inspires students to think outside the box. First place for this year's skateboard design is...Tony Daubar! Tony's inspiration was the artist Peter Max, well known for his 60's style pop art and Beatles album covers. Bryant Bishop came in second place. Bryant's concept was based on Mayan art. Students had to develop a brand and three boards for the rollout of their company. Anthony Marshello (skateboard designer at Westside Skate Shop) was the mock client and judge. Four students pitched their ideas. This year we had the top two designs made into actual boards to be showcased in the classroom!

- submitted by Linda Bourne

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Sharing Insights Through Infographics

How much do you know about the sinking of the Titanic or the cost of a space suit and other interesting topics? Adult and high school students in Marchman Technical College's Commercial Art program took a complex amount of data and created easy-to-read infographics. We displayed them on our digital signage and had a critique and judging by Ms. Jamie D'Avonzo.

1st place: Max Keesler - The Brain's Structure

2nd place: Autumn Meadows - Trichotillomania

3rd place: Miles Dix - Outside the Binary

Honorable Mention: Diony Tejada - Star Wars Alien Species

- submitted by Linda Bourne

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JWMHS Mustangs Mean Business

For Business Plan Month at J.W. Mitchell High School, students developed a plan for their service or product that would benefit their target market. Students then developed a flyer that displayed an understanding of marketing and of their general target.

- submitted by Jennifer Biedler

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WRHS Plan for the Future!

Accounting students at Wiregrass Ranch High School participated in an activity for financial literacy week. They answered the following six prompts and questions on how will they apply accounting principles to their future financial plans:

  • Name one accounting skill.
  • How can you use that skill in your life in the future?
  • Imagine again that you want to start a business.
  • Based on what you have learned, what first step would you take now?
  • Name a financial goal that is most important to you.
  • How could accounting skills help you achieve that goal?

- submitted by Donna Fraser

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LOLHS Sweeps Creative Confections Dessert Competition

Culinary Arts students from Anclote High School, Land O' Lakes High School and Wiregrass Ranch High School competed for top honors in this year's Creative Confections Dessert Competition on February 23, 2023. Each dessert was judged on presentation, taste and originality. The winning dessert, Lemon Blueberry Parfait, was created by Gabi Ortiz, Claire Christie, Maddie Froelich and Kaylin Prado. It will be served to the 250 guests attending the Pasco Education Foundation's annual gala on April 1st.

Cuban Espresso Panna Cotta, created by Kayden Rothnanusen, Augie Alfonso, Neveah Madrigal and Sam Moore, won second place and the People's Choice Award.

Third place went to Xavier Davenport, Mackenzie Johnson and Janai Gray for their Tropical Island Sunrise.

The young chefs were lead by their amazing Culinary Arts teachers:

  • Luis Rodriguez from Anclote High School
  • Jessica Cooper and Jeremy Blythe from Land O' Lakes High School
  • Marshall Dickerson and Chelsea Dillon from Wiregrass Ranch High School

Special thanks to the team of judges from our business and community partners:

  • Jessica Beebe, Owner of Sugardarlings Cupcakes
  • Alvaro Hernandez, Pasco County School Board member
  • Rick Kurtz, Former Pasco County Schools FNS Director
  • Manolis Piliaris, Owner of Sunrise Eatery
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Author Chris Angilella Shares His Journey

Chris Angilella, a student in Marchman Technical College's Adult General Education and Adults With Disabilities classes, is a self-published author of two books. He recently shared his journey about living with autism and how he became an author with Ms. Dittman's early childhood education class as well as other MTC staff and students. Ms. Megan Harding, Pasco County School Board was also in attendance. Chris' tag line is, "We are all different, let's embrace it."

- submitted by Kim Taylor

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KRAI Scrub Ceremony

Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation patient care technology students received their medical scrubs and stethoscopes in a special ceremony to signify the first step in their journey of becoming a patient care technician. Mrs. Tellez has established a partnership with Advent Health Hospital of Wesley Chapel, which sponsored the medical scrubs for this year’s first patient care cohort. We are grateful for their sponsorship and partnership.

- submitted by Jacqueline Tellez

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CSRMS Teaming Up to Promote Wellness

Students in medical skills courses at Charles S. Rusche Middle School teamed up to develop wellness campaigns to provide education to their classmates. The project topics were chosen by the students and hung in the hallways to bring awareness to their classmates.

- submitted by Jennifer Wakeman

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CCHS Coyote Criminal Justice Students Earn Honors

Congratulations to Cypress Creek High School’s Criminal Justice students who competed at this week’s Florida Public Service Association conference! Because of their achievements, CCHS will host Regionals in the fall. Thank you so much for all the support from the community, especially to the Chiefs Foundation for sponsoring several students!

- submitted by Jessica Herzek

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Making Presentations - Making Friends - Making a Difference!

Adult ESOL students at Wesley Chapel stepped on the accelerator as soon as the spring semester started and they haven’t looked back. All three groups participated in the “stick figure profile” during the first week as students shared goals, dreams, and experiences.

Drama presentations have become a staple in the classroom, as students love to display their creative style on the stage. As usual, students had the opportunity to be the teacher as they generously helped their fellow classmates. All in all, it was an amazing start to the new semester.

Coming soon: Students of the Month and songs depicting simple present and present continuous. Stay tuned and remember that "English is Easy and Fun!"

- submitted by Rebecca Sandy

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Meet Juliann Sansonetti!

What's your title/position in CTAE?

Adult Education Bookkeeper/Secretary

When did you begin working for CTAE?

September 6, 2022

What was your job before working for CTAE?

Bookkeeper at Marchman Technical College

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

My favorite thing about working for CTAE, is my co-workers. Everyone is extremely helpful, kind, friendly... it's one big family. The staff at CTAE is always incredibly busy, but always willing to explain something, give a smile, or offer a laugh.

Where did you grow up?

New York - I moved to Florida at age 11.

What teacher inspired you most when you were younger?

Mr. Pratt, who encouraged my love for reading

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

I became certified in the travel industry through a vocational college.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I spend as much time as possible with my four children, five granddaughters, husband and mom.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?
I have a great deal of respect for our CTAE department and all they do. I'm incredibly proud of all the Pasco County teachers. One of my daughters is a Pasco County teacher and my youngest daughter is now also finishing her teaching degree at USF. The impact teachers make on students, is forever life-changing.

Thanks for being part of Team CTAE, Juliann!

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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