CATEC February 2022 Newsletter

Stay Up-to-Date on All the Things Happening at CATEC

Keep In Touch

There are lots of ways to know what is happening at CATEC. Keep in touch with us to know what our students are doing and all the ways we are working to improve our local workforce.

High School

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Adult Education and Apprenticeship

Are you an adult interested in continuing your education? CATEC's Adult Education and Apprenticeship Program offers +100 in-person and online classes. Scholarships are available. Keep in touch with this program to learn more:

Director's Message

Happy Career and Technical Education Month!

Dear CATEC Families,

As we wrap up February, we are looking forward to many exciting things at CATEC this spring. February is Career and Technical Education Month. It's a time to celebrate and advocate for the benefits of CTE programs. Here are just a few researched-based benefits of CTE:

  • CTE is playing an increased role in our nation’s workforce future.

  • 60% of companies report they have difficulty filling their job openings.

  • There are more than 30 million jobs paying $55,000+ that don’t require a four-year college degree.

  • 27% of young workers with professional certifications and licenses earn more than those with a college degree.

We are looking forward to showcasing our hands-on skills on March 31 when we celebrate a schoolwide CATEC Olympics. Students in all programs will act as teachers, judges, and participants as they explore other CATEC classes. Never changed a tire? Students can try that. Want to learn how to do nail art? Students can try that. Want to build a birdhouse? Students can try that, too!

Please mark your family calendars for additional schoolwide events taking place this spring:

  • May 2-6 Interview Week
  • May 17 Signing Day
  • May 31 Completers' Ceremony


Stephanie Carter

CATEC Director

Schoolwide Information

Calendar Dates

March 4th- No students, professional development day

March 18th- No students, teacher work day

March 24th- Technical Eats! Food Bus 11am-2pm, CATEC parking lot

March 31st- CATEC Olympics


CTE Month Program Videos

All month long CATEC shared information on social media about its programs for CTE Month. If your child is interested in returning to CATEC for another year, or you have other family members who might be interested in taking a CATEC course, check out all of CATEC's program videos here:

School Counseling Services

Ms. Wilson, CATEC's School Counselor, is on-site daily to assist students with scheduling issues, college dual-enrollment registration, and individual needs. Ms. Wilson can be reached at and 434-973-4461.Thank you to Ms. King for acting as interim school counselor in Ms. Wilson's absence.

CATEC Students are Professional: Workplace Readiness

CATEC values making sure students graduate with the technical skills and workplace skills necessary for entering the workforce. CATEC has implemented a "CATEC Students Are Professional" mantra to ensure students understand what it takes to be successful in our building and in the workforce. Students are expected to act in accordance with industry standards and practice the 22 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth.

In February, CATEC students focused on WRS #8 Respect for Diversity, #2 Critical Thinking Skills, #1 Creativity and Innovation, and #19 Mathematics.

CATEC Academics

CATEC offers academic courses that are both embedded in trade curricula and offered as stand-alone courses. Taking trade and academic courses at CATEC allows students more flexibility with their scheduling as well as learning class materials in authentic ways.

English 10 & 11 embedded in Culinary 1 and Cosmetology I: Megan Panek

Students completed a Career Exploration unit in February. They began by taking personality and workplace values tests to determine what they need in a job and workplace to be happy and satisfied. Then they narrowed to one job and did a deep dive into that job, even conducting an e-mail interview with someone who currently has that job. They finished with a reflective essay on what they learned from the process and what their plans are for next year and beyond.

English 12 & Government: Megan Panek and David Topper

Fred Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" In US Government/English 12 class, that is what students are learning, to look for the good and what each of us can change. These citizen students recently completed a project on how to determine what is factual and what is misinformation/disinformation on the internet (specifically social media). It culminated with them researching and defending a position on how we could stop the spread of such bad information. The next unit is focusing on the Legislative branch.

Economics and Personal Finance: David Topper

Ben Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.” In Economics and Personal Finance, students are doubling down on this in that we are teaching your young learners about investments in their future. Students have begun an exciting MEGA project in this class will encompass multiple units (Career Exploration, Auto Loans, Housing, Taxes, Benefits, Insurance and Investments). At the end of each unit young financier will be left with a financial figure that they will enter into a “Make it of Break It” project-ending spreadsheet. The goal is to look at what they can earn and how much it will cost for them to live. It is a real time, real life scenario that is eye opening and designed to help them prepare for their voyage into financial adulthood.

Geometry embedded into Building Trades: Jake Sills

Students have been working on a Similarity project where they have to take a picture of themselves standing next to a tall object/building and compare the heights in the picture to the actual heights. They will create their own similarity word problem. In March, students will work on a Windmill project were they create windmills in class that can pick up a load and then turn it into a wind turbine to generate energy.

Profile of a CATEC Student

Each month, we introduce you to two current CATEC students. Here at CATEC, we know our student body is diverse and interesting and we want to share their stories with our community.

Megan Gray, Automotive Service Technology I

Megan Gray is a Charlottesville High School Senior who is turning sound parental advice into a career opportunity. Her mom suggested she take a class at CATEC because she knew Megan liked working with her hands. She found that she really enjoys Auto Service Technology, so much so that she is now interning with Colonial Auto Group four days a week. She loves getting to work on a variety of vehicles, including a Tesla, that she wouldn't have access to if she stayed only on CATEC grounds. She plans to return to CATEC next year for Auto Service Technology 2 while she continues pursuing her career through her internship. In her spare time, Megan enjoys knitting and baking.

Gadeline Marquez, Cosmetology II

Monticello High School Senior Gadeline Marquez has added hair stylist to her list of interests over the last two years as a student in Cosmetology. In her time in the Cosmetology program she has enjoyed learning how to style and cut hair. She enjoys doing thermal curls the most. In addition to hair styling, Gadeline loves playing soccer. Soccer has been a family activity she's enjoyed doing for the last five years. She plays midfield for both MHS's soccer team as well as SOCA. Upon graduation, she intends on studying criminal justice at a four-year university. She has applied to VCU, JMU, Longwood, and UVA.

Each month we highlight one aspect of our program offerings that make CATEC unique.

Learn More about CATEC's Veterinary Science Program

Veterinary Science Curriculum

CATEC’s Veterinary Science program is a natural educational pathway for students interested in working with animals. CATEC’s Veterinary Science class introduces students to the technical knowledge and skills necessary for success in careers pertaining to animals, including pet care industries, government agencies, laboratory research institutions, pharmaceutical occupations, veterinary medical assisting and technology, and postsecondary education. Students learn about veterinary science in a classroom setting, simulated small animal veterinary hospital, and field trips. Animals make guest appearances in the classroom, including dogs, goats, and even a pigeon.

College Credit and Credentialing

Veterinary Science students receive 12 college credits through Blue Ridge Community College. Credits include coursework in veterinary assisting, care and maintenance of small domestic animals, veterinary office assisting, and companion animal behavior. Students who satisfactorily complete the program also receive the Blue Ridge Community College Career Studies Certificate in Veterinary Assisting concurrent with high school graduation. Students take the Certified Veterinary Assistant test through American Allied Health at the end of their course.

Career Outlook

Upon graduation from the program, students can enter the industry as a Veterinary Assistant, helping vets by setting up equipment, preparing animals for treatment, and keeping records. They can work their way up to Veterinary Technician. Projected job growth in Virginia for Veterinary Assistants is nearly 20% and Virginia wages align with the national wage average. Program graduates can continue to post-secondary learning opportunities, can work in area veterinary clinics, or even as Laboratory Animal Care Technicians. Students can also attend Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine to become a veterinarian.

Meet the Instructor: Dr. Kimberly Smyth

Dr. Smyth is a small animal veterinarian who graduated from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced small animal medicine in Pennsylvania and the Charlottesville area for many years, and continues to educate pet owners by authoring hundreds of articles about pet health. Dr. Smyth is an adjunct professor for Blue Ridge Community College and, as such, her Veterinary Science students receive dual-enrollment college credits. Dr. Smyth stepped into the role of instructor for CATEC’s Veterinary Science program because she wanted to foster the interest of pet health in community students and help create much needed workforce-ready veterinary assistants for area veterinary clinics.