CATEC January 2023 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 New Year!

Dear CATEC Families,

Happy 2023! Students should begin registering for classes for the 2022-2023 school year soon, through their base schools. We hope our 2022-2023 students return to CATEC for another school year, whether to complete a program sequence, or to pursue another course that compliments their current CATEC class. CATEC is a nurturing environment that provides professional training and allow students to graduate with zero debt! With an increase of academic course offerings, both embedded and pull out, CATEC is constantly striving to decrease barriers for students to attend our school.

February is Career and Technical Education Month. We look forward to celebrating CTE Month with our students so be on the lookout for fun activities happening around our building next month!


Stephanie Carter

CATEC Director

Schoolwide Information

Download the App!

With inclement weather season upon us, know ASAP when we will have a delayed opening or if school is cancelled all together. Download the CATEC, VA wherever you get your apps to get push notifications of important information.

Calendar Dates

February 3- Nurse Assistant Blood Drive

February 6- SkillsUSA District Competitions

February 20- High School Programs Closed

February 23- Technical Eats! Food Bus in the CATEC parking lot


  • Registration begins soon for high school students for the 23-24 school year. Learn more about our course offerings!
  • Portrait of an ACPS Student, Auto Service Technology 2 Student Ethan Tierney

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 January, CATEC students focused on WRS #9 Customer Service Orientation and WRS #21 Reading and Writing.

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 11 & English 12: Megan Panek

Students have begun unit 3 of the class, which is called “What do you stand for?” They are learning all about how to build a strong argument and will be writing their own arguments and sending them out into the world in February. English 11 students are also doing ongoing grammar lessons to prepare for the SOL Writing test that many of them will take at the beginning of March.

US Government and English 12: David Topper and Megan Panek

Students are starting unit 3, which is called “Looking back and looking forward.” They will begin by reading some short stories about the danger of clinging to traditions and the danger of being swayed by the crowd. They will then connect these themes to the legislative branch of government. They’ll look at how Congress operates, both effectively and sometimes ineffectively, and consider what changes could be made to this branch of government in the future. They’ll wrap up the unit by focusing on the issue of voting rights, since it’s been a hot topic and undergone lots of changes in recent years. Students will complete a final project called “Does my vote count?”

Economics and Personal Finance: David Topper

Geometry: John Baran

Students have switched from Carpentry I to Electricity I to start the second semester. They will begin a unit on Polygons & Quadrilaterals, which will culminate in building 3D straw structures.

AFDA: John Baran

The second semester begins students' focus on financial algebra. The first unit of the semester will looking at investing and exponential equations. The final project will be to create portfolio of stocks and bonds.

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.

Kai King, Fire Science

Kai King is a 10th grade homeschooled student who has always wanted to be a firefighter. They joined Fire Science this year, even though they aren't 16 yet, so they could audit the class. Next year, in the 23-24 school year, they will return to CATEC to take the course as a 16-year-old and participate in live burns. Kai has enjoyed getting to do ropes, knots, and ties, and hopes to being volunteering at the Seminole Trail station when they're 16th. They enjoy swimming in their spare time for Hollymead and the Gators

Matt Spears, Electricity 1 Semester 1/Carpentry 1 Semester 2

Matt Spears is a Fluvanna High School 12th grader who comes to CATEC to study the construction trades. In semester 1, he is studying Electricity and in semester 2, he is studying Carpentry 1. He has lots of family members in the construction trades and knows working in it himself will earn him a good living. He is currently interested in working as an electrician or HVAC technician upon graduation. Right now he works two part-time jobs on the weekends.

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

Learn More about CATEC's Academic Couse Offerings

CATEC offers a small number of Academic courses for students to reduce schedule barriers. Classes are offered as either embedded courses or as pull-out, stand alone options. In order to offer these courses and for students to meet the requirements of their class, all stand alone classes are hybrid and require work outside of the normal school day. CATEC employs certified English, History and Math teachers to deliver instruction as well as an ESOL teacher to support students who require accommodations. Students taking advantage of an additional academic class will earn 2 elective credits and 1 core content credit.

Classes that are proposed for the 23-24 school year, but pend approval, include:


US Government/English 12

This class is interdisciplinary, meaning it combines US Government and English 12. It is a stand-alone class, which means it is not embedded in a trade class. The study of the origin and role of government in US society is the focus of the class. English 12 communication, reading, writing, and research standards of learning are incorporated into each unit. The class is project-based, with an emphasis on helping students understand their rights and responsibilities as US citizens, how government systems impact their daily lives, and how the media influences politics and society as a whole. Students also learn how they can affect change through political engagement.

PVCC English 111/112 College Composition 1/2

This is a stand-alone class, meaning it is not embedded in a trade class. It is also a dual enrollment class, meaning students receive 6 credits through PVCC for the course. English 111 College Composition 1 introduces students to critical thinking and the fundamentals of academic writing. Through the writing process, students refine topics; develop and support ideas; investigate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate resources; edit for effective style and usage; and determine appropriate approaches for a variety of contexts, audiences, and purposes. Writing activities will include exposition and argumentation with at least one research essay.

English 112 College Composition 2

This course continues to develop college writing with an increased emphasis on critical essays, argumentation, and research, developing these skills through the examination of a range of texts about the human experience. Requires students to locate, evaluate, integrate, and document sources and effectively edit for style and usage.


Algebra, Functions & Data Analysis (AFDA)

Students use algebraic functions and analyze data to solve practical problems relating to their trade class. The prerequisite is Algebra 1.

Algebra II

The Algebra 2 course focuses on graphing, interpreting and transforming functions, including linear functions, absolute value functions, quadratic functions, and polynomial functions. Students will solve quadratic equations, work with complex numbers, and factor polynomials. You’ll also focus on graphing, interpreting and transforming functions, including exponential functions, logarithmic functions, rational functions, and trigonometric functions. Students also evaluate sequences and series. Most importantly, they'll apply this new understanding to everyday situations related to your trade course through new problem-solving techniques.


This class is embedded within the Carpentry I curriculum. This means students must complete year 1 of Carpentry to earn the Geometry credit. Students will use geometric concepts and formulas to solve practical problems relating to core construction trades concepts.


Personal Finance & Economics

This class is a stand-alone class, meaning it is not embedded in a trade class. Students will learn how to navigate the financial decisions they must face and to make informed decisions related to career exploration, budgeting, banking, credit, insurance, spending, taxes, saving, investing, buying/leasing a vehicle, living independently, and inheritance. Development of financial literacy skills and an understanding of economic principles will provide the basis for responsible citizenship and career success. In addition to developing personal finance skills, the students will have the opportunity to earn the Working in Support of Education (W!SE) Financial Literacy Credential.

Biology II: Anatomy & Physiology

This class is embedded within the EMT and Veterinary Science curriculums. EMT students learn the organization of the human body, including the purpose and features of all body systems. Veterinary Science students learn the organization of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including the purpose and features of all body systems. Focusing on mammals, classes will conduct laboratory investigations to support their learning. There is no SOL exam required at the finish of this course. The prerequisite is Biology I.

Meet the Instructor: John Baran

Dr. Baran grew up in Philadelphia before moving to Charlottesville as a teenager. He is a Charlottesville High School graduate, where his amazing teachers led him to want to pursue a career in education. He is a "Triple Hoo" having earned his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate from UVA. Previously he taught Math and Social Studies at Monticello High School and the Community Lab School. From 2017-2019 he worked for the College Board in Advanced Placement as the Director of Instructional Design and a lead on the AP Classroom project.

Meet the Instructor: Megan Panek

Mrs. Panek has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and German and a Master of Education from the University of New Hampshire. She taught for the first 13 years of her career in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She has experience teaching in a traditional high school from her seven years at Waukesha South High and also in a virtual environment from her six years at eAchieve Academy. She is also a trained instructional coach with six years of coaching experience. She loves being a part of Career and Technical education at CATEC and is excited to integrate English standards of learning into the trades.

Meet the Instructor: David Topper

David Topper is a Charlottesville native, having grown up in Woodbrook and graduating from Albemarle High School. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of Charleston, where he played soccer and rugby. He began his teaching career at Albemarle High School teaching Social Studies. He left public education for a stint in the private sector working as a trainer and consultant with State Farm. As the saying goes, history repeats itself, and so he is back in the classroom and loves teaching at CATEC.

Meet the CATEC Foundation Board

The CATEC Foundation Adult Opportunity Scholarships, totaling $8,823.00, were awarded to 15 applicants for the Spring Semester. Automotive classes, Health classes, and Electrical classes were the most popular application subjects. Adult Opportunity Scholarships are now offered four times per year – for the fall and spring semesters, and twice per year – in October and March – for ongoing online courses. Scholarships are awarded based on personal statements, ability, recommendations, and need. Apply here for scholarships for next semester!