The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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February 2021 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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February is CTE Month!

This is a great time to recognize the fantastic work of our Career and Technical Education students and teachers! We encourage you to join in the celebration by posting photos and stories and using #CTERocks. See the flyer below for our weekly "Rock Star" themed challenges.

Every week, we hear about successes in our programs throughout the county that make us #TeamCTE/AEProud! The 13 CTE career clusters offer a wealth of opportunities for students to find their spark and explore opportunities that can lead to industry certifications and fulfilling careers. Be sure to check out "Around the Career Clusters" below to see plenty of highlights.

We look forward to meeting with our Career Advisory Council next month as we establish specific career-focused advisory boards. Please share the information below with business professionals who would like to be part of this important work to ensure that our courses are relevant and bring real-world experiences to the future workforce.

Please feel free to contact us at 813-524-2204, 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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Governor DeSantis Recognizes CTE Month in Florida

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Meet MeeBot and Coding Student Avery Winters!

Dr. Rick Saylor, Centennial Middle School Principal, agreed to the Middle School Dance Challenge as a STEM leader would. He would dance - but challenged his Coding Fundamentals students to create code for a robot to dance with him.

Tracy Walker, CTE Coding teacher shared that the kids were so excited and so engaged in the competition. The winning coder was 6th grader, Avery Winters. It shows a fantastic school culture as well. You’ll see ESE teachers and students dancing, cafeteria staff, plant manager, MSOL, office staff, etc.

However… MeeBot is the star, thanks to Avery Winters!

USF Engineering Expo is February 15th-19th!

The USF sponsored Engineering Day will be virtual this year. The Expo will take place on Feb 15th and continue to Feb 19th, from 8 am to 6 pm. I have received the following information detailing the options that we will have. The Expo will have “On-Demand” pre-recorded material, Live “YouTube” sessions that you can stream into your classrooms, and a “DIY” bank of experiments that can be conducted at school or at home (see below): If you have an opportunity to attend or participate, please do so using the attached link (I also included the USF Contact Information below).

Expo will run virtually this year through three main communication channels:

  • Expo On-Demand: A data bank with pre-recorded materials prepared by exhibitors that people can access at any time based on their convenience. These will all be posted on the Engineering Expo website and YouTube.
  • Expo Live: 26 live stream sessions from multiple exhibitors for people to interact with presenters through Microsoft Teams
  • Expo DIY: Data bank of experiments that people can conduct at home to have a hands-on experience, brought to you by the organizing board of Engineering Expo.

This will all take place between February 15th and February 19th from 8:00am to 6:00pm, and all access can be found in our website:

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Workforce Professionals Needed for District-Wide CTE Career Advisory Council

The next meeting of the district's Career Advisory Council is coming up in March!

Our vision is to have the CAC serve as the overarching organization supporting CTE programming, with specific advisory boards lending their expertise to these career clusters:

• Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

• Architecture & Construction

• Arts, A/V Technology & Communication

• Business Management & Administration

• Education & Training

• Energy

• Engineering & Technology Education

• Finance

• Government & Public Administration

• Health Science

• Hospitality & Tourism

• Human Services

• Information Technology

• Law, Public Safety & Security

• Manufacturing

• Marketing, Sales & Service

• Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

If you know any of any business professionals who would be interested in supporting our career and technical education programs, please have them contact Pam Willoughby at or Jen Batchelor at and visit our Career Advisory Council webpage for more information.

Big Prizes for Big Ideas!

The Pasco Young Entrepreneur Competition will be held as a virtual event on the evening of:

Thursday, April 29th

This event will showcase the creativity and ingenuity of our Business Management and Analysis Students as they present a unique product and business plan addressing a specific problem.

The competition is meant to awaken an entrepreneurial spirit in our business students. The shark-tank style event sponsored by the Pasco Education Foundation will produce 3 top winners who will be encouraged to utilize prize winnings to bring their product ideas to fruition!

1st Place: $1,000

2nd Place: $500

3rd Place: $250

CTAE Programs in the News

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Hands-On Learning with WCHS' TV Production

Devin Ball and Nicholas Manco, seniors at The Academy of Digital Video Production at Wesley Chapel High School, had the opportunity to learn about live event production set up with Clemco at the Brandon All Stars showcase. Here is a video showing the setup and highlights of the event.

- submitted by Stephanie Bertig

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM, even...when it's cold outside!

I bet your first thought during this recent cold weather has not been to eat ice cream, but the chilly temperature means that your ice cream doesn't melt as fast, and you get to enjoy more of it as it's supposed to be. Students at Marchman Technical College say that Ice cream is good any time of year! Enjoy our Kemp's original flavor ideas and packaging. While you won't find these flavors in your grocer's freezer just yet, you never know when your favorite new flavor may blow in with a winter storm. Enjoy some ice cream today...along with your jacket and a friend.

- Submitted by Linda Bourne

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RRHS FBLA Continues to Serve the Community

River Ridge High School FBLA continued to serve the community by volunteering with Metropolitan Ministries. Students took time during winter break to assist families in need.

- submitted by Chad Mallo

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AHS Featured on FOX13's "Good Day, Tampa Bay!"

Anclote High School's Culinary Arts, Promotional Enterprise and JROTC programs were spotlighted on FOX13 recently. Reporter Charley Belcher interviewed students and staff while adhering to CDC protocols. Assistant Principal James Smith was excited to share the news that this was the first school visit Charley had made since March. We're so proud of the wonderful collaborations AHS is accomplishing and that they were honored by FOX13!

LOLHS Cooks Up Holiday Magic!

We had our annual gingerbread house decorating event at LOLHS and some of our seniors really shined bright with their creations this year! They have done this for the previous 4 years and most of the students really enjoy being creative!

- Submitted by Chef Jeremy Blythe

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JLMS HOSA Competes in Regional

Students in the JLMS chapter of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competed in the Suncoast West Regional events on February 8, 2021. Students who place in the top 3 will advance to Florida State HOSA Competition levels in the Spring.
Events included: Medical Terminology, Math for Health, Medical Reading, Exploring Medical Innovation, and Prepared Speaking.

- submitted by Anna-Maria Livdal

HHS Pharmacy Tech Students Apply Their New Knowledge!

The Pharmacy Technician received a large donation from PHSC for use in our program. Students have begun compounding in Pharmacy 3. We made gel capsules and grape flavored acetaminophen in liquid form for a child.

HHS HOSA also competed for the first time in the Suncoast West Regional events and won 1st Place in Pharmacy Science! Ten students have advanced to the state competition!

- Submitted by Rose Martin

SLHS CNA Students Apply Their Skills

Dr. Lynn Deitrick, CTAE Health Science Program Specialist, joined teacher Bushra Faraz to support Nurse Assisting students as they began applying their learning during simulation labs.
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Cyber Krakens Team Earns Presidential Award!

Scott Tumelty, Cyber Security Teacher at Wendell Krinn Technical High School, has some fantastic news to share about the USAF CyberPatriots Competition Team:

• This is our third year competing!

• It is a global competition with almost 3000 teams competing all around the world
• It is an intense competition sponsored and run by the USAF.
• There are 133 teams in Florida and we placed 11th (so far) we have another round of competition in two weeks.
• We placed 546th of 2919 teams globally.
• The team is made up of 6 students:

  • Ashton Obugene - Freshman
  • Chris Jeffers - Senior (not pictured)
  • Gabe Coates - Sophomore
  • Alisia Martens - Junior
  • Alex Capraro - Junior
  • Sean Filimon - Sophomore


KTECH Cyber Krakens competed against the top 526 teams in the semifinal round. We placed 148th worldwide.

We began with a total of 3630 worldwide teams (including teams from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada) competing in the Open division back in November 2020. That puts us in the top 5%!

In Florida, a total of 127 teams began the competition. Twelve made it to the semifinal round. KTECH CyberKrakens placed 5th in Florida! Again Top 5%!

Congratulations, Krakens!

To learn more about the Air Force associations' CyberPatriot program, visit:

CCHS Digital Info Tech Students Earn MOS Certifications

At Cypress Creek High School we currently have 27 students certified in Microsoft Office Word and 19 who have earned Excel certification. I have one AMAZING student, named Miranda Schwartz (below, left). She became a Microsoft Office Specialist on Feb. 5th earning her certification in Word, Excel and PPT. She is currently working on Access independently and will work the 4th quarter on Outlook with her classmates. Next week will be our first attempt at testing some hybrid students and we are hoping for great success. I am very proud of my students working so hard during these challenging times.

- Submitted by Karen Jakich

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Flying High at SLHS!

The Sunlake High School Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadets were actively involved in local flight operations recently, thanks to the Air Force! Teacher Mark Aragon helped coordinate this fantastic experience for his students, who thoroughly enjoyed their time in the skies.
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JIEC Adult ESOL Celebrates the Seasons!

Our Adult ESOL program had a stellar fall semester topped off with memorable Thanksgiving and Christmas events. Students had to create original gratitude projects and present them to the class. Our 1st ever Holiday Spectacular featured a bazaar where talented students Carolina and Yulma displayed and sold their own handmade jewelry. Yulma also sold her Venezuelan arepas much to the delight of the guests. Yitzak shared scrumptious cupcakes. Principal Davis, many teachers, and staff attended the special event. Our audience enjoyed a unique drama presentation of "The Night Before Christmas" by Yada, Adriana, and Leydi. Our finale was "Jingle Bell Rock" performed by the entire class. Rebecca Sandy, ESOL teacher, presented academic achievement awards to Yulma Zerpa and Alondra Andrade, and Maria Restrepo earned a certificate for Perfect Attendance. Ms. Sandy surprised Yada Ramirez with a Best Actress trophy for her memorable portrayal of St. Nicholas. Everyone agreed that the event was a huge success and the perfect way to end our amazing fall semester full of joy, love, generosity, and fun.

-submitted by Rebecca Sandy

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Meet Shannon McIver, CTAE Administrative Assistant

When did you begin working for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education?

February 12, 2020

What was your position and where did you work before joining CTAE?

Secretary, Technology Services

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

My favorite thing about working for CTE is the people I work with. Everyone has been very supportive and patient while I learn my new role. I absolutely love that I am kept busy. Every day it seems there is something new to learn and I find that exciting. The knowledge I am gaining and the ability to grow with this department is priceless!

Where did you grow up?

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Which teacher inspired you most when you were younger?

My mother inspired me the most.

Where did you attend college or post-secondary education?

I went directly from high school into a secretarial position.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am an arts and crafts lover. I dabble in all art genres but find repurposing items the most fulfilling. It amazes me how everyday items can be transformed into something new and beautiful. Vintage glass art is by far my favorite. I love how the light plays on the colors and cuts. I learned that not all milk glass is not opaque. Older milk glass when held to a light will glow orange around the edges. This is referred to as the ring of fire. Milk glass manufacturers used iridized salts to produce the glass, creating an iridescent effect.

Anything else you want to share with our CTAE community?

I have been with Pasco County Schools for over 15 years. I began as a substitute teacher, worked as an Instructional Assistant at Richey Elementary, was an RMA at Trinity Elementary and Cotee River Elementary prior to moving into a District Office position.

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We want to hear from you!


• What ideas have you come up with to adapt your CTE courses to an online format?

• What's been your favorite new tool, app or resource this school year?

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