Cascadia Tech News

May 20, 2020

From our Director

We are doing great things a Cascadia Tech Academy!

-Joan Huston, Director

Cascadia Tech News - 4th Edition

Important Dates & Information

Year end pick up and drop off:
Seniors – Thursday, June 4
Juniors – Friday, June 12
The schedule and more information is posted on our website.

We are still accepting applications for 2020-2021 school year:

Apply online at

Orientation for the 2020-2021 school year:
The schedule for the virtual orientations will be posted on our website by Friday, May 22.
An in person orientation is planned for the third week of August. Please visit our website for updates.

embracing continuous learning

Cosmetology students have embraced this change to their routine and are successfully navigating the process, shared the instructional team. As the teachers anxiously addressed the how-to's of adjusting their classrooms to the on-line format, students are seamlessly adapting.

As the students are learning and practicing their skills, they continue building relationships with classmates. Instructors observe students increasing collaboration through a group chat, set up specifically for the students. Not only are they answering each others’ practical skills questions, most importantly they are supporting the emotional needs of their classmates. Instructor Shawna Johnson shared, “It makes us so very proud to witness the classroom culture the students created, consisting of professionalism, integrity, respect and being prosocial in action.”

An example of a continuous learning project assigned to the first year students, is the "Salon Project". This is an opportunity to design and create a dream salon, including researching a business license, types of insurance required, building locations and square footage law requirements. The second year student project, "A Person of Interest", requires research of an industry professional by investigating the road to their career and current specialty.

For distance learning to be successful, all four instructors collaborate, along with input from their Advisory Board. Resulting in student engagement and curriculum which is current, relevant and adaptable. Combined instructor career experience amounts to nearly 100 years of working knowledge. The current educational environment requires tapping into each and every year. Thank you Cosmetology students for being open, committed and embracing continuous learning remotely from home with professionalism and enthusiasm!

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Partnership with Dick Hannah Dealerships

Automotive Technology continues partnership with Dick Hannah Dealerships! The regional automotive sales and repair giant supports Automotive Technology students in their pursuit of a career in the industry. This year, they hosted 22 student interns for first-hand experience at one of their seven facilities ranging from Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram, Honda, Kia, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and the Collision Center.

Dick Hannah Dealerships not only employs several 2019 graduates as apprentice technicians, they also have several employees actively participating on the Automotive Advisory Board. This committee helps to strengthen the educational qualities of the program. Not stopping there, Fixed Operations Director, Gary Schuler along with former graduates, shared their expertise at this year’s SW WA Regional SkillsUSA competition. They provided practice interview experience, donated over $1,000 in prizes and sponsored state competition fees for all program students who qualified.

The Automotive Technology teaching team is grateful that Dick Hannah Dealerships recognizes and chooses to contribute to the quality of the program. Thereby increasing the opportunities and improving the experiences for the students!

Travel agency opens

Hospitality & Tourism held a ribbon cutting ceremony in October to announce Cascadia Adventures - a new full service student lead travel agency on campus. In addition to the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce lending their giant-sized scissors to clip the ribbon, many hospitality industry guests attended to support this venture.

Cascadia Adventures’ services include booking airfare, hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, train tickets, package tours, activities and travel insurance. Students assist customers by researching and reserving travel arrangements and creating a portfolio of options. Student, Starlyn Van Luik shared, “It was professional and rewarding. I liked helping people plan and book trips. I got a feel for what it's like to work for a travel agency." Cascadia Tech staff and community members have utilized theses services for upcoming summer travel. Instructor, Maria Brown is excited to offer students the opportunity to learn marketing, entrepreneurship, customer service and financing. Working directly with customers builds their confidence and knowledge in a business setting.

When school resumes in the fall, come and join Sandals Resorts as they co-host a Caribbean themed event with Cascadia Adventures. Not only experience a taste of the islands, but learn all about the travel opportunities they offer. Day and time to be announced - so stay tuned!

Cascadia Tech Grads: Where are they now?

Cody Gottsch is a 2014 Fire Science graduate from Ridgefield High School. Cody was in the program at Clark County Fire & Rescue Station 26, for both his junior and senior years. Cody was able to use credits he earned in high school while attending Central Oregon Community College in Bend. He graduated with his Emergency Medical Technician Degree and is currently an EMT with the New York City Fire Department.

When asked when he knew this was his calling, he replied, "Being in the program was that assurance for me." He continued to speak about the importance of the trip to New York City that the seniors take each year. While there, they tour several firehouses, the fire academy where New York Firefighters train, the Ground Zero Memorial and learn about the history of the fire service. "I still remember where I was standing. We just walked out of the gate (at the Fire Academy) and I just turned around, the light bulb turned on in my head and this is what I want to do...I still remember it very vividly."

Dan Ferber, Cody’s cadet instructor shared he has a sense of pride - it doesn’t matter where his students are, NYC to Seaside, OR. Connecting with the students, even 5 - 10 years later it does feel like he makes a difference. When students go on the New York trip, they get to visit Cody. He shares his experience with students and he is a great role model for them.

Getting on-the-job, real-world experience in the cadet program was important to Cody. “I was able to get this training while I was young without throwing a bunch of money into something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do," said Gottsch. He continued, that the program was life changing. When asked what he would tell future students, he said, “These are the most important years in your life. This is the time to find out what you like, focus and give it your all. Find something you love while you’re young.” Ferber added, "High school offers training wheels, no matter what program, you can put your toe in and then go for it. If you dream it, you can be it!"

Cody has no plans to return home to Ridgefield anytime soon. “Right now, I love working for the City, I have a lot invested in this and this is where I want to be...I just love it and I don’t plan on going anywhere right now.”

Interview with Cody Gottsch and Dan Ferber

Fire Science Grad - Cody Gottsch
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