CATEC September 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.

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Director's Message

Welcome Families

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping-up September and our school year really is officially launched! The end of the quarter will be here before you know it on October 28th. This fall has been especially exciting as we have reopened our school to all of our students. I am so proud of the professionalism and care our students are showing our school community by wearing their masks and following other mitigation measures.

If you would like access to your student's CATEC grades, you can access them though PowerSchool. If you need instructions on how to do so, we are providing directions in English and Spanish. Please reach out to CATEC if you need additional assistance.

Last week our students sat for the Workplace Readiness Skills Assessment. At CATEC, preparing our students for work includes teaching them soft skills that employers value. Our students have already learned and practiced: professionalism, career and life management, and workplace safety. These skills are as valuable as their trade skills and will take them far in their careers. We will work for the rest of the year to help our students achieve the CTECS Workplace Readiness Skills certification to add to their portfolio.

As we head into October, your students will get uniforms that promote professionalism, but also provide safety measures specific to their trade. If your student does not have something they need, do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you to all of our families for supporting CATEC! We are thrilled to have you and your student in our school community!


Stephanie Carter

Schoolwide Information

Calendar Dates

October 13- half day

October 19- CATEC Center Board and Joint Board Meeting, 5:00-8:00 pm via Zoom

October 28- Culinary Arts Food Bus Technical Eats! is selling homemade lunch items from the CATEC parking lot

October 29- ACPS Professional Development Day, students do not attend

In the News

CATEC prides itself on setting students up for success both while enrolled at CATEC and upon graduation. CATEC students receive industry attire and personal protective equipment to ensure industry and safety standards are in place while training. This year, CATEC partnered with Red Wing Shoes on Abbey Road to outfit 80 students across three programs safety boots. Read and see more about this event:

NBC29 News

CBS19 News

Daily Progress

CATEC Students are Professional: Workplace Readiness

CATEC values making sure students leave our building 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 September, students practiced skills related to professionalism, career and life management, and workplace safety. Additionally, students participate in monthly Career Development sessions where they practice skills needed to get jobs and keep them to create a lasting career.

CATEC Academics

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

Economics and Personal Finance: David Topper

Did you know that in May 2020 Intuit conducted a survey that showed that 65% of Americans did not know how much they spent the prior month? With this in mind, students' first unit is on, yes, you guessed it… BUDGETING! Students will discuss topics such as: What is a budget? Why is a budget important? How can I budget to save for things like: an apartment, a car, emergency funds, retirement.

MYTH I don’t have to create a budget until I’m an adult.

FACT If you have any amount of money, you can create a budget to help you keep track of it! There is no minimum age requirement to start creating a budget; in fact, the sooner you create one, the sooner you can get a handle on your expenses and savings!

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.

Caityln Bishop, Culinary Arts II Student

Kaitlyn Bishop is a second-year Culinary Arts student who uses her CATEC skills in the real world. The Monticello High School senior practices her culinary skills in the CATEC kitchen and hones these skills at her part-time job. Culinary Arts Executive Chef Christina Rizzo says Bishop is “very dedicated to learning culinary skills and we are very glad she is back for her second year at CATEC.” Working at her aunt’s soul food restaurant, Royalty Eats on Cherry Avenue, Bishop prepares catering orders and performs serving and customer service duties when she is not in school. Upon competition of her Culinary Arts program in May 2022, she intends to enroll in PVCC’s Associate of Applied Sciences Culinary Arts Program. Earning 17 college credits from PVCC through her CATEC Culinary Arts program now will help make this transition seamless. Bishop says she will continue working at Royalty Eats while in college, but hopes to one day open her own bakery. Her favorite thing to bake is red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Lanyah Cabell, Cosmetology I Student

Lanyah Cabell is a first year Cosmetology student who is bringing her work skills into the classroom. Cabell has been working as a salon assistant at Moxie Hair and Body Lounge on Preston Avenue for three years. What started out as a summer internship through Community Attention Youth Internship (CAYIP) has now developed into interest she is pursuing at CATEC. As a salon assistant she provides customer service, cleans the salon, and shampoos clients. In addition to working part-time, she also pursues extracurricular activities year-round. In the fall, Cabell participates in Charlottesville High School’s marching band, playing both trumpet and French horn. In the winter, she plays varsity basketball. And in the spring, she plays junior varsity and varsity lacrosse. Last year, she was features on the local news for basketball. What is loves most about participating in these activities is the family-like bond she forms with her CHS band or team mates. When she graduates from high school in 2023, Cabell hopes to attend college at Old Dominion University to study to become a therapist.

Each month, we introduce you to one of CATEC's programs, including information about curriculum, academic integration, college credit, and career opportunities.


September is National Food Safety Month and CATEC's Culinary Arts program worked hard to get its students certified in industry-recognized food safety programs. The ServSafe food safety certifications, created for the National Restaurant Association, focus on personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, safe food preparation, food safety procedures, and recently added COVID-19 safety precautions.

This training ensures that students are prepared to practice their developing culinary skills in CATEC’s commercial kitchen. Culinary Arts I students began the school year learning about food safety through their ServSafe Food Handler training. Culinary Arts Instructor Josh Davis says, “It is very important for the Culinary I students to learn the basics of food safety and receive the Food Handler certification because there are many restaurants that require it to work in the food industry.” Returning students in the Culinary Arts II program, who are already ServSafe Food Handler-certified, will study for their ServSafe Manager credentialing throughout the school year. Culinary Arts Executive Chef Christina Rizzo says the advanced certification “verifies that a person-in-charge has food safety knowledge to protect the public from foodborne illness. By receiving a Manager certificate, our Culinary Arts II students will be able to further themselves in the foodservice industry and be prepared to take a management position.”

Skills and College Credit

The two-year CATEC Culinary Arts program prepares students for work as chefs/cooks, bakers/pastry helpers, pastry decorators, dietic assistants, food demonstrators, and work in the hospitality industry. Students can earn up to 17 college credits through CATEC’s dual-enrollment agreement with Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Students can easily transition to PVCC’s Culinary Arts program. This post-secondary program blends professional and technical courses with hands-on training. The 67-credit program allows students to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science.

Academic Integration

For the 2021-2022 school year CATEC is excited to announce that it is offering academic integration into the Culinary Arts program. CATEC English teacher Megan Panek pushes into Culinary Arts classes to offer English 10 and English 11 as part of their culinary experience. Students enrolled in these English classes receive full English credit along with their Culinary Arts credit, participating in all normal culinary curriculum but supplementing their time with English studies. These students read culinary-based non-fiction and fiction rooted in the culinary world and practice their writing skills based around their culinary experiences.

Community Involvement

The Culinary Arts program continues to form local partnerships. In spring 2021, Siller Pollinator Company installed two bee hives on CATEC property to not only improve local bee populations, but also provide the Culinary Arts program with honey. Cultivate Charlottesville has begun preparing land to move its community garden program to CATEC property in spring 2022. The Culinary Arts program will benefit from the garden produce as well.

The Culinary Arts program has also begun a new partnership within Albemarle County Public Schools. Albemarle High School’s junior varsity and varsity football coach David Topper is working with the Culinary Arts program to offer healthy meals to his football players for away games. The Culinary Arts program will make boxed meals that contain a sandwich or wrap, chips, fruit, and a cookie.

Real-World, Hands-On Learning

In 2017, the Culinary Arts program launched its food bus, Technical Eats!, which allows students to prepare and serve food outside of the CATEC building, getting to interact with the public and have the practice of working in a fast-paced environment. For the second year, Technical Eats! will be set up in the CATEC parking lot once a month to sell lunch items to the public. Be on the lookout for the next Technical Eats! event in the CATEC parking lot on Thursday, October 28th. Come by to purchase your lunch made by Culinary Arts students.

Meet the Instructor: Josh Davis

Chef Davis received his Associate Degree from the Culinary Institute of Virginia. He worked in several restaurants in Virginia Beach, spending much of his time cooking traditional Italian cuisine. He worked as Executive Chef in Lake Gaston before moving to Charlottesville to work as Head Chef at a local winery. He loves working with CATEC's students and guiding them into a career field in which he shares their passion.

Meet the Instructor: Christina Rizzo

Mrs. Rizzo's love for food and serving others started at a young age when her parents took over their church’s kitchen. In 2004, she started her own catering business, which she still operates with her family. Her teaching career started as instructor for Ready, Set, Cook, a class offered by Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and FUMC, which taught low-income and homeless adults cooking skills and ServSafe. Christina holds a ServSafe Managers Certification and is a Certified ServSafe Instructor and Registered Examination Proctor. Christina began her career with the Culinary Arts program in 2018.