The CTAE Connector

From the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

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February 2022 • Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce

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Celebrating CTE Month!

February is a special time for us, as we celebrate Career and Technical Education Month by highlighting the academies, programs and courses that provide engaging, work-based learning for students throughout our county. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages all month to learn more about the teachers, staff, students and courses that ensure we are "Preparing Today for Tomorrow's Workforce"!

We are pleased to announce that Emily Lamb has been promoted to CTAE Program Coordinator, replacing Dr. Christopher Brantley. Emily has served as CTAE's Learning Design Specialist since July 2020, supporting new teachers, PLC teams, professional development initiatives, curriculum development, and technical issues specific to our work. This new role will allow her to continue to positively impact Pasco's evolving career, technical and adult educational development.

As always, we appreciate your support of our students and schools!

Please feel free to contact us at 813-794-2204, 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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Making a Difference!

We are so proud of the difference our teachers and staff make every day in the lives of their students. Once in a while, they get additional reminders of the positive influence they bring to their schools. That's our "why" and what keeps us going every day, doing "what's best for kids."

Ms. Stephanie Frane-Colon, Career Specialist at Land O' Lakes High School, received this note from a former student:

"My name is --- and I graduated from LOLHS in 2017. I don't know if you remember me, but I remember sitting in your career office during lunch my entire senior year. I just want to reach out and thank you for being an amazing support for me and my classmates. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but thank you, thank you, thank you. My parents didn't go to college, so I learned pretty much everything I knew about college from you and my classmates.

"One distinct anecdote I have of you is when you took me to the LOLHS spare clothes closet for me to pick out a nicer shirt when you learned that I had an interview with Yale in half an hour. If not for you, I would have shown up to that interview in a hand-me-down, ink-stained gray sweatshirt.

"I graduated from Yale in May 2021 with a B.S. in Biology and I am currently a first year at Yale School of Medicine. I hope you know how much of a difference you made in my and many other students' lives."

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Visit the CTAE STEM Bus at PHSC's Family Fun Festival and Health Fair on February 5th!

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Explore Marchman Technical College!

Marchman Technical College is hosting their annual "Sneak Peek" event. This event is open to the public for high school seniors and the community to tour the college, meet the instructors and also learn about the admissions process. The event will be held March 3rd from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The application for fall 2022 opens March 1st.

- submitted by Kim Dunn

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We want to hear from you!

• 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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WCHS Wildcat Wins PTA Reflections Honors

Savannah Stevens, a student in The Academy of Digital Video Production at Wesley Chapel High School entered the Reflections competition sponsored for the National P.T.A. Not only did Savannah win first place at the high school level but she also won first place at the County level and will be moving on to States with her video. There will be a Zoom celebration for the High School winners (TBA) and there was be a County Reflections Celebration at the Museum of Science and Industry on January 26th.

Here is a link to the winning video
Congratulations, Savannah!

- submitted by Stephanie Bertig, WCHS teacher

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The G.O.A.T. Inspires CCMS Students

In honor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making it to the playoffs, Mrs. Steffens' Introduction to Arts, A/V Technology and Communication class at Cypress Creek Middle School digitally painted a picture of Quarterback Tom Brady using the rotoscope technique. Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films. Originally, recorded live-action film images were projected onto a frosted glass panel and re-drawn by an animator. This projection equipment is called a rotoscope.

- submitted by Stephanie Steffens, CCMS teacher

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MTC Filmmakers to Compete in Festival

Marchman Technical College Digital Cinema Production Program is partnering with JL Video to host a film festival. The event will be held 2/26/22 at 6:00 PM at the Starkey Market. Several students will be participating in the festival.

- submitted by Kim Dunn

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FBLA Bulldogs Head to State Competition!

Please give a shout out to these Zephyrhills High students for winning at the FBLA District XI Leadership Conference on January 21, 2022. They are now eligible to advance to the state level competition.

Mercedes Collins – 1st Place – Introduction to Parliamentary Procedures
Rehanna Mangroo (team) – 2nd Place – Introduction to Event Planning

Heer Patel (team) – 2nd Place – Introduction to Event Planning

- submitted by Lisa Dawson, ZHS teacher and FLBA Sponsor

Business Wildcats Continue to Build their Skills

Business Wildcats at Thomas E. Weightman Middle School explored the beginnings of a stress management plan our first Spring “SEL Day.”
Students learned teamwork through fun building stations: mind blocks and block stacking completions with bridge building are putting, “Soft Skill Fridays” off to a great start this semester! Some advanced builders have started on solar robot construction.

- submitted by Jenna Eyers, TEWMS teacher

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River Ridge Future Educators Ride the Wave to Success!


At the 2022 Florida Future Educators of America (FFEA) conference, RRHS Knights proudly represented Pasco County and earned several accolades:

1st Place in STATE - Chapter Display

3rd Place in STATE - Speech

4th Place in STATE - Research


The students joined 500+ future teachers who had the chance to hear the story of Malcom Mitchell, former wide receiver for the New England Patriots, former University of Georgia football team member, and now CEO of a non-profit that has touched the lives of 300,000 kids!

River Ridge’s very own Trista Mendes, RRHS FFEA President, introduced the 2022 Florida Teacher of the Year, Sarah Smart Painter, for her keynote presentation.

New Teacher Academy instructor Beth Hess, RRHS Assistant Principal Jessica Meek and Raynee Meek, NTA alumna, presented “Nuts and Bolts of High School Teacher Preparation Programs”.

The conference was filled with presentations, inspiration, competition and connections for future educators from throughout the state! #inspirethedesiretoteach

- submitted by Beth Hess, RRHS teacher and Raynee Meek, RRHS NTA alumna

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Medical Skills Students Shine in HOSA Competitions!

Dr. John Long Middle School's Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) students Kahlan Crespo, Gabriella Ginesin, and Alejandra Calderon-Arzube have advanced to HOSA state competition.

In the Winter Regional Conference, Kahlan placed 3rd in Medical Terminology, and Gabriella and Alejandra placed 3rd in Medical Innovation with their team project on Gene therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia. Congratulations and good luck at States!

- submitted by Anna-Maria Livdal, JLMS teacher

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New Beginnings

English language learners in the adult education program at Wesley Chapel High School immediately hit the ground running with introductory projects about their past and present. Students participated in a scavenger hunt in the classroom to develop teamwork and to practice vocabulary and active reading. Classmates worked together to unpack a story and followed up with activities for the whole class.

On January 25, Wesley Chapel High hosted the east-side adult education graduation once again. Graduation was an exciting time as two former ESOL students completed the childcare program. (Pictured: Alondra Andrade and Yulma Zerpa).

- submitted by Rebecca Sandy, Adult Education ESOL instructor

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Meet Director Dr. Lori Romano!

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

November 2019

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

Senior Supervisor of State and Federal Programs

What's your favorite thing about working for CTAE?

Working to provide career-connected learning opportunities for students throughout our school district.

Where did you grow up?

Jupiter, Florida

Which teacher inspired you most when you were growing up?

My grandmother was my first teacher and she inspired me to be anything I wanted to be.

Where did you attend college or post-secondary education?

Troy State University (B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education); Auburn University (M.S. in Educational Counseling); Virginia Tech (Ph.D. in Special Education and Educational Leadership)

What do you like to do in your free time?

Pen and ink drawings; Zentangle; Read and learn; Spend time with my daughter, Alexandra; Ride my Peloton; Bike on the Suncoast Trail; Watch old movies; Scuba dive; Hike in the Pacific Northwest; Cook, sew, and craft

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