Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter event high­lights pro­grams for stu­dents

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - For more in­for­ma­tion about CTE pro­grams, go to

Ash­ley Breads has dis­sected a heart and brain, she’s con­ducted an elec­tro­car­dio­gram — bet­ter known as an EKG — and has learned from Johns Hop­kins physi­cians. She’s a sopho­more in high school. With her eye on a sur­gi­cal ca­reer, Breads is in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Bio­med­i­cal Sciences pro­gram at Thomas Stone High School. It is one of the pro­grams in Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion (CTE) of Charles County Public Schools (CCPS).

The bio­med­i­cal class is “one of the classes I look for­ward to,” Breads said. “And the teach­ers are a big part of that.” Her CTE classes have al­lowed Breads a wider view of the med­i­cal land­scape. “It opened my mind to how broad the med­i­cal field is,” she said. “I’ve been ex­posed to many dif­fer­ent ca­reer fields.”

Dur­ing a pro­gram held at the Wal­dorf West branch of the Charles County Public Li­brary, CTE stu­dents in the pro­gram’s var­i­ous fields spoke to county and state lead­ers about the im­por­tance of CTE and how it en­riches a tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion.

Ri­ley Jed­lowski, a se­nior at St. Charles High School, uses skills she has learned in PLTW Path­way to En­gi­neer­ing in other ar­eas of her ev­ery­day life. “I’ve learned proper prob­lem solv­ing and brain storm­ing that have shaped the way I think,” she said.

Like Breads, she ap­pre­ci­ates CTE for guid­ing her to­ward a po­ten­tial ca­reer path that suits her. “It al­lows you to guide your­self in the di­rec­tion right for you,” Jed­lowski said.

“With­out it, I would go into a job I don’t like,” Lisette LaFon­tant, a North Point High School se­nior in the Mary­land Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute. “This is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents.” LaFon­tant said she will likely not pur­sue a ca­reer in fire safety. “But I gained some knowl­edge, con­nected with peers,” she said. “That is spe­cial to me.”

L ynne Gilli, as­sis­tant state su­per­in­ten­dent of the divi­sion of ca­reer and col­lege readi­ness for the Mary­land State De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, and Irene Padilla, as­sis­tant state su­per­in­ten­dent of the divi­sion of li­brar y de­vel­op­ment and ser vices with MSDE, along with other state of­fi­cials, at­tended the CTE event — the ninth out of 24 that will be hosted in Mary­land.

Gilli said Mary­land has a na­tional rep­u­ta­tion for hav­ing a ro­bust CTE pro­gram. In 1992, 14 per­cent of CTE stu­dents were both col­lege and ca­reer ready. Now, the num­ber has jumped to 61 per­cent, she said.

“We are at the fore­front of pre­par­ing stu­dents,” Gilli said.

She was once in the shoes of CTE stu­dents, tak­ing cos­me­tol­ogy classes while in high school and work­ing at her mother’s sa­lon while go­ing to col­lege part time. She was able to buy her first home at 25 and had no school loans.

“When you have to get up and make money, you look at work dif­fer­ently,” Gilli said.

CCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Kim­berly Hill said stu­dents need a diploma, but they also need skills. Ed­u­ca­tion is not sim­ply aca­demics, but learn­ing to com­mu­ni­cate, co­or­di­nate and work to­gether to­ward achiev­ing goals. “A work ethic can­not be dis­counted,” she said.

Learn­ing to stick to a task, per­se­ver­ing through it, com­mit­ting the time and en­ergy to it are skills that can be found in all CTE pro­grams and stu­dents, Hill said.

Cur­rently, pro­grams of­fered are Ca­reer Re­search and De­vel­op­ment, Mary­land Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute, PLTW Bio­med­i­cal Sciences, PLTW Path­way to En­gi­neer­ing and Teacher Academy of Mary­land (TAM). Start­ing in 2017, Busi­ness Man­age­ment and Fi­nance and Com­puter Sci­ence will be avail­able.

Da’Juon Wash­ing­ton, a North Point se­nior and the Stu­dent Board Mem­ber to the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, is a TAM stu­dent. While his ul­ti­mate goal is to be the U.S. Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion, Wash­ing­ton knows he has to start some­where.

“I want to be an ed­u­ca­tor,” Wash­ing­ton said. “I al­ways wanted to make an im­pact in the field of ed­u­ca­tion, and I got to start that jour­ney while I was still in high school.”

CCPS and MSDE is part­ner­ing with the Charles County Public Li­brary to host up­com­ing events to fa­mil­iar­ize the public with CTE and its pro­grams. All events will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be one Jan. 12 at the Po­tomac branch at 3225 Ruth B. Swann Drive in In­dian Head; an­other Jan. 19 at the La Plata branch at 2 Gar­rett Ave. in La Plata; a meet­ing will be Feb. 2 at P.D. Brown Me­mo­rial Li­brary at 50 Vil­lage St. in Wal­dorf; and on Feb. 9 at the Wal­dorf West branch at 10405 O’Don­nell Place in Wal­dorf.


Lisette LaFon­tant, right, a Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent in the Mary­land Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute and North Point High School stu­dent, speaks with Charles Wal­lace, Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Mary­land State De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Dan Stevens, left, co­or­di­na­tor of the South­ern Mary­land Re­gional Train­ing Cen­ter of the Mary­land Fire and Res­cue In­sti­tute, speaks with Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­ber Bar­bara Palko dur­ing a Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion event. Palko is the for­mer co­or­di­na­tor of the CTE pro­gram for Charles County Public Schools and con­tin­ues to be an ad­vo­cate for the pro­gram.

Tiarra McIIwain, a 2016 grad­u­ate of Thomas Stone High School, speaks about her ex­pe­ri­ence as a stu­dent in the Ca­reer Re­search and De­vel­op­ment pro­gram of Charles County Public School’s Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion dur­ing an event at the Wal­dorf West branch of the Charles County Public Li­brary. McIIwain was named the CRD Stu­dent of the Year for 2016.

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