February 2021 • Volume 1• Issue 6

Dr. Sharon L. Contreras, Superintendent


Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares all students for high-skill, high-wage or in-demand careers. The experience begins with career inspiration in Pre-K, awareness in elementary school, exploration in middle school, and preparation in high school. CTE equips students for post-secondary education and immediate employment opportunities to compete worldwide successfully.

The CTE Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) Stakeholder & Leader Team (a diverse group of internal and external leaders) meet twice a year to shift from merely collecting information to more intentionality in implementing and sustaining CTE programs as a regular part of our overall district’s data-driven decision making and program improvement cycles - updated every two years. The CLNA Team also ensures our CTE programming supports and creates workplace and economic success for students, employers, and the community. As we move forward, CTE is focused on intentional improvement efforts around The Six C's: We are increasing the number of Concentrators, industry-recognized Credentials, College credits earned by our students, Career placements as we provide work-based learning experiences, Courageous partnerships to benefit our entire community, and Continued innovation to provide our students with the ultimate classroom to career experience!


Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. This year the Guilford County Schools CTE Department is hosting its first CTE Month Video Contest! The grand prize given to the contest winners will be a virtual reality kit for the CTE program at their school! There will be one middle school and one high school grand prize winner. The winning video will be selected on February 26, 2021 and shared on the CTE website and social media platforms.

The 2021 GCS CTE Month Video Contest is open to any individual/group of middle or high school CTE students in GCS. The purpose of the contest is to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Guilford County Schools (GCS) during CTE Month. Please click here for contest rules and guidelines. Submissions are due by February 22, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. Be sure to include the 2021 CTE Month Video Contest Release Form with your submission. Please submit entries here. For information about CTE Month, please visit the ACTE website.

A Virtual Field Trip to the Piedmont Triad International Airport

Left to Right: Mr. Jon Comer, Andrews Aviation Academy Instructor pictured at the Piedmont-Triad International Airport.

The Aviation II Honor’s class at the Andrews Aviation Academy was able to “Get into Industry” virtually by engaging and exploring the hangar, aircraft, and mechanical systems at the Piedmont-Triad International Airport. Mr. Comer took this opportunity to provide his students with a real-world virtual experience. The students discussed the airport layout, examined the interior and exterior of an airplane, and learned about aviation maintenance requirements. Mr. Comer continues to find ways to open up his classroom during remote learning, and he did just that by driving to the airport and conducting class from inside the cockpit. Mr. Comer, thank you for pivoting during the pandemic to ensure students can visualize what they do and who they can become.

The goal of myFutureNC is to ensure 2 million North Carolinians (25-44) obtain high-quality credentials or postsecondary degrees by 2030.

The statewide nonprofit organization, myFutureNC, promotes a shared vision for an education-through-workforce continuum across North Carolina (from early childhood through adulthood) and aligns and coordinates local, regional, and state actions that will dramatically increase attainment of valuable credentials and postsecondary degrees. Their work is guided by meeting or exceeding a goal of at least two million North Carolinians by 2030 with valuable, high-quality credentials and postsecondary degrees that will lead to a stronger, more competitive, and prosperous North Carolina. GCS CTE supports this goal and continues to promote credential opportunities and postsecondary course work for students while they are still in high school. Together, we can reach this worthy goal to the betterment of our community and workforce.

CTE and Guilford Apprenticeship Partners (GAP) Promote a Promising Career. College Degree. Zero Debt.

With 185 current apprentices, Guilford County is fortunate to have one of the largest, fastest-growing youth apprenticeship alliances in the state through Guilford Apprenticeship Partners (GAP). Our CTE GAP students learn advanced skills, accelerate into a stable career, and become leaders within the industry while in high school!

High school students can join the growing number of professionals at local companies that have a vision for building a talented workforce. The pandemic did not stop CTE from ensuring that students for the upcoming school year; CTE Career and College Managers and school-based Counselors were able to learn about GAP virtually and the apprenticeships in four different industry sectors: (1) Advanced Manufacturing, (2) IT/Cybersecurity, (3) Automotive, and (4) HVAC/Electrical/ Plumbing.

To date, there have been ten Virtual GAP Information Sessions and ongoing Virtual GAP Industry Tours/Open Houses for students. We are proud to share that 200 GCS students applied to GAP, 96 were eligible, and 87 were accepted to attend the GAP Invitational Week to engage with local businesses who are seeking 50 apprentices this year.

Mr. Toriano Baldwin is the Newest Member of CompTIA's National CTE Advisory Council!

Mr. Toriano Baldwin, a Computer Engineering Technology Pathway teacher and CTE Pathway Innovator at High Point Central High School.

CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce, announced on February 10, 2021 the formation of a new council to lead a national dialog focused on accelerating career pathways in technology. The CompTIA National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Council will include representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including High Point Central High School’s Toriano Baldwin. “We strongly believe that CTE will play a critical role in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated household finances and changed educational plans for many families,” said Angel L. Piñeiro Jr., vice president, strategic academic relationships, at CompTIA. “With the help of an elite group of educators and other leaders we intend to raise national awareness of CTE as a creator of opportunities for careers that will provide a better way of life for multiple generations to come and to do so in a way that addresses digital inequity head-on.”

More than 30 individuals representing 22 states have already joined the CompTIA CTE Advisory Council, including educators from Mississippi and Texas. “CTE holds great promise as the solution to fill this need, and to do so in a way that minimizes the cost of acquiring skills and accelerates the process of preparing people with the employability skills that allow them to contribute from day one on the job,” said Piñeiro. “The Technology Student Association (TSA) values CompTIA's support of IT careers through its many educational initiatives,” said Dr. Rosanne White, TSA executive director. “By assembling a group of national stakeholders to explore emerging tech, best practices, workforce development and diversity, the council’s efforts will help administrators, educators and students with a dedicated interest in career and technical education.” The CompTIA National CTE Advisory Council intends to design strategies to diversify the tech workforce and shape the future of CTE tech curriculum.

Article contribution made by media contact Steven Ostrowski CompTIA, apineiro@comptia.org and NCDPI consultant Kimberly Forbes, kim.forbes@dpi.nc.gov.

Weaver Academy's Media Production Studio Upgraded to Reflect Industry!

In reimaging school design and the up-fitting of classroom spaces, the media production lab at Weaver Academy was recently up-fitted to reflect business and industry with upgrades to the studio, additional edit bays, and a sound booth. Students in the CTE Media Productions Pathway are able to script, produce, film, edit and pitch ideas under the television and film industry. The lab can also be used to air live or pre-recorded special segments for the Superintendent, Dr. Sharon L. Contreras. The segments will be entirely produced and edited by Media Production Pathway students at Weaver Academy!

A production set equipped with industry relevant equipment and accessories.

A media production control room with sound booths and enclosed editing bays.

Editing stations equipped with Apple® desktop computers!

The Media Production Pathway at Weaver Academy is equipped with a control room, a recording studio, an editing suite and a production office!

MyFox8 Features the Newly Remodeled Signature Career Academy at Western Guilford High School

Western Guilford High School Signature Career Academy of Transportation, Distribution & Global Logistics is ready to welcome students back to the campus! The Western Guilford High School Signature Career Academy of Transportation, Distribution & Global Logistics supports two CTE Pathways: (1) Drone Technology Pathway and the (2) Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management Pathway. These state-of-the-art spaces have been completely renovated to reflect the environment of industry/business. CTE pathway prepares students for careers, not just graduation, to truly understand the transportation, distribution, and logistics industry. Innovative equipment sets this lab apart from all the rest. There is a Skill Boss Logistics Trainer, cutting-edge technology in the Logistics’ world, and was the first k-12 school in NC to implement this technology into a CTE program. This system is a working automated distribution system that performs real-world operations, such as package tracking, automatic package queuing, and priority release. The Logistics trainer allows students to get certified with at least three different certifications widely known by the industry.

There is a Drone Test & Flight simulation space and Redbird Jay Velocity Flight Simulators in the Drone Pathway. These simulators are widely used across K-12 Aviation and Aerospace STEM programs but one of the first in any CTE Program and high school in North Carolina. The Redbird simulators simulate a pilot’s perspective on flying and safely landing a plane based on various weather conditions and times. Students in the Drone Technology Pathway can obtain their FAA Part107 license as early as age 16. CTE encourages students to be dual enrolled at the technical college, seek opportunities within a paid internship or apprenticeship, and hone-in on those students who would like to pursue entrepreneurial ventures as a Drone Pilot. Check out the video above for more details and to see the newly updated space!

• CTSO Spotlight: Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) •

Congratulations to the Northwest Guilford High School (NWHS) DECA District Team for earning 11 medals and 3 finalists awards at the DECA District Virtual Competition in November. Patrick Cullinan placed 3rd and Vincent Cagno placed 6th in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Event. Bella Jansson placed 4th in the Apparel and Accessories Merchandising Event. Next, they will compete at the DECA Virtual State Competition. Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Hosts a Virtual SciTech Week!

(Left to Right): Young Scientists & Technologists Day on March 15. Inspiring Minds Seminar on March 17. Women in Science and Technology Day (WiST) on March 19.

The Office of Student Success at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) College of Science and Technology is hosting their annual SciTech Week on March 15-19, 2021. The purpose of SciTech Week is to educate and expose students to STEM-focused career pathways.

On March 15th from 10am-1pm, they are hosting our Young Scientists & Technologists Day. High school students can interact with NCA& T faculty instructors during interactive sessions. Students will see live demos and have a chance to ask STEM-related questions. They will also get an opportunity to see and learn what NC A&T offers as they continue to plan for their future.

On March 17th, they will be hosting their Inspiring Minds Seminar. This is catered to young black males in learning how to navigate the STEM world as a black male. The young men will have a chance to interact and gain wisdom from influential black male leaders who are thriving and leading in the world of STEM.

On March 19th, they will be hosting a Women in Science and Technology Day (WiST). The morning portion is catered to high school young ladies who will have a chance to see and interact with influential women in STEM.

Registration is open now until March 5th. The link is listed located below. Once registered, the event link will be sent out to each student with clear instructions. Parents are encouraged to join in with their students if they are able. We look forward our GCS CTE students participating in this exciting event!

North Carolina Association for Career & Technical Education (NCACTE) Policy Seminar

Register by clicking here.

The Legislative Policy Seminar will be on February 23rd, 2021, from 8:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m. There will be a great platform of speakers that will share their visions for education and CTE in North Carolina. They have also agreed to take a few questions at the end of each presentation. We encourage you to take the time to join virtually and advocate for and share the many benefits of CTE in our North Carolina Classrooms. If you are a teacher who wishes to participate with a group of students during any of the speaker segments, please indicate this request on the registration. Registration is easy; just click on the link below the picture. Be sure to register today, February 17, 2021. We hope to see you there!

A Look Ahead for March 2021...

In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. Click here for more information on Women's History Month.

• GCS CTE Staff •

Dr. Eboni Camille Chillis • Interim Chief Innovation Officer & CTE Executive Director

Nancy Cross • GCS CTE Director

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Guilford County Schools CTE Department