CTE CONNECTIONS CHRONICLE "Where Education Meets Industry"

December 2020 • Volume 1 • Issue 4

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.

Did You Know?

• Feature Articles •

CTE is Awarded an $80,000 Coding and Mobile App Development Grant

On Friday, December 18, 2020, GCS CTE was awarded $80,000.00 to support, strengthen, and fuel the talent pipeline for industry demands in technology-related careers in the Piedmont-Triad and beyond. According to Code.org, North Carolina currently has 16,008 open computing jobs, which is 3.7 times higher than the average demand rate across all states. The average salary for a computing occupation in North Carolina is $92,273, which is significantly higher than the state's average salary ($47,200). The existing jobs alone represent the opportunity for $1,477,102,840 in annual wages. The Coding and Mobile App Development Grant award fosters growth for Guilford County Schools' teachers, our unique partnerships, and the focus on coding will provide high-quality professional development access.

GCS CTE focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, along with industry support to prepare our students to bridge the talent gap in high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand computer science fields within CTE and in our two Computer and Information Sciences Signature Career Academies at Northeast Guilford and Kearns Academy.

CTE plans to partner with Education Farm (EdFarm: Cultivate & Change through Innovation & Invention), the Eastern Triad Workforce Initiative (ETWI), and NC A&T State University's Cybersecurity Department. This award will support our instructors' professional development, the establishment of competitive Coding Clubs, APP development to improve user experience (UX) and user-interface (UI), and relevant work-based learning opportunities for our students.

In 2017, the NC General Assembly established the Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program to support opportunities for North Carolina students to learn computer science, coding, and mobile app development to help them gain the skills needed to (1) create and contribute, not just use and consume, in the digital economy; and (2) actively engage as informed citizens in our complex, technology-driven world.

CTE Spotlights Southern Guilford High School’s Plant Systems Pathway

Left to Right: Caleb Weems, Lauryn McDaniel, Logan Beaman, Montgomery Scism, 2019-2020 Southern Guilford FFA Officers, Chris Davis, Pastor of Community Baptist Church, Isis Giron, Keenan Haith, Nataleigh Boyles and Isley Fryar, 2019-2020 Southern Guilford FFA Officers

Annually, for thirty-plus years, Southern Guilford High School’s Plant Systems Pathway students have grown and sold poinsettias for the holiday season. CTE Instructor Brad Hensley’s Horticulture II course students grow, nurture, produce, and market the vibrant plants. Production involves students understanding that poinsettias are photoperiodic and need around sixty straight “short days” where plants will receive less light than they do darkness. The response to these “short days” is a color change in the bracts (modified leaves) of the poinsettias giving them their festive colors of red, white, and many others. Students experience the full cycle of production and sales marketing by wrapping the poinsettias in traditional foils seen in retail stores. The plants are sold to local churches, community members, and Guilford County Schools staff. Proceeds of the sales go back into the Agricultural Science program to support spring plant production, greenhouse repairs/improvements, and Southern Guilford High School's chapter of The National FFA Organization, a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), that focuses on leadership and competitive events.

“Our Superintendent, Dr. Sharon L. Contreras is an advocate for advancing CTE programming that aligns directly with forecasted industries that expand economic and workforce development in Guilford County and beyond,” said Dr. Eboni Camille Chillis, Interim Chief Innovation Officer. We have positioned ourselves to be intentional for our GCS graduates to be a prepared and competent talent pipeline in high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand careers.

Left to Right: Plant Systems Pathway students and FFA chapter members present poinsettias and freshly hatched eggs to Dr. Eboni Camille Chillis (Interim Chief Innovation Officer), Nancy Cross (CTE Director), Anita Sharpe (Board Member), Dr. Sharon L. Contreras (Superintendent), Meghan Bartlett (CTE/FFA student), Nataleigh Boyles (CTE/FFA student), Dr. Brian Muller (Principal) and Keenan Haith, (CTE/FFA student).

Southwest HS Fall Blood Drive

(Left to Right): Jhascia Green (Healthcare Professional Pathway student ) and Reece Burmeister ( Healthcare Professional Pathway student).

Healthcare Professional Pathway students in the Nursing Fundamental course at Southwest Guilford High School sponsored a Fall Blood Drive in partnership with the American Red Cross and the Covenant United Methodist Church in High Point. The students in this pathway have career ambitions to enter the healthcare field and the opportunity to graduate with their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate. Together with their partners, these CTE students were able to give back to our community by collecting 17 units of blood! For more information about the American Red Cross, click here.

Picture to the Left.: (Left to Right) Jhascia Green (student), Riyasha Gautam (Healthcare Professional Pathway students), Mrs. Dusek (Healthcare Professional Pathway Teacher at SWGHS) , Reece Burmeister (Healthcare Professional Pathway students), Karla Rubio-Hernandez (student).

CTE Students Win the Antibiotics Awareness Artwork Competition!

CTE students in Healthcare Professional Pathway at Southwest Guilford High School won the Antibiotics Awareness Artwork Competition "Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care Campaign". This campaign is CDC's national educational effort to improve antibiotic prescribing among healthcare providers, educate the public about the appropriate use of antibiotics, and combat antibiotic resistance.

1st Place Winner: Manvi Gandla

3rd Place Winner: Namasvi Patel

Manvi and Namasvi's creativity will help to educate the citizens of North Carolina on the following issues: using COVID-19 antibiotics effectively and understanding the need for antibiotics. Along with a trophy, their artwork will be displayed on the North Carolina (NC) Division of Public Health's website, NC Health Departments, and other NC state buildings, as well as in NC schools to educate others on the importance of prevention activities and Antibiotic Awareness. We are so very proud of Manvi and Namasvi for showcasing their talent and knowledge within healthcare education, explicitly highlighting bacteria, viruses and prevention control.

• CTE Teacher Spotlight •

Opal Blair, Family and Consumer Science Teacher and CTE Pathway Innovator, Ragsdale High School

Family and Consumer Science (FCS) teacher and CTE Pathway Innovator, Opal Blair, will celebrate her 10th anniversary with Lucy Ragsdale High School in January 2021. “What I love about being a CTE teacher is more than just teaching content. It is the teachable moments that stem from the curriculum about life, dreams, and goals. When former students thank me for impacting their lives, it reminds me why I teach; when they enter careers to serve children, it is a cherry on top!”, said Ms. Blair. She served GCS as an After-school Care Enrichment Services (ACES) group leader and coordinator. Opal's real-world experiences as an after-school program administrator and her time serving the youngest learners in child development centers made her transition to Early Childhood Education highly effective. North Carolina’s CTE Division recently selected Ms. Blair to join the FCS Curriculum Revision Team for Child Development. During her 18-month appointment, she will have an excellent opportunity to serve both her industry and education profession while demonstrating state-level leadership in curriculum and instruction.

Opal Blair’s Major Milestones

2019: Earned M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

2020: Recognized as the FOX 8 News “Teacher of the Week”

2020: Featured Presenter for the National Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)-CareerTech Vision 2020 Virtual Conference

CTE's Proof of Learning

NC CTE is currently transitioning from multiple-choice exams to hands-on, authentic assessments to measure student proficiency. There are three Proof of Learning (POL) formats for the 2020-2021 school year. These assessments allow students to demonstrate readiness for entry-level careers, signify competency in content objectives, and prepare for college or career ambitions in high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations!

NC CTE State Assessment: Students in courses assigned to this POL will take an in-person secured exam during the state assessment window following state guidelines.

Industry-Recognized Credential(s): Students in classes assigned to this POL will attempt to earn an industry-recognized credential aligned to the course content successfully.

Performance-Based Measure (PBM): Students in classes assigned to this POL will attempt to complete an NC CTE created PBM portfolio.

Our new Curriculum Instructional Management Coordinator, CIMC, LaShaunta Lamont (lamontl@gcsnc.com) serves to prepare teachers for proper CTE test administration with fidelity and integrity.

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

•GCS CTE Staff •

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

Nancy Cross • GCS CTE Director

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Created By
Guilford County Schools CTE Department