March 2021 • Volume 1• Issue 7

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.


CTE Month Video Contest Winners!

GCS CTE hosted our first February CTE Month Video Contest to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of Career and Technical Education across our community. Six high schools entered videos, and the winning entry came from Mrs. Porsha Parker at Ben L. Smith High School. Other video entries were from Southeast, Northern, Northwest, The Academy at Smith, and Southwest High Schools. Each school that submitted an entry will receive a RobotLAB Virtual Reality Kit to enhance student learning experiences, and Ms. Parker also will receive a ClearTouch Interactive Board for her classroom. Congratulations to Mrs. Parker and Ben L. Smith High School for making our first CTE Month Video Contest a success!

Southwest High School Nursing Fundamentals Students Blood Drive Impacts 138 Lives!

The American Red Cross teamed up with Southwest High School's Nursing Fundamentals students to host a blood drive on March 17, 2021, at Covenant Church United Methodist in High Point. Business and community partners working with our schools to create authentic experiences and service-learning opportunities are critical to the CTE experience.

Health Science educator and CTE teacher Kristen Dusek reported a successful blood drive with 46 units of life-saving blood collected, noting each unit can save three lives. The 46 units of blood has the potential to impact 138 lives! Thank you to our business and community partners at the American Red Cross and Covenant Church United Methodist.

Southern Guilford High School's Hunter Safety Team

Southern Guilford High School's Hunter Safety Team

Southern Guilford High School's (SGHS) Hunter Safety Team ended their 2021 season on March 17. North Carolina's Youth Hunter Education program objectives include promoting public awareness of hunter education and offering positive experiences in all shooting sport disciplines to young people across the state. Special congratulations to SGHS high scorers: Archery - Abigail Hanes, Hunter Skills - Jason Creech, Rifle-Abigail Hanes, Shotgun - Zach Terry (with a perfect round)!

CTE Students from The Academy at Smith Bring Smiles to Nursing Home Residents on St. Patrick's Day!

The HOSA (Future Healthcare Professional) chapter students at The Academy at Smith wanted to give back to the community. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been facing adversity. This has been especially true for our senior citizen population in nursing homes. Residents have not received visits from family members and friends, which negatively affected their morale. The HOSA students at The Academy at Smith created St. Patrick themed gift baskets for the nursing home residents at Abbotts Creek Center, under the guidance of their Health Science teachers: Mrs. Shalinda Witcher and Ms. Kayla Hooker. The student's goal was to uplift the residents and provide them personal care items. CTE students in GCS are civic, social and service minded!

CTE Month Reflections

CTE Month is a public awareness campaign that occurs each February to celebrate the value of CTE, the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. It is a time to celebrate the great opportunities for career awareness, career exploration, and career preparedness.

During February, we focused on: Career Advisement, CTSOs (Career and Technical Student Organizations), Non-Traditional Enrollment (Industries that have 20% or less of a gender represented), Industry-Recognized Credentials, and Work-Based Learning. Throughout the district, the CTE department engaged in a wide variety of activities and awareness campaigns. Career Assessment drives were held for grades 8 – 12 to assist with career advisement and career preparedness. Awareness about CTSOs and credentialing opportunities was promoted via posts, videos, and informational sessions. There were also dedicated days for connecting students with speakers from industry. Today’s cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, in-demand careers.

What Is... Students@Work?

Students@Work℠ is a month-long career awareness program through which companies from across the state expose middle school students to potential careers that exist in their local communities and the skills needed for those jobs. The program is a partnership between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Why Middle School?

Middle school is a crucial time for dropout prevention and also when high school curriculum planning takes place. Direct experience with the workplace demonstrates the relevance of education and career awareness to future success. High School CTE leaders help connect Middle School CTE leaders with business industries and encourage career exploration to prepare students for high school courses.


A Former CTE Healthcare Professional Pathway Student & Now Podiatrist

Dr. N’Tuma Jah is a former Career & Technical student and an ardent supporter of all things CTE. She is currently a podiatrist with her own practice, Town Center Podiatry. As a former student at Northwest Guilford High School, she began taking classes at Weaver Academy during her junior year of high school. She completed Health Science I & II and the Nursing Fundamentals & Practicum courses during her junior and senior years. By the time she graduated from high school, she was a fully Certified Nursing Assistant. This credential allowed her to begin working in the healthcare field immediately after high school and while earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Working in healthcare while attending medical school helped her gain invaluable career networking opportunities, reduce the amount of student loan debt she had to shoulder, and increase her interdisciplinary knowledge.

Dr. Jah has no regrets when it comes to choosing CTE courses in high school! It was one of the “best career decisions” she has ever made. It’s a decision that her two sisters, who are also in the medical field, made as well. She encourages students to start early and not be afraid to ask for mentorship and job shadowing opportunities. Dr. Jah is truly an inspiration to all CTE students. To find out more about Dr. Jah and her career journey, click the video above and visit her website.

CTE Health Care Professional Pathway Course Sequence

Article submitted by Christina Parks-Ross, CTE Department Administrative Assistant

Making STEM Appeal to Girls!

Article published in Smart Brief and written by Eboni Camille Chillis, PhD, Interim Chief and CTE Executive Director and Association of Career and Technical Education Educators in Action Blogger.

STEM jobs are projected to grow 13% through 2027. 74% of middle school girls seem to show an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In 2019, women accounted for 27% of workers in STEM-qualified industries. But just 3% choose computer science as a college major and globally. Out of all female doctorate graduates in the fields of science and engineering, 86% are white or Asian. Fewer than 4% are Latinas, and less than 3% are black.

Science, mathematics, engineering and technology like most things worth having, is hard work. As an educator, it can be hard to get students to consider or pursue courses where their gender is significantly outnumbered. Here are a few ways to succeed in making those courses appeal to those nontraditional students:

1. There is a term in K-2 education called early literacy. Establish a campaign that begins in K-2 called early STEM innovators. Once the campaign shows growth, present the data findings to your department of education for a statewide initiative to produce STEM thinkers early.

2. Establish a mentorship program with successful women in STEM. This mentorship reaches far beyond guest speakers and field trips. The mentor truly immerses herself in the educational success of the student(s).

3. Create learning environments where students are able to solve problems that face your town, city, state or our country. Each project should be aligned to the varied STEM careers with a fluent understanding of the interdisciplinary connections. Present the findings (student presentations) to women in STEM, corporations and community.

4. Be open and honest about this one thing, “self-motivation, determination, and self-discipline are required to win”. Winners are deemed #1 and it does not come easy. In order to win in any career or personal endeavor you must remain focused, as the aforementioned are simply the vessels to assist along that journey.

We have an intentional and purposeful commitment towards attracting and retaining girls in STEM. STEM is a destination reach for girls/women to innovate, predict and solve the problems that shape our world today, tomorrow and beyond. The global workforce is waiting on them, which is a CTE MATTER! Updated 2021 sources: PEW, Forbes, and U.S. Department of Education.

Guilford County Students Benefit from Career and Technical Student Organizations

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) enhance student learning through contextual instruction, leadership and personal development, applied learning and real-world application. CTSOs work as an integral component of the classroom curriculum and instruction, building upon employability and career skills and concepts through the application and engagement of students in hands-on demonstrations and real life and/or work experiences through a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTSO’s help guide students in developing a career path (a program of study) and provide opportunities in gaining the skills and abilities needed to be successful in those careers through CTSO activities, programs and competitive events.

GCS encourages CTE students to participate in these outstanding programs and is pleased to announce the following state and regional winners.

DECA- Distributive Education Clubs of America

North Carolina DECA Career Development Conference

Northwest Guilford High School's DECA Chapter led GCS with three state Top 10 winners:

Bella Jansson – 1st Place - Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Vincent Cagno - 2nd Place - Professional Selling Event

Patrick Cullinan – 6th Place - Sports & Entertainment Marketing.

State winners will compete next in the virtual International Career Development Conference April 13-17, 2021.

Article submitted by Brenda Cullinan, a CTE Pathway Innovator.

HOSA – Future Health Professionals

15 Southwest Guilford High School (SWHS)students earned finalist awards at the HOSA Future Health Professionals’ District Virtual Competition in February. Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA is an international organization focused on preparing students for careers in health science or healthcare. HOSA Winners include:

Karabuning Kupradit Shaini Lal – 1st Place - Medical Terminology and 1st Place - Prepared Speaking.

Reece Burmeister - 2nd Place - Nurse Assisting

Namasvi Patel - 2nd Place - Medical Terminology

Nilin Ni - 2nd Place - Pathophysiology; Michelle Tran - 2nd Place - Behavioral Health

Riya Patel - 2nd Place - Researched Persuasive Writing

Manvi Gandla and Peyton Flynn - 2nd Place - Health Career Display

Riyasha Gautam - 3rd Place Researched Persuasive Writing

Other district finalists included Sarah Pettus and Jillian Talley in Forensic Medicine; Thomas Solomon in Researched Persuasive Writing; and Jessica Guillen-Hernandez, Samira Koirala, Mahi Patel in the Medical Terminology event. All students will advance to the HOSA Virtual State Competition. HOSA empowers Future Health Professionals to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration and experience.

Article submitted by: Nita Cannon, a CTE Teacher at Southwest Guilford High School and a HOSA Advisor.

FBLA- Future Business Leaders of America

The Academy at Smith Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) officers: (Left to Right) Nyree Bell-Historian, Kyndal Mumford- President, and Gisselle Gonzalez- Secretary and Quincy Tanner, FBLA Advisor and CTE teacher.

FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences, academic competitions, and educational programs. GCS students from two schools earned recognition at the Triad FBLA Regional Competition (see below); they will participate in the North Carolina FBLA State Conference and Competition later this month.

Academy at Smith

Gisselle Gonzalez – 2nd Place – Business Calculations

Kyndal Mumford – 2nd Place – Word Processing

The Academy at Smith Team – Nyree Bell, Kyndal Mumford and Gisselle Gonzalez – 1st Place – Chapter Spirit Event – T-Shirt Design

Article submitted by Mr. Quincy Tanner, CTE Teacher at The Academy at Smith & FBLA Advisor.

Kearns Academy

Cayden Neal – 2nd Place – Introduction to Information Technologies

Nathan King – 1st Place – Spreadsheet Applications

• CTE Teacher Spotlight •

National Board Certified CTE Teacher!

Congratulations to our newest National Board Certified CTE Teacher! Regina Smith, CTE Pathway Innovator and Jamestown Middle School Computer Science Discoveries teacher, engaged in a year-long professional reflection and assessment process that culminated with National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification on December 12, 2020, and announced on February 27, 2021. NBPTS certification is designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Regina is one of only six GCS educators to earn this distinction this year. Recognized as the 2017 Rookie Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Smith brought over 20 years of industry experience to the classroom from previous roles in the healthcare insurance industry. Additionally, she facilitates the Jamestown Middle School Career and College Day to allow middle school students to engage in career exploration. Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment, Mrs. Smith!

A Look Ahead!

April is Autism Acceptance Month

The Autism Society recognizes that the prevalence of autism in the United States has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010 to 1 in 59 in 2020 – recognizing this continued increase, the goal for AAM is to further increase awareness about autism signs, symptoms and opportunities through: information and referrals, events, printable and digital resources, and community partnerships with businesses and organizations dedicated to building inclusive experiences. For more information and resources about Autism click here.

•GCS CTE Staff •

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

Nancy Cross • GCS CTE Director

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GCS CTE Department