S. Patrick Kee
Jill Adams Geltner
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Career & Technical Education
What is Career and Technical Education?
Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with academic, occupational, and technical skills, knowledge, training, and a pathway to succeed in post-secondary education and future careers to become successful lifelong learners.
CTE gives middle and high school students a head start on preparing for college and careers.
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Chef Pamela Bedford, director of the Academy of Culinary Arts at Eastside High School, has earned national honors for her work preparing students for success in the food and hospitality industry.
Bedford was recently named the 2021 Educator of the Year by the American Culinary Foundation. She was the only female and the only high school educator among the four finalists for the award.
“It means the world to me to be recognized as the top chef educator in the nation,” Bedford said. “To compete at that level, against post-secondary educators, was so intimidating and really fun.”
Bedford traveled to Orlando to compete at the ACF National Convention where she had to teach a 50-minute lesson on stage in front of an auditorium full of chefs and educators.
According to the ACF’s website, the Educator of the Year Award ‘pays tribute to an active culinary educator whose knowledge, skills and expertise have enhanced the image of the professional chef and who, by example, has given leadership, guidance and direction to students seeking a career in the culinary profession.’
Chef Bedford certainly fits the award qualifications. In her 14 years with the program at EHS, including four years as director, Bedford has helped hundreds of students win awards, find jobs and earn career certification.
She’s also helped them win scholarships and admission to top culinary arts colleges. Many of her former students are now working in prestigious restaurant and hospitality settings nationwide.
Bedford noted that normally she does the encouraging for her students, but this time, they were in her corner rooting her on.
“My students compete a lot, I train them to do it,” Bedford said. “I encourage them, coach them, and hype them up, and they did the exact same thing for me. It made me fight for it even harder. I could not let them down.”
The CTE department is proud to have such a wonderful teacher in its ranks!
The 2020-21 W. Travis Loften Award is awarded to Jennifer Bennett for exceptional leadership, enthusiasm and professionalism.This award is given to a teacher who consistently goes beyond the call of duty in providing educational opportunities to CTE students.We were pleased to recognize Ms. Bennett for a host of accomplishments. She hosts a fantastic art show annually at Loften High School. She collaborates with Santa Fe to offer the Digital Media Institute to students district-wide who want to earn college credit in graphic design. This year, she had a student place nationally in the Certiport Adobe competition, and she has students make it to the national level of Skills USA competitions regularly.Ms. Bennett consistently writes grants to bring different opportunities to students, and weaves real world experiences into her classroom. There are currently plans to create a t-shirt printing press for students in the upcoming year! She is so remarkable that she was also the Teacher of the Year representative for Loften High School for 20-21.The CTE department thanks you for giving your best to the students of Alachua County, Ms. Jennifer Bennett!
Congratulations to High Springs Community School’s agriculture teacher Jessica Butts for receiving the 2020-2021 Nancy Iafrate Consummate Professional award! Jessica is the lone CTE teacher at High Springs Community School where she currently is working on growing the High Springs Agriculture Program. As a teacher working part time in the ag program at her school she has really risen to the challenge of expanding the agriculture opportunities for her students. Jessica has encouraged their participation in local FFA shows and competitions, immediately agreed to participating in the Agriculture Advisory Board, and took on a new digital tool in order to help increase funding for her program. In the ultimate example of her professionalism she examined new standards for that digital tool which was outside of the frameworks for her curriculum and found lessons to use in her classroom to help support growth in her students. She worked with them to create goals for improvement and made a system to reward them for reaching those goals. All this in a year where the additional responsibilities placed on teachers in the district would make anyone feel overwhelmed, Jessica embodies the ideals of the Nancy Iafrate Consummate Professional Award.
Congratulations to Jessica Campbell! Mrs. Campbell received the Dan McKinnon Inspirational Colleague Award for the 2020-2021 school year.She was a Canvas Hero last August when her fellow teachers were suddenly required to use Canvas. She offered several training sessions for CTE teachers throughout the district. In addition, she spent the summer of 2020 giving her classroom a makeover, including the inspiring graphics shown here. Mrs. Campbell is an Adobe star and trains other educators nationwide — and she does so much more! Thank you for your inspiration to all of us!
Congratulations to Mr. Rob Goddard for being selected as the 2020-2021 CTE Rookie Teacher of the Year! Mr. Goddard showed us his enthusiasm for teaching while at Oak View Middle School last year as the Robotics teacher. We are thrilled to have him at Loften High School this year as the new Director of the Academy of Robotics and Engineering!
The first senior class of the Medical Skills Program at Eastside High School ended the school year with thirteen out of the sixteen students taking opportunities in the University of Florida Shands Hospital System! These students will be given opportunities to start careers that will allow them to advance through the Shands system right out of high school and can allow them additional training and advancement over time. We are proud of this inaugural class of seniors!