Former Student Spotlight: Palatka High Brittany Gilger/Agriculture Brittany Gilger is a 2016 graduate of Palatka High School. While at Palatka High, Brittany participated in the Agriculture CTE program under Mr. Brown, Mr. Rhoden, and Mr. Lungren, but she says her passion for agriculture was sparked in middle school when she had Sally Becker Herrington as a teacher. During her time in PHS agriculture, Brittany earned the Agriculture Technology certification. Also, Brittany completed her AA degree in Business Management while she was a student at PHS and she highly recommends students try dual enrollment, as she says, “I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to do dual enrollment to do so! It is a great investment in your future!” Since she had finished her AA, Brittany was easily able to go straight to the University of Florida where she graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education and Communications and a minor in Leadership Development. She decided on this major and minor because of her agriculture CTE classes, as she explains, “I knew I wanted to help youth develop the passion for agriculture and leadership that I have.” Now, Brittany has her dream job as a 4-H Youth Development Educator for the Purdue Extension where she lives in Indiana with her husband and young son. Brittany says, “My CTE program in middle and high school helped me to gain leadership, public speaking skills, and the love for agriculture that not only helped me get my current position, but also helps me do my job every single day.”
Brandon Wellington is a 2015 graduate of Palatka High School. While in school, Brandon was part of the welding program at PHS under Mr. Brewer and then the current teacher, Levi Bennett. Brandon explained, “Being in the program truly helped me as a teenager because I was held to a higher standard of safety and skill being in the welding shop at age 15-18. In this program, I was taught workplace etiquette as well as the skill of welding.” Interestingly, Brandon now works as a small business manager, but his welding skills come into play in his new favorite hobby, glass blowing. As he explains, “I have found an interest in glass blowing which I can actually translate a lot of welding knowledge to, and it has allowed me to express myself by creating art.” Brandon credits his two welding instructors with instilling in him the ability to admit to and fix mistakes, to have confidence in his abilities, and how small things matter the most to the people around you. For example, he said, “Mr. Bennett was an amazing leader and teacher. His love for students was strong! I even remember that he came all the way to St. Augustine to watch me practice BMX. That meant a lot to me.” Brandon’s advice for students is to make choosing a career and setting goals for the future a top priority. He says, “Explore your options and be sure to take advantage of any and every learning opportunity.”
PCSD School Counselors are shaping the futures of our students- we are grateful for their constant dedication to our students and families! #schoolcounselingweek #proudtobePCSD
Building Construction Technology is our newest CTE program in development. This program will be located at Interlachen Jr. Sr. High School and is slated to open in the 2022-2023 school year. This program was developed after local stakeholder input and regional labor market data indicated it was a need in Putnam County. In addition to requests for funding to the state, we were also awarded a $100,000 grant from The Community Foundation of NE Florida through the Frank Oliver Foundation, a local organization that often supports PCSD programs. Right now we are at work renovating the facility, securing funding, selecting curriculum and networking with business and industry partners who can provide expertise on topics like OSHA 10, masonry, electrical, plumbing and much more. It is estimated that the US will need 157,000 construction workers in the next 10 years due to need and an aging workforce. These numbers do not include construction related trades like electrical, masonry, plumbing and HVAC which will also be explored in the curriculum for Building Construction Technology! #ProudtobePCSD
A credential attests to the qualification and competence of an individual to perform at a proficient level in a specific area. This proficiency is established by a third party with relevant authority and typically it is the ultimate demonstration of knowledge and skills in a particular program of study. Typically this proficiency is shown through some type of examination. Most of our CTE programs in Putnam County offer an industry certification exam that gives our students a credential in that particular field. Some of the certifications our students in CTE can challenge include: Agriculture Systems Associate, Agriculture Associate, Animal Science Specialist, Agritechnology Specialist, Comp TIA IT Fundamentals, 911 Public Safety Telecommunicator, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, American Welding Society certifications, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Food Service Protection Manager ServSafe, Certified Production Technician, Automotive Service Excellence certifications, and Florida Automobile Dealer’s Association certifications. In the last three years, Putnam County students have earned a total of 900 certifications/credentials! Students can use these credentials to go straight into the workforce or to have a leg up in post-high school education. Palatka Jr. Sr. High School has a special “wall of fame” for students who earn Industry Certifications in their CTE programs. Each student is recognized with a listing of the certifications earned in a particular career pathway.
DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that most CTE Students will continue to post-secondary education such as technical certifications? Most of these “career in a year” programs have salaries starting from $30,000 - $45,000 2 yr degrees or AS degrees (Career Pathways) starting from $35,000 - $60,000 Most programs also have pathways to Bachelor’s degree programs
2022 Black History Month Student and Educator Contests Student essay contest winners will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation! Link to more information here: http://floridablackhistory.com/index.html
This morning Janet Cauble, PCSD Career Specialist, and Amanda Burney, PCSD CTE Program Specialist joined George Deloach on WPLK 800 AM radio to talk about CTE Month. Tune in each Tuesday (and one Wednesday) for the rest of the month to hear from students and teachers that are immersed in our CTE Programs. Feb. 8: Palatka Jr. Sr. High School Feb 15: Dr. Rick Surrency, Superintendent Feb. 16: Crescent City Jr. Sr. High School Feb. 22: Interlachen Jr. Sr. High School Welding - Tad Deloach and Blake Derossett Mar 1: QI Roberts Jr. Sr. High School
The month of February is #BlackHistoryMonth. PCSD is proud to join our nation in celebrating and honoring the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans, their legacies and achievements in our history. #ProudtobePCSD
DID YOU KNOW? Did you know Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners? About 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE courses across the nation. CTE prepares learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies, and makes academic content accessible to students by providing hands-on experiences. The high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators is about 90%! —Advance CTE!
Mark your calendars for upcoming events around the county to celebrate CTE Month! *Every Tuesday, listen to WPLK or WQIK to hear about CTE Month from teachers, students and others that work closely with our programs. Listen around 7:20 am! *Feb 8: Palatka Jr Sr High School will have a CTE Showcase from 4-6 pm where you can come and see the programs in person. *Feb 16: Join Crescent City Jr. Sr. High School students on the radio at 7:20 am when they talk about the programs available in their neck of the woods! *Mar 1: QI Roberts Jr. Sr. High School will have a CTE Showcase from 4-6 pm where you can come and see the programs in person.
Today starts our celebration of CTE Month! CTE Month is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of Career and Technical Education programs and teachers across the country. In Putnam County, we have CTE programs at all four of our high schools! CTE is no longer just your mama's home economics class or your dad's shop class. In Putnam County, PCSD schools offer a variety of CTE programs to our students; Health Science, Advanced Manufacturing, Firefighting and EMR, Business Management and Entrepreneurial Principles, Agriculture, Vystar banking, Criminal Justice, Automotive, Welding, Culinary, Aerospace Technology, and Exploration Robotics Technology. THANK YOU Seminole Electric, Revels Pepper Farm, and SignGypsies for helping us celebrate CTE Month!
All PCSD campuses and offices will be closed Monday, January 17 in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes will resume Tuesday, January 18.
Our 6th-12th TSIC students toured SJRSC and learned about dual enrollment, career pathways, scholarship opportunities, & financial aid. What a great opportunity for our students to start exploring the options available to them for their post secondary education. #ProudtobePCSD
Upcoming Student Holidays! Thursday, January 13th Planning Day-No School for students Friday, January 14th Inservice Day-No School for students Monday, January 17th Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday-No School
Join us for a Community Forum on Thursday, Jan. 13th, 6:00PM, CCJSHS. Please complete this quick survey: https://putnamschools.typeform.com/PCSDForumJan22 Zoom Session: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76539347554?pwd=S0RId0JzeURZc09DZEdHMUM1WkgxUT09
“No staff member works alone in providing the best possible guidance for their participants, they work cooperatively to coordinate services across the program. With that being said, there are Case Managers and coordinators who go above and beyond for their participants, exemplifying outstanding commitment and achievement in the practice of customer service. The FCDP recognizes these staff members who shine as true examples of what a FCDP staff member embodies.” Ashley Rodriguez from the Florida Department of Education recognized Luz Guerrero-Arias at the 2021 Virtual State Conference as Staff Member of the year for the State of Florida. Luz has been the Program Director for Putnam County’s Farmworker Career Development Program since 2020. She is a former teacher at Middleton Burney Elementary School where she was recognized as Teacher of the Year. We are so proud of Luz and of her deserved recognition! #ProudtobePCSD
The District recognized 5 schools for the fiscal year ending 6/30/2021 at the Dec 14th School Board meeting for having no internal account audit findings, as concluded by an independent audit conducted by Carr, Riggs, and Ingram. Schools - Mellon Elementary, Principal Libby Weaver, Secretary Amanda Harvey, Secretary Juli Williamson, James A. Long Elementary - Principal Mary Beth Hedstrom, Browning Pearce - Principal Beth Nelson, Secretary Alyse Crabtree, George C. Miller Middle School - Principal Tim Adams, Bookkeeper Vanessa Lara, Ochwilla Elementary Principal Beth Leary, Secretary Ashley Cassels #ProudtobePCSC
Palatka High School Robo Panther's won three out of their five matches this past Saturday in Jacksonville at the FTC (FIRST TECH Challenge) Tournament. They came in sixth place overall. #ProudtobePCSD
The Teaching and Learning team would like to thank Crescent City JR/SR High, Jenkins Elementary, Middleton Burney, Moseley Elementary, Ochwilla Elementary, Putnam Academy of Arts and Science, and our guest from Five Points Elementary, and Swimming Pen Creek Elementary school for participating in the Panther’s Prowl Robotics Practice LEGO Robotics competition this past Saturday, sponsored by Renaissance Jax. Teams and coaches; without you, this event would not be possible! Teams showcased their skills at C.L. Overturf District Center. We couldn’t be prouder of the progress all teams have made so far this year! A special thank you to PCSD Maintenance, the Information Services Department, and the numerous student, staff, and parent volunteers for making this event a success. Panther’s Prowl Qualifying FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament will take place at Palatka Jr/Sr High School, Saturday, February 5th. We are looking for volunteers.