Recently, I got a letter that I believe is well worth sharing. It is a wonderful example of the power of CTE and the power of a wonderful CTE instructor in the lives of people. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
Good afternoon Dr. Armbruster,
I am writing you today as not only a proud public school educator, but as a proud parent of an OCPS graduate. This district afforded my son, Nicholas, opportunities he would not have received in any other district (and I know this because his 2 siblings graduated from a neighboring district). Nicholas had the privilege to attend Acceleration West High School, where he completed his high school education in 3 years. As if this gift wasn't enough, he was able to attend the OTC - Mid Florida Campus during his senior year and he entered into the welding program.
After completion of his first year, the Mid Florida Campus granted him a scholarship for the following semester. Nicholas continued his education and graduated from the welding program that same year. One of his teachers, Mr. Carlos Garcia, recognized Nicholas's talent and encouraged him to continue to advance his skills by attending the evening classes. During this time, Mr. Garcia worked with Nicholas, helped him hone his skills, and he was able to move beyond the curriculum to become a combo welder. In May, Nicholas turned 18 and Mr. Garcia helped Nicholas identify possible jobs, arranged for interviews, and worked one on one with him, teaching him interview skills and other pertinent information for the job.
Just last week, Nicholas used the experience and education he learned from the Mid Florida Campus to earn a high-paying job as a combo welder and will leave for South Carolina in 2 weeks. Thanks to Mr. Garcia, Nicholas is armed with the know-how and confidence to move away from home and continue to be a hard-working, responsible and productive young man. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate the opportunities provided to Nicholas and the caring and knowledgeable instruction he received both at Acceleration West and at OTC. As an employee of OCPS, I will forever sing the praises and value of vocational education and encourage students and parents to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity.
Thank you for providing such a high quality program. I've attached a couple pictures. One of Nicholas and one of a piece he created for his brother.
I hope you can see why I wanted to share-this is yet another great example of the fact that there's more than one way to a great career! To all of you who have helped make CTE a force in the lives of so many over the years-thank you!
Have a great CTE Month, Mike.
Career & Technical Education
Orange County Public Schools