Catching Up With...Isaac Eshenour, Class of '16

alumni spotlight april 2017Isaac is a graduate of Big Spring High School and CPAVTS’s Precision Machine Technology Program. He has already been through his first year of post-secondary education and has plans to advance his knowledge in the PMT trade--he even came back to visit with his instructor, Mr. Fogleman, recently to touch base about his experiences this year.

We were lucky enough to grab him for a short interview to see what he’s been up to! Here is what he had to say:


What industry are you currently working in?

“I am currently attending Williamson College of the trades.”


What area are you currently studying?

“I plan to obtain a degree in machine tool technology.”


What employment have you had so far, if any, related to your program area at CPAVTS?

“I worked in a machine shop called Kittatinny Manufacturing.”


What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS and did you feel CPAVTS prepared you for this?

“Cumberland Perry AVTS helped me tremendously in furthering my education at Williamson College.”


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“It was somewhere that I felt I could learn a lot, and I enjoyed coming to school every day.”


How has your industry changed since your time at CPAVTS?

“At school machines are older and harder to use, but CPAVTS has helped with up-to-date machines.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Placing second at the states in the CNC Milling competition.”

Program Spotlight- Automotive Technology

Automotive Technology is a two instructor program at CPAVTS and maintains some of the largest enrollment interest. Students in this area of study learn various techniques used to maintain vehicles—from advanced emissions control systems to basic tire pressure monitoring. The program is involved in a revision period this year, which allows for advancements in their curriculum and tools of the trade.

Taking the time to speak with our instructors and a few level 3 students, we are able to get into detail and find out what it really takes to become an automotive mechanic.

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT- Mr. Comeau/AT Instructor; Mr. Bruner/AT Instructor             

What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?

“The automotive program is involved in a revision period this year. That means we were able to update tools, equipment and curriculum materials. Some things we added were; two new vehicle lifts, a DVOM Trainer, tire balancer, 30 chrome books, scan tools, hand tools, and a new textbook; as well as online curriculum.”- Mr. Comeau

“This year the level 1 students all participated in the Snap-On meter certification. 100% of the students who took the training passed the certification exam.”- Mr. Bruner


What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?

“Many of our students choose to start their career as entry level technicians. Some choose to continue their education and move on to post-secondary schools. At CPAVTS, we have articulation agreements with several different schools, which gives our students an advantage.”- Mr. Comeau

“Two year tech schools, 4 year college, military, and may also go right into the field of work.”- Mr. Bruner


What are some recent technology and/or trends with which students should become familiar?

“Students should become familiar with advanced emissions control systems (particularly diesel powered vehicles). They also have experience with tire pressure monitoring systems, hybrid vehicles and the latest in computer control systems.’- Mr. Comeau

“Students will become familiar with the increased demands for electrical diagnostics. Electronics in the automotive field advances constantly.”- Mr. Bruner

What training are employers seeking that helps students get their foot in the door?

“Employers are looking for dependable, hard workers, with good soft skills.”- Mr. Comeau

“Students must have State Safety Inspection Certification and PA State Emissions License.”- Mr. Bruner



Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day for level 2 & 3 students includes; changing into your uniform, completing a short warm-up exercise, answering the daily essential question, copying the agenda, ready a bit for the textbook, participating in classroom activities, demonstrating skills in the shop, and cleaning up before dismissal.”- Mr. Comeau

“Students will spend at least one period in theory and the remaining time completing tasks in the shop.”- Mr. Bruner


What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?

“Electrical theory seems to be a common area that the students struggle with the most. Automotive technology is incorporating more and more electrical devices in new vehicles. For that reason, we have increased the amount of time dedicated to electricity in our course.”- Mr. Comeau

“Electronics, because it is changing all the time. Students continually learn new concepts to keep up with the industry.”- Mr. Bruner


What advice would you give to students who have completed your program?

“Use the skills you learned at CPAVTS to make money in a career. There are vast amounts of good paying jobs in the transportation industry. Having a good understanding of how a car works can help you in many different career paths.”- Mr. Comeau

“To always continue learning. The automotive field changes constantly. It is very important to keep up with current technology.”- Mr. Bruner


How many years have you been at CPAVTS? What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“12 years; I grew up with a fascination for anything mechanical. I bought my first car at 16 and had it running and driving shortly after. I received formal automotive technical training at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology management. Throughout college, I worked as a teacher’s assistant and part-time at an independent garage as a technician. After college I worked for three years as a technician and service advisor for a European vehicle repair facility. I then made the transition to education, and taught automotive technology as a long-term substitute for six months at a different high school, before moving to a full-time position at CPAVTS.”- Mr. Comeau

“3 years; I worked as a technician at Bruner’s Service Center. I was also a Technology Education teacher at East Pennsboro High School.”- Mr. Bruner



PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT- Automotive Technology Students (Level 2 & 3)

Summarize what you learn in your program in ONE SENTENCE.

“We learn about car parts, their function and how to diagnose problems.”- Matt


What is the hardest part of your program?

“Taking the test for State Safety Inspections Certification.”- James

“Adapting to new things.”- James D.


What is the most fun part of your program?

“I have the most fun working with a friend on a task that is challenging on a vehicle.”- Jerry

“Getting my State Safety Inspection Certification/License.”- James

“The experience you have with everyone.”- James D.


What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?

“Scan tools, alignment racks, and the tire mount and balancing machines are some examples of our new technology.”- Jerry

“The new Snap-On scan tool and the newer style battery testers.”- James


What is your plan for after high school?

“Getting a full-time technician job and going to college.”-Dillon

“I am going to the University of Northwestern Ohio for High Performance Motorsports.”- Tyler H.

“Work at Keller Brothers Inc. in Carlisle or large truck driving.”- Tyler W.

“Go out and find a job in an ATV shop and work on four wheelers and dirt bikes.”- James

“I plan to join the Army about six months after graduation.”- Jerry


What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

“Safety Day and taking the State Safety Inspection Test.”- Tanner

“Finishing the NOCTI.”- Jerry


What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?

“Getting my inspection and emissions certifications.”- Tanner

“Take apart a brake drum and put it back together.”- David

“How to properly inspect a car or truck.”- James

“I’m not scared to try and fit something on a vehicle and have more confidence.”- Dillon


How is your program at CPATS different from other classes you have had in the past?

“Hands-on; everyone has the same interest and it is actually what I want to learn about.”- Dillon

“It is hands-on and you’re not just sitting and writing notes, you’re moving around and problem solving.”- Tyler W.



What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?

“Learn as much as you can and do not be afraid to ask for help. Also, do the book work because it helps a lot.” – Jerry

“Live it up, because three years go fast! Take advantage of your teacher’s knowledge and use it when you go work.”- Tyler H. 

First Annual CPAVTS Mini-Thon Boasts Great Success!

4-5-17 Mini-ThonEvery year, CPAVTS students work hard to develop ideas for giving back to the community, whether through cut-a-thons from the Cosmetology students, landscaping services from the Horticulture and Landscaping students, or pieces donated by the Carpentry program. This year, the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) students hosted a Mini-Thon event to raise money for Four Diamonds.

Four Diamonds is a charity dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer, and it boasts over 70,000 student volunteers across eight states. At CPAVTS, there are many students whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

“We made a sticky note wall called ‘Why Do We Thon?’” said senior Nursing student Corissa from Susquenita. “A lot of students here have been affected by loved ones being diagnosed with cancer—and a few of them wrote that they had been diagnosed themselves. Cancer hits home for me since my cousin was diagnosed with leukemia when she was little.”

Along with Dental students Chelsea from Northern York and Cheyenne from Newport, Corissa organized several activities and fundraising initiatives for the Mini-Thon event, including a dime drive which all programs competed in and the sale of Cumberland Perry necklaces created by the Precision Machine Technology students. In fact, the entire event was a collaborative effort from students in the CPAVTS chapters of HOSA, NTHS, and SkillsUSA. Outside of CPAVTS, local businesses offered their support: Giant Food Stores, Wegmans, NYCE Concrete, Lehman’s Automotive, HJ Towing and Recovery, BowFishing Fish Tales, Dental Health of Silver Spring, and Karen Natkin of MEI Travel. Altogether, the event was an enormous success thanks to the collective efforts of students, staff, and the community.

The Mini-Thon began with a kick-off event and ended with an activity-filled “after-party”, which offered everything from human Hungry Hungry Hippo to a photo booth to an obstacle course. In the days leading up to the after party, students also donated for a "teacher torture" event, where their donations determined which teachers were hit in the face with pies or drenched with ice water.

“I honestly think the kickoff assembly was a lot of fun,” Chelsea said. “If [NTHS] does this again next year, I think we can make it even better!”

The three seniors all remarked at how involved the planning for the event was. Their advisor and other instructors provided assistance, but it was ultimately up to the students to learn how to organize and execute the event.

Said Cheyenne, “It was really fun! You really learn what goes into these big events and how to prepare for them.”

In total, the students raised $2,176.16 for Four Diamonds—just under $680.00 more than their goal of $1,500.00 in donations!

Artistic Achievements: CPAVTS Student Earns Accolades for her Portfolio

3-28-17 Amber Wagner Feature

There are some talented individuals among the student population at Cumberland Perry AVTS, and Amber Wagner, a Newport senior in the Advertising Art and Design program, is one such student.

Recently, Amber won two separate awards for her artwork. The first is a $12,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster, PA, which she earned through her portfolio.

“I was really surprised,” said Amber. “I didn’t think I was going to win that much money—or anything, for that matter!”

Earning this scholarship required Amber to submit a portfolio of 10-15 carefully-chosen pieces, followed by a portfolio review where she answered questions about her work. Additionally, she also earned the Silver Key Award—second place in the PA Scholastic Art Awards.

“My art teacher at Northern [High School] had some of us enter our pieces,” Amber said. The piece entered was Amber’s self-portrait drawing that she created in her Advertising Art & Design class at CPAVTS.

In the past, Amber also won the Students for Strides t-shirt design contest—read about this achievement at Amber has proven to be an exceptional artist and student, and we are proud to have her at Cumberland Perry!

CPAVTS Celebrates Its Business Partner of the Year!

3-24-17 BPotY 2017The key to any successful career and technical school is the community that supports it. The Occupational Advisory Committee is a collection of 21 individual “OACs” that provide feedback on developing each of our programs, and these committee members are seasoned professionals with their finger on the pulse of the trends and changes sweeping their industries. Their dedication to providing this knowledge to our instructors is invaluable in keeping our programs as up-to-date as possible.

On March 22, the annual OAC Dinner was held to show appreciation for our committee members. Additionally, CPAVTS recognized its Business Partner of the Year; this time, the award was given to Hippensteel Automotive, Inc. of Newville, PA.

Michael Hippensteel was present to accept the award. Hippensteel Auto has provided automotive repair services since 1969 and has worked closely with CPAVTS’s Automotive Technology program for the past five years. He is a member of the program’s advisory committee and the company has dedicated their time and money to speak at the annual Open House event; deliver vehicles to the school; and provide a scholarship to deserving seniors. Mr. Hippensteel’s expertise and knowledge have been an invaluable asset to the Automotive Technology program as it continues to improve.

The industry professionals who generously offer their time and other resources to improving the quality of education that our students receive is a major factor in why CPAVTS is as successful as it is today. Thanks to our OAC members and Hippensteel Auto, Inc. for their efforts to promote the importance of career and technical education!