Students Help Improve School Facilities While Learning Their Trade

ECM 1-18-17Hands-on work is a major part of every CPAVTS program, but working in a lab setting, as demonstrated by Cumberland Valley student Brandon to the right, still isn’t the same as a real work environment. As the other programs do, the students in Jason Baney’s Electrical Construction and Maintenance program have found creative ways to get real-world experience—and have been helping their school in the process.

Over the past few years, ECM students have assisted with various repairs and projects on school grounds. Recently, they completed the electric work for a new exhaust fan in the Welding program and changed the lighting in the level one Nursing classroom.

“Everything I do in class is in a controlled environment, and there’s only so much I can teach them in the lab.” said Mr. Baney, “But when I send them into the school to work, they have to think on their feet.”

Other projects that the students have assisted with include installing lighting in the Horticulture greenhouses; installing the x-ray machine in Dental Assisting; running electricity for the exhaust systems in Cosmetology and Masonry; running the wiring for the exterior school doors near Early Childhood Education; and running electricity for both the new CNC machine in the Precision Machine Technology lab area and for two new car lifts in Automotive Technology.

Said Colby, another Cumberland Valley student, of his experience in the program: “When we work in the classroom, it’s not the same as the situations we face outside. In the shop, we deal with simple problems, but outside the shop, we run wiring longer and deal with pipes that aren’t perfectly cut—we deal with more complex problems that can’t be simulated in the lab.”

There are many other projects that Mr. Baney’s students have already completed, and he is constantly on the lookout for more opportunities where they can help out around the building. The students also installed the charging station in the parking lot outside their classroom—you can read more about that project here!

Students Foray into Hydroponics!

1-13-17 HydroponicsHydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil—a process used in a variety of applications, from inner-city farming to small rural farms producing food for restaurants. Recently, the students in Malena Perry’s Horticulture and Landscaping program have installed their own hydroponics system as part of their hands-on instruction.

“You can’t just grow plants in tap water, or they won’t get the nutrients they need,” said Ms. Perry as she explained how the system works.

The students’ hydroponics lab has two tanks, one for fertilizer and one for acid, which are measured constantly by a probe to determine the appropriate levels of each. Then, they are combined and the nutrients are mixed into a stock tank of water so that the plants get everything they need. The system uses approximately 30% less water than standard farming techniques, although the water does need to be cleaned out and replaced periodically to prevent buildup of excess minerals from the fertilizer.

“We can have about 300 plants growing at once,” she said. “It takes about eight weeks from planting to harvest, and we can basically prepare new plants while things are growing and have a constant cycle of plant growth.”

Having a hydroponics lab in the program opens an entirely new career field for Ms. Perry’s students. Not only must students have the mathematical skills needed to operate the system, but they must also learn all of the work it takes to maintain the piping and other parts making everything work properly. If they put in the effort, students can earn jobs in a relatively new industry where there are many opportunities available.

“I never knew how well you could grow plants without soil,” said Austin, a student from Big Spring. “And I never realized how drastically chemicals can affect plant growth or how quickly plants can die from the wrong chemicals!”

The greenhouse holding the system is also fitted with special lighting used to facilitate plant growth. Ms. Perry said. “The lighting is used to trick plants into thinking it’s summer, which prolongs the growing season. Students learn how light waves interact with growing plants and how to use different colors of light to influence plant growth, particularly in the winter.”

Currently, the local industry uses hydroponics to grow leafy vegetables mainly for sale to restaurants (in the case of local farms), or in the inner city where cargo bays from tractor trailers are fitted with “grow lighting” to produce plants practically year-round using the limited space available. So far, Ms. Perry’s students are growing spinach, kale, and herbs (such as parsley and rosemary) which will be given to the Culinary Arts program once the lab is consistently producing plants. 

Cooperative Education Spotlight- Isaac Somerville

Coop Spotlight January 2017

Isaac Somerville started his senior year like many others at Cumberland Perry AVTS, earning an introductory level wage while he participates in the Cooperative Education Program.  Isaac, a student from Trinity High School enrolled in the Automotive Technology program, works for Bruner’s Service Center located on Rt 15 in Enola.  Isaac made a decision as a 9th grader to follow his heart and passion for working on cars and attend CPAVTS.  After 2 years of classroom and hands-on training, the transition from the classroom to the work force was an easy one for Isaac.  Every day brings a new adventure for Isaac.  Change brake pads, replace water pump, turn front rotors, and determine why a car is ‘missing’ are all part of a typical work week for Isaac.  He will be returning to CPAVTS several days a week next month to obtain his PA State Inspection and Emissions License.  Isaac plans to continue his education next fall as well as put his skill set to work at Bruner’s.  Isaac’s career plan is well on its way to being a success!

Rotary Students of the Month- February 2017

SOM January 2017


Ben Sedlak is a Redland High School Student, in the Automotive Technology Program. He is a volunteer Firefighter. He is currently employed as an Express Service Tech at Brenner Nissan. He plans to follow his career at CPAVTS at UTI Technical School. He is planning to major in Auto Technology to continue his education and advancement in the field. 


Emerald O'Brien is a Northern York High School Student, in the Cosmetology Program. She is a member of SkillsUSA, CPAVTS and serves as the treasurer of her chapter. She is also a CPAVTS Student Ambassador. She is a volunteer for Beauty After Bruises. She is employed as a housekeeper at Ski Roundtop. She is also an assistant for Josephine Love Beauty. She plans to follow her career at CPAVTS by applying to Tom Savini SFX at Douglas Education Center and major in Special Effects Make-Up.


Randy Hornberger is a Mechanicsburg High School Student, in the Culinary Program. He is currently employed at Hoss's on the Gettysburg Pike. He plans to apply Harrisburg Area Community College and Johnson and Wales University. He plans to continue his education in his program area, by majoring in Culinary and becoming a Chef or a Cook at a restaurant. 


Catching Up With...James Geedy, Class of '87 and Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

James Geedy, Class of 1987, Redland High School, Graphic Communications Program

Alumni spotlight january 2017

Rich Hoffner, Class of 1985, West Perry High School, Graphic Communications Program

 James Geedy (Pictured Right) is a 1987 graduate, of Redland High School and also CPAVTS's Graphic Communications Program and Rich Hoffner (not pictured) is a 1985 graduate, of West Perry High School and CPAVTS's Graphic Communications Program.

Rich  and James were gracious enough to take some time and let us know what they been up to following their time at CPAVTS. We were curious what area of Graphic Communications they ended up in and how the industry has changed since their days of instruction. 


Describe the company or industy in which you currently work.

"Dauphin County Library System."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"Commericial mid size printing company."- James Geedy, Class of '87


What is your job title and what do you do?                                                                                                                    

"Print and Mailing Services Manager."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"CEO-Founder of Hot Frog Print Media...manage-management."- James Geedy, Class of '87


What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?

"Rite Aid Corportation, PA School Board Association and Signal Graphics."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"Stayed in other local area printing companies."- James Geedy, Class of '87


What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS? Where did you receive it? 

"I received an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Arts, at Community College in the Williamsport Area of PA."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '87

"No additional, well prepared at CPAVTS."- James Geedy, Class of '87


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

"I was able to put my education to work to earn money."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"Taught me the trade of course."- James Geedy, Class of '87


How has your industry changed since your time at CPAVTS?

"Digitial Equipment."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"1987- Digital Printing has evoloved- Digita Verable Data."- James Geedy, Class of '87


What is your favorite CPAVTS Memory?

"My Instructor, George Ebersole."- Rich Hoffner, Class of '85

"Mr. E."- James Geedy, Class of '87