New Instructor Spotlight - Kyle Lehman, Computer Programming


Computer Programming is a course beginning at CPAVTS this year, and with it comes the trials that tend to emerge with such new additions. Instructor Kyle Lehman spent a busy   summer preparing the curriculum and his classroom for the school year, and so far has one week of school under his belt. He took some time to share his thoughts on how those  first days went and what he hopes to achieve as the program matures:


What did you do before coming to work at Cumberland Perry AVTS?


“I wrote software for about ten years and did a lot of consulting work for tons of different industries—food and beverage, the Department of Defense, marketing. It was a lot of variety!”


What made you decide you wanted to teach?

“I’m passionate about helping students learn, and about helping them learn about an industry that provides a lot of job opportunities. I went on an outreach trip to India where I interacted with students from many different kinds of schools, and I enjoyed that time with them.”


How has your first week been?

“The teaching is going well, I really enjoy it. I’m enjoying every minute of it so far, so the days go by really fast!”


What part of the curriculum are you looking most forward to teaching?

“I’ll be teaching five college courses as part of this class, and logical thinking will be a key part of that. They’ll all be about one core thing—learning to take larger problems and break them into smaller parts.”


What’s the most important thing you hope to impart on your students?

“To teach them relationships. I want to teach them what real respect and interpersonal interactions look like—teach them those social skills that will take them anywhere in life. Anyone can teach math; this is something that sticks with you beyond that.”


Thank you to Mr. Lehman for taking time out of his hectic schedule to provide his insight!







Comprehensive Training Means Comprehensive Experiences for CPAVTS Students

School has started once again, and new students are learning the lay of the land while seniors are back to the grindstone at CPAVTS! With the new year, CPAVTS has seen plenty of changes, from its new Computer Programming course to upgrades made to the Dental Assisting and Advertising Art and Design programs; but one constant throughout every new school year is the variety of experiences our students receive. One of those initiatives is a double-faceted series of field trips that provide students with an inside look at post-secondary institutions and local employers.

“These college tours allow students to see what is expected of them at the post-secondary level,” said Lori Britcher, one of CPAVTS’s guidance counselors.

Typically, students will visit HACC for a “trades day” in the fall and return for campus tours in the spring. They will also visit Pennsylvania College of Technology for campus tours—once in the fall and once in the spring. During these visits, students receive an introduction to the school and a general tour of the campus. After this, they branch off into specific classrooms and laboratory areas associated with their fields. Since level two students are the ones participating in these tours, it gives them insight into college life and helps them determine if continued education is the right path for them.

The employer visits connect students with local businesses and provide an in-depth look at industries related to their program areas. These trips are planned for level one students who have just entered a program at CPAVTS; this means that they receive a closer look at the types of jobs they can pursue after graduation and determine which type of career is the most suitable for them.

“Employers provide us with a tour of their facility, explain what their company does, and offer insight into any certifications or educational qualities they look for in employees,” said Ms. Britcher.

Local industries and post-secondary institutions have been invaluable in CPAVTS’s growth as a career and technical education school. Companies such as Lobar, JPL, and CACCC, Inc. have hosted industry tours for the past two years, and these companies (and dozens more!) provide various other types of support—from participation in the cooperative education program to offering generous donations to our programs to serving as members of our programs’ advisory boards. HACC, Penn College, and many other institutions offer College in the High School or accreditation credits to CPAVTS students, saving them time and money if they choose to pursue post-secondary education.

Tours of local colleges and businesses are just one way our students earn a comprehensive education. From the excellent instruction and hands-on training to industry certifications to employability skills training, CPAVTS ensures each student graduates ready to work and ready to learn. Open House night is coming on November 2, so come find out what our students already know: that with an education at Cumberland Perry AVTS, you can unlock opportunities unlimited!



Union Induction Provides Work Right After Graduation

6-8-17 Masonry FeatureThere is a high demand for skilled construction and manufacturing workers in the Central PA region, and where the masonry trade is concerned, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local 5 Union is where companies obtain a steady flow of trained bricklayers. A mason that is part of this union is essentially guaranteed job security—and three students in Scott Weber’s Masonry program have passed the entrance exam with flying colors.

Gabriel, a Red Land student; Anthony, a student at East Pennsboro; and Bruce from Susquenita all earned first and second place on the union’s entrance mathematics exam. Anthony, who scored first, is also a cooperative education student working at Stephen F. Peters, Inc. in Newport, PA.

“Everyone goes through a certified mason’s training program, which is about 144 hours over three years,” said Gabriel. “They train you to be skilled masons.”

This training is a state-recognized certification program that teaches everything from job supervision to glass block laying to material safety data sheets; apprentices emerge from this training as certified masons.

There is a shortage of skilled construction workers in Central PA, which includes a need for quality bricklayers, and contracting companies are hurting for qualified employees. “Getting students into the union is something that I think will help,” Mr. Weber said. “These local companies know they have a fresh supply of new, young workers they can draw from the union, and right now the industry is hurting for good, trained workers.

As for Gabriel, his prospects are looking up now that he has gained this opportunity. Not only is he guaranteed steady work, but he has access to great training programs through the International Masonry Institute (which is opening a new location in Harrisburg in the near future).

“I think being at Cumberland Perry gave me an advantage on life, really!” said Gabriel. “It gives you the skills and tools you need to get out there and start working, and I think this apprenticeship will only further that.”




Instructor Salute: Guy Freeman, Instructional Assistant

6-1-17 Freeman RetirementIt takes a lot of hard work to teach the next generation and prepare them for the future, and to that end our instructional assistants at CPAVTS are just as key to our students’ education as the instructors themselves. Guy Freeman has been a valued member of the CPAVTS family; before his retirement, he shared with us some highlights of his time here:


How many years have you worked at CPAVTS?   

“Eleven years.”


How has teaching influenced your life?

“Teaching has helped me gain a broader perspective into the lives of young people and an appreciation for the efforts made by all the teachers to do their best for their students.”


What is the one thing you hope to have imparted on your students over the years?

"I would hope to have given students an appreciation and love of learning, allowing them to better engage the world."


What is the one memory or moment that stands out the most to you from your time working at Cumberland Perry?

"It’s very difficult to pick out one memory from so many good ones… I think I have a general and sustained positive impression of the school-- of the students, the teachers, and the administration. That has grown over time."


What is your favorite memory from working at CPAVTS?

"Again, there are some specific stories but my overall memories are woven into my daily experiences and are connected to the time I have spent with Mr. Knouse, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Snider, and Mr. Weber. I’m very fortunate to have worked with such fantastic people, for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration."


What do you plan to do in your retirement?

"My plans include continuing with my photography practice (I have a major exhibit coming up in the fall of 2018), creating and teaching more classes in photography in Carlisle and Harrisburg, writing, and traveling."


Mr. Freeman’s absence will definitely be noted beginning next school year, but we at CPAVTS wish him a happy retirement!



Instructor Salute: Bill Page, Criminal Justice Instructor

6-1-17 Page Retirement

Bill Page has been the Criminal Justice instructor at Cumberland Perry AVTS for the past 25 years. In that time, he has impacted the lives of hundreds of students and seen the school change with the fluctuations of local industries. Before leaving for his much-deserved retirement, he provided us with some insight into his time working here:


How many years have you worked at CPAVTS?

“I started working here, in September 1992. I was a substitute for the Law Enforcement class and the school’s First Aid Person. I was hired to teach in October 1992.”


How has teaching impacted your life?

“It changed my life. Seeing this world from a younger person’s point of view gave me a more balanced perspective on the world. By teaching, I learned more on the different aspects of Criminal Justice and increased the information I could teach. It kept growing and changing. The more I taught, the more I learned. I developed many positive relationships with students. They made me a part of their adult lives by informing me of weddings, births of children, etcetera, as well as keeping me updated with their career information. Many stay in touch through Facebook. It’s been very rewarding to see their continued successes professionally and personally.”


What is the one thing that you hope you have imparted on your students the most over the years?

“An understanding that you can accomplish more than you think you can. Be honest and have a good work ethic, and you will always have a job. Get as much education as you can afford, and if your job offers courses; take them. Keep a current resume ready, for the next opportunity is just around the corner.”


What is the one memory or moment that stands out the most to you from your time working at Cumberland Perry?

“I have a couple:

I met some of the teachers my first few days here. A couple of the older teachers (they were the original staff) informed me they didn’t need to know my name until I lasted a year. They became great mentors and friends.

The happiness I felt when my students began getting jobs in Criminal Justice. After a couple years, I feared I hadn’t taught them anything. Then they began to get hired. Over the years so many have enlisted in the service, have gone to college, have joined the work force… including many in criminal justice. CPAVTS was the starting place for their careers, and I had a small part in helping them reach their goals.”


What is your favorite memory from working at CPAVTS?

“The overall experience of meeting and working with so many nice people. Each instructor is an expert in their field. Each person was helpful by sharing lesson plans, sharing equipment and sharing information. It takes all the parts, working together, to make a machine work properly…and that is Cumberland Perry.”


What do you plan to do in your retirement?

“I am going to take a long needed vacation; spend time with friends and family; do some things around the house. Of course, I haven’t ruled out a lengthy trip to a Latin American Country!”


Mr. Page has been an important part of the CPAVTS family for over two decades. His presence will definitely be missed, but we wish him all the best in his retirement!