Catching Up With…Melissa Cronk, Class of ‘12

Melissa is a graduate of Big Spring High School and the Advertising Art & Design Program.alumni spotlight- march 2018

She has made wonderful use of her experience at CPAVTS by continuing her work in the world of art and design—everything from freelance and internships, to directing an advertising agency! So many possibilities in this career and it sounds like Melissa is doing it all!

Melissa has recently been in contact with her CPAVTS teacher, Mrs. Lenker-Badorf. She graciously accepted the opportunity to have her career thus far featured with us.

Here is what she had to say:

What is your job title and what do you do?

“I am currently an Art Director at an all-service advertising agency called Akins Parker in Downtown Santa Ana, CA. We are privately owned boutique with many projects ranging from print to web. I mostly work with our hotels and hospitality clientele to create catalogs, brochures, stationary, in-room collateral, posters, signage, and other print or multimedia pieces.”


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

“I have had internships- Web Design Intern with JPL Creative located in Harrisburg, PA and Marketing Web Design Intern, with Disc Makers in Pennsauken, NJ. I was a part-time employee with Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and MBA & MS Marketing as a Graphic Designer within Fox School of Business in Philadelphia, PA. I did freelance design work with both From the Roots Fitness in Philadelphia and Juvo+ in Monrovia, CA.”


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“My high school didn’t have any classes that developed further than color theory when it came to design. CPAVTS provided a program for me to learn the Adobe Creative software and design principles while honing my skills with “real life” work experiences.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Of course, the friends that I made at CPAVTS and the fun we had is something I remember fondly. But my favorite memory of the AA&D program, was prepping the room for open house and visiting schools. I loved watching everyone’s best work get put out on display for parents and prospective students to see. It reminded me of when I visited and saw all the beautiful work and decided on the spot that this is where I belonged!”


Upon graduating from CPAVTS, Melissa completed the Graphic Design course at HACC and continued her education at Temple’s Tyler School of Art, College — Graphic & Interactive Design


Cooperative Education Spotlight- Bailey Moyer

coop spotlight- march 2018

Every day a little before noon, Bailey Moyer leaves Mechanicsburg High School and drives right past Cumberland Perry AVTS, where he is enrolled in the Diesel Technology Program: He is instead en route to his cooperative education position with East Pennsboro Township in Enola! After 2 years of classroom and hands on training at CPAVTS, Bailey was offered a summer position with the township, which transitioned to participating in the Coop program during his senior year. He reports to the garage area to find something different to work on each day; Dump trucks, backhoes, firetrucks, lawnmowers, and crew trucks are just a few pieces of equipment that always need to be repaired. His training in the diesel program helped prepare him for trouble shooting problems with electrical systems, hydraulic lines, brakes, fuel systems, and many other parts. These real world situations are sometimes difficult to duplicate in the classroom setting, but Bailey has cherished this opportunity for his senior year and says it has helped prepare him for any future endeavors. His career path is steered in the correct direction!

Program Spotlight- Horticulture & Landscaping

Instructor Malena Perry continues to advance her program area into the future.program spotlight- march 2018

The Arboretum began and will continue to be added to for future generations. Hydroponics & Aeroponics take off in the greenhouse, sending plant growth to new heights!

We asked Mrs. Perry to kindly take the time out of her busy schedule, following this year’s PA Builder’s Show, to enlighten us on the importance of this trade.

Here is what she had to say:


Teacher Spotlight- Malena Perry

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

“We have started new garden towers, which introduced aeroponics to our program.”


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

“Work for local landscapers, florists, and some go to further their education at Penn College and Temple.”


What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door?

“Understanding how plants function, being able to identify plants and how to use them.”


What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession with which students become familiar?

“Sustainable horticulture and using hydroponics. Also the use of biochar and the many applications of charcoal.”


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

“Botanical names of plants is probably the most difficult for students, and that is because Latin is difficult for anyone!”


Explain a typical day in your program?

“There really isn’t a typical day, we are always trying something new.

How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“19 years.”

What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I am a vocational education graduate, from Franklin County, class of 1992. I went to Penn State and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in AGED. I worked at Plasterer’s Florist in Chambersburg through a co-op program, and I continued working with them through college, as well as during holidays while I was teaching.”


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

“Never give up, and always work hard.”



Student Spotlight- Mason Kelley

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“I learn how to care for people and the plants that we offer.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The hardest part is plant and tree identification.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“The most fun part is that we have the best teacher and learn skills hands-on.”


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

“Recent technology would be the hydroponics and aquaponics systems. Controlling the PH level and mineral/vitamin numbers.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“My plan after high school it to go work for Good’s Tree & Lawn Care in Harrisburg, as a tree climber/arborist.”


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

“The highlight of my year was most definitely the PA Home Builder’s Show.”


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

“I am proud of learning how to work with others in different ways. Things such as customer service, and growth and maintenance of plants.”


Explain a typical day in your program?

“Water all plants within the greenhouse, pull weeds in the greenhouse, and work with our planting towers or ongoing projects. We also help Mrs. Perry to complete flower orders.”


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

“It is a small class, which unfortunately is the result of people losing interest in pursuing this trade. Working within this field gives me motivation to enlighten others of the importance of this trade. The one-on-one training is a great opportunity.”


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?

“Always have an open mind when you join. Be ready to work every trade, because we do almost every shop in one class. Be respectful and kind to others, and always work hard.”

Students Collaborate for a Greener Environment and Healthy Eating!

With warmer weather approaching, what better way to cool off and be healthy than with a refreshing salad? The students in the Culinary Arts program are practicing their salad and dressing-making techniques—but not without the help of the Horticulture program!

Through their hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic growing systems, the students in Malena Perry’s program are practicing sustainable agriculture, and the results are delicious! They have grown lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, various herbs, and many more types of produce; when the plants are ripe, they provide some of the spoils to the Culinary Arts program, where they are turned into ingredients.

“We start growing new seeds while the others are still saplings so that we keep a rotation, and it takes about two and a half months for a crop to mature from seed to plant,” said Mrs. Perry.

Utilizing plants grown in-house drastically reduces the carbon footprint generated by having produce shipped, often times from across the country. Even better: The produce is fresher and of a higher quality!

“It’s kind of hard at the beginning to set it up and get it working,” said Grant, a student in Mrs. Perry’s class, “but once you get the minerals and nutrients in place the plants grow pretty quickly—and it’s great knowing that others in the building can get use out of them!”

Each of the three systems used in Horticulture and Landscaping are sustainable, green crop growing systems. So while the students in Mrs. Perry’s class are learning how to care for the environment, the students in Chef McGrath’s program are learning how wonderful it is to work with produce that’s as fresh as it could possibly get:

“I think you can trust the produce [from Horticulture] better than what you get from a supplier because you know who grew it and can just go talk to them if you have questions or a problem,” said Hailey, a Culinary Arts student. “It’s fresher because it was grown here.”

So far, the students have mostly used lettuce grown by their peers, but they have also enjoyed working with herbs, Concord grapes, and a few other crops. It’s a practice that both programs hope to continue and expand upon in the years to come!

March 2018- Rotary Students of the Month

march 2018 soms

Brianna Rhoades is a Big Spring High School student in the Early Childhood Education Program. She has previously been a part of Big Spring’s volleyball and softball teams, and she participates in the annual powder puff game and a traveling softball team. She currently works at UPS (United Parcel Service), as a package handler. At CPAVTS, she has made the Honor Roll list; Brianna plans to follow her education at CPAVTS by attending Shippensburg University.

Elwood Yohe is a Big Spring High School student in the Automotive Collision Technology Program, and a member of NTHS (National Technical Honor Society) at CPAVTS. He is a cooperative education student employed with Brenner Nissan; he is also employed by BBs Grocery Store. Elwood has made Honor Roll and been named Student of the Quarter, at CPAVTS, and upon graduation, he plans to attend HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) to study Welding.

Helena Palm is a West Perry High School student in the Nursing Assisting Program. She is a member of both SkillsUSA and HOSA (Health Students of America) at CPAVTS; serves as a CPAVTS Ambassador for future and potential students; earned Honor Roll and Student of the Quarter; and is part of the National Society of High School Scholars. She spends her spare time volunteering at a deer farm and helping a retired wounded veteran. Helena plans to attend HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) to attain her Nursing, RN.