Program Spotlight- Computer Programming

Teacher Spotlight- John Lamertinaprogram spotlight- Dec. 2018

Continuing after our last spotlight, with the theme of instructor changes at CPAVTS, we wanted to check in with our new computer programming teacher, Mr. Lamertina, to see how things have been in his classroom so far this school year.

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

“Our 2nd year students are learning advanced Python, Java, Data Structures, and Algorithms and our 1st years are learning Python, and selected topics in Discrete Mathematics.”


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

“The most common career paths for Computer Programming graduates include entry-level programming, application testing, and web development. Many students also continue their education with advanced placement at a Four year university.”


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

“Language and application-specific training, or a passing score on major certification exams (such as for Java, Python, or C) can help students land their first job.”


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

“According to the TIOBE Index for September 2018, Java, C and Python remain the most popular programming languages.”


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

“Students sometimes struggle with advanced topics, such as recursion, or the mathematics related to algorithmic growth and big O notation. These are tough topics and we try to unfold them slowly with lots of time to practice.


Explain a typical day in your program.

“For each level, a typical day is about 1/3 lecture or discussion and 2/3 hands-on computer practice. I like to rotate around the room to help individual students debug their programs.”



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

“Keep practicing and learning. In a field that changes as much as ours, you have to continue your education formally or with online classes. Do something you like. Have fun. Get rest!”

How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“This is my first year at CPAVTS!”


What is your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I spent 20 years in industry as a software developer. I followed that up with 18 years as an instructor and assistant professor.”



Student Spotlight-Computer Programming

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“We learn to think through and evaluate problems in a whole new way.”

“We learn math code, problem solving and computers.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The hardest part of our program is thinking through and figuring out how to solve problems in the most efficient way.”

“Thinking out the problem, and then creating a program to solve it.”

“The math and equations needed to make things work.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Creating programs and the feeling of finishing a project after and lot of work.”

“Creating the program and then watching it run.”


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

“Coding languages such as Python.”

“Programming software and creating a class.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I want to continue my education in program and eventually make it my profession.”

“I would like to become a video game developer.”

“I want to go to college to continue my education in computer programming.”



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

“The highlight will be looking back at the start of this year and seeing all the progress I have made.”

“Finishing this year and getting through all the work successfully.”



What are you the most proud of learning in your program?

“I am most proud of learning how to do something most people don’t have any idea about and is hard to do.”

“Understanding the coding and the hard math equations.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day begins with the lecture, and then a lot of practice with the newly learned skill.”

“Lecture, work.”


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

“This program is very hands-on, in the sense of a lesson and then a lot of work on your own problem solving and coding.”

“This is what I want to learn, not something I need to learn.”

“It is a more open class, we are still learning and doing work, but it is more independent work, and room to be creative.”


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?

“Pay attention! Do your own work!”

“Stay focused and give yourself some time. The beginning is stressful, but when you get passed the stressful part and start understanding things, it is fun!”

“If it is what you’re interested in, it is not as hard as it looks…it just takes time to master.”




First Pennsylvania School to Produce Biochar

CPAVTS - First PA School to Produce Biochar

Cumberland Perry AVTS partnered with DCNR (Department of Conservation for Natural Resources) for a federal wood utilization grant.  CPAVTS completed the first grant process with a portable sawmill.  This equipment is a 38 horse powered gas engine, portable woodmizer sawmill.  It is a computerized sawmill with 16 different size programs to cut tree logs to planks.  Felled trees from cities unable to dispose of them, have been rolling off the truck at CPAVTS where they are cut down for usable lumber.

Carpentry students contribute scrap wood pieces to create biochar for the Horticulture program.  The wood is placed in 55 gallon drums and burned for a few hours.  Only wood that doesn’t have nails, glue, OSB, plywood, or is not pressure treated can be used to make biochar.  Bio Char is Charcoal that is used to nutritionally supplement soil and increase water holding capacity.  It holds water and nutrients in the soil so plants can more readily use them.  Once the charcoal is cool, horticulture students crush it and use it in the greenhouse as well as landscaping areas on Cumberland Perry school grounds.  CPAVTS is the first school in the area to create and use biochar.  One of the many advantages to having this process at CPAVTS, is Carpentry has a lot less waste that is placed in the dumpsters which means the trash bill is lessened. 

The first trees grown with biochar at CPAVTS are called bare root trees.  Horticulture students dug two trenches; one with biochar, organic matter, and topsoil added and one just regular ground soil.  The tree whips were planted in May and by October, the bare root trees planted in biochar were 1.5 to 2 feet taller than the regular soil trees.   These trees have minimal roots and many neighborhoods want them as they tend to not crinkle up sidewalks with tree roots.  They are cheaper to purchase and much easier to plant!  Currently there are no nurseries in Pennsylvania that grow bare root trees. 

Utilizing this process makes the earth a better place to live!  It also produces better quality plants and a healthier environment. 

Catching Up With...Bruce Gallagher, Class of '17

alumni spotlight- dec. 2018Bruce Gallagher is a graduate of Susquenita High School and Masonry. Bruce continues to show his dedication to CPAVTS and his trade, by stopping by today to help students and Instructor, Mr. Weber prepare for Open House 2018. We took this opportunity to see what Bruce has been up to these days.

Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“I currently work for Keener Masonry.”


What is your job title and what do you do?

“I am currently a Mason Apprentice, I lay block, brick and really whatever my foreman tells me to.”


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

“Keener, Setag, Roman Majestic, Tile and Terrazzo, Stephen F. Peters.”


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

“I attended the International Masons Institute in Bowie, Maryland…and of course it did!”


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“It was way less stressful, more hand-on work and all around fun!”


How has your industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?

“Nothing really besides some OSHA regulations.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“The first day Scott Weber came as the new teacher, we had just lost the great Dave Williamson to retirement, and had a teacher leave after one day of teaching us because of the paperwork and schooling involved with being a masonry teacher as opposed to being a mason worker. When Mr. Weber came into the classroom we all thought great, he isn’t going to last either, we know more (like most teens) we know everything he can teach us! I could not have been MORE wrong. He showed us so much during my last year, including a bunch of new techniques I had not previously seen. Mr. Weber is the best thing that could have happened to the CPAVTS Masonry program after losing one of the greats and I am proud to continue to work with him as a member of OAC instead of as a CPAVTS student.”

CPAVTS Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities Available at CPAVTS

Cumberland Perry AVTS has developed a Business and Industry Sponsorship Program that formalizes partnerships with local businesses, providing benefits to the area employers, the school, and, most importantly, CPAVTS students. 

Companies who sponsor a program at CPAVTS make several commitments to the school and students.  In addition to monetary contributions towards scholarships or other senior awards, they also offer their facility and expertise to CPAVTS students for cooperative education employment, internships, job shadows, and field trips.  Partners also open their doors for a special event for elementary students to learn about their company, their industry, and how a CPAVTS program can provide that career pathway.  Lastly, Program Sponsors are active participants on Program Advisory Committees and offer their expertise towards decisions involving curriculum, credentials, equipment, safety, and other aspects of CPAVTS programs to ensure they are meeting the demands of employers.

Sponsors are recognized with their logo placed outside the program door, on the school website, and in the program brochure.  They are recognized during the Awards Ceremony in May and are also given access to speak to students about employment opportunities within their company, distribute applications or other company information, and generally recruit students for employment.  CPAVTS will also distribute employment information to past graduates on behalf of program sponsors.

Lawrence Chevrolet was the first company to participate in the Business and Industry Sponsorship Program.  Lawrence Chevrolet is the sponsor of the Automotive Technology program and has been an eager and active partner.

The HVAC program is sponsored by The Tuckey Companies.  Nicole Coy, Human Resources Manager, says “CPAVTS has a strong program with excellent students.  The Tuckey Companies feel strongly about educating students in the trades and want to help promote and advance the HVAC, electrical, carpentry, and welding fields in Cumberland and Perry Counties.”

“CPAVTS has access to help mold our future!  Working together we can build a strong future for our local community and trades.”

The Business and Industry Sponsorship Program is a win-win-win for students, employers, and CPAVTS.  Sponsorships are non-exclusive, meaning that each program could potentially have multiple sponsors leading to even greater opportunities to serve the community employment needs and also prepare CPAVTS students for workforce readiness.  Companies interested in program sponsorships should contact the CPAVTS Administrative Director, Justin Bruhn.

Cooperative Education Spotlight- Aniika Craddock

 Coop Spotlight- Nov. 2018

When Aniika Craddock was in 9th grade, she informed her parents she was interested in attending Cumberland Perry AVTS. A tad shocked, they were very supportive of her choice. She applied for the Automotive Technology program and was accepted later that year. Aniika, now a senior from Cumberland Valley High School, spends half her day employed by Faulkner Subaru thorough the cooperative education program. She attends CV each morning for her academic classes and then reports to work at noon. Every day brings a new adventure with battery checks, tire rotations, brake inspections, oil changes, and many other preventive maintenance tasks. She will also assist mainline techs when her line isn’t busy. Aniika loves to report to work each day because the co-workers all feel like family to her. The Faulkner Family has been a great business partner for Cumberland Perry AVTS. Aniika and many other cooperative education students have capped off their vocational education experience working at the local dealerships. Aniika isn’t sure where her future will take her, but working in to automotive field in some capacity is almost a given.