Catching Up With…Alexandria Forlizzi, Class of ’12 and Debbie Eckstine-Weidner, Class of ‘76

Alexandria Forlizzi: Class of 2012 (Greenwood High School, Cosmetology)Alumni Spotlight- Feb. 2018

Debbie Eckstine-Weidner: Class of 1976 (Mechanicsburg High School, Cosmetology)

Alexandria and Debbie are both graduates of the CPAVTS Cosmetology Program; Alexandria from Greenwood High School and Debbie from Mechanicsburg High School.  Both ladies joined this year’s 1st Annual Cosmetology Alumni Day Event. They were both gracious enough to fill out our Alumni Questionnaire so we could hear about what has transpired in their careers since leaving CPAVTS.

Here is what they had to say:

Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“Beautiful Dream Team is a traveling team, performing services for all special occasion events—mainly for weddings, doing both hair and make-up.”

“De’Rielle Cosmetology Academy.”


What is your job title and what do you do?

“Bridal Stylist. I do bridal hair and makeup. I do the same for other special occasions: prom, coronations etc.”

“I am the owner and supervisor of the Academy. I oversee and teach.”


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

“I owned a salon called Raw Artistry and I also worked in a salon for six years.”

“I write for Milady, Person Vue, P.C.S., and Penn State Platform-Image Labs. I do on-stage makeup for productions, and airbrush and photo work for over 100 publications for hairstyles.”


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

“Advanced Esthetics Program at De’Rielle Cosmetology Academy. I took classes at The International Dermal Institute. I also took various classes at Norwell University and have been to many trade shows and trainings.”

“So many...too many to list!”



How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“It allowed me to start my career ahead of schedule and I didn’t have to pay for years of cosmetology school to get my license after high school.”

“It prepared us to work straight out of high school, with the hours and certifications needed to be a trade professional.”


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

“This industry constantly changes. Trends, services, micro blading, lash extensions, and more. Also the practical exam disappeared from the PA State Board Exam.”

“Too much to write in 40 years of changes in this industry. It is always changing with trends and services.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Laughing at nothing in the locker room. Scaring Mrs. Miller by hiding in the box of manikins.”

“My instructor, Mrs. Allison.” 

PBA Endorsed Trade Program Student Recognition Award

Cumberland Perry AVTS recently announced that two students received the Pennsylvania Foundation for Housing (Foundation) and Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) Endorsed Trade Program Student Recognition Award. Anthony Christiana and Hunter Branyan, CPAVTS Carpentry students were selected by their instructor because of their hard work and dedication to learning their trade. Each student received a $100 check which can be applied to the purchase of tools of the trade or to help in any post-secondary educational endeavors. The Foundation’s purpose in sponsoring this award is to recognize those schools, instructors, and students that are helping to strengthen the local residential building construction programs and related fields. The Director of PBA’s Endorsed Trade Program, Dave DiPasquale said that “as the economy grows in Pennsylvania, we want people like the students earning the Recognition Award to come out of technical training and continue working in the building construction field”. He continued to say that “there are a wide variety of in-demand, high-wage jobs in the construction trades and we want to help our partner schools ensure that students are ready to fill the need in that job market.

Pictured are:

Mike Stock-Stock Mechanical; Craig Hoffman-PBA; Jody Snider-Instructor; Hunter Branyan-ETP Award winner; Anthony Christiana-ETP Award winner; Dave Sheppard-HBA Metro Harrisburg; Brian McVitty-Angel Home Solutions; Pete Herbert- Daflure



Blending Work and Learning to Fill the Growing Employment Gap

With temperatures dropping well below freezing throughout this winter, functioning heating systems are a necessity, and when they break, it’s a heating and ventilation technician who has to fix them. But as this field’s workforce ages, there are very few skilled young people to fill in the gaps. At H&H Service Company, summer means a workshop floor filled with dozens of units in need of repair. But it’s not just about performing maintenance on all of this equipment—it’s about keeping a finger on the pulse of a changing industry. 

“There’s a lot more that goes into the trades today with advancements made in the technology that operates various types of equipment,” said Dave Hlatky, president of H&H Service Company. “A large number of jobs can be handled remotely by using a computer to access the control boards on various types of equipment.” 

The value for a student learning a trade comes in their experience with current technology. At CPAVTS, students earn hands-on experience with the latest equipment available in their industry, and the industry credentials they gain in the process work in tandem to give them an edge when seeking employment. In fact, four of the employees at H&H Service Company are graduates from CPAVTS!

Students can supplement their skills by learning advanced techniques through post-secondary education—some even pursue a business-related path to gain the training needed to be a supervisor. But regardless of the trade or the career path a student chooses, there’s always the opportunity to help others. 

“It’s not just working in the shop diagnosing a broken air conditioner—it’s going out to the community and fixing real problems for real people,” said Mr. Hlatky. 

The skilled trades are more in-demand than ever, and it’s not just the HVAC industry going through this dilemma: Most companies simply can’t hire new employees fast enough. Even if a student chooses to go to college, the skills they learn in the HVAC program at CPAVTS can earn them a job that can pay their tuition while they study. 

“I’m planning to join an apprenticeship and continue school through that company at HACC,” said Jacob, a student in the HVAC program at CPAVTS. “I’ll do this for about 4-5 years, which will make me a certified journeyman. You can also do this sort of thing at college.” 

The education provided through a career and technical school are absolutely crucial to maintaining the machines and devices that run our modern society. Without these skilled workers, the high-tech equipment used in doctor’s offices, factories, and every other part of daily life would fall into disrepair.

“Not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, or teacher,” said Mr. Pokrivka, instructor of CPAVTS’s HVAC program. “Students can continue their education at college and increase their desirability to employers, but it’s important that we get good workers into these trades.”








Program Spotlight- Early Childhood Education

Teacher Spotlight- Nancy Reitzel program spotlight- feb. 2018

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

“Employment in the field of childcare or continue in higher education.”


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

“Students get CPR/First Aid training, Safety training, hours with children and having clearances. All of which are benefits that employers seek when hiring someone in this industry.”


What is some of the recent trends in the profession with which students become familiar?

“Play. Play is really important for child development.”


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

“I think the biggest struggle would be having the confidence to actually teach for the preschool children in front of their peers.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Students arrive, prepare the preschool room, run the preschool activities until the preschool dismisses, then catch their bus.”


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

“Keep learning!”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS, and what was your experience before coming here?

“I have been at CPAVTS for Four years. I was a teacher and a preschool teacher before I came here.”


program spotlight-eceProgram Spotlight- ECE Students


Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“Our program educates us in how children learn socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. We learn how these four areas of development allow them to grow and prosper.”

“How special every child is and the importance of learning at an early age.”

“In Early Childhood Ed, I learn to appreciate each child’s uniqueness and how I can better myself to prepare them for life.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“Learning how to work with children and having them respect you and respect them in return.”

“The hardest part for me personally, is making a detailed lesson plan and having that lesson hold all the children’s individual interests when it is being taught.”

“The hardest part of my program is creating a good work ethic to keep up with all of my assignments.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Getting to know both your fellow teachers as well as the preschoolers is very fun. It’s interesting seeing the different types of personalities of each child. Plus, I’ve had the chance to make a lot of friendships with my classmates through our year together at CPAVTS.”

“Being in the preschool with the children, and also learning so much from my favorite teacher.”

“The most fun part of my program is laughing with my teacher, classmates, and preschoolers. We laugh a lot.”


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

“Not a lot of technology is used in the preschool room or classroom. Of course computers are used to help us research things, like ideas for lesson plans or to work on online courses. We mostly leave technology out of the preschool room, that way children play with dolls, toy trucks, beading, and anything really that serves as a better means for developing their hand/eye coordination or fine-motor skills.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“To become a social worker, first grade teacher, or a child psychologist.”

“Right after high school, I plan to go to Toccata Falls College for Early Childhood Education, and one day become and ECE Vocational School Teacher.”

“I plan to further my education in Early Childhood Development. I plan to go to Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in the fall of 2018, where I have been accepted to major in Early Childhood Education. This will allow me to continue following my dreams to either become a social worker or a special needs teacher.”


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

“The preschool graduation at the end of the school year.”

“The highlight of my year will be graduating from the program with my fellow third years. The preschoolers will also have a graduation ceremony in May, which I always enjoy.”

“The highlight of this year is going to be our FCCLA competition, where I get to show what I’ve learned in my program.”


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

“I’m most proud of learning how to efficiently work with preschoolers on a more personal level. It’s one thing to learn about children from a textbook, but it’s dramatically different when you get to learn about how they themselves learn and play when you’re one-on-one with them.”

“Being able to teach children with all different kinds of personalities and really connecting with them.”

“I have learned to be a fearless leader and can now be an example for my classmates.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Mondays and Fridays we do theory work and the middle of the week we have the preschoolers for our hands-on experience and training.”

“The typical day in Early Childhood Education varies. Both Monday and Friday are dedicated to planning lessons and preparing materials needed for the lesson. Notes also take place on those days and during our “free time”. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the preschool session days of the week. We get to teach through our lesson plans, and when we aren’t the “teacher”, we get to observe our peers in that role.”

“There is nothing typical about our program. Each day we arrive, set everything going on in life aside, and be the best version of ourselves for our preschoolers. Each day is filled with love, laughter, and occasional drama since you are dealing with kids, but it’s worth it.”


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

“The Early Childhood Education program is different from other classes in many ways. Hands-on is the perfect word to describe the program. You get to work one-on-one with a classroom full of preschoolers which makes the information you’re learning in the classroom even more valuable and relevant. The whole class itself works together to ensure a thorough lesson is given.”

“It’s something that you should want to do, and that makes you really enjoy this class. Mrs. Reitzel is an amazing teacher, and she really wants her students to succeed.”

“This class is not like any other class. You become a ‘family”’ unit. You learn to love others despite their faults. You also experience life in a work environment, with the same ‘co-workers’ for three years.”


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?

“You have to be independent in your learning, but if you really feel like you want to work with children in any capacity this is a great shop to get your start in that career direction.”

“The best advice is to always get your work finished on time. Getting your work done is so important, as it serves as the way to ensure you’re educated properly in all things dealing with early education. You’re also not going to regret joining this program. Whether you aspire to someday become a teacher yourself, or you’re just curious about how a child’s mind works, this program is for you. Mrs. Reitzel, who teaches the program, is a wonderful teacher who makes learning interesting, as well as exciting.”

“To a Level 1, I would say to be ready to work hard, because completing assignments won’t be easy. Don’t give up and make sure you carry yourself with confidence. Ask for help! It is okay! If you are considering if this is the right program for you, I would tell you to search you heart. Are you passionate about working with and for children? You will burn out fast if your heart isn’t in this work.”

20 Out of 24 Students Place at SkillsUSA District Competition!

Image result for skillsusaThe SkillsUSA series of competitions is an annual staple at CPAVTS, and usually there are students who move on from the district level to the state level. This year, out of two dozen students, twenty placed first, second, or third. Two of those students are Anthony Cleary and Amiah Dolan, students in the Electronics Technology and Nursing programs, who placed first in their respective categories.

“There were seven others competing alongside me,” Anthony said. “We each had to complete a written test, three breadboarding challenges, two soldering challenges, and two online troubleshooting challenges.”

A “breadboard” is a tool used in prototyping electronics that uses no soldering. The two challenges required Anthony to build a circuit according to the schematics provided and then gather test data.

The competitions are always stressful for the students participating; the morning is marked by anxious anticipation for the event, and there’s only a brief reprieve before the tension that comes with listening to the announcing of the results. 

Said Amiah, “It was nerve-wracking waiting for the awards. I have a hard-to-pronounce name, so when the announcer was joking about mispronouncing the third place winner’s name, I was afraid it would be mine! But then he said my name as the first place winner, and I was so excited!”

The students who placed first in the competition will be moving on to the SkillsUSA State Competition in April.  Below are all of the students who earned one of the top three spots in their categories—congratulations to these Cumberland Perry students on their hard work and success!


Advertising Design 1st Place – Carlee Kubistek

Automotive MLR 3rd Place – Aniika Craddock

Automotive Technology 2nd Place – Austin Hale

Customer Service 1st Place – Haley Rhoads

Carpentry 2nd Place – Anthony Christiana

CNC Milling 2nd Place – Dakota Harrison

Dental 2nd Place – Kyrsten Brown

Diesel 1st Place – Braiden Stauffer

Early Childhood Education 1st Place – Luanne Narvett

Electronics Technology 1st Place - Anthony Cleary

Graphics 2nd Place – Alissa Coffey

HVAC 1st Place – Jarrett Blake

Industrial Motor Control 3rd Place – Colby Rigg

Information Services Technology 1st Place – Dalton Kiner

Masonry 2nd Place – Jeremy Baker

Nail Care 1st Place – Charlotte Bink and Model Caitlyn Youkers

Nurse Assistant 1st Place - Amiah Dolan

Precision Machine Technology 3rd Place – Will Knouse

Residential Wiring 3rd Place – Matt Becker

Welding 1st Place – Eric Montefour