West Shore SD donation will educate students for a decade

Cumberland Perry AVTS received an early “present” from West Shore School District, in the form of a 2007 Loadmaster Freightliner trash truck.  West Shore School District has over 200 students who attend CPAVTS, and they thought “what better option of a $9,000 trade in value, then to donate it for student education.” 

The diesel instructors were excited to receive the big blue trash truck!   It is fully operational truck with a Mercedes electronically controlled engine and functioning hydraulic system, motorized by PTO (power take off).  Diesel instructors, Andy and Doug, are assuming this truck will provide at least 10 years of education to students at CPAVTS.  Students haven’t had the opportunity previously to work on this model electronic engine or even a vehicle with hydraulics. 

Cumberland Perry AVTS thanks West Shore School District for this valuable learning opportunity for students. 

Advertising Art & Design Instructor Salute

Wendy Lenker-Badorf has been a vital component in the Advertising Art and Design program at Cumberland Perry AVTS for 30 years.  She has been a mentor to many new teachers showing them the ropes at CPAVTS.  She will miss the CP family, but is looking forward to travel adventures and just unwinding.

Here is a “Q” and “A” from Wendy:

How has your program changed in the time you have been at CPAVTS?

The biggest change to my program has been the introduction of the computer and Adobe software.  Many tasks that were once performed by hand are now electronic and completed in a quarter of the time!  Full color digital printing has also made a huge impact in the design field.

What is your most memorable experience at CPAVTS?

In 2010, my students were part of the winning team that built the NanoCar in the contest sponsored by Phoenix Contact in Middletown.  We did the marketing.  The Electronics teacher, 9 students, and myself won a 10-day trip to Germany that included private tours of Berlin, Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen facility, a vocational school in Frankfurt, and so much more! 

Why did you want to be a teacher?

I was intrigued when I read the ad for a Commercial Art teacher in the newspaper all those years ago.  I didn’t know much about vocational education and thought the concept of teaching something I loved to do would be fun and rewarding at the same time. 

What will you miss at or about CPAVTS?

I grew up here and have so many friends and members of my CP family who have moved on or retired before me. I will miss the people and of course it’s hard to leave my current students, especially seniors!

What are your plans after retiring?

I will be working as a “mountain host” at Roundtop Mountain Resort this winter.  My husband and I have plans to travel, ski, and ride our bikes more often. I also plan to pursue freelance design work. I am looking forward to family time and sleepovers with our granddaughter.

We wish Wendy lots of rest, relaxation, and family time during her retirement.  Thank you for your 30 years of dedication to CPAVTS. 

Cooperative Education Spotlight- Nick Wagner

coop spotlight-dec 2018

Nick Wagner, a senior from Cumberland Valley High School, has a career plan in place better than most high school seniors. It all started as an 8th grade student, where he completed an application for the Automotive Technology Program at Cumberland Perry AVTS. He was accepted later that year and jumped right into the task list as a 9th grader. Knowing that he could only stay in any one program a maximum of 3 years, he switched to Welding his second year and decided that is what he wanted to do for a living. At the conclusion of his junior year, he applied for a position with PennDot in Carlisle and is now currently employed by them through the Cooperative Education program. Each day at PennDot brings a new adventure for Nick, which is what he really enjoys most about his position. Repairing broken snow plows, mounting brackets on new equipment, assisting bridge crews, and all other general shop repairs are part of his day. The PennDot team has adopted Nick as one of their own and he really cherishes the people who take time out of their day to teach him. The transition from the classroom to the world of work has been very successful for Nick, thanks to his dedication, work ethic, vocational training, and PennDot’s team. With graduation right around the corner, Nick’s future appears to be on track.

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.