Instructor Salute...

Changing of the Times…

Ron Atticks…the man…the myth…the legend.

Mr. Atticks has been a fixture at CPAVTS for 31 years. During his time at CPAVTS, he has grown the Graphic Communications program with the changing times. From letter press printing, to offset printing; and then computers, to the desktop publishing we see taught today. He has been here for it all. It is only fitting that the era of print ends with him.

Speaking with Ron, he recalls a favorite memory: “I had a student that almost quit school! I watched as they turned their life around. They became a state contestant for SkillsUSA, and then they succeeded in their career in the Graphics field.” He remarked that he also enjoys contact with former students, hearing of their successes and even receiving invitations to their weddings. He also enjoyed the yearly Skills door decorating holiday competition, and why wouldn’t he? The Graphics program won the competition countless times for each category.

Although there are joyous memories, Ron is more than ready to get retirement started, beginning in June with a wedding reception and then traveling across the country, touring the west coast. His fun doesn’t stop there though, he also has plans to see the US Open! He plans to stay active, with various interests such as volunteering, golfing, gardening, and swimming. He is looking forward to spending lots of time with his new wife, family, and especially their grandchildren. We couldn’t be happier for you sir.

Enjoy your retirement and thank you for the years of dedication to CPAVTS!

Program Spotlight- Computer Programming

Student Spotlight                                 

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“How computers are able to do what they’re programmed to do.”

“I learn problem solving skills and how to apply them to the computer programming field.”

“We learn how to use various programming languages to do what we need them to do, as well as discrete mathematics.”

“You learn to think in a way that involves breaking problems down.”

What is the hardest part of your program?

“Trying to get a grip on various concepts that don’t make any sense to you at first.”

“It’s watching others struggle and not being able to help them. When it clicks and makes sense to you, you just want others to get to that point of understanding as well.”

“Learning the new material at first.”

What is part of your program is the most fun?

“When you finally overcome an obstacle, like getting a grip on a concept that doesn’t make any sense at first…that feeling is great!”

“When you spend a lot of time working on a program and it finally runs properly.”

“Programming on the computers versus writing programs.”

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

“The python programming language.”

“Using different languages to code, we use it to make programs.”

What is your plan for after high school?

“Go to college to improve my programming skills further, and then get a job as a game developer.”

“Go to college because I am currently in a dual enrollment program.”

“Attend college, most likely Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and earn my degree in Software Engineering.”

“Go to college to extend my skills in computer science.”

What is going to be the highlight of the year?

“I’m not entirely sure, but I would imagine our final project will be pretty fun.”

“It is when you get to look back at our first few programs and see how simple they are, and we get to laugh about how we struggled with those!”

“Probably all the fun we had together as a class, we’re all good friends.”

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

“I created a small game, on my own time, using the skills I picked up during class.”

“Learning how to break down real life problems, and solve them with computer programs.”

Explain a typical day in your program.

“Come in, sit down, learn, and then code.”

“You come in from the bus, answer the daily question on the board, have a lesson on the current chapter for you theory time and then you get to do your hands-on work, writing programs for Mr. Lehman or the book.”

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

“It is more difficult than my other class. The deadlines are stricter and the math requires a lot of critical thinking.”

“I am learning new things for college and for college credits, while I’m still in high school.”

“The class is smaller, so there’s more one-on-one interactions with the teacher and with classmates. If I have a question about anything the answer is always given to me directly.”

“Hands-on learning and very personal. Since our class is so small, we can get a lot of individual help when we need it.”

“We are a lot closer as a class, we know each other well and share similar interests. We enjoy what we do here together.”

What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or a student who is considering enrolling in the program?

“Just remember that the first half of the year is discrete mathematics and not programming. However it is still fun and worthwhile. You need those fundamentals.”

“Don’t give up at first! Discrete math is hard at first but it gets easier and it is well worth it.”

“Be proficient in math, and have a good memory. Take notes, ask questions and pay attention!”

Catching Up With…James Gardner, Class of ‘03

Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“I currently work at Masonic Villages, which is retirement housing in Elizabethtown, PA.”

What is your job title and what do you do?

“I am a Sous Chef, which is the position directly under the head or executive chef, making me second in command.”

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

“I’ve done many jobs within my trade area since leaving CPAVTS, far too many to list!”

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

“I attended HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) and obtained an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts.”

How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“It was trade specific training for something I wanted to do as a career and it was a lot more one on one instructor time.”

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

“The equipment is newer and improved, and some new techniques.”

What is your favorite memory from your time at CPAVTS?

“Competing in Skills USA competitions for Culinary Arts.”

Deputy Secretary of DLI visits CPAVTS

Wolf Administration Visits Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School, Highlighting PAsmart Proposal to Ensure Students are Work-Ready


Mechanicsburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today visited the Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School (AVTS) and highlighted Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart proposal to boost opportunities for career and technical education (CTE) and prepare students and workers to get good family-sustaining jobs.   

“Promoting CTE programs like these at Cumberland Perry AVTS ensures that we have a job-ready workforce to meet local employers’ needs,” said Cipriani. “The school works closely with local businesses to align curricula, college credit, and industry certifications to ensure that students are prepared with the necessary skills to either obtain a job upon graduation, or move smoothly into the next phase of their education.” 

 Deputy Secretary Cipriani toured some of the school’s job training programs, including the Precision Machine Technology, Horticulture, and Automotive Technology program labs.   During the tour, Cipriani visited with students working in the labs, and had the opportunity to talk with both students and instructors about how the school works to provide a seamless transition between high school, career or college.

 Staff at Cumberland Perry AVTS work closely with local businesses to develop curriculum that provides industry-relevant skills for students, and to provide students opportunities to engage with local employers. Deputy Secretary Cipriani also attended the school’s annual career fair for high school seniors that included more than 50 companies, industry partners and employers looking for new talent.  

“Cumberland Perry AVTS provides area high school students with the best deal in public education,” said school principal Dr. Lesli Shuman. “Our students spend three years in a technical program and graduate with technical skills, industry certifications, work experience, and college credits which places them ahead of their peers. Many of our students leave Cumberland Perry AVTS with full-time employment and benefits, or a semester’s worth of college credits. We are the solution to the workforce gap, and the spring board to post-secondary education and countless career pathways.”


Cooperative Education Spotlight- Fidel Hernandez

Coop spotlight- april 2018

A year and a half ago, Fidel Hernandez bought a tool belt and some basic hand tools after receiving an acceptance letter to attend Cumberland Perry AVTS. Today, he puts those tools to good use thanks to the real world training he obtained from the Carpentry program. Fidel, a senior from Upper Adams School District, is currently participating in the Cooperative Education program at CPAVTS. Each day, he leaves Upper Adams around 11 o’clock and reports to work for the rest of the day. His employer, CB Construction Services, Inc. in Dillsburg, has partnered with CPAVTS to cap off Fidel’s vocational education. The transition to the workforce was an easy one for him thanks to his hard work, dedication, willingness to learn, and attention to detail. Building walls, hanging drywall, working concrete slabs, installation of doors and windows, and wood blocking are various tasks that Fidel performs on a daily basis. He loves the fact that he gets paid to do something enjoys, sometimes at a prevailing wage rate. As a senior on the cusp of graduation, Fidel is well on his way to his career goal. His employer has stated they will employ a cooperative education student like Fidel every year moving forward. He will no doubt be successful in all future endeavors.