Catching Up With… Sarah Junkins, Class of ‘11

Sarah Junkins is a Cedar Cliff High School graduate, who attended CPAVTS at part of the Criminal Justice program.

She was invited to CPAVTS, as an Alumni guest speaker for the Criminal Justice program. 

Although she attended CPAVTS under instruction from our retired CJ Teacher, Mr. Page, she joined the Occupational Advisory Committee for CJ under Mr. Shannon’s new instructor regime.

Sarah was gracious enough to take a moment and fill us in on her exciting career advancement since graduating CPAVTS. 


Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“I work for the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, specifically in the Victim Services Division.”


What is your job title and what do you do?

“I am a Crime Victim Advocate. I assist victims through the criminal justice system.”


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

I haven’t had any other employment. I interned while I was in college, and that turned into a job with the DA’s Office.”


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

“I obtained a four year degree at Penn State University. I also received lots of training within the DA’s Office, in the areas of Homicide and Special Victims Training."


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“The school appealed to my interests and needs, outside of my home school.”


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

“There has been an increase in computer use!  Ability to use computer programs to process information.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Becoming Chief of my Criminal Justice class all of my senior year.”

CPAVTS Comprehensive Plan 2020-2022

Click here for the Comprehensive Plan

The new Emerging Health Professionals program for 2019-2020

CPAVTS will offer a new course called Emerging Health Professionals for the upcoming school year.  This course is a dual enrollment with Messiah College that offers skills-based training with a university learning, while students shadow the health care profession at UPMC.  This is a senior only course for those interested in a health care profession, which students will get to explore first hand with this course. 

This half day program for seniors will be for the duration of the entire school year.  Students will spend two days a week taking college courses, two days in a health care profession environment, and one day developing skills.  Students will take college courses such as anatomy and physiology totaling eight credits towards their post-secondary education. 

This is a great opportunity for students who want to pursue a health care profession like a physician’s assistant, dental medicine, sports medicine, or a registered nurse.

Summer Middle School Camp


Cumberland Perry high school students are finished for the summer but middle school campers have taken over!  Middle school students get to explore various programs that are offered typically to high school students, for two weeks in June.

Students had several options of camps including: Carpentry, Criminal Justice, HVAC, Cosmetology, Horticulture, Early Childhood, Forklifts, Dental/Nursing, Electrical Construction, and Automotive.  Almost all of the camps were filled to capacity, with eager middle school students.  This camp exploration will provide students with basic fundamentals, safety skills, and a prospective career opportunity. 

Cumberland Perry AVTS hopes to see these students again in their high school years to prepare them for industry careers!


Program Spotlight- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration

Teacher Spotlight- John Pokrivka “Mr. P.”  program spotlight- HVAC and Refrigeration


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

“All of my senior students have jobs, are going to school when they graduate to continue their education or going into the military…this is the first time EVER!”


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

“Residential HVAC Installations and Service, Residential Plumbing, Commercial HVAC Installations and Service, or Maintenance.”


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

“EPA 608 Refrigeration Certification and Progression on the task list.”


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

“Everything is now including electronics, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.”


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

“Electrical- Students have to think in the abstract and logical simultaneously.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Controlled chaos, they get their theory lesson first thing in the door, and then they are in the shop working the rest of the time.”


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

“Get a job, work hard, work on the soft skills and never quit learning.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“I have been with CPAVTS for 27 years.”


What is your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I spent 13 years as a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/ Refrigeration Service Technician.”



Student Spotlight- Heating, Ventilation, A/C and Refrigeration

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“In my program, I learned how to do the basics of refrigeration, electrical and other HVAC related jobs.”

“We learn every aspect of making hot stuff cold and cold stuff hot.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The electrical part is the hardest in my opinion.”

“Black iron projects.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Working with others on projects and messing with Mr. P.”


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

“Using a refrigeration leak detection.”

“New Testo tools, including digital gauges and Propress tools.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I will be joining the United State Marine Corps.”

“I am applying to Local 520.”



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

“Learning from Mr. Pokrivka.”

“Installing every unit the shop has, and fixing any broken units.”


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

“I am proud of learning how to do refrigeration.”

“How to fix units that are broken.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day would be working hard, and learning how to do new jobs.”

“Installing and servicing units, repairing and checking units throughout the school.”


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

“This program is very hands-on compared to all other class, I am learning a skill for a job right out of high school.”

“You work with your hands and learn something that will be useful on its own for the future.”


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?

“Be nice and respectful to Mr. P. and he will treat you like a real person, like a colleague instead of a student.”