Instructor Malena Perry continues to advance her program area into the future.program spotlight- march 2018

The Arboretum began and will continue to be added to for future generations. Hydroponics & Aeroponics take off in the greenhouse, sending plant growth to new heights!

We asked Mrs. Perry to kindly take the time out of her busy schedule, following this year’s PA Builder’s Show, to enlighten us on the importance of this trade.

Here is what she had to say:


Teacher Spotlight- Malena Perry

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

“We have started new garden towers, which introduced aeroponics to our program.”


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

“Work for local landscapers, florists, and some go to further their education at Penn College and Temple.”


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

“Understanding how plants function, being able to identify plants and how to use them.”


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

“Sustainable horticulture and using hydroponics. Also the use of biochar and the many applications of charcoal.”


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

“Botanical names of plants is probably the most difficult for students, and that is because Latin is difficult for anyone!”


Explain a typical day in your program?

“There really isn’t a typical day, we are always trying something new.

How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“19 years.”

What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I am a vocational education graduate, from Franklin County, class of 1992. I went to Penn State and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in AGED. I worked at Plasterer’s Florist in Chambersburg through a co-op program, and I continued working with them through college, as well as during holidays while I was teaching.”


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

“Never give up, and always work hard.”



Student Spotlight- Mason Kelley

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“I learn how to care for people and the plants that we offer.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The hardest part is plant and tree identification.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“The most fun part is that we have the best teacher and learn skills hands-on.”


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

“Recent technology would be the hydroponics and aquaponics systems. Controlling the PH level and mineral/vitamin numbers.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“My plan after high school it to go work for Good’s Tree & Lawn Care in Harrisburg, as a tree climber/arborist.”


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

“The highlight of my year was most definitely the PA Home Builder’s Show.”


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

“I am proud of learning how to work with others in different ways. Things such as customer service, and growth and maintenance of plants.”


Explain a typical day in your program?

“Water all plants within the greenhouse, pull weeds in the greenhouse, and work with our planting towers or ongoing projects. We also help Mrs. Perry to complete flower orders.”


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

“It is a small class, which unfortunately is the result of people losing interest in pursuing this trade. Working within this field gives me motivation to enlighten others of the importance of this trade. The one-on-one training is a great opportunity.”


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?

“Always have an open mind when you join. Be ready to work every trade, because we do almost every shop in one class. Be respectful and kind to others, and always work hard.”