During the month of February, Carbon Career and Technical Institute (CCTI) celebrated Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. Students and faculty explored and celebrated career and technical education.

Rachel Strucko, Coordinator of SHINE Career Academy stated, "Career and technical education has an evolving curriculum and is always changing with the trades. The students are learning up to date techniques."

She added that students learn hands on with theory based learning.

"CCTI uses cutting edge technology to teach students. Students are learning technical skills as well as academic," stated Strucko.

Margaret Kalogerakis, Coordinator of School Improvement at CCTI, stated, "CTE month is a way to showcase what career and technical education is all about."

Eleventh grade Culinary art students explained that throughout CTE month, students from teh different trade areas set up displays during their lunch periods.

Culinary art students participating included Cale Staruch of Panther Valley, Lauren Tompkins, of Jim Thorpe, Cheyenne Tilley of Palmerton, and Josh Suveg, of Panther Valley. School District discussed that throughout CTE month, students from the different trade areas set up displays during their lunch periods.

Kalogerakis stated that the trade displays give students from other trade areas the chance to see what their peers are learning and working on. There were also displays and projects from the academic areas.

CCTI kicked off the month long showcase by having a Superbowl display created by the carpentry students.

The Culinary Art students set up bake sales around Valentines Day to help raise money for the Honor Society. Some of the items that were made included cupcakes, heart shaped cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries.

Many other displays and projects were showcased during the lunch period throughout the month.

CTE month is a nationally recognized celebration and awareness of the opportunities career and technical education can bring. The CTE showcase used to be a week long but it is now a month long. Different career and technical schools celebrate the month in many different ways.

Throughout the month, CCTI also had visits from post-secondary schools. Among the schools were Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Thaddeus Stevens College, and Johnson College of Technology.

Kalogerakis stated that at CCTI, students learn skills they can take into the business world as well as skills they can take to continue their higher education. At CCTI students have the opportunity to study and receive college credits along with their regular coursework.

CCTI also celebrated each member school district. Each week a different district was celebrated (Jim Thorpe School District, Panther Valley School District, Weatherly School District, Lehighton School District, and Palmerton School District).

CCTI invited school board members and administration members from each district to visit. The students had the chance to meet school board members and administration members while they enjoyed some ice cream.

CCTI will be continuing the CTE celebration and showcase into March with the CCTI Open House and Career Expo. The open house and expo will be held at CCTI on March 5 from 5-8 p.m. There is a snow date of March 12th.

There will also be a chance to learn about local and non-profit organizations, as well as a Graphic Design Art Show.

Interested Carbon County eighth and ninth grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend.