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CTE is the Map to a Career Path

CTE GlobalChoosing a career path is an important step in a student’s path to life after high school. Even if a student is college or university bound, determining a career path determines the type and length of post-secondary education needed. Many factors steer that decision, but having current job outlook information and experiential opportunities will help students choose a career path that will be exciting and meaningful to them. To begin finding the right career, a student can draw from many experiences in Career and Technical Education.
A career interest survey is the easiest way to start narrowing a field of careers to research. Several websites, such as, offer free surveys that ask questions about likes and dislikes, personality traits, and skill sets to determine types of careers that match those characteristics. A student can take that information and begin to select certain Career and Technical Education classes that align with those areas of interest. Because there is such a wide range of courses, a student may choose a few different courses to see which area they develop more interest.
As a student begins to narrow a field of choices, higher levels of CTE courses can help a student earn industry recognized credentials that can be listed on resumes and college applications. Some credentials are even recognized by some post-secondary institutions to earn articulated college credit. Knowing that students have multiple points of entry into a career, the earlier a student can earn a credential, the more marketable they become to business and industry. Over the last four years, Craven County Schools CTE programs have awarded almost 3,000 industry recognized credentials to our students such as Microsoft Office Specialist, OSHA Safety Certification, and ServeSafe.
Taking courses and earning credentials is just part of the career path search. Students should take opportunities to talk with their CTE teacher and Career Development Coordinator (CDC) to arrange job shadowing experiences. These short one day experiences allow students to step inside a business or industry to see the “real world” of their chosen career field. Students are able to see careers in action and ask questions of skilled professionals about all the aspects of their jobs. Job shadowing experiences can be done any time with coordination from the CDC and local businesses.
Career and Technical Education offers two additional opportunities for students wanting true on the job experience in their search for a career path. A semester long internship is a true on the job experience that immerses students into an industry or business setting. Internships are developed in partnership between the student, a chosen business, and the school’s CDC. A student studies and works in as many aspects of a business as possible and develops a portfolio of the overall experience. Participating in an internship can pay big dividends in the future when applying to college and/or a job.
A deeper experience that involves post-secondary work coupled with on the job training is the apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is one of the oldest forms of job training in the world. While not extremely prevalent in the United States, European countries such as Germany, have extremely successful apprenticeship programs. However, these training experiences are growing amongst many North Carolina industries. The apprenticeship is a formal training program developed by a business or industry in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Labor. Students can become involved in pre-apprenticeships as early as age 16 and progress to full apprenticeships at age 18. B/S/H Home Appliances in New Bern has had a successful apprenticeship program for almost 30 years providing post-secondary education and on the job training to many students in the area.
Choosing a career path can be daunting, but participating in CTE courses, job shadows, internships, and apprenticeships can help students decide the best options for their future. Business and industry leaders who would be interested in shadowing, internship or apprenticeship experiences for students can contact Chris Bailey, Craven County Schools CTE Director at 252-514-6322.


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Health Science teacher, Donna Stortz, teaching her students about patient care procedures.

photoCareer and Technical Education (CTE) has evolved in many ways over the last several years to include name changes and expansion of courses to meet the needs and demands of the workforce. Last week we explored four major areas, Agricultural Education, Business and Information Technology Education, Career Exploration, and Family and Consumer Sciences. This week we will examine the remaining four areas of CTE.

Health Sciences exposes students to the many career fields of the healthcare industry. This being one of the largest and fastest growing career clusters, students will find these courses help them narrow the field of healthcare career options. Students begin with Health Team Relations and can move on to two different levels of Health Science. Public Health Fundamentals is a state certified course that allows students to add on a home health care aide credential to the nurse aid credential. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) organization to extend the skill demonstration in competitive and leadership events.

Marketing and Entrepreneurship Education explores marketing in two realms. Marketing courses focus on marketing commercial products to the global marketplace. Sports and Entertainment Marketing hones in on the marketing strategies utilized in the multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment industry. Both of these courses are offered in multiple levels. Students can also learn how to take their ideas from inspiration to an actual physical saleable product of viable business through the course Entrepreneurship. DECA (Distributive Education Club of America) is the student organization providing opportunities to expand their leadership and marketing skills.

Technology, Engineering and Design Education has undergone the most drastic change in recent years. Offering students insights into various aspects of engineering, the courses teach students the processes necessary to make infrastructure, products, etc. operate and function better. Two of the newest classes to be added to this area are Scientific Visualization and Game Art Design. Students learn how to create virtual and three dimensional environments. While these skills are obvious to the gaming industry, the same skills are applicable in education and training, realty, and cartography where virtual reality environments are being used more and more. Students can participate in the Technology Students of America organization to test their programming and engineering prowess in competitive events.

The last but probably largest area of CTE is Trades and Industrial Education. These courses are traditionally the skilled trades. Students learn the basics of construction from the foundation to the roof in four levels of Carpentry. Before the house can be built, a good plan has to be drawn. Students in drafting courses learn CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) techniques for both architectural and engineering purposes. The printing and publishing industry has changed tremendously over the last few decades and courses in Graphic Communications and Print, Advertising and Design learn the newest in digital publishing techniques. Digital Media courses allow students to experience creating digital video and editing for broadcast over a variety of delivery options. This year will be an exciting year as Firefighting, Public Safety and Emergency Medical Technician courses will be added in the high schools allowing students to receive the same training offered through the Office of State Fire Marshal and State EMS Director. All of the trade areas are represented in competitive events through the student organization SkillsUSA.

All in all, there are over 75 course options in Career and Technical Education through Craven County Schools. As times have changed, so have the courses offered to our students based on interest and desire. To find the course that is right for you, contact your school’s Career Development Coordinator or call Chris Bailey at 252-514-6322.


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Reading Camp for Summer Success

IMG_2026Reading Camp for Summer Success

 Read any good books lately? Some third grade students from across Craven County are heading back to school for additional reading practice this June and July. The Read to Achieve law, effective July 2013, requires students to demonstrate reading on or above grade level by the end of third grade. Students who did not meet this requirement by the end of the school year are attending Reading Camp. This program isproviding additional instructional time to help students gain the skills necessary to read on grade-level prior to the beginning of the new school year.

Reading Camp began on June 23 and runs through July 10. Camp hours are 8:00-2:30 each Monday-Thursday of the three week camp. A day in Reading Camp includes many opportunities for reading practice with peers and adults. Craven County Schools is providing this campat Oaks Road Elementary, Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary and Roger Bell Elementary . Transportation and two meals are provided to any third graders who are working to meet the Read to Achieve requirements.

The small classes allow students to work with a certified teacher on a variety of reading strategies to strengthen the process of reading and the understanding of what is read. During the twelve days of Reading Camp, students have opportunities to show mastery of the third grade reading skills and will be promoted to fourth grade for the 14-15 school year, if these skills are demonstrated. Students who do not show mastery will enter a 3rd/4th transition class where fourth grade math, science, social studies, etc. will be taught while reading instruction will focus on a student’s individual level and needs.

When asked about the best part of Reading Camp, one student commented that, “Reading Camp is cool because we read about science”. Another student said, “Reading in camp is helping with my fluency.”




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Valedictorian – Quinn Gross – New Bern High School

NBH Valedictorian 2014Over the course of my educational career, it is some slim possibility that I cannot look back upon these years without a sense of accomplishment, a sentiment that, even should this time is my life be such a fraction of what shall be achieved in the future, that these times now past have been formative to my experiences as an individual. Despite, or rather, in consequence of the difficulties and obstacles that have occurred throughout my scholarly career, among which include being a child of a military family moving every couple years, living between divorced parents, and facing medical issues within our family, these educational and personal experiences have been formative and instrumental in my perseverance and pursuit of success, both inside and outside the classroom. Both as a student studying the compendiums of human knowledge and as an individual amongst my peers of youths being socialized in order to take their first step into the complex world we find ourselves, even small achievements, as well as failures and neutral occurrences, provided for the cumultive building of my character, achieving the net sum of who I am today. Interests, biases, ideologies, even one’s favorite genre of music are driven by the experiences engaged in throughout one’s lifetime, and, for a student leaving their mandatory education for the first time, it would appear that my most recent experiences and achievements, particularly graduating as valedictorian, would be most partial to the shaping of my mindset as I stepped across the stage to receive my diploma. With these basic presumptions detailed as to how I see my experiences interacting in the development of my character, perhaps it is most appropriate to illustrate this claim with examples of some achievements and how they helped define me.

            Many of what I view as achievements of my high school career pertain not to awards, recognition, or victory, but rather to those where I have gained a new perspective about the world, or new knowledge of the intricate interactions that occur within it. Such is it that my experiences as a Duke TIP scholar, which allowed me to attend Duke University in which I studied neuroscience, played the role in driving my interest in how the mind is an emergent property of the material brain. This new perspective, a keystone of modern neuroscientific theory, granted the perspective in viewing how the material body defines the perception of consciousness, a continual narrative about reality that is the mind. Another summer at Duke, I studied nanotechnology which granted insights into the way material science was increasingly defining the capabilities of human engineering by allowing synthetic biochemistry to be achieved in an otherwise sterile system. And during this past year as a senior at New Bern High School, I had the opportunity to work as a teacher assistant for the honors chemistry class, which significantly influenced my character and contributed to the selection of one of the majors I will be pursuing at university, chemistry. These experiences helped develop a significant interest in being a lifelong learner as well as contributing to my character as an individual, always looking to pursue new frontiers of human understanding through determination, perseverance, and ingenuity. A future goal of mine being the creation of new developments in technology and society in order to improve the world in which we cohabitate amongst one another.

 And of course there is this notion of being valedictorian, not only the achievements most recently acknowledged, but the pinnacle of achievement that can be accomplished for a student during their studies. This honor is not only for myself, but also a testament to the wonderful teachers that have allowed me to thrive in my scholastic endeavors and an honor to the students in those classes who always provided for rich and intriguing conversation and discussion; the honor is also for my family, my mother, sister, and father, who have always provided support for my studies and have set me on the path to becoming a productive member of society. It is not only a great honor to have achieved the recognition of this position for the class of 2014, but it is also an inspiration to encourage the continued pursuit of knowledge and learning for years to come.

             And as I should intend to pursue my continual quest for greater understanding about the world, I look forward to, though with no small amount of trepidation, pursue my undergraduate studies in chemistry and physics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It is my hope and intention that I continue to expand my own scope of the knowledge of humanity, that I should be able to contribute to that vast sea of knowledge with my own research in the disciplines of physics and chemistry, ever continuing to push the edge, the limits of what society can understand about the natural world.

 Thank you to all who have contributed to and celebrated this honor.



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Valedictorian – Austin Seamster – West Craven High School

KMy name is Austin Seamster. I will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall (GO HEELS!). As of now, I plan to study business. I will not forget the invaluable experiences at West Craven High School I gained through being a drum major for the West Craven Marching Eagles for two years. Every year Havelock Rams and West Craven Eagles battle it out on the football field. This last year the big game happened at West Craven. Every time the schools play each other both bands come together to perform the national anthem. I had the honor of conducting the two bands that night. Seeing Royal Blue and Black uniforms on that field, all playing for one common purpose, will be forever engrained in my mind.

A teacher that has had a huge impact on my life is Mr. Brad Langhans. Mr. Langhans was much more than a teacher, to not only me, but also every student he taught during his 15+ years at West Craven. Sure, he taught us how to march and play our instruments. However, the life lessons that he taught us will have the greatest impact on our lives. He pushed us to our limits. I am thankful for my past experience as an Eagle and look forward to applying everything I learned to my future as a Tar Heel!


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Valedictorian – Andrew Gummel – Havelock High School’s Top Ram

Havelock High School’s Top Ram

Havelock High School’s Class of 2014 has been the recipient of many academic and athletic accolades. The highest performing graduate of the class is Havelock High School Valedictorian, Andrew Gumbel.

In addition to being a stellar scholar, Gumbel has participated in a variety of athletic activities. He played soccer and was on the swim team at Havelock High. This year he was a member of the of the Men’s Lacrosse team during their inaugural season. The team began as a club sport but they hope to be a varsity team in a few years. According to Havelock head lacrosse coach Jeremiah Johnson, “Andrew was willing to change from a mid-fielder to a defensive long pole. This can be difficult for a player. Andrew was highly determined and was a team player who played with a lot of heart.”

Gumbel participated in other organizations at Havelock High, including the National Honor Society, the Marching Rams, and the Symphonic Band. According to Havelock Band Director Jorge Benitez, “Andrew had the ability to transform his section’s disposition in a positive way. He had an infectious personality that reflected his drive to excel at a high level.” He was the vice president of the student council during his junior year and has been active in the Boy Scouts of America achieving the Eagle Scout award. In spite of his various involvements outside of the classroom, he maintained the highest grade point average in his class.

In his valedictory speech, Gumbel thanked friends, the faculty at Havelock High School and his family. His family includes his parents, John and Stacey Gumbel, his brothers, Evan and Cameron and his young sister Olivia. With tongue in cheek he thanked Wikipedia, which he described as the un-cited source of all true knowledge and McDonald’s for providing cheap food and a place to hang out when he was excused from seminar class.

In the fall, Gumbel will be attending Duke University as a recipient of a Naval R. O. T. C scholarship. To close his speech last Saturday, he quoted Frodo speaking to Sam under the shadow of Mount Doom saying, “I am glad you are with me, here at the end of all things.” He went on to say, “Thank you, Class of 2014 for letting me be here with you at the end of all things in our high school career. I look forward to seeing what we will all become in the future.”

Congratulations to Andrew Gumbel and the entire Havelock High School Class of 2014.



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High School Graduation Dates and Times

View archived Gradcast

Havelock High School – June 7 @ 8:30 a.m.

New Bern High School – June 7 @ 8:30 a.m.

West Craven High School – June 7 @ 8:45 a.m.


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Furry Friends project by Havelock Elementary

SJ HESThe fifth grade classes at Havelock Elementary School presented their Furry Friends project to family and friends on Friday, May 9th. The fifth grade students teamed up with the Sun Journal and collected monetary donations, leashes, toys, pet food and pet treats to be donated to various shelters in the surrounding counties. Along with the donations, the students learned about how to take care of a pet and societal issues that surround pets. For their presentations, Ms. Mirise and Mrs. Norris’s students developed power points, animated skits, posters and a few students even put on a play! We are so proud of our 5th graders at HES and all they have done to help educate us on how to be better pet owners.



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Craven Early College Graduation Celebration

On Friday, May 16, 2014, Craven Early College High School held its annual “Graduation Celebration” at Grover C. Fields Middle School. CEC’s graduating class of 2014 included 38 graduates, all of whom received their high school diplomas, and some of whom received one or more Associate’s Degrees from Craven Community College. A total of 83 Associate’s Degrees and four certificates in welding were conferred upon CEC graduates at Craven Community College’s graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

 In addition to recognizing graduates at the Graduation Celebration, CEC faculty and staff honored this year’s scholarship recipients. This year’s recipients were awarded a total of $53,500 in scholarships, up from last year’s total of $19,500.

 The three scholarships that were highlighted at the Graduation Celebration included the Craven Early College First Generation Scholarship, the Albert H. Bangert Memorial Scholarship, and the Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarship.

 The Craven Early College First Generation Scholarship, presented by Mrs. Kathi Whitfield, was awarded (in the amount of $500 each) to three graduates: Zachary Dunham, Shawnee Martinez, and Gentri Pitts.

 The Albert H. Bangert Memorial Scholarship, presented by Craven County Schools’ Board of Education member Ms. Bea Smith, was awarded (in the amount of $4,000) to Gentri Pitts.

 Finally, four Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarships, presented by Golden LEAF Foundation President Dan Gerlach, were awarded (in the amount of $12,000 each) to the following graduates: Alexis Crump, Laura Harris, Shawnee Martinez, and Gentri Pitts.

 The five scholarship recipients listed above will be attending a variety of colleges and universities in the fall. Those colleges/universities are as follows: Alexis Crump (Fayetteville State University); Zachary Dunham (Appalachian State University); Laura Harris (UNC-Asheville); Shawnee Martinez (Meredith College); Gentri Pitts (UNC-Asheville).

 Craven Early College is incredibly proud of its 2014 graduates and scholarship recipients.



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Creekside Elementary Students open up May Board meeting

Creekside BoardOn Thursday, May 15th, six Creekside Elementary students were given the privilege to open up the Craven County May Board Meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and this month’s character/core value words. Fifth grade students Mia Rodriguez , Emma Forsythe, Delaney Maybee, Cassandra Moeder, and Jalen Williams put together a Prezi to help support their discussion on Courage and Social Responsibility. Students highlighted their acts of courage and steps to become more socially responsible throughout the year and in life. Emma Forsythe shared her kindergarten sister’s steps of courage as she endured both open-heart surgery as a baby and hip surgery last August. Elizabeth Forsythe, who was born with a congenital heart defect, stood by her sister with pride as she spoke. The audience got to view Elizabeth now doing gymnastics. Students Delaney Maybee and Cassandra Moeder shared their goal of heading to middle school and having the courage to stand up to bullying. Mia Rodriguez, a military child, showed pictures of all the places she lived around the world.   The countries include Germany, Tsandasar, Yervern, and Georgia, where she had her first happy meal. Jalen Williams wrapped up how their 5th grade class learned about being socially responsible when they traveled to Sound to Sea for their 5th grade field trip. All students did a fantastic job and were rewarded for their participation with certificates by the Board.


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