Alaskan Educators Observe CTE at Peoria HS

Submitted by Adriana Parsons

Peoria High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) staff hosted two teachers from Fairbanks, Alaska last week. Hutchison High School teachers Alex Lewis and Alysa Loring left the freezing cold temperatures for the Valley heat to learn more about Peoria’s work-based internship program and the district’s model for integrating academic lessons with CTE programs.

The teachers met with Peoria High School Internship Coordinator Jan Delgado and Michelle Bush, West-MEC Director of Academic Integration Grants, for a closer look at Peoria’s integration model before taking tours of programs such as agriscience, design and merchandising, business, culinary arts, sports medicine and more.

“We’re looking to reevaluate and revamp how we integrate programs at our school,” said Loring.

Loring, an English teacher, is responsible for supervising Hutchison High School’s senior projects. Her seniors must create a research paper, a product, a portfolio, and a presentation before gradating.

Lewis teaches history and coordinates her school’s work-based learning program. Her students work and attend a cooperative education class to hone soft skills such as resume writing and time management.

“There’s an opportunity for us to integrate what our students learn in their cooperative education programs and tie that to their senior projects,” said Lewis.

Delgado’s students are currently making career portfolios documenting their experience in the internship field. The visiting teachers previewed some examples to help with their programs at home.

“We developed these integration methods and share examples and templates to encourage others who want to try a similar approach,” said Delgado.

The visit was pegged as a success by the duo from Alaska as well as Peoria CTE staff. Loring mentioned the highlight of the tour was the agriscience greenhouses.

“It was amazing to see how many aspects are student-built in the nursery and greenhouses,” said Loring.

The greenhouses are additional examples of integration at work on Peoria’s campus. Construction technology students built several parts of the greenhouses and agriscience students maintain the plant life as real industry learning projects.