Huge Increase in Independent Capstones at Portland High School During Unique School Year

This year, many Portland High School seniors took on unique independent projects as their senior capstone. Projects included building an artist’s shed, building a smoker, art work, career research, building a guitar, making electronic music, and researching topics such as Buddhism, reading and mental health, preparing for the Navy, lobstering and African clothing. 

Capstone requirements include student choice and research. Most students complete their capstone through a class, but some students design their own independent projects. In a typical year, there may be two or three students who take on an independent capstone, but this year over twenty students designed their own project. Independent capstones help students to explore a particular passion.

Skye Ferris, who made a series of portraits of friends and family reflects, “My advice for next year’s students is to choose a project that you are actually excited to complete, as I found my own process very enjoyable and it was something I had wanted to do for some time.”

Elias Parker who worked with two other students to help build an artist’s shed said, “ I am most proud of the seemingly far-fetched idea we had, and our ability to follow through and not sacrifice any magnificence nor quality in our project.”  When asked about advice he would give other students, Eli shared “GO BIG, you’ll be proud of yourself”

This large increase is likely due to the fact that the pandemic allowed for more independent learning, time to explore personal interests, and flexible time in which to do the projects. Hopefully this is a start to many meaningful independent projects in the future!

Information for this article was provided by Portland Public Schools as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Waldo County Technical Center Names Daisy Bradney CTE Student of the Year

Daisy Bradney
Daisy Bradney

Waldo County Technical Center (WCTC) proudly announces Daisy Bradney as its 2020-2021 CTE Student of the Year.

Daisy, a senior from Belfast Area High School’s BCOPE, is a second year student in the Culinary Arts program. Miss Bradney is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and has also served as a Student Ambassador while at WCTC.

Aside from having asserted herself as a top notch baker, Daisy also excels in the production of soups and stews. A past volunteer at the Starrett Children’s Center, she is the daughter of Jody Johnstone and James Bradney.

Daisy plans on attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle next year to pursue a degree in education. When not focused on her studies or honing her culinary skills for family and friends, Daisy enjoys dancing, hiking and working part time at a local restaurant.

Congratulations and GOOD LUCK, Daisy!

Learn more about Waldo County Technical Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video:

United Technologies Center Names Mackenzie Stepp as CTE Student of the Year

The United Technologies Center is pleased to announce Mackenzie Stepp of Hermon as the 2020-2021 Student of the Year.  Mackenzie is a student in the school’s Medical Assisting Program.  Mackenzie attends Hermon High School.  While at Hermon she has been a member of the Student Council and has served as the organization’s treasurer and president.  She is currently president of the National Honor Society. Mackenzie is a two year member of the Key Club and is the school’s student school board representative.

Mackenzie is taking part in the medical assisting externship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor.  She has distinguished herself in the medical assisting program through her outstanding academic and clinical performance. Trudy Vintinner, Mackenzie’s medical assisting instructor, explains that not only has Mackenzie excelled in the classroom and clinical portion of the program but has a remarkable sense of care and compassion for others which truly distinguishes her in the medical field.  Mackenzie is also a member of the National Technical Honor Society.  United Technologies Center is proud to have a student whose kindness and empathy are the centerpieces of a superb set of personal qualities.

Mackenzie will attend the University of New England in the fall where she plans to major in medical biology.  She is the daughter of Charlene and Andrew Stepp of Hermon.

Learn more about United Technologies Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video:

Tri-County Technical Center Honors Ann Gerardi as CTE Student of the Year

Director Leavitt and the faculty at Tri-County Technical Center have selected Ann Gerardi as the 2020-2021 Career & Technical Education Student of the Year.

Ann is a senior at Tri-County Technical Center enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program.  Her instructor, Steve Spaulding nominated her for the award.  “Anne exceeds all of the program standards, excels academically, and demonstrates exceptional leadership.”

Last year Anne was enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician Program where she earned her certification in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).  Tri-County Technical Center Director Brian Leavitt stated, “This is a huge accomplishment for a high school student.  Ann now is able to be employed throughout the United States as an EMT.  Ann is also a member of the National Technical Honor Society.”

Ann has been accepted into the New Brunswick Bible Institute in the Biblical Studies program.  After college she plans to pursue a career in the emergency medical services field.

Ann is a homeschooled student who resides with her family in Dexter.  She is the daughter of Brenda and Paul Gerardi of Dexter.

Everyone at Tri-County wishes Ann the best of success!

Learn more about Tri-County Technical Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video:

St. John Valley Technical Center Honors Anthony Pelletier as CTE Student of the Year

Anthony Pelletier
Anthony Pelletier

St. John Valley Technical Center has named (SJVTC) Anthony Pelletier as the SJVTC’s CTE Student of the Year.  Anthony continually demonstrates a high level of leadership, organizational skills and responsibility in his academic and career pursuits within the Allied Health pathway.  Anthony has successfully attained through this time at SJVTC the following achievements/certifications:  Certified Nurse Assistant (C.N.A.), Personal Support Specialist (P.S.S), First Aid & CPR/AED certifications.  He currently works as a Nursing Assistant at Crosswinds Residential Care Facility in Fort Kent.

Anthony enjoys challenges and is not afraid of hard work, always having a positive attitude and outlook on life.  He is a strong advocate for providing community service and has been involved in the following Career and Technical Student Organizations: Health Occupation Students of America, National Honor Society and SkillsUSA.

Anthony is the top academic student within his Health Occupations program and continues to take advanced college courses within UMFK’s BSN program.  Following graduation, Anthony plans to pursue enrollment within the Maine National Guards to help pay for his college expense.  His career plans are to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Learn more about St. John Valley Technical Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video: