Logo for Berrien County Career and Technical Education
June 2020
Volume 4, Issue 6
This school year began as most do, with anticipation and a vision on how the year would unfold. Within our Career and Technical Education world, the late summer and fall months proceeded as expected. New county programs were prepared, professional development for the county CTE staff flourished, and Career Pathway Day was expanding its scope to welcome new school districts and new partners. 

The winter months held new conversations about further expansion of CTE opportunities, as well as a countywide student survey that went out to all of our Berrien County high school students. As the survey was preparing to close, COVID-19 began to impact our state and drastically changed the way education looked for the remainder of the school year.

Although much of our "normal" has been turned on its head, educators throughout the county have reinvented what in many cases would be called a hands-on interactive style of curriculum. Since mid-March, the CTE Directors, instructors and counselors have met multiple times (virtually) to ensure that countywide programming continued to function as a countywide unit.  The hard work from these individuals was demonstrated through their level of dedication, the innovative educational strategies employed and resulted in the highest level of interest for shared time CTE programming we have ever had for the 20/21 school year!

We are extremely proud to have worked within this county, with the administrators, instructors and other district staff members as everyone pulled together during this time of crisis. A quote from Dr. Suess continues to come to mind, " I will teach tiny humans here or there, I will teach tiny humans everywhere !"

Stay healthy and safe.
Chris Machiniak
Regional Director of Career & Technical Education
CTE Programs - 2020 In Review
Virtual CTE Programs
New Buffalo High School
Nominated by: Devinnie Wysocki , CTE Director
New Buffalo High School
Construction Trades Program Continues through COVID-19

Even though he misses interacting with his students, Robert Hughes has found a new way to stay connected at a distance. Mr. Hughes, the Construction Trades teacher at New Buffalo Area Schools wanted his students to finish the year out by completing a home that they were building, even if it was a scale model. Mr. Hughes went to work cutting and assembling materials for students to build a scale model home. Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Leslie, delivered packages to
17 construction trades students containing all of the materials needed.

The students were given specific model requirements along with instructions. Their model house was to be approximately 1,200 square-feet, contain 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, windows and two exit points. Students sent pictures of their progress throughout, giving Mr. Hughes an opportunity to comment and make suggestions on the pictures. With this new virtual connection, Mr. Hughes said it’s been nice to remain connected with his students, he misses the face-to-face interactions, but in our current environment this method worked out well.

Featured here is New Buffalo High School senior, Daniel Bowen showing his creative talent. Mr. Hughes enjoys seeing how hard his students have worked on their project while at home. He said, “The work they have done has been phenomenal.”
Benton Harbor High School
Benton Harbor Area Schools logo
Submitted by : M'Shannon Rockette, CTE Director
Benton Harbor High School
From The Desk Of A Virtual CTE Teacher
As CTE teachers, we are application driven. We are hands-on, motivating, and career pathways tour guides. Our purpose is to provide experiences to our students- Experiences that allow students to build computers, create seven-course meals, construct miniature libraries, produce commercials, and develop web-sites.

During this unprecedented time, we were encouraged to become even more innovative in providing our knowledge and expertise to our students in ways that will prepare them for their future career. Virtual demonstrations, dash-to-door material deliveries and wellness checks were just some of the ways we’ve adjusted to ensure our staff members provided continued learning experiences for our students and families.
Benton Harbor High School
Benton Harbor Area Schools logo
Submitted by : M'Shannon Rockette, CTE Director
Benton Harbor High School
Benton Harbor Honors their Outstanding CTE Students of 2020
Bridgman High School
Submitted by: Laura McGee, CTE Director
Bridgman High School

Bridgman CTE Program Flipped Upside Down

On March 13, 2020, my 21 years of teaching experience was flipped upside down and taken in a direction I would have never imagined. The past 9 weeks have been spent “zooming”, writing more emails than I ever thought possible, using Google Drive more than I ever have, and collaborating with other CTE teachers who were having the same successes/problems as me. Social distancing, what’s that? I teach business-related classes where a good handshake is a must! And, you mean I cannot hug my seniors on their last day or at graduation? Like I said, my world was flipped upside down, and I am continuing to grow and adapt over these several months with the help and direction of our awesome administration and support from Berrien RESA CTE. 

Perhaps some positives that have emerged were working from home (yes, sometimes in my pajamas), setting my own schedule somewhat, and walking my dog more than ever. Some negatives were not seeing my students face-to-face, setting my own schedule that was never the same schedule a teenager has, and that personal relationship a teacher builds with their students seemed to be less personal when online. Here is what a few of our Bridgman CTE students have said:
·        Jackson Schmaltz – A positive would be that we were still able to get some learning in even with the strange predicaments. A negative would be it’s harder to fully understand what you need to do because there is no in-person help.
·        Mikaela Owen – Positives: I have more time to complete my work and I can sit down and do a whole assignment, even if it takes longer than an hour, which I couldn’t do at school. I have also found numerous online resources that have either been shared by teachers or found by myself, that I didn’t know existed that will help me with my work in the future (whether or not it’s online). Negatives: I work well getting one-on-one instruction from my teachers and it’s very hard to ask questions and get immediate responses when doing things online. 
·        Carlos Ramirez – A huge part about learning is overcoming adversity whether it be in the classroom or at home on a computer. COVID-19 really put students to the test but it was nothing that we couldn’t handle!
Overall, remote learning has been a struggle for both teachers and students, but it has definitely made us all grow, think outside the box, communicate more effectively, and use those problem solving skills that are so important!
CTE - The Year in Photos
Counselor Connection
By: Kelly Dargus
CTE/Perkins Consultant
Ending the Year Virtually
We've always known how important school counselors are to a district, but now, more than ever, it is important to recognize that counselors play an intricate role relative to our students' wellbeing. District counselors have continued to reach out to students in this new virtual world.

Here are some ways districts were being creative using online tools during this time.
  • Drive-by graduate celebrations
  • Yard signs celebrating seniors and staff
  • Weekly student check-ins
  • Endless webinars and training

We appreciate our district school counselors and thank them for their hard work and dedication.
Upcoming events:
  • Countywide Professional Development - Tuesday, August 18, 2020
5th Year Early/Middle College

By: Melissa Springsteen
5th Year Early/Middle College Consultant
  • Congratulations Cohort 2-Class of 2020! Job well done!
  • 36 Associate Degrees
  • 3 Certificates
  • 2,857 total credits
  • Average GPA 3.01
  • Cohort 3 & 4
  • Showed grit and tenacity to finish their Spring 2020 semester strong after moving to a full online/virtual class format due to COVID-19
  • Cohort 5-Class of 2023
  • Welcoming 77 new students
  • College Success Bootcamp will be run in a virtual format in July
If you have questions, please contact
Melissa Springsteen
(269) 471-7725 Ext. 1304
Do you have a suggestion for the CTE Newsletter? Please contact Chris Machiniak or Mona Hunter .
PA56 Nondiscrimination Statemen t
It is the policy of the PA56 Consortium members that no person on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, weight, height, marital status, gender expression, judicial record, disability, and/or any other legally protected characteristic shall be bullied and/or discriminated against. This includes exclusion from participation in, benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any state or federally funded program or activity for which the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency or any member of the PA56 Consortium is responsible, or for which it receives state or federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.  In addition to the above statement, arrangements may be made to ensure that language skills are not a barrier to admission or participation in Career & Technical Education programs within the Berrien County PA56 Consortium.
Berrien Regional Education Service Agency
PO Box 364
711 St. Joseph Avenue
Berrien Springs, MI 49103-1583
(269) 471-7725

The views and perspectives shared in this
publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency, affiliated schools, staff or board members.

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Berrien RESA CTE Staff

Chris Machiniak , CTE Regional Director

Mona Hunter , CTE Assistant

Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant

Melissa Springsteen , 5th Year E/MC Consultant

Gabby Turbyfill , CTE Intern

For additional information on Berrien County Career and Technical Education, visit our website at: www.berriencte.org