Name: Brinda Ruehlen
Lake Tech Program: Accounting Operations
Graduation date (month/year): June 2014
Current Employer: Massey Services Inc.
Job Title: Accounts Receivables
Why did you choose Lake Tech? Great location, staff, out of 3 schools I checked they had the highest graduation ratio. How was Lake Tech different than other schools you have attended? Being able to work at your own pace, staff always encouraged you. How did your Lake Tech program prepare you for your career? Doing presentations in front of class, and being able to practice different accounting and all the Microsoft programs, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, Calculator, and taxes. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. Building my confidence by competing in Skills USA and coming in third place. Also doing taxes for people through the VITA program. And having the honor of being nominated for student of the year. Even though I didn’t win it was a great honor. Do you have plans to continue your education? And/or what are your future goals in your career? I am thinking about taking more classes in the future. My future goal is to be the best I can, and keep learning every day. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? The staff at Lake Tech is committed to helping you achieve your goal, and help with getting a position in the career you want, not just a job to get by with.
Name: Steven Whitaker
Graduation Date: February 1987
Current Employer: Retired Leesburg Fire Department
Job Title: Battalion Cheif
Why did you choose Lake Tech? I chose Lake Tech because after 12 years of school I was tired of going to class and I was looking for something that I could get trained for with the least amount of time possible. I have lived in Lake County my whole life and always heard about Lake Tech but never researched it until late 1986 when I started the Firefighting night class of 252 hours. How was Lake Tech different than other schools you have attended? I only had high school to compare it to and it was far greater than that as the program was built around a hands on approach which I found very easy to learn by. How did your Lake Tech program prepare you for your career? I graduated the fire program and then entered the EMT program and after graduating both programs I have worked in the field ever since and I just retired from Leesburg Fire as Battalion Chief. I have taken several other classes during my tenure at Lake Tech to enhance my education and job abilities. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. I think my best experience is the fact that I started my career with Lake Tech as a student and I now teach in the Firefighting program alongside of some of the same instructors that taught me in standards. Do you have plans to continue your education? and/or What are your future goals in your career? I am retired now however I have thought about taking the welding class as a hobby. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech?Lake Tech is a great way to get started in a career choice especially if you struggled in traditional school/college work. Lake Tech got me started in the best career ever and encouraged continuing education.
Name: William (Bill) Sturgeon
Graduation Date: May 1982
Current Employer: St. Cloud Fire Rescue
Job Title: Fire Cheif
Why did you choose Lake Tech? The experience of the instructors. How was Lake Tech different than other schools you have attended? I am partial to vocational education. It was an awesome stepping stone for my career. How did your Lake Tech program prepare you for your career? It gave me the fundamental skills to be a firefighter. The instructors also encouraged me to seek more education and training. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I became a state certified firefighter. My instructors made sure that we were prepared for state testing and a career in the fire service. Do you have plans to continue your education? and/or What are your future goals in your career? This is an area where I have excelled. I obtained my A.S degree, bachelors degree, and a Masters in Public Administration. I also completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. I may pursue a PHD in Public Safety Leadership. I want to become more involved in improving vocational education. One day I would like to serve as the Director of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech?Lake Technical College is prepared to make you the best at your vocation. The instructors are caring and experienced practitioners that will give you the fundamentals to succeed. Live up to the challenge and you will be successful!!!
Name: Stacy Mickler
Program: Early Childhood Education
Stacy Mickler’s first educational experience began at Tiny Tech, Lake Tech’s on-site preschool. “Several” years later, Stacy enrolled in the Early Childhood Apprenticeship program, meeting in the same classroom where she met as a little tot! As an exceptional student and leader, Stacy graduated from Lake Tech with Highest Honors, was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society, and was recommended to serve on the Lake Schools Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program Advisory Board. She has been an asset to this committee for two years, contributing ideas for the growth and continued success of our program. Stacy also completed the Child Care Center Operations course at Lake Tech, earning her Child Care Director Credential.
As a Paraprofessional at Treadway Elementary, Stacy was voted School Related Employee of the Year at Treadway where she is highly respected and loved. Congratulations to Stacy! We are proud to have you represent Lake Technical Center as successful alumni!
Name: Cindy Dotson
Program: GED Prep/Medical Assisting
Graduation Date: GED Prep, August 2011; Medical Assisting, est. December 2012
Current Employer and Job Title: Household Manager/Full Time Student
Former Job or Career: Sales
Why Lake Tech? Lake Technical Center is well known in our community and surrounding communities for graduating great leaders in the fields that they are studying. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? Well, to tell you the truth, it is hard for me to compare Lake Tech with the schools I had previously attended. You see, I was a foster child for many years and during this time it was very hard for me to understand what was going on in my life. Foster care for me started when I was about three years old. I was in the fourth grade when I was reunited with my mother. I was in many foster homes (approximately 20). I went to school, but I was not worried about my studies. Instead, I was more worried if my social worker would pick me up from school to take me to a different foster family that day. This was not because I was a problem child; I was only in elementary school at the time. I quit school after I completed the seventh grade. How long did it take you to complete your training? It took me a good six months to earn my State of Florida High School Diploma. If it were up to me it would have taken me a lot longer. My instructors, Mrs. Netherton and Mrs. Avelli, kept telling me that I was ready to take my GED. I, on the other hand, completely disagreed with them. So, they stuck with me until I built up the confidence to take the test. Then the teachers had to give me another push to reassure me that I was prepared to pass the exam. I took my test in August 2011 and passed with flying colors. With my diploma under my belt, I decided it was time for me to go back to school to make a place for myself in the medical field. I chose Lake Tech’s Medical Assisting program. This was the best choice for me since I have children, and this class is in session only 2 days a week (this is face to face time with your instructor) and the rest of the week is online. The best part of the training is you can work at your own pace. I have to add that the instructor is phenomenal. This is a challenging program, but I am enjoying every minute of it. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? Earning my State of Florida Diploma has opened up many educational opportunities. So far in my program, I have been trained in CPR & First Aid. Currently, I am learning Phlebotomy; this is one of the courses that will help me in my future employment. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. Everything! I am enjoying the hands-on training and the academic challenges. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? They have the best instructors and staff. Lake Tech has a variety of programs to choose from. The guidance counselors are there for you and are willing to help you every step of the way. Do you have plans to continue your education? I hope to attend Lake Tech’s P.M. Practical Nursing program next, so I can bridge over to the Registered Nursing program. With my Medical Assisting certificate, I will have the knowledge and skills to get a job in the medical field and further my education.
Testimonial Quote: Make your vocation your vacation ~Mark Twain
Name: Leslie DiCesare
Program: Evening Cosmetology
Graduation Date: December 6, 2011
Current Employer and Job Title Katie’s Salon, Stylist
Former Job or Career Katie’s Salon, Receptionist
Why Lake Tech? I researched several different schools offering cosmetology. I decided upon Lake Tech because, from the moment I walked through the doors, everyone made feel like my goals and dreams were attainable. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? With flexible class schedules available, Lake Tech offered me a program with personalized attention, smaller class sizes, and excellent instructors. Along with all these wonderful things I was able to attend class in the evening making it easy for me to work and receive a quality education. How long did it take you to complete your training? Approximately 14 months. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? The Cosmetology program offers students the chance to experience firsthand how to work proficiently in a real salon. From servicing clients, to working as receptionist or salon manager, I was able to learn how to work with a diverse group of people in a fun environment all while learning valuable skills for my desired profession. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. In addition to receiving student of the month and being inducted into the National Technical Honor Society, my best experience at Lake Tech was building a relationship with a very special client. I was always happy to see her for our weekly appointments. She taught me a lot about life it the short time I was able to spend with her. That is the sad part about graduating; leaving behind all the wonderful people you meet along the way. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? The education I received went above and beyond my expectations. All of the cosmetology instructors are very knowledgeable of the many different aspects of the business. I graduated Lake Tech with the confidence that I am ready to conquer any challenge that may come my way. Do you have plans to continue your education? As a cosmetologist there is a wealth of resources at your fingertips from the Internet to nationally recognized hair shows. I plan on using every opportunity available to me to stay current with the latest trends and techniques.
Testimonial Quote: “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Name: Chris De Libro
Program: Emergency Medical Technician, Corrections and Law Enforcement
Graduation Date: August 24, 1995
Current Employer and Job Title Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Technical Center Institute of Public Safety/ Criminal Justice Academy Director
Former Job or Career Volunteer Firefighter/EMT
Why Lake Tech? Lake Tech provided the tools and training I needed to obtain certification and the staff were all extremely helpful. The fact that they were so close and affordable was also a benefit. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? The instructors were all individuals who worked in the field in which I was training. This made them much more credible to me. They also treated you like an adult. How long did it take you to complete your training? All in all, for all three training programs, it took me a little more than a year to complete. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. The best experience or experiences I should say are the relationships and friendships I made while here. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? Believe in yourself and remember that with hard work, anything is possible! Do you have plans to continue your education? Yes, because of personal reasons I had to drop out of High School and obtain a GED. I then decided to go to Lake Tech for the aforementioned programs. Since then, I have earned an Associate’s Degree from Vincennes University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Saint Leo University and a Master’s Degree from Saint Leo. I have taught myself to never stop learning.
Testimonial Quote: “Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
Name: Anthony James Baumgartner
Graduation Date: Spring of 2010
Current Employer and Job Title I am a full time actor. I have worked on/with (Post Graduation) MTV, Starz Network, Illusion Scenic Productions, ABC, and many others.
Former Job or Career I had always worked toward becoming an actor. While going to school, I had a job as a cook at a small restaurant in Deland and another job at the Winn Dixie grocery store.
Why Lake Tech? My mother thought it was a good thing to try, and the school offered other programs which could lead to a “steady job. My first step was to take the GED and get my high school diploma. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? I was actually home schooled most of my life, so really it wasn’t that different. The big difference was I was surrounded with people who made poor choices and now wanted to change their life. It was great that way because we all kind of held each other up. Everyone wanted a better life and finally got up the confidence to go back to school, or switch careers, or whatever it was they had been afraid to do. Add the great teachers, that of course just want the best for you, and that’s when real magic happens. How long did it take you to complete your training? I was there a year. My teachers had said that I was ready way before I took the GED exam, but I wanted to be sure. I gave myself a one year accomplish earning my diploma. I also wanted to decide where and what I wanted to be. I also was waiting to take the GED exam with a friend that had started about the same time. We were friends, and I couldn’t just leave him behind, so we took the test and passed it together. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? I learned patience. It was always a thing I’ve had a hard time with. The class and teachers helped me learn that nothing happens over night. This was such a hard thing to learn and really understand. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. We had a new teacher who had only been working a few weeks, and I came into school that morning and was really, really upset over this girl I had been dating. I did poorly on a test and was, just having a really rough day. He had noticed that I was upset and said, “Anthony, would you give me a hand with something outside here real quickly?” He spent some time listening to me which really meant a lot. All the teachers and fellow students were very supportive. That was my best experience of all. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? The teachers are there because they want to be. Lake Tech offers teachers that can give you hands on help and coaching, which most times is not possible at a high school or university. So, take your time, breathe, and make a daily list of what you want to accomplish. When you accomplish things on the list, check them off. This helps, the teachers help, and you can help yourself. I did, and others before me have to, and so can you! Do you have plans to continue your education? After I graduated Lake Tech, I had told myself I wanted to try out college. I applied and was accepted to many schools across the U.S., then decided upon The Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, California. While studying and maintaining an A average, I broke into the modeling and acting. I’ve been on several commercials and am currently working as an actor.
Testimonial Quote: “Lake Tech helped me to get back the motivation I needed to work hard and to achieve all my goals in life.”
Name: Maria Newman
Program: ESOL & Administrative Assistant
Graduation Date: June, 2011
Why Lake Tech? Before I started my Administrative Assistant program, I attended evening ESOL classes. I always felt attracted to and curious about Lake Tech, but at that time I had other plans. My goal was to get a master’s degree in Business Administration at The University of North Florida; however, my language skills, work experience, and the cost to attend a four year university were challenges. What I really needed was to update my skills so I could get a better job.
I did a lot of research, contacted the school, and met the instructor, Mrs. Rosenglick. When I talked to her, she encouraged me to try this amazing program. The decision I made to attend Lake Tech was the best I have ever made in my life. Lake Tech is a well known institution and has an excellent reputation in the community. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? Lake Tech’s Administrative Assistant students work independently and at their own pace. We have an instructor, but the students are responsible for their learning experience and their achievements. The individualized instruction helped me to develop new skills that I didn’t have. For example, I have become more organized with my time and managing my daily tasks. I am more independent. I have learned how to work without supervision, just exactly the way it is out in the job field. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? Everything. My program teaches the skills based on the changing needs of employees and employers. I am confident that I will be very well prepared for all the tasks that an administrative assistant will face in the world of work. I love the fact that in my program our instructor is always trying to get the newest technology for us to learn. We work with updated computer programs, as well as the newest editions of textbooks. How long did it take you to complete your training? It is a 1050 hour program and can be completed in almost a year. If you are dependable and try to not miss classes, it is very easy to finish on time. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. At Lake Tech I just had good experiences. The best experience was when I received the notice that I was nominated for the National Honor Society. Almost at the same time, I received a gold credential from The Florida Ready to Work Credential program sponsored by the State of Florida. I have to confess I was crying without being able to stop. It is beautiful when you see that for every little effort there is always a tremendous reward. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? Everybody needs to know that Lake Tech is a high-quality institution. The instructors are well prepared, always willing to help the students, and motivate you to achieve your best. Do you have plans to continue your education? Yes, what I want to do next is to find a job where I can start building a long-term career and earning a salary that will help me to live without worries. I then want to enroll in a university to start my master’s degree in business communication.
Testimonial Quote: “I would highly recommend Lake Tech to anyone considering going back to school for continuing education.”
Name: Robert A. Lee
Program: GED & Welding
Graduation Date: January 18, 2011
Current Employer and Job Title: Full-time Lake Tech Welding Student
Former Job or Career: Land Surveying Technician
Why Lake Tech? I found that Lake Tech fit my budget better than most others schools that I researched. Also, Lake Tech is closer to my home than many of the other schools I looked into. I found that Lake Tech was able to give me the Welding certificates that I will need to obtain a job and other schools were not able to provide this to me. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? The Lake Tech instructors have given me the one-on-one time I needed to complete the assignments I have been given. The staff at Lake Tech have been very helpful and go out of their way to make sure you get all the help you need. How long did it take you to complete your training? The GED prep class only took me 5 months and 4 days to complete due to the wonderful help you get from the instructors in that course. I am still currently enrolled in the Welding program. I plan to complete this course after I have all the training I need along with the certifications needed to obtain a career in the welding field. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? For me, the GED prep class has given me the self-confidence I needed to continue my education and move into another program, Welding. In the Welding program, I will have learned the fundamentals of welding, the different types of metals and many different types of welding procedures. As well as how to properly and safely use the tools involved in the welding field. At the end of this program, I will be AWS certified and have Lake Tech certification. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. Staff, all of the staff at Lake Tech have been wonderful to work with. They are more than willing to go out of their way to make sure you get what you need when it comes to the course you are inquiring about. They have a job shadowing program to offer, that most people can choose to do (when in the GED course). The job shadowing program was a very helpful program. It gives you a good opportunity to see the programs that Lake Tech offers. This gives you, as a student, a good insight on what program you may want to choose without having to pay up front. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? Lake Tech has been a wonderful place to attend and to learn a new career/trade. The cost of the programs that are offered are not out of budget range for most people, which I feel is a very good thing. The Staff at Lake Tech are a very helpful in many ways. Do you have plans to continue your education? At this time in my life, I do not have plans on continuing my education after completing the welding course.
Testimonial Quote: “Lake Tech taught me I do not have to go where the path may lead; instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Name: Melina De La Paz
Graduation Date: June 23, 2010
Current Employer and Job Title: Owner, Sol De Mexico, Mexican Restaurant
Why Lake Tech?: I heard so many good things about the school. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? The instructors inspired me to do my best every day. I earned my State of Florida High School Diploma in June 2010, then started Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts in August 2010. How long did it take you to complete your training? Six months. It will take me a little longer than a year to earn my Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts Certificate. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? The program not only prepared me for my GED exam, it also taught me I do not have to go where the path may lead, but instead go where there is no path and leave a trail. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech. Meeting so many wonderful people. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? It is never too late to start a career and this is a great place to reach for future success. Do you have plans to continue your education? I plan to finish the Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts program this fall.
Student of the Year
Ms. Phina Jordan, of Mascotte, was named Lake Tech’s 2010-11 Student of the Year. Ms. Jordan told the Student of the Year interview committee that her goal is to obtain a grown-up job; something that would be fun, something she could be proud of, and something that would allow her to make a genuine contribution to the world. She has pursued this goal by first graduating from Lake Tech’s Fire Academy and from the Emergency Medical Technician program. She is currently enrolled in the Lake Tech Paramedic program.
According to Dr. Sherie Lindamood, Admission’s Counselor, “Ms. Jordan has demonstrated that she is a strong person both inside and out. She can repel down multi story buildings, be the first responder at a cardiac arrest; and perhaps most demanding of all, she is a single mother of three and has held a job throughout her educational journey. Ms. Jordan came to Lake Tech understanding the importance of being an individual of integrity, but as she participated in the level of teamwork that is required in emergency medicine, she reports that she found a new respect for others who are doing the right thing moment to moment, under pressure, to save lives. I believe that she has indeed met her goal: to have a grown up job of which she can truly be proud and make a contribution to the world.”
Testimonial Quote: I have the job of my dreams, thanks to Lake Tech!
Name: Robert Zehner
Program: Computer Electronics Technology
Graduation Date: December 2004
Current Employer and Job Title: Lake Technical Center/PC Software Technician
Former Job or Career: Owner of dive shops in South Florida
Why Lake Tech? The Computer Electronics Technology Program offered significantly more hands-on training as compared to other schools. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? I attended high school a long time ago, so offering a comparison is difficult! How long did it take you to complete your training? One Year What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? I learned how to troubleshoot and repair almost every imaginable computer problem. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech…. My best experience was the interaction with my instructor and my fellow classmates. The program was both educational and fun. I looked forward to attending class, every day! What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? If you are serious about getting a job, enroll in a Lake Tech program. Not only are the instructors committed to teaching state-of-the-art skills but you will also receive an unbelievable amount of hands-on training. Do you have plans to continue your education? Not at this time. I thoroughly enjoy my current position.
Testimonial Quote: ”Lake Tech offered me the education to get the wonderful job I have today.”
Name: Kelsey Teachout
Program: Practical Nursing evening program
Graduation Date: February 25, 2011
Current Employer and Job Title: Lifestreams, LPN
Former Job or Career: Server
Why Lake Tech? Lake Tech offered me the quickest, most efficient way to earn my license as a nurse. I was able to get a job after less than one year of training. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? Lake Tech is more one-on-one. Classes are smaller and there is a more hands-on approach. I got to learn a lot through clinical work. How long did it take you to complete your training? About 11 ½ months. What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? There are numerous clinical nursing skills that taught me how to properly care for my patients. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech…. I really enjoyed being able to see open heart surgery. I also got to do my practicum at Lifestreams, which helped me get a job after graduation. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? That you get a lot of real-life experience and these programs are geared to getting you a job, not just a degree/certificate. Do you have plans to continue your education? Yes, I am planning on going on to get my RN.
Testimonial Quote: ”Lake Tech taught me the necessary skills so I can be an effective childcare provider!”
Name: Alfonzo Baptiste
Program: Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program
Graduation Date: June 25, 2009
Current Employer and Job Title: Lake County School Board, Eustis Heights Elementary, Teacher Assistant
Former job: Coleman’s Preschool
Why Lake Tech? Lake Tech endeavors to reach students, regardless of their ability or disability. How was Lake Tech different from other schools you have attended? Lake Tech is different from so many other schools because they provide you with memorable learning opportunities. The school offers experiences that will make you successful in the field that you desire to work in. How long did it take you to complete your training? Two years What did you learn in your program that prepared you for your job? I learned how to assist the educational staff to monitor children’s progress, as well as the preparation of academic activities. In addition, I gained an understanding of how to assist children with their academic difficulties and personal needs; to provide emotional support and encouragement to students; to lead by example for students; and model appropriate behaviors and practices in the educational setting. Describe your best experience while a student at Lake Tech…. When I graduated from the Early Childhood Apprenticeship program with honors! This memorable experience will always be with me because it taught me that if I can achieve noble honors, then the impossible can be achieved. What is one thing that future students should know about Lake Tech? Lake Tech equips and prepares you for the work field that you have a passion to work in. Do you have plans to continue your education? I will continue to pursue any and all relevant classes and coursework to increase my skills in order to provide children with the best possible environment and education.