Friday Update 11/11/11

Next on the Agenda…

November 17, 9 am – National Technical Honor Society Induction
November 23, 24, 25 – Thanksgiving Holidays (Students/Faculty/Staff)
November 30, 8:15 am – SkillsUSA meeting in the EMS Classroom

Veteran’s Day –November 11th

Florida veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War who joined the military before completing high school can obtain their high school diploma thanks to the Florida Veteran Diploma Program sponsored by the Florida Department of Education in partnership with the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“As our nation pays homage to past and current members of the military, I am proud that we can recognize our distinguished military veterans by granting them a high school diploma,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedoms and this is but a small token of appreciation for their courage and sacrifice at a time when our country needed them.”

“Florida is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation,” said Mike Prendergast, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “As we honor Florida’s more than 1.6 million veterans on Veterans Day, we salute the Department of Education for remembering the sacrifices of our wartime veterans through this worthwhile program.”

For complete details, please visit the Veteran Diploma Program page at in a new window.

Academic Affairs

Arts, AV & Technology

Students who started in August were in and out during the last two weeks participating in their first job shadows at businesses around Lake County that hire graphic designers. They all returned with exciting stories of seeing their future profession in action. That first-time smell of commercial printing ink does the trick every time! The last graduate of 2011 not placed in industry was just hired by a new ad agency in Lady Lake. How exciting for him to be 18 years old and now earning $20/hour using skills he learned here at Lake Tech. It’s not the graduates in caps and gowns that get me excited – it’s stories like this, when young people get their first chance to be a professional, earn professional money, and use their professional skills… in spite of a poor economy! Go Lake Tech!

Health Science

The Practical Nursing instructors began sharing curriculum by teaching in each other’s classrooms. Jean Becraft taught the pharmacology unit to the day students while Linda Suskiewich taught psych to the evening class. Great teamwork!

Law, Public Safety & Security

Lake Tech’s Fire Academy, in partnership with Lake County and the City of Tavares, proudly announces the annual Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, April 13-15, 2012. The event is being offered to promote the physical fitness of fire fighters. The challenge will be the season opener of the 20-plus Scott Firefighter Combat Challenges to be held throughout the United States in 2012. Mission Inn will be the host hotel for the three-day event. While you must be a fire fighter to take part in the competition, the public is encouraged to watch as the participants navigate the challenge course or “The Toughest Two Minutes in Sports”. High school students who are interested in a fire fighting career are also invited to attend the event. Businesses and individuals who want to be an event sponsor should contact Ron Williams at retfc2@yahoo.comopens in a new window.

The event kicks off with a golf tournament at Mission Inn Resort & Country Club on Friday, April 13 at 1 pm to raise money for fire fighter training scholarships. The Combat Challenge will be held at Lake Tech’s Fire Academy. Registration on Sunday opens at 7 am. The tandem and team relays begin at 9 am.

Fire fighters competing in the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, Saturday & Sunday, April 14 & 15, shall complete the five-evolution event which includes a 5 story tower climb with high-rise pack, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance, and victim rescue. Competitions shall include individual, team, tandem and relay. Fire fighters will vie for times, points, and placement qualifying them for the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge US Nationals Competition to be held October 2012. For a complete description of Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge rules and regulations, or to register as a competitor, go to www.firefighterchallenge.comopens in a new window. The registration fees are as follows: Individual $75, Tandem $90, Relay Team $195, Team $290.

Also on Saturday & Sunday there will be a Kid’s Fire Fighter Challenge that targets youth from 4 to 11 and is a miniaturized version of its adult counterpart. The Kid’s Challenge includes a tunnel, hammer-slide, and fire hose drag. This is an exciting adventure for any child that ever wanted to put on some fire gear and squirt a real fire hose.

According to Ron Williams, Lake Tech Fire Academy Director, “The real idea behind the event is to promote the physical fitness of our firefighters and for the public to see what it takes to be firefighter.

Scholarship Awarded… Jerald House, a day law recruit, was awarded the Star and Shield Scholarship on Tuesday. This scholarship is available for law and fire students enrolled at Lake Tech.

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The Day Law graduation ceremony will take place December 8 at 7 pm.

Adult Education

Adult Education instructor Pam Netherton attended the State Master Gardener convention last month. She competed as one of the Lake County representatives across the state. The event is very intense as each competitor has a list of 200 plants that they must be able to identify by their leaf, stem, bark, seed, fruit, flower, or product. Competitors have an hour and a half to identify 140 of the 200 plants. Pam has been a member of the Lake County Master Gardener team which has won for the last three years. Pam has also won the top score the last three years as an individual. Congratulations to Pam.

A number of online students came in this week to TABE post test and all of them made learning gains. We are excited about the good things happening in our online Adult Education program because it opens access to more students who simply can not get to class on a regular basis. Similarly, the on campus lab was teeming with energy and effort. Our dynamic trio of Colleen Avelli, Gloria Balogh and Pam Netherton work tirelessly to make sure students continue to keep their eye on the prize. A few of their very own sat for the GED test this week, some of whom have already applied for financial aid to get started in a program soon after. Nice work!

On the Career Pathways front, our dynamic team is producing some amazing results. Made up of Gloria Balogh, Trudy Dailey, Chuck Durante, Pam Netherton, Tom Netherton, Art Seidner, and Brent Stubbs, the team is crafting a new systematic intake process for our adult education students. In addition, they are developing strategic benchmarks that will be tracked to ensure students make progress towards transition to post-secondary or employment after the GED. They are also developing retention strategies and transition processes to ensure students start, stay and succeed in their path. Speaking of progress, meetings are underway for the development of the new adult education Career Pathways web portal. Design ideas are being discussed and the new website portal promises to be an exciting tool for all adult education students in Lake County.

Student Affairs


Student achievement is one of the goals for Lake Tech students and efforts paid off recently at the Florida SkillsUSA State Leadership Training this past week. Three Lake Tech students and one advisor attended the Leadership Training Workshop held October 26th – October 29th in Haines City, Florida. Elected officers from the six Florida regions participated in the workshop on leadership for their office’s position. Representing Lake Tech were Heather Anderson, Digital Design/Region 3 Parliamentarian; Caleb Jensen, Digital Design/Region 3 President; Kristin Payne, Administrative Assistant/Region 3 Awards Coordinator; and DeAnna Thomas, Chapter Advisor/Cosmetology Chairperson.

All three of the students and Ms. Thomas earned the “Florida SkillsUSA Statesman Award and Pin” while at the workshop. This is the highest honor that can be earned in the State of Florida. According to Ms. Thomas, “Our days started at 6:30 am and ended at 11:00 pm! We worked on leadership skills, civic and government, parliamentary procedure, extemporaneous speech, prepared speech, etc. We worked very hard to earn the award… it was not just “given”, and not everyone that attended was able to accomplish this. I am VERY proud of our three students. They were a great representation for Region 3 and Lake Tech.”

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A 15 second commercial has been created by Tom Netherton, Brent Stubbs and Trudy Daily to advertise the Career Pathways theme of: Dream It, Plan It, Do It, and Be It. This commercial will be shown at the AMC Theater in Leesburg for several months. The voiceover was done by our own Austin Rigdon who is currently enrolled in the GED program. Check it out at in a new window.

Staff Development Opportunities

Cathy Peterson will be attending the Charter School Conference in Orlando this week.


Discussions are underway regarding the creation of a virtual bookstore. Students would be able to purchase their books through this online bookstore. Other benefits include students being able to buy used books, sell their books back to the bookstore, and be able to purchase Lake Tech items (T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.).

Community Involvement

Last Monday, Diane Culpepper met with Carlos Gonzalez, Business Development Director from BlueChip Energy, LLC, to learn more about the solar industry. This company is building the Sorrento Solar Farm, the largest PV solar project in Florida. The Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place on Monday, November 14.

Also on Monday, Diane Culpepper and Trudy Daily will be attending the 1st Annual Economic Development Summit sponsored by Lake County’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism.

Lake Tech Celebrates Halloween!

 witches Friday Update 11/11/11tonyia Friday Update 11/11/11spiders Friday Update 11/11/11spider Friday Update 11/11/11pumpkin4 Friday Update 11/11/11pumpkin3 Friday Update 11/11/11pumpkin2 Friday Update 11/11/11pumpkin Friday Update 11/11/11ice Friday Update 11/11/11group Friday Update 11/11/11food Friday Update 11/11/11belinda Friday Update 11/11/11


Lake Tech is proud to announce…

Teacher of the Year: Chip Cooper, Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Rookie Teacher of the Year: Scott Rose, Applied Welding Technologies
Support Person of the Year: Irene Storm, Custodial

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