Program Spotlight- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration

Teacher Spotlight- John Pokrivka “Mr. P.”  program spotlight- HVAC and Refrigeration


What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?

“All of my senior students have jobs, are going to school when they graduate to continue their education or going into the military…this is the first time EVER!”


What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?

“Residential HVAC Installations and Service, Residential Plumbing, Commercial HVAC Installations and Service, or Maintenance.”


What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door?

“EPA 608 Refrigeration Certification and Progression on the task list.”


What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession, with which students become familiar?

“Everything is now including electronics, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.”


What unit/topic do student struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?

“Electrical- Students have to think in the abstract and logical simultaneously.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Controlled chaos, they get their theory lesson first thing in the door, and then they are in the shop working the rest of the time.”


What advice would you give student who have completed your program?

“Get a job, work hard, work on the soft skills and never quit learning.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“I have been with CPAVTS for 27 years.”


What is your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I spent 13 years as a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/ Refrigeration Service Technician.”



Student Spotlight- Heating, Ventilation, A/C and Refrigeration

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“In my program, I learned how to do the basics of refrigeration, electrical and other HVAC related jobs.”

“We learn every aspect of making hot stuff cold and cold stuff hot.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The electrical part is the hardest in my opinion.”

“Black iron projects.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Working with others on projects and messing with Mr. P.”


What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?

“Using a refrigeration leak detection.”

“New Testo tools, including digital gauges and Propress tools.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I will be joining the United State Marine Corps.”

“I am applying to Local 520.”



What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

“Learning from Mr. Pokrivka.”

“Installing every unit the shop has, and fixing any broken units.”


What are you the most proud of learning in your program?

“I am proud of learning how to do refrigeration.”

“How to fix units that are broken.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day would be working hard, and learning how to do new jobs.”

“Installing and servicing units, repairing and checking units throughout the school.”


How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past?

“This program is very hands-on compared to all other class, I am learning a skill for a job right out of high school.”

“You work with your hands and learn something that will be useful on its own for the future.”


What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?

“Be nice and respectful to Mr. P. and he will treat you like a real person, like a colleague instead of a student.”


Cooperative Education Spotlight- Kyle Wickard

coop spot- may 2019

When Kyle Wickard was in 9th grade, he knew he wanted to attend Cumberland Perry AVTS and be in a mechanical program. He was accepted into the Diesel Technology program later that year and has made the most of his decision. Now a senior, he is currently employed by Lobar Associates, Inc. through the Cooperative Education program at CPAVTS. Kyle attends Cumberland Valley High School each morning and then reports to work at noon. Every day brings a new adventure with equipment repairs, preventive maintenance, hydraulic hose repairs, and many more trade related tasks. The classroom setting and simulated work in the Diesel Tech program have provided the entry level skills necessary for Kyle to be successful on the job. The transition from the classroom to the workforce has gone very smooth. With his knowledge, skillset, and work ethic far superior to most his age, he is a welcome addition to the Lobar Associates team.


CPAVTS Culinary students prepare cuisine for Governor’s STEM Competition


High school students from across Pennsylvania will challenge other teams with their projects to make the quality of Pennsylvanian life better.  The Competition will be held at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.  Students, parents, and many dignitaries will be in attendance for this yearly event giving CPAVTS students’ real experience with the catering side of Culinary. 

Chef Robert Miller planned the Pennsylvanian themed menu which includes a 200 person luncheon accompanied by a buffet dinner.  The luncheon menu consists of tomato basil bisque, various wraps, Amish macaroni salad, potato salad, whoopee pies, and cookies at the Civil War Museum.  Interactive serving stations will be arranged throughout Memorial Hall at the State Museum consisting of a garden salad, veggie sampler, pasta bar, fresh fruit bar, and red velvet cake.  CPAVTS Culinary students prepared food items before-hand to ensure expediting the prompt ceremony schedule. 

Centerpieces for the event were designed by the Horticulture and Landscaping program at CPAVTS.  It was requested to be simple, Pennsylvanian, with a woodsy touch.  Vases were filled with Gerber daisies and bells of Ireland with a twine wrap holding a tree slice that was wood burnt with the Pennsylvania State outline.  

This event prepared students for real life catering, menu implementation, serving etiquette, and teamwork, while simultaneously achieving one of the largest on-site catering events CPAVTS has ever accomplished.


Catching Up With…Ethan Rhodes-O’Brien, Class of ’15 and Joseph Kruba, Class of ‘18

alumni spot- May 2019Ethan and Joseph both came by CPAVTS to visit instructor, Mr. Fogleman in the Precision Machine Classroom. Needless to say, we wasted no amount of time asking them to fill out our Alumni questionnaire.


Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“I started working for the railroad machining industry after high school, at a company called Amsted Rail. I am currently pursing my bachelor’s degree at Central Penn College.”-Ethan

“I work for Ames Industries, a plastic injection molding company.”- Joseph


What is your job title and what do you do?

“I was a CNC Operator at Amsted Rail. I operated machines that made parts for rail car coupler cushioning units.”

“Toolmaker- I make and condition injection molds.”


What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS?

“I am currently pursing higher education at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. I believe I was well prepared by CPAVTS.”

“I am learning the trade of a toolmaker via an apprenticeship. CPAVTS prepared me for this by learning the basics.”


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“Cumberland Perry was a more hands on learning environment. It allowed me the opportunity to learn a useful skill.”

“I was able to choose the trade I wanted to learn and the work was hands-on.”


How has your industry changed since you time at Cumberland Perry?

“There is more emphasis on automation, learn mfg., integration of additive mfg. technologies.”

“Technology continues to improve as well as the need for people to learn the new tech.”

What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Graduating and feeling a sense of accomplishment.”

“When I was able to finish my NIMS part in time for it to count for graduation.”

Cooperative Education Spotlight- Melissa Pasquel

coop spotlight- april 2019

Melissa Pasquel, a senior from Mechanicsburg High School, has always known she wanted to do something with little kids when she grew up. So, during her 9th grade year, she filled out an application to attend Cumberland Perry AVTS, with hopes of landing one of the vacancies in the Early Childhood Education program. That spring, she received an acceptance letter and her career plan was on its way. After two successful and fun years in the program, a representative from The Children’s Center in Camp Hill, while assisting with the NOCTI testing, took notice of Melissa and her passion for little children. Melissa was soon offered a summer position with The Children’s Center. While working as a teacher’s assistant, she utilizes many of the skills that she learned the last 2 years. Planning and conducting daily activities, preparing educational materials, observe, record and report behaviors, and developing individual plans to meet needs of children are just some of those daily functions performed while working.   By the end of the summer, Melissa and her employer didn’t want to part ways, so the position rolled into a Cooperative Education experience. Now, 4 days a week, Melissa leaves Mechanicsburg HS and reports to work and puts her skillset to good use. Melissa plans to stay on board until the fall, when she plans to attend Toccoa Falls College in Georgia and study Early Childhood Education with a minor in Music. Her career pathway is headed in the right direction.