March 2020- Rotary Students of the Month

Madelyne Brymesser is a Cumberland Valley High School student in the CPAVTS Dental Assisting Program. She is the Secretary for the student organization HOSA (Health Students of America), CPAVTS. At Cumberland Valley she is a committee member with USHJA Youth Foundation. She volunteers at HollyHurst Farm, and is currently working at Brymesser Farms, as a home baker. She was named Student of the Quarter and made Honor Roll. Upon graduating, she plans to attend HACC to continue studies in Dental Hygiene.

Trevor Mihalaki is a student in the Automotive Collision Technology Program at CPAVTS, from the Cumberland Valley High School. He is currently employed at a Cooperative Education student with Bob Ruth Ford. He has made the Honor Roll, and been named as Student of the Quarter, CPAVTS. He plans to attend the University of Northwestern Ohio after graduating to study Automotive Technology.

Josephina Hanzel is a Northern High School student in the Culinary Arts Program at CPAVTS. She made Distinguished Honor Roll at Northern, and Honor Roll at CPAVTS. She was also named Student of the Quarter, CPAVTS. She is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, ACF; PA Flavor and Smoke in the Park. She plans to attend Penn College of Technology to study Baking and Pastry Arts after graduation.

New Instructor Spotlight- Marc Kocher, Carpentry

New Instructor Spotlight – Marc Kocher, Carpentry Instructor

Mr. Kocher was welcomed to CPAVTS in January 2020, as the Carpentry I instructor.  He has over 40 years’ experience in the construction industry and wants to share his expertise with his students.   Here is what he shared regarding his new teaching position:


What did you do before coming to work at Cumberland Perry AVTS?


I worked in the construction industry for a home builder for two and a half years, and then worked my way up at a heavy highway utility contractor for 38 years. 


What made you decide you wanted to teach?


Seeing the lack of knowledge and skill set workers had entering the construction industry and also the physical aspect of the construction field.


How has your first month been?


Getting to know all the students and their personalities has been challenging. 


What part of the curriculum are you looking most forward to teaching?


Rough framing with outdoor work experience.


What’s the most important thing you hope to impart on your students?


To prepare students as much as I possibly can for the construction industry!

Cooperative Education Spotlight- Aaron Myers

Aaron Myers, a senior from Big Spring High School, starts each school day working at USA Spares while most of his classmates are on the bus or driving to school. Aaron is working for USA Spares through the Cooperative Education program at Cumberland Perry AVTS. After 2 years of classroom and hands on training in the Precision Machine Technology program at CPAVTS, he figured the next step in his education would be on-the-job training. He now reports to the production floor each day to find a new task awaiting his arrival. His training in the PMT program helped prepare him for most tasks including blue print reading, metal identification, precision measurement practices, manual CNC lathe procedures, manual CNC milling procedures, and the operation of many cutting machines. These real world situations are difficult to duplicate in the classroom setting. Aaron has cherished this opportunity and says it has helped prepare him for any and all future endeavors. The team at USA Spares has been a great partner for helping Aaron realize his potential and pushing him towards new goals. His career path is definitely headed in the right direction!

Thank You JOC Members

The month of January is recognized as School Board Director Appreciation month.  Cumberland Perry AVTS has 13 member school districts which provides 18 Joint Operating Committee members.  Each school district provides school board directors based on the average student membership they contribute yearly.  Members oversee the operation, administration, and overall management of Cumberland Perry AVTS.  Cumberland Perry AVTS has JOC members that vary in years of service, the current longest member since 1991. 

As a small gesture to thank members, CPAVTS Culinary students made various fruit pies and Welding students fabricated a Cumberland Perry keychain. These tokens of appreciation were presented at the January JOC meeting.  CPAVTS is very appreciative to all the JOC members that support and dedicate their time promoting all the programs at Cumberland Perry AVTS. 

Program Spotlight- Emerging Health Professionals

Teacher Spotlight- Ms. Olcese


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

“The program itself is brand new this year.”


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

“Most have goals of being a doctor or an RN, physical therapy and speech therapy are also goals I have heard of from my students this year.”


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

“Employers seek candidates with a good work ethic. This class teaches responsibility, time management, and professional behavior through job shadowing and Anatomy and Physiology.”


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

“Healthcare utilizes a lot of technology. Students need to have good computer skills. Today’s healthcare uses electronic health records.”


What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program? Why do you think that is?

“Anatomy and Physiology- it is a college course, taught by professors at the college. Since these students are high school level, it is an adjustment in learning, requiring a lot of independent study on top of what they learn in class.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Mondays and Wednesdays students do job shadowing at various health care careers (hospitals, clinics, etc). On Tuesday and Thursday students attend their Anatomy and Physiology courses at Messiah College, and then Fridays they learn theory and some health care related skills in class.”


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

“Just know that after completing this program, you will be better prepared for college. Don’t be afraid of something because it’s hard. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that sometimes the long road is a more successful journey.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS and what was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I spent 2 years adjunct and 8 years full time at CPAVTS teaching. I have been an RN since 1995. I worked in long term care for 5 years, and acute care (at hospital) for 20 years.”



Student Spotlight- Emerging Health Professionals


Summarize what you learn in your program in ONE sentence.

“We learn in-depth information about the human body and see all aspects of working in the healthcare field.”

“We learn how to be a professional, and how to apply knowledge to causes of issues in the body. We learn how the systems of the body work.”

“I have gained knowledge of medical professions and learned a new way of school and personal skills with others.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The hardest part of the class, is the course at Messiah, Anatomy and Physiology.”

“I believe the hardest part of the program is the transition you need to make from high school to college environments.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Shadowing different health professionals.”

“The shadowing opportunities are fun! We go into hospitals, outpatient offices, and participate in ambulance ride-alongs two days a week.”

“The most fun part of the program is the experiences I have through job shadowing, and learning about specialties that I never knew about in the healthcare field. Also taking the college class is a neat experience, and a good way to prepare for when I go off to college.”


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

“We recently learned how to manually take vital signs- blood pressure, pulse and respirations, it’s not technology per say, but it is a new skill learned.”

“While riding with the ambulances, I have learned about how to prepare IV bags, test glucose, understanding EKG lead placement, etc. I have also learned how to take vitals through the CPAVTS course with Ms. Olcese.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I plan to attend HACC for Nursing, gain experience as a Nurse, and then go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner.”

“I am going to attend Waynesburg University to become an RN. I will probably then go on to get a Masters (and potentially a doctorate) to be a Nurse Practitioner.”

“I want to attend Waynesburg University, become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and travel nursing to Haiti and Africa.”

“My plan after high school is to go to Penn State for my BSN, and try out for the Blue Bond. However in the summer 2020, before college, I am going for my Emergency Medical Technician certification.”


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

“Finishing Anatomy and Physiology II.”

“The highlight of the year is the job shadows. It is fun to be involved in the actual healthcare field and to watch the nurses do their jobs.”

“For me it is the job shadows. I have enjoyed getting a glimpse into jobs in healthcare-even ones that I hadn’t even thought of pursing in my future career.”

“I believe any time I got to ride with Life Team, that it will be the highlight of the year. I really enjoy the Life Team, specifically within this program.”


What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?

“CPR, and taking blood pressure.”

“I am proud of learning better time management, with juggling job shadow, the CPAVTS class, and the college class. I am also proud of learning how to do things like vitals and getting certified in Basic Life Support (BLS).”

“I am proud of learning all about the body and how it works, along with better communication skills. I also am gaining excellent time managing skills by balancing all of my responsibilities.”

“I am proud to learn all the different specializations within the medical field, along with bettering my communication skills.”



Describe a typical day in your classroom.

“On Mondays and Wednesdays- we do job shadow at different locations each week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays- we are at Messiah College, doing a human anatomy and physiology course. On Friday, we are at Silver Spring EMS to have a class with our CPAVTS Instructor, Ms. Olcese.”

“Depending on the day of the week, a typical day involves going to college class (A & P), or job shadowing in various medical professions, at places such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, or with an emergency medical service.”


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

“This program is mobile. We are constantly at different places. The program is also very applicable to my future (learning vitals, and various healthcare jobs).”

“It is the only program that allows me to learn in-depth A & P before graduating high school. It also allows us to see all aspects of the medical field.”

“In this class we get to be involved in many healthcare settings. We learn so much about the healthcare field, and we earn 8 college credits! This class also prepares you for college, and helps you adapt to the environment early.”


“The program at CPAVT is different from other classes because you have to be more independent/self-reliant. You have to be responsible and know where you need to be each day of the week, how to get there, and what time. Also, if there isn’t something you understand in the college course it is up to you to go to the professor, they don’t come to you to see if you are struggling.”


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?

“It is a lot of work! So you need to be fully dedicated to this class. Be sure to ask for help as soon as you fall behind or become confused, don’t wait!”

“Focus on studying for A & P because you will not be able to pass that course without studying.”

“The program is difficult because of the college course, and it requires you being somewhat organized, and having the ability to juggle multiple schedules. However, if you work hard and stay focused, you will do well.”

“This program is all based on mindset. You have to be willing to try new things, learn, and look for the best in even the worst situation. This program is a great opportunity, and it is up to you to take that opportunity and make the best of it.”