program spotlight- may 2017

In the world of design, being at the top of your game is essential to landing the best job opportunities. At CPAVTS, our Advertising Art and Design instructor, Mrs. Lenker-Badorf, enhances her students’ natural talent with critiques and exposure to many different techniques for design. Students cultivate artistic skill- sets in illustration, photography, digital media design, web and sign design, and many more available areas.

Through our program spotlight questionnaire, we are better able to understand exactly what knowledge students acquire in the classroom and the most essential components of advertising that graduating students should focus on for success in this trade.


Teacher Spotlight- Mrs. Lenker-Badorf

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

“This summer, our program will be receiving a new Mac Pro lab. The students are going to have brand new computers with 24” cinema displays. This will be perfect for the design and layout software used in the lab.”


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

“Many of the students graduating from Advertising Art & Design attend two and four year colleges before obtaining work in the industry. I have graduates working in Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography, Illustration, Web Design, and Sign Design companies all over the US. There are students who go directly to work. They are either hired from co-op jobs they worked at throughout the school year or they can start their own freelance design business.”


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

“Standard technology is using Adobe Creative Suite software for digital file preparation for layout and design jobs, digital media design and large format design. Recently, we have placed two students on full time jobs working with large format layout and print work.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Students arrive to see a plan for the day on the whiteboard. There are 3 levels of learning so it is important to keep instruction and plans organized per level. Each student has a workstation and typically can begin working on a project or assignment without much instruction. The instructor works mostly in small groups for instructional theory or demonstration lessons. Some students are working independently on client work. They are working toward software certifications by completing interactive lessons on their computer. Students also participate in college visits, fieldtrips to industry-related sites, guest speaker presentations, community service projects, and club activities throughout the school year. You will often see students gathered together critiquing one another’s design work, which is a necessary part of the business. “


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

“Students struggle with the concept of creating work to please clients as opposed to pleasing themselves. They receive feedback from their instructor posing as the client. Students are used to creating artwork and design for themselves and how they like it to look. In this environment the students have many opportunities to perform jobs for outside clients. They meet with them to discuss ideas and get feedback from clients as they would if they were working in industry. This gives them a “real world” experience, which is unique to the CPAVTS environment.”


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

“Overall, employers are looking for students with a good work ethic who have the ability to complete a task or design job from start to finish. Students should have good problem solving and communication skills along with the ability to render design ideas using the most current industry trends and software.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“I will begin my 30th year of teaching this fall. Wow, did I just say 30?”


What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I was a Graphic Designer with a firm in Harrisburg. I gained experience by working with accounts such as Hershey, Harsco, True Temper, Masland Carpets, Tyco, and many other large corporations. We designed everything from logos to annual reports. Learning this trade before computers came along has helped teach the students the history behind the digital process we use now. The building of the design work is different but the process is the same from design to print. I also do freelance design occasionally.”


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

“I encourage students to follow their passion when it comes to this field. I teach them that they can make a living doing something they love through hard work and determination. I teach them manners, business etiquette, and to always be kind.”




Summarize what you learn in your program in ONE SENTENCE.

“I learn how to use multiple programs and how to properly create a graphic design using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.”

“How to say something without words.”

“The elements and principles of graphic design.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“Painting with gouache paints for the color wheel project.”

“Certification tests and some live jobs.”

“I found matting to be the hardest part.”

“The hardest part of the program is balancing tech work, with homeschool, work and extracurricular activities.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“The fine art projects, though rare, it is so nice to work with my hands rather than a keyboard and mouse.”

“The most fun part of our program is when we talk about our work as a group.”

“Graphic design in general- I really enjoy it!”


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

“Adobe CC 2017 programs: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.”

“New tech would have to be Adobe Illustrator. There is always something new to learn.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I plan to continue my education at HACC in the graphic design programs.”

“Attending Pennsylvania College of Art & Design for Fine Arts.”

“I plan on being a tattoo artist.”

“I plan to go to HACC for photography, and then to further my knowledge in Graphic Design, Character Design, and Illustrator in my spare time.”

“Attend Millersville University, to major in Interactive and Graphic Design, to obtain a Bachelor of Design degree.”

“My plan after high school is to go to college for Culinary and Business, so I can run my own bakery shop.”


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

“The highlight of the year was getting and finishing my first live job.”

“Getting accepted to my major at Millersville University.”

“The highlight of the year would be the self-portraits.”


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

“I’m proud of being proficient in professional software.”

“Graphic Design as a whole; how to layout properly…basically everything I learned here.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“It is all hands-on, independent work, on whatever we’re working on. There is hardly a single minute wasted on just sitting around.”

“You first go to your locker and get your stuff for the day. Then go to your seat and open your binder, so you can write on a job ticket. Next you look at the whiteboard assignments to see what you should be doing for the day and get started on that task.”


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

“I think that this class is more structured and also changes your perspective on art.”

“It actually helps prepare for our career/future, by having us work with clients, and bringing in adults who have graduated and are now working in that profession.”

“We don’t learn to test, we learn to learn.”


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?

“Listen to every detail the teacher says. Read all instruction before asking questions. Ask the teacher for help if needed.”

“Stay caught up and always read and follow the directions. It’s a great program, but if you can’t follow the directions, you will have an extremely hard time.”

“Don’t come in thinking you can slack off or doodle your way through the course. This is a serious shop and you’re going to learn some harsh truths…but it’s worth it!!!”