Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA Career and Technical Education Month


Career and Technical Education Month, or CTE Month, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.

DoDEA is deeply committed to supporting Career and Technical Education middle and secondary programs. DoDEA students have the opportunity to enroll in Career Pathways that offer a clear direction for pursuing post-secondary career opportunities.

CTE offers opportunities for ALL students; CTE is for students that want to pursue a college education, enlist in the military or enter directly into the workforce.

#iHEARTDoDEACTE Video Campaign

DoDEA students, teachers, administrators, and community partners encouraged to participate. Video guidelines:

  • By end of day Feb. 14th, submit your 30-second video about why you love DoDEA CTE.
  • Video must be school appropriate, in portrait orientation, and include #iHEARTDoDEACTE graphic.
  • Get creative!

Submit Video

Videos will be posted across all DoDEA social media platforms using #iHEARTDoDEACTE.

CTE Spotlight

Reflections from Kayle Kesinger, Culinary Student at Alconbury Middle High School

2022 CTE Kayle Kesinger

Keeping abilities, experiences, likes/dislikes, views, and beliefs constant stunts our growth as individuals. The familiar becomes too comfortable and starts feeling like it is the only way life can be.

Even in most of my classrooms, where critical thinking is promoted, the tactics used can feel repetitive. However, culinary exposes me to foreign concepts in a way that allows development to occur through feedback and connections with peers.

Because the framework of classroom learning is community-based, we as students can share results and learn from each other, thereby improving our ability to achieve success quickly.

Today alone, I consistently asked my peers for guidance on various tasks like how to properly fill out the temperature data log. Though you might be wondering, "How does this differ from group projects in other classes?" The answer: culinary is hands-on.

The nature of the class means there are plenty of hands-on activities that bring life back into learning. Plenty of research suggests that promoting physical activity in students can help increase memory, perception, language, attention, emotion, and even decision making. My point is today's lab highlighted the positive qualities of a culinary learning environment.

While I could have discussed the process of quartering a chicken, I felt that by doing so, I would omit what truly made today's lab exceptional and every other lab before it, the people. Yes, it's a bit cliché, but at the end of the day, regardless of the topic, this class has all the ingredients needed to produce individuals with new insights and broader perspectives.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s Visit to Naples MHS

Naples Middle High School CTE 2022First lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Naples Middle High School Nov. 1, 2021 as part of her White House initiative Joining Forces, a program that supports military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors.

Dr. Biden hosted an assembly where she spoke with students and parents about Joining Forces and supporting military-connected students. She also made ravioli with Amie Pennartz’s culinary arts class and watched students demonstrate their Lego robots in Earl Sexton’s computer science class.

Christopher Pardo, Air Force JROTC Cadet at Alconbury Middle High School

2021 CTE Pardo2

2021 CTE Pardo

Christopher is a shining example of Air Force Junior ROTC; specifically, its two pillars of leadership and citizenship. He demonstrated leadership since day one, starting as flight sergeant and working his way up to drill team commander and captain of the marksmanship team as a third-year cadet. Additionally, he was junior class VP and a member of the NHS and has been a selectee for JLS and Creative Connections. He was a key contributor to three outstanding virtual programs highlighting the attributes of this unit, including a live virtual awards ceremony, a community-wide virtual 9/11 ceremony and a community-wide virtual Veterans Day event. He accomplished more community service hours-over 200-than any other cadet in our squadron which helped the unit earn the Silver Star Community Service with Excellence Award for the fourth and fifth time in a row. That award is presented to the top five percent of all AFJROTC programs based on the average community service hours per cadet. He was also a key member of the varsity marksmanship team, lettering both years and earning "Most Valuable Marksman" this past year. He was a top performer with the UK-20021 AFJROTC marksmanship team, helping it qualify (only six teams are selected worldwide) two years in a row for the Air Force Junior ROTC Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. He embodies the Air Force JROTC core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do and is a credit to CTE programs DoDEA-wide.

2021 CTE Joshua Slack

Joshua Slack, Programming and Video Production CTE Student at Vicenza Middle School

Joshua was an outstanding member of the CTE department at Vicenza Middle School and excelled in Programming and Video Production courses. Joshua has created high quality computer programs using JavaScript and Python, including a multi-level video game incorporating variables and a physics engine. Joshua regularly assisted his peers and guides them in finding solutions to their challenges in the courses.


Emily Benjamin, Engineering, Programming, and CyberSecurity CTE Student at Wiesbaden High School

When she signed up for the DoDEA Europe STEMposium in November of her sophomore year, Emily had no idea how the events of that week would re-shape her outlook on high school and beyond. Prior to this, Emily had little experience in STEM beyond her normal classes. Although initially thinking “STEM” was not really in her future, her time and experiences from STEMposium resulted in a discovered passion. She was encouraged to seek out other STEM opportunities upon returning to her school. Emily quickly found her place as a member of the Robowarriors – The Wiesbaden HS FIRST Robotics team. In addition, she has competed this year in the CyberPatriots Challenge, placing first in the Gold Division with her team. Emily’s love of STEM means she has also signed up for classes with the intent to finish multiple CTE Pathways prior to graduation including Engineering, Programming and CyberSecurity. While Emily has enjoyed getting to build and program robots, develop her engineering and programming skills, she has noticed from the get-go that there were not many girls interested in these endeavors. Reflecting on the lack of STEM experiences she had prior to STEMposium and with a desire to encourage other girls, she decided to do something about it. In an effort to encourage other females to be aware of and get involved with STEM from a younger age, Emily worked to co-create a club for elementary girls called STEM4Girls. STEM4Girls has a mission to raise awareness for STEM while also providing young girls the opportunity to hear from positive older female role models. She hopes these early experiences will encourage girls to get involved with classes and clubs starting in Middle School that can lead them into the programs at her high school. She knows this can change pathways as it has for her, inspiring her to look towards earning a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering following high school graduation. Despite COVID, Emily has been determined to carry through with At Home STEM activities! This month is Chemistry month so the girls in the club will be getting kits to make bath bombs and slime while also studying chemical energy, acids and bases. Future pathways include Geology, Robots, and Space this year, with plans to continue the club into her Senior Year and beyond. Emily has noted that STEM4Girls has also provided a much-needed weekly opportunity for the 5th graders in the club to socialize, in spite of remote learning due to CoVID. It is Emily’s desire to continue to provide more girls with the opportunities to engage in STEM activities so that they too might see themselves as future STEM students and career professionals, just like she did when at STEMposium.

Anceline Sanchez, Culinary and JROTC CTE Student at Alconbury Middle High School


Anceline Sanchez was a star CTE student in two programs during her short high school career. Last year, she enrolled in Culinary I and JROTC I. However, Anceline's foray into Culinary Arts was not her first as she took two years of cooking and baking during middle school. Those two years made her transition into Culinary Arts seamless. Accordingly, course work and lab work were above her peers, so she accepted the challenge of being on the Culinary Team, proving to be a vital part of the team and instrumental in the execution of the team's dessert. Anceline often provided additional attention and hours of dedication for her team, and often would be the last student to leave the kitchen to ensure the job was done to 110% satisfaction. The result: Anceline and her team finished 2nd-by less than tenths of a point-in the DoDEA-Europe Culinary Championship. Meanwhile, she has also been a huge contributor to our Air Force Junior ROTC program. Last year, she accumulated the second highest number of community service hours-over 50-of all the cadets and was a vital member of the competition drill team. She was also one of two cadets responsible for the end-of-the-year awards ceremony, an outstanding virtual event that highlighted cadet and squadron achievements. For her performance throughout the year, she was recognized as the top first-year cadet. This year, she hasn't missed a beat, serving as squadron l51 sergeant during first semester and leading the 30-command drill team (made up of first-year cadets) to a third-place finish at the European Invitational Drill Meet. While Anceline had to make a difficult choice this year between Culinary and JROTC, she is still an awesome example of the quality and dedication of many of our CTE students.


Michael Brenner, STEM CTE Student at Kaiserslautern High School

2021-CTE-BrennerMichael Brenner was a born leader when it comes to STEM. As the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) president, Michael oversees much of the technical and project management oversight that occurs in the club. Michael was part of what is known as Project Horizon. Project Horizon is a High Altitude Balloon (HAB) project with a focus on placing scientific experiments into near space to which Michael is the lead engineer and mission planner. When COVID 19 social distancing rules threatened the launch date this winter, Michael with the help of his brother Charles (freshman at KHS) and parents, was able to complete the HAB mission. Michael managed all of the pre-launch and launch responsibilities to include power and system checks, pod configuration, tracking system functionality and a myriad of other launch actions required to ensure all three pods would arrive safely into near space.

Although HABing was important to Michael, his passion lies in cybersecurity. Michael had been the primary driver behind his Cyberpatriot team success. His understanding of Windows and Linux system security, coupled with his ability to script allowed himself and his team to compete at the highest levels. His team competed against 357 other AFJROTC teams and finished the season ranked #3, just one position shy of attending the Cyberpatriot National finals. Michael earned a certifications in CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, and Linux+.