Career & Technical Education (CTE)

Charlotte County Public Schools embraces the concept of career and technical education for all students and provides counseling, highly-qualified teachers, technology-rich labs, an expansive curriculum, and many support services for students in K-12.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares Charlotte County students for a wide range of careers, from nurses to computer technicians, and hundreds of careers in between! When community visioning sessions were conducted several years ago, it became apparent that parents, students, and community business partners wanted to enhance the CTE programs in all schools. CTE was seen as a direct link to careers, post secondary training, or the military and helped to give the students clear goals for their future. And, research from 1950 to the present clearly indicates that 70% of jobs do not require a four-year degree. A one-to two-year career/technical certification opens the door in many career fields and may serve as a stepping stone to higher level careers or further education.

This long-range vision has now become a reality. Every school in the district has CTE programs in place. These programs are based on the 17 career clusters that the state of Florida uses to plan course offerings:

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
  • Business, Management & Administration
  • Education & Training
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Government & Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing, Sales & Service
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

As early as Kindergarten, students begin work in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math labs (Elementary STEM). The curriculum in these labs leads to the Middle School STEM lab modules. In 8th grade students study all the career clusters and then develop a four-year plan based on the clusters and their Major Area of Interest. An invaluable web site for parents and students to use is www.FACTS.org. This site will guide the student through the process of creating his/her own ePEP (Electronic Personal Education Plan) for high school.

Each of the high schools has Career Clusters that feature a wide array of course selections and career paths. Counselors meet with students each year of high school to modify the plan as student's career interest changes.

There is also an opportunity for students to attend Charlotte Technical Center during their junior and senior year as a dual enrollment student. The Center specializes in CTC courses, licensure and certificate programs, and job placement for students upon program completion. Students may articulate certifications into any of the Florida Community Colleges. (see a counselor for details)

CTE students also have an opportunity to earn the Florida Gold Seal Scholar Award to assist with college/post secondary school tuition.

This CTE site will lead you to several resources that will assist with planning for your future.

Career Academies

What is a Career Academy?

Some of the Career and Technical courses are offered through Career Academies at each high school. What is the mission of a Career Academy?

To focus on college and career:


A Career Academy's aim is to prepare students for college and careers. Academies enable students to complete college entrance academic requirements while exposing them to a vertical segment of the occupations within a career field.

To raise student aspirationa and commitment:


An academy seeks to increase the level of students' motivation while in high school. The biggest limiting factor in many youths' future plans is not their ability but where they set their sights.

To increase student achievement:


An academy provides support to its students to increase their achievement in high school. This comes through close relationships with teachers and fellow students, rigorous and relevant curriculum, and exposure to career and education options outside the high school.


Industry Certifications*

CTE courses in the Career Academies provide training in specific business and industry skills. Many programs also offer students the opportunity to earn industry certifications which are recognized and highly valued by employers.

Listed below are some of the certifications available at CHS, LBHS, and PCHS:

Drafting and Illustrative Design


  • AutoCAD Certified Associate

Television Production


  • Final Cut Pro

Culinary Arts


  • ServSafe

Multimedia Foundations


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Dreamweaver

Agriculture Foundations


  • Horticulture Professional

Web Design/Digital Design


  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Illustrator

* Earning industry certifications shows potential employers and/or colleges that you are serious about your future. Certification may also increase your pay and your job prospects


Career Academies in Charlotte County Public Schools

Charlotte High School (CHS)

Academy of Television Production


  • Television Production 1
  • Television Production 2
  • Television Production 3
  • Television Production 4
Industry Certification: Final Cut Pro
CTSO: Technical Student Association (TSA)

Academy of Culinary Arts


  • Culinary Arts 1
  • Culinary Arts 2
  • Culinary Arts 3
Industry Certification: ServSafe
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Culinary Academy

Academy of Multimedia Design


  • Multimedia 1
  • Multimedia 2
  • Web Design 1
Industry Certifications: Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Flash; Adobe Illustrator
CTSO: Technical Student Association (TSA)
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Information Technology

Academy of Drafting and Illustrative Design


  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 1
  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 2
  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 3
Industry Certification: AutoCAD Certified Associate
CTSO: Technical Student Association (TSA)
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Architectural Drafting

Academy of Agriculture


  • Agriscience Foundations 1
  • Agritechnology 1, 2
  • Animal Science 2, 3
  • Veterinary Assistant 1, 2
  • Agricultural Biotechnology 2
  • Plant Biotechnology 3
Industry Certification: Certified Horticulture Professional


Lemon Bay High School (LBH)

Academy of Technology Excellence


  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • Web Design 1
  • Web Design 2
  • Digital Design 1
Industry Certifications: Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Flash; Adobe Dreamweaver
CTSO: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Information Technology Academy

Academy of Culinary Arts


  • Culinary Arts 1
  • Culinary Arts 2
  • Culinary Arts 3
Industry Certification: ServSafe
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Culinary Academy


Port Charlotte High School (PCHS)

Academy of Television Production


  • Television Production 1
  • Television Production 2
  • Television Production 3
  • Television Production 4
Industry Certification: Fincal Cut Pro

Academy of Multimedia Design


  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • Custom Promotional Layout Design
  • Promotional Design Management
  • Custom Promotion S & D Management
  • Promotional Business Management and Supervision 1 and 2
Industry Certifications: Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Illustrator
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Information Technology Academy

Academy of Drafting and Illustrative Design


  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 1
  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 2
  • Drafting and Illustrative Design 3
Industry Certification: AutoCAD Certified Associate
Next Step: Dual Enrollment Opportunities at CTC in Drafting Academy

Awards & Honors

National Board Certified Teachers

Sharon Bruno
Punta Gorda Middle School

STEM Lab Teacher

Suzi Jamrog
Charlotte Technical Center

Early Childhood Education Teacher

Carole Maggio
Liberty Elementary School

STEM Lab Teacher

Laura Meyer
The Academy

Business Technology Teacher

Michelle Wier
Charlotte Technical Center

Career Specialist


Certifications Earned

Bryan Bouton
Port Charlotte High School

  • Final Cut Pro

Sharon Bruno
Punta Gorda Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007

Karen Candiani
Charlotte Technical Center

  • FAA Licensed
  • Private Pilot Single Engine Land with instrument privileges
  • Commercial Pilot Ligher-Than-Air Free Balloon

Chuck Cantieny
Charlotte Technical Center

  • Mastercam Certification
  • AutoCAD Certified Professional
  • Inventor Certifiec Associate

Chris Carboni
Murdock Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2010

Bruce Fourman
Port Charlotte High School

  • AutoCAD Certified Associate

Sharon Gibbs
Murdock Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Powerpoint

Pamela Ham
Charlotte Technical Center

  • Adobe Photoshop Certified

Michael Henry
Lemon Bay High School

  • Adobe Photoshop Certified

Susan Kickbush
Murdock Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007

Joan Mangone
LA Ainger Middle School

  • ServSafe Certification

Aime McLeod
Charlotte High School

  • ServSafe Certification

Toni Orr
Murdock Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Powerpoint

Quintel Perkins
Port Charlotte High School

  • Microsoft Office 2007

Pam Ping
Port Charlotte Middle School

  • Microsoft Office 2007

Roberta Ruxton
Lemon Bay High School

  • ServSafe Certification
  • Florida D Water Operator License
  • Florida Licensed & Registered Dietitian

George Sansone
Charlotte High School

  • AutoCAD Certified Associate

Janet Scinta
Charlotte High School

  • Final Cut Pro

Brad Smith
Charlotte High School

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2007
  • Adobe Photoshop

Karen Smith
Charlotte High School

  • AMF-NASA Certified
  • STEM Training at NASA
  • Microsoft Master Certified in Office 2007, Powerpoint, and Excel
  • Adobe Photoshop

Don Wendell
Port Charlotte High School

  • Adobe Photoshop


Special Affiliations

Mary Jo Holleran
Lemon Bay High School

  • Delta Kappa Gamma Association of Professional Women Educators

Suzi Jamrog
Charlotte Technical Center

  • Executive Board for the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children

Sharon Bruno
Punta Gorda Middle School

  • Delta Kappa Gamma Association of Professional Women Educators

Laura Meyer
Business Technology Teacher at The Academy

  • Chamber of Commerce Member
  • Newspaper Columnist for Charlotte Sun Herald


National Program of Excellence Award for STEM Lab

Sue Thistle
STEM Lab instructor at Deep Creek Elementary

Cheryl Vollmar
STEM Lab instructor at Peace River Elementary


2012 ITEEA Middle School Program of Excellence Award

This award is given for the best middle school STEM program in the state of Florida by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.

Sharon Bruno
STEM Lab instructor at Punta Gorda Middle

Elementary STEM Labs

Each of the ten elementary schools in Charlotte County has a high-tech Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) lab that students attend in grades K-5. The activities in these labs give a great introduction to careers in the 16 Career Clusters offered throughout K-Postsecondary classes in Florida schools.

The STEM labs are designed to provide technology education at its best by supporting academic development, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The students work through a wide-range of modules and projects that relate to specific career clusters.

The strength of the labs lies in the philosophy of providing technology education, not technology entertainment. It does this by providing a dynamic combination of computer-based learning resources that incorporate multimedia technology within a managed learning environment.

Students work in teams on collaborative projects linked to modular study. In each assignment, students are learning workplace skills such as problem solving, team working, and communication skills. Each member of the work team has a specific job title: Inventory Control Specialist; Master Builder; Academic Assistant; Group Coordinator.

Some examples of modules include:

  • Physical Science
  • Scientific Reasoning
  • Earth Science
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Machines
  • Numbers
  • Environment
  • Communication

Students in K-2 work on computers and then move to learning about gears, motion, energy, simple machines, and shapes. They enjoy learning about the insect life cycle and Living/Non Living things.

Grades 3-5 feature amazing building projects such as a car, paddle boat, scales, bridges, wheel barrel, irrigation system, gears, and much more! These are all built by the team of four students using plastic tubes and gears called "TacTics."

These building projects lead to experiments in measuring speed, distance, balance, and many other math related items. The students learn to conduct the experiment, gather the data, and then present comparative reports. Quite impressive for an elementary student!

After six years in the STEM lab, the students are highly prepared for the next step, Middle School STEM!

Middle School STEM Labs

Each of the four middle schools in Charlotte County has a high-tech Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) lab that students attend in grade 8. The activities in these labs build on the concepts learned in the elementary STEM labs.

The STEM labs are designed to provide technology education at its best by supporting academic development, enterprise, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The students work through a wide-range of modules and projects that relate to specific career clusters.

The strength of the labs lies in the philosophy of providing technology education, not technology entertainment. It does this by providing a dynamic combination of computer-based learning resources that incorporate multimedia technology within a managed learning environment.

Students work in teams on collaborative projects linked to modular study. In each assignment, students are learning workplace skills such as problem solving, team working, and communication skills.

  • Digital Photography
  • Graphic/Animation
  • Aerodynamics
  • Space
  • Sound Recording
  • Automotive
  • Electronic Communications
  • Construction
  • Materials and Processes
  • Weather
  • Biomedical
  • Web Design
  • Health
  • Electricity
  • Robotics
  • Graphics Mechanisms

High School Career & Technical Education

Career and Technical programs are available at each high school in the school district, and offer an assortment of career choices.

Charlotte High School has the distinction of including an Agriculture program for students who have an interest in Agriculture and Natural Resources. They also offer courses in Television Production, Culinary Arts, Drafting, Materials and Processes, Digital Photography, Web Design, Aviation, and Health.

Lemon Bay High School is unique in its offering of Digital Design and Accounting. Other CTE programs include Culinary Arts, Web Enterprise, Television Production, Health, and Drafting.

Port Charlotte High School has a one-of-a-kind Promotional Custom Digital Design class along with Information Technology and Introduction to Technology. They also offer Drafting, Television Production, Orientation to Teaching, and Food Production.

The Academy High School is located on the Charlotte Technical Center (www.charlottetechcenter.com) campus, and their students have multiple opportunities to attend CTE classes in Health Science, Drafting, Digital Design, Medical Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Education, Automotive Technology, Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Electronics, and more!

All of the high schools offer programs for students who want On-the-Job Training and/or Internships in local businesses. These programs are a great opportunity for students to learn about enterprise and the real world of work while in high school. An emphasis is placed on consumer issues such as budgeting: buying a car; learning how to lease, rent, or buy a home; and basic job seeking/keeping information.

Students in Charlotte County have the option of applying for dual enrollment courses at Charlotte Technical Center for their junior and senior years. Acceptance into these programs is based on a formal application process with specific criteria for each program. Students should see their Career Specialist or Guidance Counselor before the registration process begins each year for details.

Students plan their four-year high school experience while in 8th grade by completing an ePEP (Electronic Personal Education Plan) through their career classes. Students and parents may work on this project together by visiting www.facts.org and reviewing all the resources available in selecting Career Clusters. During each year of high school, students meet with their Counselor or Career Specialist to update their original ePEP plan.