Outstanding Senior Students Recognized
GACTC News Update
Issue 6—May 28, 2014
Inside this issue:
Outstanding Senior Students Recognized
Report from Adult &
Adult Education Notes
Special Points of
Senior Award Winners
p. 6, 7
Incentive Award Program p. 9
p. 10 & 11
Senior Awards Banquet
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
The 47th Annual Senior Awards Program was held on Thursday evening, May 8, in the
school cafetorium. Outstanding senior awards were presented to students in twentyseven programs. Thirty-six other special awards and scholarships were presented. One
senior was recognized for having four years of perfect attendance, while two other
seniors had three years of perfect attendance. Approximately 280 students, parents,
business and community representatives, and staff members attended. Nearly $35,000
in cash awards were presented to these seniors. It is important to note that fourteen
memorial awards are endowed to honor former students or employees of the school.
Some of these memorial awards include the Jesse McElhinney Memorial Scholarship,
the Sgt. Brandon Adams Memorial Scholarship, and the Daniel Clark Memorial
Scholarship. Brandon, a former student in Multimedia & Web Design and a graduate of
the AAHS Class of 2000, died at Walter Reed Army Hospital in September 2004 as a
result of wounds he sustained in Iraq.
Congratulations to the award recipients, and to all the seniors from sending
schools as they close their high school careers.
Best wishes for great success to all of you!
1500 Fourth Avenue
Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602
Middle States Assn. of
Colleges & Secondary Schools
Plans to work in family-owned
business while pursuing
with local construction
BENJAMIN J. KEPNER
Altoona Area High School
OF THE YEAR
GACTC Update — Page 2 — May 2014
To date, 455 new applications for incoming tenth graders and 117 applications for incoming ninth graders
have been received and processed. The third scheduling run will be printed May 30.
In the past month, much of the counselor’s time has been devoted to completing scheduling activities,
including both regular and special needs students. In addition, counselors have been processing returning
students’ scheduling requests and attending IEP meetings as necessary.
In April, Counselors Gayle Swales and Nicole Taneyhill visited with eighth grade students at Hollidaysburg
Junior High School, providing GACTC career guidance and education.
Counselors continue to meet with students who are in danger of failing for the year. The parents of those
students who do in fact fail will all be contacted. Home schools are notified in a timely manner so those
students can schedule full day classes at their home schools for the 2014-15 school year.
Attendance Incentive Assembly
The end of the year assembly for the Incentive Program was held on Monday, May 19. The grand prize, a
2009 Hyundai Elantra, was awarded along with other prizes. See Page 9 for details.
As the end of the school year approaches, 17 senior students and 4 adult students have met all criteria and
are currently participating in Cooperative Education. Thirty-four other students are preparing for the NEX
GEN Summer Mentoring program which will begin June 16.
NOCTI Recommends College Credit
In the spring of 2012, NOCTI collaborated with the National College Credit Recommendation Service
(NCCRS) from New York, to evaluate more than 25 NOCTI assessments for possible college credit
recommendations. The NCCRS recruited experienced industry experts and professors from across the
nation to evaluate the rigor of the NOCTI assessments and translate the content into college credit
equivalencies. As a result of the review, NOCTI reported that 28 written assessments (one component of
the full NOCTI credential) have been recommended for college credit, ranging from one to six credits per
Any student meeting a 70% benchmark on one of the approved NOCTI assessments is eligible to receive
the College Credit Recommendation Report. This report is automatically generated as part of the NOCTI
scoring package for eligible students. Not only can this report be a valuable component of a student’s
portfolio, it can also be presented at any of the 1500+ participating colleges and universities for college
credit consideration. NOCTI has also collaborated with Excelsior College to offer students the option to
obtain an official college transcript.
GACTC Update — Page 3 — May 2014
Report from ADULT & CONTINUING EDUCATION
Practical Nursing Notes
PAPNA Best Practice Award
Move over $15,000 Sim Anne and other expensive simulation devices.
Deb Monts (pictured right) ingeniously developed a PEG (percutaneous
endoscopic gastrostomy) tube care device to be used for student
practice in the simulation lab for less than $10. Using an empty copy
paper box, a catheter, a reservoir and some tape, she overwhelmingly
won the Best Practice Award for her presentation at the May 2014
Pennsylvania Association of Practical Nursing Administrators
(PAPNA) Conference in Lewisburg, PA. Deb initially was one of the six abstracts chosen to present her
learner-focused and performance-based practice before an audience made up of her peers from approximately
45 other Practical Nursing programs in the state who then voted to identify the winner. Deb is now the second
GACTC PN faculty member to win this prestigious award. Becky Romagna won the award in 2012.
LPNs and the Pendulum of the Future
Were you born between 1946 and 1964? If so, chances are you already turned 65 or will within the next ten
years and be one of the 72 million that make up 20% of the total United States population. A study by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services indicates that 40% of you will enter a nursing home, and 10% of
you will reside there five years or more. Those statistics are undoubtedly the basis for the 25% (10,100)
shortage of LPNs predicted by the Center for Health Careers in Pennsylvania by the year 2015. With
approximately 50 LPN programs in Pennsylvania, each one of us will need to graduate an additional 200
students next year! One does not necessarily need to read any further to envision employment opportunities for
LPNs. Although current trends are seeing a shift in the employment setting for these individuals, the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Resources reports only a 3% decrease in employment in hospitals and does
not account for the numbers placed in those facilities by staffing agencies or the number hired as technicians.
Also notable is that there has been a 49% increase in elementary and secondary school employment, an 83%
increase in outpatient care services (which may have fueled the phone call to our program by Hershey Medical
Center this week looking for graduates to fill their vacancies), and a 215% increase in Human Resource
Programs. In one sense the pendulum is static. LPNs are here to stay. In another sense, the demand is greater
Practical Nursing Student Activities
This month, Adult Placement Coordinator Kathy Butler will assist PN students in developing a resume in
preparation for our annual Health Care Industry Job Fair. More than 30 prospective employers are expected to
attend the event which will be held June 26, 2014, in the GACTC cafetorium. The expanding role of the LPN
has attracted not only long-term care facilities, hospitals, and clinics, but industries such as prisons, dialysis
clinics, and school districts. Representatives from colleges will also attend to provide information on
advanced placement for the practical nurse into their RN programs.
Full-time and Part-time Classes to Begin in August 2014
The program continues to accept applications for both the full-time and part-time classes that will begin this
August. We have received more than 110 applications for the available 54 full-time and 25 part-time
openings. The next pre-entrance exam will be administered on June 3. The selection process is competitive;
therefore, it is important that individuals perform well on the pre-entrance exam. The Adult Community
Continued on Page 4
GACTC Update — Page 4— May 2014
Report from ADULT & CONTINUING EDUCATION
Practical Nursing Notes cont’d
Education Center continues to hold prep classes to assist prospective students in the achievement of successful
exam scores. Applicants must also submit 3 character references, an essay, and a high school
diploma or its equivalent. And, while colleges establish April deadlines for financial aid, the GACTC
continues to process financial aid well into the new school year.
Walk Today, Add Tomorrows
As part of their community service activities, the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) sponsors a
national charitable organization. This year, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be the recipient of funds raised
by HOSA students. The Practical Nursing students raised over $500 by selling chocolate roses as part of the
Foundation’s “65 Roses” campaign. Amanda Smith, a full- time student employed at Wendy’s Restaurant was
able to arrange a corporate sponsorship of $150 for the Great Strides Walkathon which was held at
Hollidaysburg Legion Memorial Park on May 17. Students also were involved with the organization of this
event, including the final prize distributions. Richard Dee, our Chairperson, will be recognized at the National
Leadership Conference for his efforts in this National Service Project Achievement.
Continuing Education Notes
Spring 2014 Continuing Education Update
As we approach the end of the 2013-2014 academic year, Continuing Education is developing 2014-15 class
offerings and schedules. The scheduled full-time adult only offerings include: Expanded Function Dental
Assistant (EFDA), Welding, HVAC w/Related Electricity & Plumbing, Medical Assistant, Medical Office
Specialist, and Administrative Office Specialist. The scheduled part-time certificate programs include:
Certified Nurse Aide, Phlebotomy, and Medical Coding. In addition, all of our secondary programs, with the
exception of Cosmetology, offer a full-time intergenerational curriculum to adult learners. Kathy Butler,
Retention Specialist, is continuing to interview students for the GACTC postsecondary programs. As of this
date, 67 applications have been received for the 2014-2015 school year, and we are still recruiting students and
accepting applications in all eligible program areas.
2014-15 Enrollment Snapshot
Administrative Office Specialist/Medical Assistant/
Medical Office Specialist
Expanded Function Dental Assistant
Number of Applications Processed
HVAC w/Related Electricity/Plumbing
Continued on Page 5
GACTC Update — Page 5—May 2014
Report from ADULT & CONTINUING EDUCATION
Continuing Education Notes cont’d
All adult students enrolled in full-time postsecondary programs (Medical
Assistant, Medical Office Specialist, Administrative Office Specialist,
HVAC w/Related Electricity & Plumbing, and Welding w/Math & Print
Reading) took the National Occupational Competency Test (NOCT) this
year. This marks the fifth year of NOCTI administration for students
enrolled in stand-alone postsecondary programs of study at GACTC. At the time of this writing, NOCTI test
results have not been received.
2013-14 Adult Graduation
The graduation luncheon for all adult students, excluding the Practical Nursing program, will be held May 28
from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the GACTC Cafetorium. The guest speaker will be Dr. David Duncan,
President/CEO of Blair Medical Associates. Seventy-four adult students are on track to graduate. Along with
their guests, JOC members, superintendents, administration, faculty, and staff, approximately 245 people are
expected to attend the graduation luncheon.
Nurse Aide Program
The GACTC is instructing its second Nurse Aide class for The Village at Morrison’s Cove. The Village at
Morrison’s Cove interviews and hires the students while the GACTC provides the training via the CTC
instructor, Jackie Koontz.
The GACTC began a Phlebotomy class on May 5, 2014, with 9 students enrolled. These students will perform
an 80-hour clinical at one of the following sites: UPMC-Altoona, Nason Hospital, or Tyrone Hospital.
Logistics & Materials Management
Instructor, Mrs. Kathy DePiro, was
recently featured in an article entitled,
“Women You Should Know,” in the
May/June 2014 issue of The
Women’s Journal in which she spoke
about teaching, women in logistics,
and the school’s partnership with
Children’s Book Charity, First Book.
To see the complete article, visit:
Picture submitted to Wearecentralpa.com taken on Tuesday, May 13, of a lightning
strike near the school.
GACTC Update — Page 6— May 2014
OUTSTANDING SENIOR STUDENTS
Congratulations are extended to the following students named Outstanding Seniors in
their respective program for 2013-14:
Kyler S. Bender Automotive Technology/Altoona Area
J. C. Cavanaugh Automotive/Diesel Technology/Altoona Area
Benjamin J. Kepner Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry/Altoona Area
Nicholas P. Eckenrode Carpentry/Construction/Altoona Area
Jacob T. McCormick Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology/Blair County Christian
Avery S. McChessney Computer Programming/Oracle Academy/Williamsburg Comm.
Brett M. Reed Computer Technology/Cisco Academy/Glendale
Alisha E. Clouser Cosmetology/Altoona Area
Jessica S. Killinger Cosmetology/Bellwood-Antis
Megan R. Drummond Culinary Arts/Hollidaysburg Area
Caitlin A. Williams Dental Assistant/Tyrone Area
Sckylaur D. Kane Digital Printing Technologies/Altoona Area
Andrew G. Leap Drafting/Design Technology/Bishop Guilfoyle
Dominic J. Pasquini Electrical Trades/Altoona Area
Noah D. Eberwein Electronics Technology/Altoona Area
Jessica L. Noren Emergency Services/Glendale
Katelyn M. Adams Health Occupations/Altoona Area
Brett L. Benson Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning/Plumbing/Hollidaysburg Area
Kelsie M. Morningstar Interior Decorating & Finishing/Bellwood-Antis
Tyler D. Moore Logistics & Materials Management/Bellwood-Antis
Brandon S. Lenning Masonry/Altoona Area
Orianna S. Green Multimedia & Web Design/Altoona Area
Zachariah D. Hornberger Outdoor Power Equipment Technology/Bellwood-Antis
Nathan L. Patterson Precision Machining/Altoona Area
Katelyn E. Ellis Retail Marketing/Entrepreneurship/Claysburg-Kimmel
Tristen R. Miller Visual Arts Technologies/Bellwood-Antis
Nathaniel D. McCormick Welding Technology/Blair County Christian
GACTC Update — Page 7—May 2014
AAA East Central Award, Garrick R. Houck, Automotive Technology, Hollidaysburg
Aaron Stuckey Memorial Scholarship, Kyler S. Bender, Automotive Technology, Altoona
Altoona Area Alumni Association Scholarship, Morgan M. James, Drafting/Design Technology, Altoona
Altoona Area Alumni Association Scholarship, Sara M. Lykens, Health Occupations, Altoona
Altoona Pipe & Steel Most Improved Welder Award, Jeremiah S. Clark, Welding Technology, Williamsburg Community
American Welding Society Award, Storm F. Dutil, Welding Technology, Claysburg-Kimmel
American Welding Society Award, Alexander M. Leskowitz, Welding Technology, Bellwood-Antis
BASICS Attendance Counts Recognition, Alexander M. Skelley, Food Production, Altoona
Business & Professional Women’s Club Award, Kayla M. Updike, Interior Decorating & Finishing, Altoona
Daniel A. Clark Memorial Scholarship, Orianna S. Green, Multimedia & Web Design, Altoona
Dental Clinician of the Year, Morgan K. Ebersole, Dental Assistant, Central
E. Charles Makdad Memorial Award, Shawn E. Lehner, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Plumbing, Tyrone
Health Clinician of the Year, Ja’Quesha B. Nelson, Health Occupations, Altoona
Hite Company Tools for the Trade, Dominic J. Pasquini, Electrical Trades, Altoona
Jane Purdy Hite and Robert Lee Hite Memorial Scholarship, Joshua W. Gilbert, Electronics Technology, Central
HOSA Scholarship, Katelyn M. Adams, Health Occupations, Altoona
Jesse T. McElhinney Memorial Scholarship, Laura B. Allison, Retail Marketing/Entrepreneurship, Williamsburg
Lowe's of Altoona Gold Hammer Award, Nicholas P. Eckenrode, Carpentry/Construction, Altoona
Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. Recognition, James A. Patterson, Welding Technology, Hollidaysburg
NAACP Harriet Tubman Scholarship, Alesha M. Shields, Interior Decorating & Finishing, Altoona
Outstanding DECA Member, Orianna S. Green, Multimedia & Web Design, Altoona
Outstanding Senior of the Year, Benjamin J. Kepner, Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry, Altoona
PA Concrete Masonry Association Award, Trevor N. Baker, Masonry, Bishop Guilfoyle
Piotr Marciniak Memorial Scholarship, Megan R. Drummond, Culinary Arts, Hollidaysburg
Reliance Bank Scholarship, Megan R. Drummond, Culinary Arts, Hollidaysburg
Reliance Bank Scholarship, Joshua W. Gilbert, Electronics Technology, Central
Richard L. McEldowney Academic Scholarship, Laura B. Allison, Retail Marketing/Entrepreneurship, Williamsburg
Richard L. McEldowney Academic Scholarship, Joshua W. Gilbert, Electronics Technology, Central
Rotary Club Scholarship, Sara M. Lykens, Health Occupations, Altoona
Rotary Club Scholarship, Laura B. Allison, Retail Marketing/Entrepreneurship, Williamsburg
S. Rodger Walters Memorial Award, Shawn E. Lehner, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Plumbing, Tyrone
Scott Garlick Memorial Scholarship, Noah D. Eberwein, Electronics Technology, Altoona
Sgt. Brandon E. Adams Information Technology Education Scholarship, Aaron G. Cummings, Computer Technology/Cisco Academy, Altoona
SkillsUSA Scholarship, Kayla M. Updike, Interior Decorating & Finishing, Altoona
Smithmyer Special Recognition, Brett L. Benson, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning/Plumbing, Altoona
Special Recognition, Bree A. Estep, Food Production, Altoona
YBC Gold Hammer Award, Andrew M. Stenger, Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry, Altoona
Perfect Attendance-Four Years:
Sckylaur D. Kane, Digital Printing Technologies, Altoona
Perfect Attendance-Three Years:
Jacob T. McCormick, Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology, Blair County Christian
Alexander M. Skelley, Food Production, Altoona
Kaylee M. Lill, Health Occupations, Bellwood-Antis
GACTC Update — Page 8—May 2014
THANKS TO ALL OUR SCHOLARSHIP 2014 CONTRIBUTORS
Many area businesses and individuals have contributed to scholarship and special awards for our graduating seniors.
Without these contributions, the Senior Awards program would not be possible.
In the aggregate, contributions amounted to nearly $35,000
Ace Fix-It Hardware
E & W Small Engine
Precision Machining Bench Rest Project
Allegheny Supply & Maintenance Co., Inc.
Elaine’s Wearable Art
Pyramid Engineering, PC
Evolving Technologies, Inc.
Altoona Pipe & Steel Supply Co.
First Commonwealth Trust Co.
G. W. Sipes Company
S. P. McCarl & Co., Inc.
American Welding Society
Gampe Machine & Tool Co., Inc.
Andrews & Beard
Bettwy Electric Inc.
J. C. Orr & Son, Inc.
Smithmyer Plumbing & Heating, LLC
Blair Auto Service & Power Equipment
Keystone Environmental Health & Safety
Stiffler, McGraw & Associates, Inc.
Blair Candy Company, Inc.
Stuckey Ford, Subaru & Collision
Klesius & Sheedy
Summit Quest Fitness Center
Blair County Dental Society
Knisely & Sons, Inc.
Team Chevrolet Buick Cadillac
Link Computer Corporation
The Bruno & Lena DeGol Family Foundation
Bovard Heating & Cooling
M & T Bank
The Hite Company
Brumbaugh Insurance Group
The Small Engine Shop
Burgmeier Hauling, Inc.
Thomas A. Fahr Masonry Contractors
Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc.
Triangle Barber Shop
Courtesy Ford, Inc.
Mel C. Woomer
Modern Cabinet & Construction
UPMC Altoona Partnership for a Healthy
NAPA Auto Parts
Daniel A. Clark Memorial Scholarship
New Look Uniform
Delta Health Technologies, LLC
Vince’s Auto Body
Downtown Bedford, Inc.
Operation S.O.S. (Support Our Soldiers)
Young, Oakes, Brown & Co.
Your Building Center
MULTIPLE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
Katelyn M. Adams, Altoona/Health Occupations (2)
Laura B. Allison, Williamsburg/Retail Marketing/Entrepreneurship (3)
Kyler S. Bender, Altoona/Automotive Technology (2)
Brett L. Benson, Hollidaysburg/Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Plumbing (2)
Megan R. Drummond, Hollidaysburg/Culinary Arts (3)
Noah D. Eberwein, Altoona/Electronics Technology (2)
Nicholas P. Eckenrode, Altoona/Carpentry/Construction (2)
Joshua W. Gilbert, Central/Electronics Technology (3)
Orianna S. Green, Altoona/Multimedia & Web Design (3)
Sckylaur D. Kane, Altoona/Digital Printing Technologies (2)
Benjamin J. Kepner, Altoona/Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry (2)
Shawn E. Lehner, Tyrone/Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Plumbing (2)
Sara M. Lykens, Altoona/Health Occupations (2)
Jacob T. McCormick, Blair County Christian/Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology (2)
Dominic J. Pasquini, Altoona/Electrical Trades (2)
Alexander M. Skelley, Altoona/Food Production (2)
Kayla M. Updike, Altoona/Interior Decorating & Finishing (2)
GACTC Update — Page 9—May 2014
MISS SCHOOL, MISS OUT PROGRAM AWARD WINNERS
At the annual Miss School/Miss Out Incentive Assembly, twelfth grade
students at the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center were
recognized for perfect attendance and high achievement.
Mark Ziegenfuss of the Challenge Program presented awards as follows
to outstanding seniors:
Academic Excellence – Sergey Cook, Drafting/Design Technology
Attendance – Alexander Skelley, Food Production (3 years of Perfect
Academic Improvement – Rusty Ball, Logistics & Materials Mgmt.
Community Service – Laura Allison, Retail Marketing/
STEM—Joshua Gilbert, Electronics Technology
The Hite Company, the Blair Companies, and McLanahan Corporation
contributed $1,000 as sponsors for each senior award and the
underclassmen awards to be presented in September.
This is the twelfth consecutive year that the school has awarded a rebuilt
late-model automobile that is restored to like-new condition by the
Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology, Automotive Technology, and
Automotive/Diesel Technology Programs. This year’s car was
purchased from Stoystown Auto Wreckers. Frank Mayak of Stoystown
has sponsored the program in whole or in part for each of the twelve
Senior Brianna Geist, top winner in the
years it has been in existence. Donations from the following companies
MSMO Incentive Program
helped make this restoration possible: Stoystown Auto Wreckers,
Mueller’s Auto Recycling & Sales, and Hamer Auto Body Repair &
Brianna Geist was declared the
winner. Runner-up, Derik Robertson
(Welding) won a 32” Sceptre TV, RCA
One student from the morning session, Brianna Geist, and one student
from the afternoon session, Derik Robertson, qualified for the grand prize Home Theatre System & Ematic
automobile. Each student received an ignition key for the 2009 Hyundai Wireless Headphones.
Elantra, but it was Brianna’s key that proved successful in turning the
ignition. Brianna, who is a Health Occupations student will soon
Good luck with the car, Brianna, and
graduate from the Altoona Area High School. Kara plans to attend Lock
remember to drive safely!
Haven University to become a Physician’s Assistant.
Stoystown Auto Wreckers
Mueller’s Auto Recycling & Sales
Hamer Auto Body Repair & Towing
GACTC Update —Page 10 —May 2014
John Richardson’s career has included work at several local companies
including Conrail, Piper Auto Body, and F. L. Smithe. His diverse work
experiences have served our school well since John first began working here in
2001 as a teacher substitute, maintenance substitute, and greeter substitute.
Since that time, John has worked as a teacher aide and, for the past six years, as
a teacher assistant. John is well liked and respected by everyone at the
school—colleagues and students alike. Because John is accomplished in so
many areas, we hope he can be available for temporary assignments in the
upcoming school year.
Lois Medina has been employed as a casual instructor in the Practical Nursing
Program since August 25, 2003. She is a graduate of Catholic Medical Center,
Jamaica, New York with a diploma in nursing and then received her BS in
Professional Arts and Health Care Administration at St. Joseph College in
Windham Maine. Lois served us as a Medical/Surgical Nursing Instructor at
the Altoona Regional Hospital and at Health South Rehabilitation
Center. Lois, who is well recognized for her New York accent, has also been
very active on the GACTC Relay for Life Team. She and her husband Dr.
Rudy Medina have two sons and reside in Hollidaysburg.
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HEALTH, TO YOU BOTH!
NOCTI Performance Testing
Students participated in school-wide NOCTI Performance Testing on April 29 as part of end-of-program NOCTI
evaluations. Pictured Below: Dental Assistant, Electrical Trades, Multimedia & Web Design
Continued on Page 11:
Health Occupations, Masonry, Interior Decorating & Finishing
Carpentry/Construction, Automotive Technology, Cabinetmaking/Finished Carpentry, HVAC/Plumbing
Emergency Services, Digital Printing, Welding Technology
Outdoor Power Equipment Technology, Electronics Technology, Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology,
Logistics & Materials Management
GACTC Update —Page 11 —May 2014
NOCTI Performance Testing continued
GACTC Update —Page 12 —May 2014
Senior Awards Banquet in Photos