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CTE Offers Opportunities that Can Be Life-Changing

February is National Career Technical Education Month.

Bruce Sherman is the Executive Director of Career Technical Education. Vicky Wheeler is the Director of Career & Technical Education.

The first and last pictures are of Tonya Scott. The second picture is Bruce Sherman. The third picture is Vicky Wheeler. The fourth picture is Charlisa Hall. The fifth picture is Michelle Derouin.

Scott 22 FEBRUARY 16, 2021 – WS/FC high schools offer a total of 16 Career Academies that focus on such paths as finance, construction, engineering and health science.

The academy programs keep expanding. Tonya Scott, who was already teaching EMT courses at Walkertown High, started teaching EMT at the North Forsyth High Academy of Health Science.

“The EMT portion at North started this school year,” Scott said. 

Scott likes working with the students at both schools.

“I have always enjoyed teaching the things I enjoy doing,” she said. “I started teaching swimming when I was 16.  I loved being a paramedic. I enjoy being able to help today’s youth learn to help their community and save lives.”

Scott has been a paramedic for 20 years. She currently serves with Stoke County Emergency Medical Services.

“I know that the students in my class may one day be my partner on an ambulance or come to help or my family in an emergency.”

“There is a shortage of EMT's and paramedics currently.  The job market is plentiful with open EMT positions.  There are many college campuses that will give a reduction of tuition or room and board if students serve on the campus EMS system. Students may also use EMT patient contact hours to apply for PA school  

“EMT 1 will give students their Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification, which will allow them to assist on medical calls but does not allow them to work on an ambulance.”

Sherman 22 “EMT 2 will allow students to get their EMT certification and gain employment upon graduation.  For both classes there is a credentialling exam that students must pass after successfully completing the course.”

“EMT 1 and 2 are both hands on classes that require skills to be performed in the classroom.”

In addition to the Career Academies, there many free-standing CTE courses not only in high schools but also in middle schools.

“The thing that makes WS/FCS CTE special is the breadth of the courses we offer,” said Vicky Wheeler, the Director of Career & Technical Education. “There are opportunities that can be life-changing for students.”

Almost 250 teachers and support staff work in the CTE program for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

“The teachers are very dedicated and hard-working,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler 44 The CTE Department has added two program managers - Michelle Derouin and Charlisa Hall. Each is responsible are responsible for certain paths.

Hall is the Program Manager for the CTE Business, Finance and Marketing (BFM), Computer Science & Information Technology (CS/IT), Career Management and Health Science program areas along with a few former Trade & Industrial courses which are now included in the CS/IT program area. 

The CS/IT courses include Adobe Visual Design, Adobe Video Design, Digital Design, Digital Media, and CISCO Networking.

Hall’s background includes teaching CTE Business Education courses, serving as CTE Special Populations Coordinator and as an Instructional Technology Specialist in Guilford County.

Hall said she is committed to helping empower teachers to provide high quality instruction and promoting the many benefits of CTE programs to our students, parents, and community.

Derouin is responsible for Agriculture Education, Family and Consumer Science, Project Lead the Way, and Trade, Technology, Engineering and Industrial Education.

Hall 23 Before becoming a Program Manager, Derouin taught Family and Consumer Science at Reagan High and served as the advisor for the school’s chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). In May of 2020, she was named the N.C. Teacher of the Year for the N.C. Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 

Before becoming a teacher, Derouin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in Textile Products Design and Marketing and worked for a clothing manufacturer. Although she enjoyed the work, at some point, it no longer seemed enough. She decided to go into teaching. She earned her teaching certification and master’s degree at the same time at N.C A&T State University. In 2008, she became a teacher at Reagan.

As a product of CTE, Derouin said, she is passionate about the positive impact CTE has on students and their future. She is dedicated to providing innovative instructional strategies to teachers while marketing and promoting CTE not only in schools but to the community as well. 

Wheeler spoke highly of Hall and Derouin.

“They are providing curriculum support for the teachers,” Wheeler said. “We are excited to have them on board to support the teachers.”

So many students want to acquire the skills that Career Technical Education can provide that, during the 2018-19 school year, 88 percent of WS/FCS students took at least one CTE course.

Derouin 11 Whether it’s working on airplane engines, learning biotechnology lab research skills, cosmetology or programming computers, CTE courses all offer hands-on experiences. The classes also help students develop leadership skills and connect with their fellow students, Wheeler said.

The WS/FCS CTE program offers primary eight paths:


Business, Finance and Marketing

Career Development

Computer Science and Information Technology

Adobe & Graphic Design

Family and Consumer Sciences 

Scott 66 Health Sciences

Trade, Technology, Engineering, and Industrial Education.