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PHS, PATHS Senior Is a CTE Student of Year

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PHS, PATHS Senior Is a CTE Student of Year
Posted on 05/17/2021
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Christiana Rae “Anna” Gannon, a Portland High School senior enrolled in the PATHS carpentry program has been named one of Maine’s 2020/2021 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students of the Year.

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and the Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education (MACTE) recently congratulated this year’s CTE Students of the Year. Each of Maine’s 26 CTE sites recognizes an outstanding graduate each year. The Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) selected Anna.

“Anna has distinguished herself in every endeavor and activity she engaged in during her two years at PATHS,” said Kevin Stilphen, PATHS director.

MDOE noted that CTE Students of the Year “participate in one of a multitude of CTE programs in regions across Maine, including electrical, culinary arts, multimedia, heavy equipment operations, advanced communications, certified nursing programs, early childhood education, law enforcement, building trades, agriculture, and plumbing and heating, to name a few. Many of these students are graduating high school with college credits and/or certifications that will allow them to begin working on the frontlines immediately while others have obtained advanced training and experience that will enable them to make informed choices about their future career path and education journey.”

In Anna’s case, her instructor, Frank Kehoe describes her as “the whole package.”

He said she is “dedicated and determined, kind and caring, with individual goals, but always a team player, creative, thoughtful, interested, and focused. Anna always cheers on and encourages her classmates. She is a mentor and a supporter of everyone on her team.”

He summarized her accomplishments: “Last year, Anna qualified to compete at the SkillsUSA competition. During the switch to remote learning last year, Anna hit the books hard, completed her first year of NCCER [National Center for Construction Education & Research] certification work, and got a head start on the second-year certification preparation. Anna also works two days a week at Windham MillWork, where she actively applies the technical skills she has learned in the Carpentry program. Anna also takes AP classes at Portland High School and participated in varsity sports. She plans to attend the University of Oregon in the fall and study architecture.”

“Congratulations to this exemplary student on this well-deserved honor,” said Superintendent Xavier Botana. “Anna’s experience nicely illustrates the fact that CTE at PATHS is not an ‘either/or’ proposition when it comes to postsecondary education. PATHS offers programs that enhance students’ higher education experience when they go on to college – as Anna and most PATHS students will do. But PATHS’ programs also allow students to use their skills to step directly into a career, if that is the direction they choose. We’re very proud of Anna and can’t wait to see how she puts the learning she acquired at PATHS to use in college and career.”

Gov. Janet Mills recently highlighted the importance of Maine CTEs in training skilled workers and spurring economic recovery and long-term growth from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced school meals.
Christiana Rae Anna Gannon