Student Work

CTE students build a quality home in Essex Junction


This past July the Residential Building Program (RBP) at the Center for Technology Essex (CTE) successfully completed the building and sale of another quality home in the Essex Junction community. This lovely home was placed on the market and received multiple offers within days. The house sold within three days for the asking price.

The RBP at CTE teaches and mentors young men and woman to build homes using the latest technologies and best building practices in home construction. Students are exposed to all phases of building from site planning / foundation to finish carpentry / painting. The completed homes are state-of-the-art and are highly energy efficient. They utilize green building and aging-in-place features.

The program also prepares students for a smooth transition into the work force of construction trades. After completion of the RBP, most graduating seniors have job offers from some of the top construction companies in the area.

This year’s class of 18 students will soon be breaking ground on another well designed home to be built on 19 Taft Street in Essex Junction.


Zoe Ladensack

“I hope that one day I can change someone’s life … but I don’t want anything in return”

It’s not always easy to choose one outstanding student among the many at Center for Technology, Essex, but Zoe Ladensack stands out from the pack. She’s bright, motivated, and excited about her future. “Zoe showed up on the first day of class ready to learn,” said teacher Christina Smith. “She turns in amazing work, sets a great example for her peers, and actually asks for additional challenges.” A junior from Colchester High School, Ladensack didn’t always know what she wanted. “I saw flyers and decided to come and check out the CTE dental program,” she said in a recent interview. “I never knew it was going to be something that I can’t stop thinking about.” The challenge is a perfect fit for her skills. She enjoys hands-on learning, staying organized, and working with people.

That’s clear to dental assisting instructor Beth Ladd. “Instead of rushing out at the end of of a last- period Friday class, Zoe insisted on staying late to continue her instruction with volunteering dentist, Dr. Napoliello,” Ladd said. “When they were through, she was adamant about helping Dr. N. pack up his instruments and equipment, and cleaning up before she left.” What does the future hold? Zoe’s looking at a career in the military. “Plans for the future are coming together step-by-step,” she said. “I would like to travel around the world and help people in places that don’t have strong forms of dental care. I hope that one day I can change someone’s life and give them better oral health, but I don’t want anything in return,” she said. “The U.S. Air Force is the first step in making what I hope will be a long and amazing dental career.”

Zoe is constantly busy, whether hanging out with friends and family or serving guests at her after-school job at Bay View Eats in Malletts Bay. “I enjoy working because I like making people happy,” she said. “I go the extra mile to make the time they spend in the restaurant one of the best.” And if that’s not enough, she sails with the Vermont High School Sailing Team, which competes throughout New England and the East Coast. “Sailing gives me the sense of challenge and the rush that I look for in my everyday life,” she said. Her sense of adventure serves her well. “Coming to CTE was a choice that I made blindly,” Zoe said. “But after only three months, it has changed my life. It is the first school where I truly feel at home,” she said. “It’s somewhere I walk into and a smile comes across my face.”


Jonathan Titus

Why CTE Was the Right Decision for Me

I challenged the idea of going to a public high school to earn my education. I thought, “Why should I go to school and be bored and not learn as much as I possibly could?” Instead, I came to CTE. I’m following my passion and earning my high school degree.

You can get so much more from going to a technical school compared to a traditional high school. First, you will earn a skill that you can use the rest of your life. Technical schools use a different type of learning style. It’s more of a “hands-on” learning experience that the majority of people like better. At a technical school, you have options; there are all sorts of classes that you can take to learn a skill. All of this is important. People don’t learn if they are bored. At CTE, you won’t be bored.

One thing is for sure you will earn a skill. This is important because you have something to use in your future, and can use in college. You learn something useful for free that others have to pay for. This has helped me by letting me know what I want to do with my future as far as a career goes. I now know information that I can use to make money and rise in my field.

Technical education is a different kind of learning experience than a normal high school. It’s important because you get bored after learning the same way for ten years. You won’t learn anything if you always do it the same way over and over again. Technical education is about a hands-on learning style. Instead of sitting in a classroom all day, you get to do what you have wanted to do, and you learn. It has affected me by using a learning style I like. I can’t sit all day in a classroom, but by doing hands-on learning I can concentrate on using my hands and actually learn something.

Last but not least, you have options. There isn’t a handful of programs you can choose from- there are dozens. You have the option of which one you choose. The program might have a second year option or you can do a different program the next year. This can affect things cause you might have to choose one program over the other. You don’t get stuck doing something that you don’t want to do, and you have fun in whatever program you get into.

Going to a technical school instead of normal high school is the smart way to go. You have a better experience, and you will take more away from it. Tech school is a good alternative choice for high school.  You have different options of what program you want to do. You will have fun because it’s a different style of learning, and last but not least, you will learn a skill you can use in your future. You should take away that a tech school is a better option for you if you have a hard time sitting in a classroom or want to learn a skill.  I thought this was a better option for me.


CTE Students Learning and Working to Help the Community

Thanks to a collaborative effort spearheaded by EHS Coach Eric Langevin and the Center for Technology’s Natural Resources program, the Essex cross country teams will soon experience new home terrain.

Both the Village and Town of Essex are supporting this collaborative effort which entails major renovations to recreational and VAST trails at the Essex Tree Farm off of Old Colchester Road in Essex Junction. This project came about as a result of the EHS Cross Country coach, Eric Langevin’s, proposal to bring his team’s competitions back to the community after years of hosting their meets at the Catamount Center in Williston.

Under the supervision of instructors Tyler Siddens and Dave Cousino, the Natural Resources students are busy this fall gaining real-world experience in their program curriculum while benefiting the local community. In the process, they are learning new skills in trail maintenance, heavy equipment operation, and tree removal along with practicing teamwork, leadership skills, and a sense of community involvement. David Fraser, an EHS student athlete and second year CTE Natural Resources student, is excited about his role in the project, “It is really cool to see the progress we have made already and know that our work will benefit the sports teams, VAST trail users, and the Essex community.”

There are over 1000 meters of trails all needing various degrees of work to include new drainage systems and culverts being installed. Justin Sorenson, a Pre-Tech instructor at CTE, has donated his time and engineering background to help best design the trails. For a few hours each day, students work in small groups under team leaders where jobs are rotated between raking and shoveling to remove debris from the trails, root and tree removal, and clearing and layout of the trails utilizing the program’s excavator, backhoe and skid steer. One student each day takes on the role of safety foreman in charge of the first aid kit and moves between teams to supervise that all safety procedures are being followed.

“It makes so much sense for these students to learn skills and gain experience on a real project where they can feel productive and see the results of all their hard work rather than be out on the practice dirt piles on campus,” says Dave Cousino. The trail work around the Tree Farm is a true team effort; Steven Maloney, an EHS student, will be taking on a section of the trail as an Eagle Scout project, and the EHS boys cross country team members will be assisting in clearing the trails. Students in Peter Falby’s Natural Resources-Forestry program will be assisting in assessing and removing trees along the trails edge. “Everyone has been so great so far in helping to get this project done,” says Coach Langevin. A special thank you goes out to Atwood Excavating, Birdseye Builders, and Omega for their donation of fill, and to the many parents who made a financial contribution to the project. The students will need a large amount of fill in order to complete the project, so anyone who would like to support the EHS and CTE students’ trail project through monetary donations or donations of fill, please contact Eric Langevin at 857-7000 x1529 or

In the end, we hope to have a nice, well groomed trail for running and walking on — a wonderful community resource. If all goes according to plan, the work of the Natural Resources’ students will be completed by spring of 2014 allowing the EHS cross country teams to celebrate with home meets next season right where they should be — back home in Essex.


Professional Foods

The Professional Foods program is designed to introduce students to occupations in the hospitality industry while addressing the Vermont Department of Education Foundation Core Competencies in Hospitality and Culinary Arts. These competencies provide the framework to address areas identified as foundational knowledge for those working within the hospitality field. Throughout the year, students are exposed to multiple facets of the service industry as they rotate through three areas; bakeshop, service management and the production kitchen. This industry driven program allows students to combine theoretical instruction with hands-on experience while operating the student run restaurant and bakeshop. Additional emphasis is placed on sound nutrition and eating habits and professionalism in the workplace. In addition, the program is further strengthened with links to the industry through cooperative partnerships and internships with local food service operations as well as industry recognized third party certifications (ServSafe).


There is an option for a second year in Professional Foods for high school juniors seniors who have completed the first year program.  In the second year, students continue to build on skills and knowledge of the food service industry.  Students prepare food for CTE’s restaurant as well for special functions.  Students also create a business plan for a restaurant where they learn food service math and management skills.

The Professional Foods Program provides multiple pathways to post-secondary education and careers within the hospitality industry.



The Professional Foods Program maintains a 2500 sq ft kitchen Garden to provide educational opportunities for students at CTE. This “kitchen garden” was established for educational use to allow students to identify and taste fresh food products in their raw and cooked state. In addition, the garden assists in promoting sound, nutritionally balanced eating habits. The herbs, flowers and vegetables harvested from this garden are utilized in the Professional Foods Programs at the Center for Technology.

Community Service

In the fall the first year students served a luncheon to over 100 Senior Citizens who enjoyed being cared for by the students at CTE. The students in the second year program went to the Ronald McDonald house and prepared a meal for the guests who were staying with them in early November.

NTHS Induction

  • Front Row: Brianna Goodrich, Joleen Christie, Kathrine Gilbert
  • Back Row: Nate Begins, Jacob Shults, Brian Wilson
  • Missing: Andrew Mumley

Students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society on Thursday evening March 20, 2014 for their exemplary grades, attendance and worker traits.  The induction was followed by a reception for the students who were inducted and their guests and was hosted by the Professional Foods program.

CTE Cafe and Bakery

Students in the Professional Foods program run the CTE Cafe and Bakery.  Use the following link Restaurant Menu to see our menu.