Mrs. Panek has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and German and a Master of Education from the University of New Hampshire. She taught for the first 13 years of her career in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She has experience teaching in a traditional high school from her seven years at Waukesha South High and also in a virtual environment from her six years at eAchieve Academy. She is also a trained instructional coach with six years of coaching experience. She loves being a part of Career and Technical education at CATEC and is excited to integrate English standards of learning into the trades.
David Topper is a Charlottesville native, having grown up in Woodbrook and graduating from Albemarle High School. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of Charleston, where he played soccer and rugby. He began his teaching career at Albemarle High School teaching Social Studies. He left public education for a stint in the private sector working as a trainer and consultant with State Farm. As the saying goes, history repeats itself, and so he is back in the classroom and loves teaching at CATEC.
Dr. Baran grew up in Philadelphia before moving to Charlottesville as a teenager. He is a Charlottesville High School graduate, where his amazing teachers led him to want to pursue a career in education. He is a "Triple Hoo" having earned his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate from UVA. Previously he taught Math and Social Studies at Monticello High School and the Community Lab School. From 2017-2019 he worked for the College Board in Advanced Placement as the Director of Instructional Design and a lead on the AP Classroom project. Dr. Baran has two children, Eliza and Charlie, as well as 2 dogs, Rosie and Frannie. In his free time, he loves to read, is an avid bowler, and cook.
CATEC’s unique technical curricula naturally embeds many other subject areas into daily learning, including mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. CATEC offers academic and supplemental classes that are both embedded into existing curriculum or are offered as stand-alone courses. For additional information about our academic programs and meet our instructors who are imbedding the curricula, click here.
English 10 This class is embedded in Cosmetology I and Culinary I, which means the English instructor will push into the Cosmetology I and Culinary I classes, and students will complete most of their English assignments in their trade class. The instructors will work together to embed the English reading, writing, communication and research strands of the standards of learning into projects pertaining to Cosmetology and Culinary Arts. Students will prepare for the Work Keys Writing Test to be administered in the spring.
English 11 This class is embedded in Cosmetology I and Culinary I, which means the English instructor will push into the Cosmetology I and Culinary I classes, and students will complete most of their English assignments in their trade class. The instructors will work together to embed the English reading, writing, communication and research strands of the standards of learning into projects pertaining to Cosmetology and Culinary Arts. Students will prepare for the Work Keys Writing Test and SOL Reading Test to be administered in the spring.
US Government/English 12 This course is an interdisciplinary class combining US Government and English 12. It is a stand-alone class, which means it is not embedded in a trade class. The study of the origin and role of government in US society will be the focus of the class. English 12 communication, reading, writing, and research standards of learning will be incorporated into each unit. The class is project-based with an emphasis on helping students understand their rights and responsibilities as US citizens, how government systems impact their daily lives, and how the media influences politics and society as a whole. Students will also learn how they can affect change through political engagement.
Algebra, Functions & Data Analysis- AFDA This class is embedded within the Electricity I curriculum. This means students must complete year 1 of Electricity to earn the AFDA credit. Students will use algebraic functions and analyze data to solve practical problems relating to installing and maintaining residential, commercial and industrial electrical systems. The prerequisite is Algebra 1.
Geometry This class is embedded within the Building Trades I curriculum. This means students must complete year 1 of Building Trades to earn the Geometry credit. Students will use geometric concepts and formulas to solve practical problems relating to the core building trades of masonry, carpentry, electricity, and plumbing. During semester 2, students will be pulled out of Building Trades for a portion of time each week to prepare for the Geometry SOL test.
Biology II: Anatomy & Physiology This class is embedded within the EMT and Veterinary Science curriculums. EMT students will learn the organization of the human body, including the purpose and features of all body systems. Veterinary Science students will learn the organization of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, including the purpose and features of all body systems. The major focus will be on mammals. Both classes will conduct laboratory investigations to support their learning. There is no SOL exam required at the finish of this course. The prerequisite is Biology.
Physics This class is embedded within the Electricity I & II curriculum. This means students must complete the two-year progression of Electricity to earn the Physics credit. Students will investigate how science concepts of physics apply to the fundamental theories of electricity, electromagnetism, magnetism, and photons using Ohm’s law, Kirchoff’s law, Coulomb’s law, and the laws of thermodynamics.
Personal Finance & Economics This class is a stand-alone class, meaning it is not embedded in a trade class. Students will learn how to navigate the financial decisions they must face and to make informed decisions related to career exploration, budgeting, banking, credit, insurance, spending, taxes, saving, investing, buying/leasing a vehicle, living independently, and inheritance. Development of financial literacy skills and an understanding of economic principles will provide the basis for responsible citizenship and career success. In addition to developing personal finance skills, the students will have the opportunity to earn the Working in Support of Education (W!SE) Financial Literacy Credential.