LANCASTER, PA — Dr. Khalid N. Mumin, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), visited the School District of Lancaster (SDOL) on Thursday. The visit aimed at gaining insights into their career and technical education (CTE) programs, including the innovative Educator Rising Program at JP McCaskey High School.
The Educator Rising Program allows high school students to develop their teaching skills and apply them in local elementary schools. It’s part of a broader effort to address teacher workforce shortages by equipping future educators with the necessary tools for success.
“Career and Technical Education plays a valuable role in our educational system, giving students the opportunity to explore career paths while still in high school,” said Secretary Mumin. He praised these programs for connecting students with professionals and providing hands-on experience in hundreds of critical industries throughout Pennsylvania, including education.
Earlier this year, the Shapiro Administration announced that CTE entities, including those in school districts and charter schools, could apply to create new programs that prepare students for careers in education. This initiative aims to engage and prepare secondary students interested in pursuing education careers, building on the department’s efforts to recruit and retain more teachers in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Justin Reese, principal of McCaskey High School, said, “We are proud of the range of career and technical education opportunities available to students at McCaskey High School, as well as our collaboration with business leaders to address local workforce shortages.”
Like many other CTE programs, McCaskey’s Educator Rising Program gives students the chance to partner with local elementary schools to apply their learning in a practical, hands-on way. The program offers classroom-ready curriculum, training, and support, helping high school students begin their journey to becoming future educators. Currently, there are 50 students in the Education track program, gaining real-world teaching experience at several local elementary schools.