Divisions/Programs


Zach P.

Graduate from Francis Scott Key High School in Carroll County

Production Engineering CTE Program of Study



Maryland CTE


Zach - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology (NIMS)

Why did you choose this CTE Program of Study?
I grew up with a love of hunting and fishing.  I wanted to be a gunsmith after I graduated from high school and did not want to go to college.  I thought the best thing for me was to enroll in Carroll County’s CTE manufacturing program where I could learn machining.  Once I started the program I realized that I really enjoyed manufacturing and that I should continue my education after I graduated from high school.

How did your CTE Program prepare you for college and career?
My high school program prepared me so well that I was able to place out of some courses, and I was able to enter college with some advanced standing.  I was unable to find a program in the state of Maryland, so I attended Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA.

What Academic subjects were important to your success in your CTE program?
Math of course is so important in my field.  In fact, I use trigonometry on a daily basis.  I would also say that English is just as important as you have to be able to communicate with co-workers.  I work with NASA engineers, and if I cannot use proper grammar and sentence structure, I would not be taken seriously.

Describe any teachers or relationships that supported you?
I feel very fortunate as I received a ton of support from my high school and college teachers.  Tim Blizzard was my manufacturing teacher, and he went out of his way to work with me and to give me every advantage because he knew this is what I wanted to do.  Mr. Blizzard gave me extra assignments so I could advance my skills as well as work in the industry providing me with real job experiences.  All of my college professors were supportive as well. 

What are you currently doing since graduating from high school?
I earned an Associates of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology from the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and I work for Toper Manufacturing doing prototype CNC Mill work.  I am currently working on my business plan to start my own small shop and hope to have it up and running by 2019. 

Did you earn any college credit or industry recognized credentials while in high school?  If yes, what?
While in high school, I earned industry-recognized credentials from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills. These certifications were Measurement, Materials, and Safety and Job Planning, Benchwork, and Layout.

What would you tell an incoming freshman or a middle school student about CTE?
I would tell an incoming freshman to take CTE classes and to take them seriously.  Most of the CTE classes are hands-on, and you get to use state of the art equipment.  Most importantly, read the text book, study, and work with your teachers because the program and teachers will prepare you for your future.