CTEC Youth Appreciation!

      On March 14th, the Optimist Club of Salem met with Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) students along with CTEC faculty and guests  to           present Youth Appreciation awards to five deserving students.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by CTEC culinary arts students, learned about five of the ten Programs of Study offered at CTEC and got to meet the amazing students.  CTEC has been hosting our Youth Appreciation Luncheons the past two years and it was great to learn more about the programs offered and to meet some of their students and faculty. 

Below are synopses of each student.

Kasandra Perez

Achievement in Law Enforcement

Kasandra is a Senior who splits her school time between South Salem High School and CTEC.  Her instructor in the Law Enforcement program commented that while Kasandra is an extremely thoughtful and insightful student, it is her ability to draw in others and seek out insight from others that is most impressive.  Her ability to lift up others makes any group she is part of stronger because of her presence.  Kasandra’s leadership skills extend beyond the classroom.  This past year she led an effort that resulted in 150 pairs of shoes being collected for the “One Thousand Soles” program.    


After graduation, Kasandra plans to attend Oregon State University followed by Law School.

Nathaniel Gonzalez

Video Game Design and Animation

Nathaniel is a Senior who splits his school time between South Salem High School and CTEC.   Unfailingly cheerful, hardworking, curious, optimistic, open to constructive criticism and diligent are just a few of the characteristics used by his instructor to describe Nathaniel.  He is always one of the first to volunteer when a new opportunity arises.  While diligent in the pursuit of his own goals, he also remembers to help his peers.


After graduation, Nathaniel plans to attend college to study software engineering.

Liora Donahue

Achievement in Aviation

Liora is a Junior who splits her school time between West Salem High School and CTEC.  She decided to enroll in the CTEC Aviation Program because of her inquisitive nature and technical mind but admits having initially been a little nervous about not knowing what to expect.  She obviously has overcome her nervousness as her instructor noted that she is an excellent student that consistently approaches challenges with enthusiasm and determination.  She is creative, makes learning fun and encourages others to participate.  She adds a positive spin to every situation.


After another year at West Salem High School and CTEC, Liora plans to go to college to study either Computer Science or Engineering.


Fabian Guzman Rodriguez

Achievement in Cosmetology

Fabian is a Senior who splits his school time between South Salem High School and CTEC.  Noting that Fabian “is an extremely talented barber”, the instructor chose to emphasize some of Fabian’s personality that made him deserving of this award.  He is kind and positive and tries to make everyone feel included.  He has been an excellent mentor to the students that are in the first year of the Cosmetology program.  He has mastered the art of having fun while you work.


After graduation, Fabian will pursue his goal of one day having his own barbershop in the Salem area.

Mia Hague

Achievement in Culinary Arts

Mia is a Senior who splits her school time between South Salem High School and CTEC.  Mia has been in the Culinary Arts program for two years and is being recognized for her positive attitude and hard work.  She willingly accepts challenges and the consistent product she produces demonstrate pride in her work.


Following graduation Mia plans to pursue a career in the culinary arts with a goal of one day having her own food truck.


Award Photo