The Success Stories: The CTE Educators of Delaware Pathways

Feb 27, 2024

February is declared Career and Technical Education Month in the state of Delaware. In celebration, let’s continue to share how Delaware’s CTE educators are making a difference, igniting passions, and transforming lives. CTE educators guide the next generation to reach their full potential and provide them with valuable skills to prepare them for the workforce. In this blog, we’ll share the inspiring stories of educators Linda Sapienza, Melanie Mundell, Michael Streck, and Renee Allen, who have embraced CTE as more than just a career choice. Through their testimonials, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of the transformative power of CTE in Delaware.

1. Linda Sapienza: Inspiring Students in Allied Health

Before integrating the Allied Health pathway into Cape Henlopen High School, Linda Sapienza began her journey as a nurse recruiter at Atlantic City Medical Center in 1986. She knew then that a nursing career would be in her future, so she obtained her practical nurse license (LPM) at Delaware Technical Community College and later earned her RN in 1992. As an RN, Linda became a lead nurse in the Emergency Department at Beebe. 

After 18 years at Beebe, Linda served the geriatric population in a nursing home, opening the door to becoming a clinical instructor for a Certified Nursing Assistant Program. While earning her Master's, Linda discovered her passion for educating and training high school students in a Medical Assistant Program. Linda then integrated the Allied Health pathway into Cape Henlopen High School. 

Linda is passionate about modeling professionalism and inspiring youth to meet their potential. “My greatest accomplishment as a Career and Technical Health Care Instructor,” Linda shares, “is learning that students go on to further their education and become successful health care professionals. I have experienced their care in my own healthcare setting and have heard community members share their positive experiences with my former students who cared for them in some capacity.” 

Learn more about the Allied Health pathway.

2. Melanie Mundell: Igniting Passion for Science

Melanie Mundell studied biology as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware and received her Master's in instruction there as well. She then taught Biology and Physical Science at Delcastle Technical Vocational High School for ten years and seventh-grade life science at Newark Charter Middle School for eleven years. For the last nine years, she initiated and taught the biotechnology program at Newark Charter High School. 

Melanie’s enthusiasm for biology, specifically microbiology, molecular biology, and genetics, and influence from her mother, a chemist who was head of a laboratory, made her the perfect educator to initiate the Biotechnology pathway. The ability to run her own lab with young students and teaching skills that can lead to careers that impact society were Melanie’s motivations to become a CTE teacher. Nine years later, the program has had about 1,500 students.

Melanie states, “My greatest accomplishment is having the opportunity to influence and teach young students that are going into careers that relate to either the biotechnology pathway or the affiliated organization HOSA Future Health Professionals. My students have moved forward to so many related fields such as biomedical engineering, molecular biology research, forensics science, and various health professions. I have students that I feel will be on the forefront of genetic research, such as finding treatments for dementia.”

Check out the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics pathways available. 

3. Michael Streck: Programming Paths to Success

Michael Streak, from a very small town in Pennslyvania, attended Penn State upon high school graduation. Having to drop out of college, he gained valuable experience in the construction and restaurant industries. He even became co-owner and manager of a pizza shop, which was his childhood dream. 

Eventually, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from Lock Haven University. After briefly teaching as a long-term substitute in Pennslyvania, he moved to Delaware in 2000 to teach at Milford High School, where he has taught ever since. 

Michael received his Master's in Career and Technical Education from Wilmington University in 2016, opening the doors to the world of CTE. Now Michael shares his knowledge and interests in computer science with students. 

Michael explains, “As a CTE teacher, my biggest source of satisfaction comes from watching my students succeed in overcoming difficult programming challenges. Seeing the joy on their faces when they finally solve a particularly tricky debugging problem is incredibly fulfilling. It’s also rewarding to have students excitedly show me their work on their laptops, proud of what they have achieved. Knowing that I played a part in their success fills me with pride.”

Interested in computer science? Learn more.

4. Renee Allen: Championing Programs in Physical Therapy and Altheic Healthcare

Renee Allen graduated from the University of Delaware in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Physical Education Studies and a minor in Psychology. She also earned a Master of Science in Education with concentrations in Sports Psychology and Biomechanics in 1994. In 2000, she became a certified and licensed Athletic Trainer and began working for Healthsouth as the outreach ATC for John Dickinson High School. 

In 2003, Renee joined the faculty at Dickinson as a highly qualified math teacher while continuing to work as an athletic trainer. A member of the Conrad Schools of Science planning committee in 2006, she worked to develop future career pathways and courses of study for the newly restructured 6-12th grade school. With the schools opening in 2007, she began sharing her knowledge of sports medicine with students in the Physical Therapy and Athletic Healthcare pathway. Over the last 15 years, Renee has continued to develop the program at Conrad, including the addition of the clinical job shadowing program. 

“I believe one of the biggest benefits to career and technical education,” Renee states, “is the opportunity for students to engage in experiences that afford them insight into a career they may be interested in for their future. To this end, my greatest accomplishment as a CTE teacher is the development and expansion of our physical therapy clinical job shadowing program. Beginning in 2014 with 2 partnerships and 5 locations, the program has grown to 6 partnerships and more than 10 locations. I consistently work with the clinical directors of our partners to improve the learning expectations and experiences for the students, staying current in clinical practices. In addition, students gain field experience by shadowing our Conrad athletic trainer. This real world experience exposes students to two very different environments and allows them to make educated decisions about their futures.”

Learn more about the Health Sciences pathways available.

As you can see, the stories of these Career and Technical Education Educators showcase the passion and dedication behind Delaware Pathways. Through hands-on experiences and real-world applications, these highly skilled educators are ready to guide you toward a successful career.

Are you ready to step into the world of Delaware Pathways? Join thousands of students who find their passions, learn valuable skills, and gain insights from these incredible teachers.  Visit our website to learn more.


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