Career Technical Education

The Career and Technical education experience at Essex Technical High School is comprised of 24 program offerings. The programs are clustered in an Academy Model to better serve students needs.

Grade 9 Career Discovery & Exploratory Program:

The Essex Technical High School Grade 9 Career Discovery and Exploratory Program is designed to enhance the students’ experience during his/her first year at Essex Tech. Such an experience peaks the students ‘ awareness of the vast career and technical learning opportunities offered at Essex Technical High School and beyond. The Career Discovery provides students with an opportunity to be intellectually curious as they learn through exposure to all our twenty-four (24) career and technical program fields of study. During the Exploratory Program, Grade 9 students participate in eight (8) career technical programs* for one cycle each to acquire a deeper understanding of the curriculum available to them as Essex Tech students and learn about the career pathways available to them as life-long learners after graduating from Essex Technical High School. Students are fully engaged as active participants in their Exploratory learning experiences to better inform their CTE program placement decisions. The Essex Technical High School Admissions Policy (below), approved by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical District School Committee, further describes the Career Discovery and Exploratory Program.

*Students residing in the district’s 17 member communities are eligible to consider participating in any of the twenty-four (24) career technical programs offered at Essex Technical High School. Grade 9 students residing in communities beyond the district’s 17 member communities are only eligible to consider enrollment in the eight (8) specialized agricultural, natural resources and animal science programs during their tenure as students at Essex Technical High School (Veterinary Science, Equine Science, Companion Animals, Environmental Technology, Natural Resources, Arboriculture, Sustainable Horticulture and Landscaping/Turf Management). For more information see the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Advisory (December 2015) below.




Advisory Committee

Advisory Committees for career/vocational technical education programs play an integral role in the development and implementation of our CTE programs. The committees are composed of a variety of constituents ranging from industry, parents, students, apprenticeships, and board members. The input these members provide are invaluable to the progressing trends of each field of study. Overall, the committees advise, assist, and support CTE programs in order to enhance planning and operation from budgets to cooperative education employment opportunities. Such advice is based on adequate and timely information as to workforce and job development demands or job market trends, technological developments, and other factors affecting the quality of the programs.

Career Technical Education Leadership Team

Kathleen Holman RN, MSN, Career Technical Education Coordinator – Academies D & E

HolmanKathleen Holman, Career Technical Education Coordinator for the Life & Natural Sciences and Construction Academies, brings 20 years of experience working in vocational technical education to her role.

Kathleen was the Health Assisting Instructor for four years and School Nurse for thirteen years at North Shore Technical High School prior to becoming an administrator at Essex Tech.  Her nursing experience includes adult and pediatric medicine, surgery, Hematology and Oncology at Madigan Army Medical Center Ft. Lewis Washington (Civil Service) and Naval Hospital San Diego (Active Duty) and Geriatric Nursing experience at skilled nursing facilities on the North Shore.

Kathleen is a Registered Nurse (Massachusetts) and is licensed in Health Assisting, School Nurse, Cooperative Education, and as a Supervisor Director.  Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Curry College along with a Master of Science in Nursing/Nursing Education from Salem State University. Kathleen is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and a Leadership I graduate.


Carissa Karakaedos, Interim Career Technical Education Coordinator – Academies A & B

karakaedosCarissa Karakaedos joined the District in July 2016 bringing a solid and successful base of leadership experiences. She began her career as a science and allied health teacher. Following her teaching career, Carissa became a director at Lincoln Technical Institute overseeing adult vocational programs. She transitioned this experience back to public school education for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Career Vocational Technical Education unit supporting districts with all aspects of Ch. 74 compliance. For the past eight years, Carissa has accomplished many successes for the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District as the Director of Community Services, Technical Programs Director, and Assistant Superintendent-Director.

Carissa holds a CAGS in Educational Leadership from Salem State University, an M.Ed in Education Administration from Cambridge College, and a B.S. in Biology from Simmons College. She is currently working towards her doctoral degree from Lesley University.

Carissa has been a member of several educational organizations that promote the success and accomplishments of student achievement including the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA), Massachusetts Secondary Schools Administrators Association (MSSAA), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and Massachusetts School Superintendents (MASS). She also instructs several graduate and undergraduate courses for educator preparation programs.