New! Pre-Vocational Exploration Course

New for fall 2023-2024

Pre-Vocational Exploration

This exciting, all-new program opens the doors to the Tech Center like never before, creating an option for students who are ready to learn the very basics of being a good employee, including:

  • following directions
  • the importance of attendance
  • completing tasks
  • following safety rules

Students in this year-long program explore one of the following areas each quarter:

  • Human Services (teaching, childcare, hospitality)
  • Industrial Technology (automotive, manufacturing, construction)
  • Business Services (marketing, retail, office services)
  • General vocational skill development (work safety, work culture)

Like our Intro to Career Technical Education and traditional programs, students learn in the classroom and get hands-on experience in our labs. They also continue the development of their Educational Development Plan (EDP), post-secondary education and work goals, and any Transition Plan activities. 

Students who successfully complete this program have several options for their next step. 

*The Pre-Vocational Exploration program is not a state-approved CTE program. Completion of the program counts as elective credit.

Meet our Instructors

Debra Rajaratne

Hello! I'm the Business Services instructor for the Pre-Vocational Exploration program. I've been teaching 13-14 years and I really love the area in which I teach because it empowers my students with skills or knowledge to gain jobs on their own.  

  • Adapted Vocational Education English Language Arts teacher at KTC (2012 - Present)
  • 7th & 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Forest Area Community Schools (Fife Lake, MI)
  • Journalism/World History/Economics teacher at the Beaver Island Lighthouse School (Beaver Island, MI)
  • Tutor/Instructor at Sylvan Learning Center (Traverse City, MI)
  • Government teacher at Thurgood Marshall High School (Missouri City, TX)
  • English teacher at Hightower High School (Missouri City, TX)
  • Cashier Supervisor at Sam’s Club (2003-2008) 
  • Bachelor in Group Social Studies Education with a minor in English from Grand Valley State University (2008)
  • Masters in Educational Technology from Grand Valley State University (2014)
  • Masters of Education In Literacy Studies from Grand Valley State University (2022)

My husband and I love to travel and we have walked on a glacier in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada and traveled to Sri Lanka. I love speaking Spanish, love music, animals and sports-especially NCAA football and basketball.  When Fall and March arrive, you will find me glued to my TV either cheering on Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, Auburn, Texas or the University of Miami. I have been singing since age 4 and tried out for America’s Got Talent while I was living and teaching in Houston, TX.  I grew up on a farm and have four sisters.

Teyondra Burch 

Hi, I'm Ms. Tey!  I started as the CTE or Career Tech Education Specialist for the Child & Family Care classroom, making sure that the needs of the students were met and also assisting the teacher in the classroom with planning and implementing ideas.  I am excited to now be the Human Services instructor for Pre-Vocational Exploration.

I hold childcare certifications in CPR/First Aid, Cognitive Coaching, & Safe-Schools. I also have a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and Sociology, with a Youth Concentration, from Central Michigan University. I have been working with children since I was in the 10th grade. I have experience in After School/Summer programs, Day Cares, as well as being a Reading Specialist and now a Career Tech Specialist. I also have a small business tutoring elementary students.

I enjoy watching football, shopping, and playing with my son.

Barry Wackerle

Hello! My name is Barry Wackerle and I am the Industrial Technology Instructor in the Pre-Vocational Exploration program.  My passion is to help others and I believe my purpose in life is to teach young people so they can become successful individuals.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching and feel rewarded for helping students learn.

  • Drafting, Technology Education and Wood Technology Instructor since 2006
  • Carpenter
  • Landscaper
  • Sales Representative
  • Bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology Education (IX) from Central Michigan University
  • Earth/Space Science endorsement (DH).
  • Working on my Master's degree in Career and Technical Education through Ferris State University.

My wife and I have three children, a dog and a cat. I have a deep love for the outdoors and enjoy many outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, cross-country motorcycle riding and snowmobiling. I enjoy fixing my own cars and trucks and I am very interested in performance engines of all types. My greatest joy in life is spending time with my family.

Idekel Arias

Career Tech Specialist

More details to come...