Career and Technical Education (CTE) of St. Johns County

Guest Speaker Events Bring Professionals into Academy Classrooms

When students aren’t able to miss classes to see their featured industry in action out in the real world, Nease’s Academies bring industry professionals directly to the students.  We have had several guest speaker events this fall, to help our Hospitality, Engineering and Communications Academy students learn more about what it takes to achieve professional success.

The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism hosted a panel discussion focused on careers in the lodging sector of the industry.  Moderated by Dr. Zach Cole, of Flagler College’s Hospitality program, three industry professionals joined us to discuss their backgrounds, and answer questions.  The panel included Joe Finnegan, Owner/Innkeeper of the St. Francis Inn and the Casa de Suenos in St. Augustine; Shannon Dearin, General Manager of the Courtyard Marriott St. Augustine; and Logan Ebert, Human Resource Generalist for the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa.  The panel discussed how they got into the industry, what they enjoy about working in the lodging realm of hospitality, and offered advice on how students can find success in the industry.

In the Stellar Academy of Engineering, Leon Williams, a professional architect with Stellar, visited Ms. Hunter’s class to discuss the pathway to becoming a licensed architect.  He walked the students through the college and career process, discussed skills needed to find success in the business, and answered questions.

Communications Academy students gathered in Mrs. Soto’s room to hear from Anne Detlefsen, the Director of Digital Production at PGA Tour Entertainment.  She explained that her department includes video editors, content producers, photographers, and digital designers.  Mrs. Detlefsen shared how they use social media platforms to attract a younger audience to golf, and that they utilize Adobe Creative Suite software at PGA Tour Entertainment, which also happens to be taught in Nease’s Communications Academy.  She was excited to hear that our students were earning certifications in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.  Mrs. Detlefsen encouraged the students to get as much experience in the industry as they can, by seeking out internships and jobs that give them a variety of skills.  She also answered student questions about her career.

We realize that all of the professionals who volunteer their time with us are very busy people, and we truly appreciate them taking time out of their workday to share their experience and expertise with our students.  Thank you!