button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Innovations on Equity in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Session II: 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM


More so now than ever before, today’s classroom combines students at all levels of proficiency, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, behavioral tendencies, and motivation. Such extreme diversities create major challenges for the delivery of course content that promotes student engagement, comprehension, and retention. Springs Charter Schools’ Career/Internship Technical Education (CITE) will share an educational approach that promoted equity for ALL students in any classroom environment.


ESSEL_george 2017George Essel

Lead CTE Coordinator
Springs Charter Schools

Biography: George Essel is a military trained electro-mechanical technician who, after earning his BBA, became a Business Development and Program Manager is military education and training – specifically providing operation, maintenance, and instruction on military simulation systems. In 2005, George established River Springs Charter School’s Wathen Aviation High School with the assistance of a Perkins III Tech Prep Demonstration Grant that he authored on behalf of the school. Over the past decade, he has continued to expand the CTE program for the school to include twelve pathways under eight industry sectors. Mr. Essel holds two clear CTE Designated Subject teaching credentials – one in Engineering and Architecture and the other in Business and Finance. He has designed and taught aviation, business, engineering and robotics courses. George attributes the success of the school’s CTE program to the military education model that he replicates for the school’s CTE programs.

ESSEL_deb 2017Debbie Essel

Asst. Superintendent of Education – Academies
Springs Charter Schools

Biography: Deb Essel’s employment with Springs Charter Schools began in 2000 when she was a teacher for adults in recovery programs to her current positions for the last ten years as the Assistant Superintendent of Education – Academies. Mrs. Essel has a double major bachelorette degree from Boston University in Physical Education and Special Education and a master degree in Education and Curriculum from Kaplan University. Deb holds a lifetime multi-subject teaching credential with the State of Massachusetts and a clear single-subject PE teaching credential with the State of California. Prior to joining River Springs Charter School, Mrs. Essel was the Site Manager / Lead Instructor for the United States Message Text Formatting contract at Fleet Training Center, San Diego, CA where she re-designed the Government provided curriculum that resulted in an average GPA increase of over six (6%) percent in each of the three courses taught.

WILSON_maureen 2017Maureen Wilson

Director of Real World Programs
Springs Charter Schools

Biography: Maureen Wilson graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Fine Arts and a single subject teaching credential. Upon graduation, she began teaching in the San Diego Unified School District. She left the teaching profession to raise her two children, but enjoyed volunteering in their classrooms so much she decided to return. She earned her multiple subject credential and taught grades 4 through 6. She was introduced to Homeschooling and Charter Schools when she was employed by Springs Charter Schools in 2004. In 2014 she was made the Director of the Real World Programs, which includes CTE. The importance of preparing students to be both Career and College ready is her primary goal.


George Essel, a member of CA Joint Special Populations Advisory Committee (JSPAC), transitioned to secondary CTE from military education in training in 2005. He initially developed River Springs Charter School’s CTE curriculum using military course structure. Over the past 10 years, with the assistance of his co-presenters, Debbie Essel and Maureen Wilson, the school has made adjustments to the curricular content delivery model for CTE programs designed to provide personalized learning for every student in the classroom, effectively tearing down walls that lead to inequity.

This workshop will model our classroom approach consisting of short lecture, project-based learning assignment, and discussion. Participants will observe this teaching strategy in action as the recipients of instruction (experienced learning). The discussion phase of the workshop will focus on participant observed strategies used by the three presenters to provide additional comprehension to all attendees.

Many attendees will be able to replicate these strategies in their classrooms with minimal planning. However, 75 minutes may be inadequate for all participants to fully comprehend the educational delivery concept. So, in the spirit of equity, we will provide a suggested resource list to all attendees in page copy with the option of signing up for an email copy with active hyperlinks.

The personalized learning through project-based education model is designed to provide each student with one-on-one instruction from the teacher. This allows the teacher an opportunity to diversify instruction to meet the individual needs of the student, help a struggling student comprehend through additional instruction, challenge high-achieving students to go beyond the learning objectives of the project, and connect with students on a personal level to help offset emotional, economic, special education, or motivational challenges.


This workshop is intended for educators with students in a classroom setting from diverse populations and various levels of proficiency.