CCA appoints STEM and Arts Conservatory Managers

CCA gives students a chance to pursue careers in STEM and Arts


Commonwealth Charter Academy wants students to be career-ready — not just graduation-ready — by the time they receive their diplomas. That is what CCA’s conservatories are all about: giving students real-world experience solving problems and engaging with professionals to help them discover their career paths.

For the 2017-18 school year, the statewide public cyber charter school appointed Charlene Swoboda of Stewartstown, York County, as the manager of its Arts and Humanities Conservatory and Barry King of State College, Centre County, as the manager of its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conservatory.

“CCA is pleased to have these top-notch educators, who have extensive experience in their respective fields, leading our conservatory programs,” said Dr. Maurice “Reese” Flurie, CEO of Commonwealth Charter Academy. “Our students learn about and experience exciting career opportunities through our conservatories.”

The Arts and Humanities Conservatory connects students with artists in their communities to learn about theater, dance and fine arts. The conservatory offers opportunities to learn about careers in government, sound recording and marketing. For example, students in March worked with animators from Box of Light Studios in Bloomsburg to create animated films. Students learned how to create storyboards, construct sets and characters, and use digital tablets to capture their scenes.

The STEM Conservatory connects students with professionals and companies in their communities, using technology to learn about STEM careers. For example, CCA students used 3-D printers to design a prosthetic finger for a CCA parent who lost the tip of his index finger in an accident. The students used software such as Google SketchUp to design the fingers and then manufacture them on 3-D printers.

“Our conservatory programs give young learners the chance to learn about the jobs available today and, more importantly, visualize the careers they may hold tomorrow,” said Andrew Kalahanis, director of innovative programs at CCA.

The CCA conservatories offer students the tools and guidance needed to find, apply for and land internships in their communities. Students take a class that prepares them for internships and jobs by covering skills such as writing a resume, finding an available internship and interviewing for a position. 

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Tagged with stem, arts, commonwealth charter academy, cca, conservatory