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8-19-14: Rogers High teacher is 2014 CTE Educator of the Year
8-19-14: Rogers High teacher is 2014 CTE Educator of the Year
Posted on 08/19/2014

Jon Cerio, a Rogers High School graduate who teaches at his alma mater, is the 2014 Puyallup School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Educator of the Year.


The Puyallup School Board honored Cerio at its June 16 meeting, where he was greeted with a standing ovation by colleagues and the community.


Mark Knight, executive director of college and career readiness, described Cerio’s many successes in teaching students enrolled in the high school’s Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Academy program.


Knight described the “solid work” that Cerio does to help prepare students for their lives beyond high school. He said Cerio is “always looking for opportunities, such as internships, to get kids out into the work world and support his program and their future careers.”


In a nomination letter, Career Specialist Pam Larsen praised Cerio for increasing student interest and enrollment in the Rogers High ACE Academy, creating extended learning opportunities through extensive summer student internships, and encouraging students to participate in construction projects that benefit community and charitable organizations.


Cerio, who is entering his eighth year of teaching at Rogers High this fall, also taught an exploring technology class last year at Ballou Junior High.


Over the years Cerio and his students have contributed to numerous community service projects, using materials donated by the community.


This summer, for example, is the third consecutive year that ACE students have created wooden craft kits and helped children with cancer build the items during their stay at a summer camp on Vashon Island.


ACE students also design and make parts each fall for wooden craft projects that they help children assemble during Education Day at the Fair. In the past several years, young fairgoers have pounded nails to help create projects such as tool boxes, planters, bird feeders, and gumball machines.


In the process, Cerio said students learn design skills, as well as how to operate various industry-standard tools and equipment. Better yet, he said, they learn servant leadership.


“Most of my students don’t even record community hours for school — they just do it because they want to,” Cerio said. “I love to tell our community how kids these days are better than we ever dreamed about. They have more requirements in school than we ever had as adults, yet they are more generous than ever to help others.”


ACE students also compete each year and often take top honors at regional and state construction competitions. Students enter the annual Skills USA cabinet-making contest, as well as a Pierce County Career Day competition that challenges students to build an environmentally-friendly dog house.


Last fall his students took first place for the second straight year with their version of an enclosed wooden travel trailer, which functions as a dog house, in the county’s Career Day construction competition.


Students also regularly help with school-related construction projects, such as building backdrops for the annual Homecoming Dance, manufacturing trophies for the MayFest car show, and preparing hands-on activities for Take Your Child to Work Day and an apprenticeship career fair.


This is the second time Cerio has been honored for his work as an educator. In 2010, the Puyallup South Hill Rotary Club presented him with the Community Vocational Service Award in the field of education.


Cerio has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, is a member of the Pierce County Construction Council and Woodworking Career Alliance, and serves as an education partner with the Washington chapter of the National Architectural Woodwork Institute.