Collaboration is key to solving problems, and Chesterfield Career and Technical Center @ Hull teacher Christine Hutto teaches her students the importance of that mindset.
Hutto, a biotechnology teacher at CTC@Hull, recently won the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Secondary CTE Award for Region I for her environmental biotechnology class. The class offers students the opportunity to practice authentic learning through labs, data analysis and collaboration with other technical center programs.
“Mrs. Hutto is a wonderful teacher who truly illustrates the vision of Chesterfield County Public Schools: providing an innovative, engaging and relevant education for our students,” said School Board Member Dianne Smith, representative of CTC@Hull. “Mrs. Hutto collaborates with many other programs outside of her classroom to give students an authentic educational experience that constantly challenges them to relate classroom examples to the real world. She is very deserving of this award, and we applaud her continued success in the classroom.”
Hutto’s students are challenged daily to demonstrate skills like gram-staining, culturing, fermentation of microorganisms and a variety of plant cultivation techniques. Students complete assignments to critically think through scenarios like those faced by toxicologists, forensic investigators and environmental scientists, as well as research scientists, and they work with other classes at the technical centers to examine how they can work together to problem solve.
“We’re so proud to have this program and Mrs. Hutto recognized for the work she is doing in our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. James Lane. “We encourage our staff and teachers to think outside of the box when engaging our students. Through her authentic learning environments and collaborating with our CTE classes, Mrs. Hutto is providing our students with an experience that will continue to help them as they transition into their future careers.”
The VDOE State CTE Awards recognized 15 exemplary career and technical education programs and partnerships this year. The awards were presented during the annual Creating Excellence Awards Program in Richmond this summer.