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STA Showcase Breakfast 4.30.24

Time Sensitive - SY2024-2025 Student Transportation Survey

All SouthTech Schools students wishing to utilize transportation services must complete a transportation survey using the applicable link below:

New/Current Students Enrolling at either STP or STA (includes all incoming 6th and 9th graders regardless of the school previously attended):

Completing the transportation survey indicates a student’s interest in riding the bus next school year, but does not guarantee the student a bus assignment. Students will be assigned bus passes on a first-come, first-serve basis.


SouthTech Preparatory Students may contact Alvin Armstead at or 561.318.8087.

SouthTech Academy Students may contact Lesley Dufresne at or 561-369-7025.

Summer Uniform Sales at SouthTech Academy

Uniform sales will occur at SouthTech Academy June 3-6 and June 10-13 from 7:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Sales will resume when we reopen on July 15, Monday through Thursday, 7:00 – 12:00 pm.

Please contact Gellisa Hernandez at 561.369.7007 or for more information.

SouthTech Academy Rugby News Story

Open House Dates Released for STA and STP

SouthTech Academy Automotive Academy in the Sun Sentinel Gazette

SouthTech Academy is a Silver FLPBIS Model School!

Time to celebrate! Our school has recently been recognized for our work implementing a school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework. PBIS is an evidence-based three-tiered prevention framework designed to improve and integrate all data, systems, and practices impacting student outcomes. National research shows that full implementation of PBIS leads to reduced exclusionary discipline and improved student and
teacher outcomes.

By establishing the PBIS framework, we are developing the skills of the students and adults, making system changes to our school environment to enhance school climate, acknowledging appropriate behavior, and using data to identify needed support for our students and teachers.

As a result of this work, we are being recognized by the FLPBIS Project for achieving Silver PBIS Model School status. This award demonstrates our commitment to positive outcomes for all students and helps us celebrate our efforts as we progress toward full implementation of PBIS.

To learn more about the FLPBIS Project Model Schools, visit

SouthTech Schools in the Spotlight

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach

The Palm Beach County Food Bank Benefits Outreach Program assists qualifying individuals and families with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application and DCF required interview. SNAP, previously known as food stamps, provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of families in need.

Palm Beach County Food Bank specialists are licensed to assist qualifying applicants with the following applications:

  • SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • Medicaid
  • Cash Assistance

The Palm Beach County Food Bank is the only organization authorized by the Department of Children and Families to conduct verification interviews for benefits on their behalf. By utilizing their service, it may significantly reduce the wait time for issuance of benefits for qualified families.

Parents may schedule their appointment with a specialist by contacting the numbers below:

  • English: (561) 670-2518
  • Espanol: (561) 670-2518 x315 or x319
  • Kreyol: (561) 670-2518 x317 or x318
  • Q’anjob’al: (561) 670-2518 x316 
An appointment is required to receive services and is available throughout Palm Beach County. To find a location near them, families can visit for more information.

Eligibility Survey to Receive Benefits such as SAT/ACT Fee Waivers and Scholarship Opportunities

Great news Bulldogs…all students will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge again this upcoming school year!

However, if you would like to qualify your child for additional benefits, such as SAT/ACT fee waivers and scholarship opportunities, please complete the eligibility survey found at

This income survey is provided as a courtesy for students that may need an eligibility letter for these additional benefits.

Please note that if your child or anyone in the household receives SNAP benefits, you do not need to complete this form. Instead email a copy of your benefits letter to along with your child’s name, date of birth, and school name.

Facts: Florida's Public Charter Schools

SouthTech Academy announced as a Florida FAFSA Champion 2022-2023

SouthTech Academy AgriTech program setting students up for careers

SouthTech Academy is officially launching its AgriTech program where students in all 11 career academies can earn professional agricultural certifications. Already this program has had tremendous success with 395 students having earned agricultural industry certifications this year. In addition, students are conducting over 100 different independent experiments, which include growing produce and herbs that are used in the school’s culinary academy.

SouthTech Schools in the Media

'I feel like it’s my birthday': 13-year-old Elijah Garcia receives new wheelchair after school starts fundraiser

It was a memorable day for Elijah Garcia.

“I feel really happy, and I feel like it’s my birthday,” Garcia said as he looked at his brand-new wheelchair.


“You have your own license plate! I love it; that is adorable,” his loved ones cheered on.

His friends and family at South Tech Preparatory Academy raised funds to purchase a wheelchair and presented it to him on Tuesday.

The 13-year-old was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a condition that affects the joints.

Garcia’s family was looking to replace his old wheelchair to help him get to school easier and do the things he enjoys.

That’s when his teacher, Amanda Caffrey, stepped in with a fundraiser.

WPBF 25 News shared the story of Garcia and his loved ones last month in hopes of getting the word out to the community to help.

“Donations were just really coming in, Cash App, I think we got just under $2,000, and then our high school, their academies also donated,” Caffrey, who is an Exceptional Student Education coordinator at South Tech Prep, told WPBF 25 News.

“It’s definitely life-changing for the fact that Elijah has his own freedom, you know, he’ll be able to go on the grass with his friends, have his own independence around the neighborhood with visiting people, and just being himself,” Angel Santos, Elijah’s mother, said. “We have trips planned, I want to take him places. And we can’t always do that if we don’t have proper equipment for him. So now, we’re able to go onto the boardwalks like we always love to… nature walks are our thing; we like to be outside.”

Garcia was also excited about the personalized water bottle that his school gifted him.

“We love you, and we couldn’t imagine doing this for anybody else,” Caffrey said.

“His attitude about things and the way he approaches life is just so amazing that people are able to see that and contribute to that is beyond words,” Santos said.

She said they found a specialist for her son and hope to raise funds to support his life-changing surgeries.

“You guys just don’t even understand how much it changed our lives. It’s so amazing; we definitely appreciate it; we have ‘thank you’ cards going out. Anybody that is sending money through Cash App, if they can please provide their email address or an address somewhere we can personally thank people, that would be great,” Santos said.

“We also have a check that we’re going to be presenting to the family for about $850, so they will be getting that towards the surgery as well,” Caffrey said.

See ma, the world will now know Elijah,” Garcia said.

If you’d like to help Elijah, you can donate through Cash App at $wheelsforEG.

You can also send donations to the Elijah Garcia Special Needs Trust. C/0 Natalie Quintero, Trustee, PO Box 6932, Delray Beach, FL 33482


SouthTech Academy instructor teaches students about online holiday shopping scams

‘More and more people are trying to take the shortened version of getting money,’ teacher Linda Berkheimer says

By: Jessica Bruno

Posted at 1:28 PM, Dec 14, 2022 and last updated 2:28 AM, Dec 15, 2022

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — During the holiday season, online scams become more prevalent as many consumers are shopping online, which is why an instructor at SouthTech Academy in Palm Beach County is teaching her cybersecurity students all about it.

Every year in December, Linda Berkheimer, an information technology and cybersecurity instructor at SouthTech Academy prepares an important lesson plan for her students as consumers scramble to finish their holiday shopping.

“Unfortunately, more and more people are trying to take the shortened version of getting money,” Berkheimer told WPTV. “The scams right now, your guard is down, you’re in the giving mode, and that’s the problem.”

Linda Berkheimer explains why she teaches her SouthTech Academy students about holiday scams.
Linda Berkheimer explains why she teaches her SouthTech Academy students about holiday scams.

From fake delivery notifications to spam text messages that often carry deals too good to be true, Berkheimer said the key is to refrain from clicking on suspicious links.

She said it’s a lesson that is useful for not only consumers but her students too.

“They’re in the right place at the right time for getting excellent jobs,” Berkheimer said.

“I think online safety is a big issue, especially now,” Joseph Flores, one of Berkheimer’s senior students, told WPTV.

Joseph Flores is a senior at SouthTech Academy interested in a cybersecurity career.
Joseph Flores is a senior at SouthTech Academy interested in a cybersecurity career.

That’s why Flores said he is looking forward to pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

“We keep getting new and newer technology and kids are getting younger and younger working with cellphones, and I think cybersecurity is a big thing for them to learn and study,” Flores said. “I feel like it’s helped me secure my future and if I ever do end up with a family, I’ll be able to pass down my knowledge to them.”

“Cybersecurity, it’s never going to go away,” Berkheimer said. “It’s only going to get bigger and bigger, better for you and me but also more dangerous for you and me because of the bad guys.”

Those bad guys are keeping Berkheimer educating her students on how to avoid online scams now and in future holiday seasons.

SouthTech Radio Interview - featuring the Transition Program

Below is an interview for South Florida Sunday featuring SouthTech’s Transition Program and the program coordinator, Robert Pancione. Please visit for more information on the Transition Program.

SouthTech Academy helps students with learning disabilities find path to employment

(Link For Sun-Sentinel subscribers:

By Alex Kushel
Sun Sentinel Correspondent
Sep 16, 2022

Giselle Cosmetology Student
Giselle, who takes cosmetology classes in the SouthTech Academy transition program, had a perfect score on her first exam. (Alex Kushel/Contributor)

SouthTech Academy in Boynton Beach has continued to create opportunities for students with learning disabilities to excel through its transition program as they earn certifications and a path toward employment.

The SouthTech Academy transition program, which originated in 2001, is open to students from ages 18 to 22. The eligible students have an Individualized Education Program and deferred receipt of their diploma.

SouthTech Academy works with several students who have been diagnosed with speech and language disabilities. They assist students with learning disabilities who recently graduated from high school with their development toward technical and vocational training, postsecondary education, employment and independent living. They also help students with financial literacy, obtaining their learner’s permit and attending college.

The SouthTech Academy transition program had about 20 students with just two instructors during its infancy. After providing services to 40 students two years ago, they currently support 82 students with learning disabilities on campus and in the community.

SouthTech Academy transition program student Giselle practices her skills in cosmetology with transition specialist coordinator Robert Pancione and cosmetology program coordinator Patrice Marsh. (Alex Kushel/Contributor)

Robert Pancione, who has been at SouthTech Academy since 2007, is in his second year as the transition specialist coordinator. He is joined by additional transition specialists who visit high schools in Palm Beach County to present the program to ESE students. The students complete an online application and are selected for interviews after January each year. The school features 11 academies and the students are provided three choices based on openings.

“The school has a very good reputation,” Pancione said. “We have so many high school students who have heard about our program and are interested. The ultimate goal is for them to come to the school and get as many certifications as they can and help them get a job in the community in that field. We support the students in the classroom and check on them each week. We work on goals for each of our students and help them get better. We have individuals who go at their own pace and we do not put pressure on them. We help the students become independent and work with them in the community.”

The majority of students attend for three hours each day during the week. The transition program students have the opportunity to develop skills in several academies, including auto collision body repair, automotive service technology, culinary arts, and cosmetology. Pancione said they support the students by monitoring their progress, providing tutoring assistance and working with students on any challenges and developing their organizational skills. They also help students with obtaining certifications for employment and preparation and guidance with resumes, job applications and mock interviews.

“It’s rewarding and the best feeling when the students get the job,” Pancione said. “They come out of high school and just want to work and some have applied in the past and have not been able to get anything. When they actually attain their goal in a few years with our assistance, it’s really rewarding and very cool.”

SouthTech Academy has several transition program students working in a variety of jobs, including at auto dealerships, restaurants and culinary positions. The medical sciences academy has produced students who have enjoyed success as certified nursing assistants.

“We have so many success stories of students who have gained certifications to work in the community or have used our program as a stepping stone to get the experience and hands-on skills needed to help them prepare for college,” Pancione said.

For the first time this school year, a student in the transition program has been provided an American Sign Language interpreter. The funding for the ASL interpreter is entirely covered by SouthTech Academy. Giselle, who graduated from Spanish River High School, joined the cosmetology academy this past August.

“We are here to help and the priority is our students,” said Carla Lovett, SouthTech Academy executive director. “We never had a student that needed an interpreter. I am so pleased we were able to make it happen for her. She really showed a passion to want to be in the program and she has done really well.”

Giselle attends three hours each day during the week. She aced her first exam with a perfect score.

“I am definitely excited to be able to learn a profession and that is what I feel I have been doing since I started here,” she said. “I would like to get more practice to start a career and I know that will come in time. We get hands-on practice and see the concepts and learn certain techniques.”

Giselle was inspired to join the cosmetology academy after watching hairstyling videos on YouTube. She has aspirations to own a hair salon.

“I started to really enjoy watching the videos,” she said. “I never really thought of it as a career at first. I have started to fall in love with the profession and being here has opened a lot of doors and the opportunity to learn. It’s something I want and love to do.”

Patrice Marsh, a cosmetology program coordinator, provides instruction to Giselle at the school’s facility. Marsh took an interest in the field while she was in high school. She has been teaching since 2000 and joined SouthTech Academy in 2016.

“I want to give them all the knowledge that I have,” she said. “I just love to see them blossom and it will even bring tears to my eyes. I give them encouragement, to have goals and to stay focused and improve. We see the progress at the end. It’s awesome when they come back to see me. I am able to keep that connection with them.”

Marsh said the cosmetology profession can provide students a variety of career paths, including working as a makeup artist and on television or movie sets.

“Giselle is hungry and she wants it and is eager to learn,” she said. “She puts in that extra effort.”

SouthTech Academy features 11 different academies, including veterinary assisting, digital film and broadcast, cosmetology, medical sciences, commercial arts, automotive service technology, music and sound production, auto collision body repair, business management, information technology, and culinary arts.


College Board National Recognition

Congratulations to our own Nataly Betancourt, who is one of 62,000 students from across the country to earn academic honors from the College Board’s National Recognition Programs! These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them stand out during the admissions process. Colleges and scholarship programs use these honors to identify students from underrepresented groups through College Board’s Student Search Service.

Nataly Betancourt earned this recognition by excelling on their PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or AP Exams and in their classrooms. Students who may be eligible have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town. Eligible students are invited to apply during their sophomore or junior year, and are awarded at the beginning of the next school year.

Water Safety Information

Hello Parents. Water safety is so important for everyone raising children in South Florida, that’s why we are sharing the “Be Water Smart” booklets produced by the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County. Inside the booklet, you will find great safety tips as well as locations where you can get swim lessons. Here are the links for versions of the booklets in English, Spanish, and Creole. The booklets were produced by the Drowning Prevention Coalition and its partners. Thank you. – Creole Booklet – Spanish Booklet – English Booklet 

SouthTech Academy Announces Partnership with Ed Morse Automotive Group to Create the “Ed Morse Automotive Technology Program”

Boynton Beach, FL- September 15, 2021—SouthTech Academy, Florida’s premier career and technical high school located in Boynton Beach, proudly announced a partnership with Ed Morse Automotive Group.  This partnership includes a unique collaboration with the legendary automotive dealer group to create the Ed Morse Automotive Technology Program.

This program will include:

  • Creating career pathways and other industry related opportunities for SouthTech Academy graduates.
  • Students will receive on-site job shadowing and training opportunities with Ed Morse’s experienced technicians.
  • Leadership from the Ed Morse team will serve on the school’s Advisory Board and will provide key industry best practices.
  • Naming rights for the “Ed Morse Automotive Technology Program”. 


“We have been blessed to have a long-standing relationship with an organization like Ed Morse Automotive Group and are thrilled to take this partnership to the next level.  For years, their team has supported our students and faculty with new automotive uniforms, vehicles to work on, curriculum assistance, and help in securing hundreds of thousands of dollars of cutting-edge equipment to best train the next generation of workforce in the automotive service industry,” said Carla Lovett, Executive Director of SouthTech Schools.  

The Ed Morse Automotive Technology Program provides students with real-word automotive knowledge and practical experience in a nurturing environment.  Juniors and seniors can earn the Florida Auto Dealers Association (FADA) and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Auto Maintenance and Light Repair Industry Certifications. Graduates are well-prepared for careers and/or post-secondary study.

“We have supported this program which continues to get better every year.  The Academy produces incredible talent that is immediately ready to work at a high-level in any professional automotive setting.  We have many graduates currently working with us in our service departments and look forward to hiring many more,” said Teddy Morse, Chairman and CEO of Ed Morse Automotive Group.  

The Ed Morse Automotive Group is headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, and has been family-owned for 75 years.  Considered to be one of the nation’s most respected automotive dealer groups, Ed Morse Automotive Group has over 1,400 employees, 24 dealerships locations, 42 franchises and 14 automotive brands.

“It’s simply an honor to have received so much support from such a prestigious organization like Ed Morse Automotive Group.  They’ve truly helped us shape our state-of-the-art Automotive Repair, Collision & Technology curriculum into being a game-changing program nationally.  When Ed Morse says that they have your back… they mean it and it is positively changing the lives of our students,” said Timothy Brown, SouthTech Academy Automotive Department Chair.  

About SouthTech Academy

SouthTech Academy (STA) is a public, tuition-free charter school, serving Palm Beach County students in grades 9 through 12. STA offers 11 career academies that prepare students to successfully earn a wide variety of industry certifications, preparing them for entry-level positions in their industry of choice. It offers 11 career and technical academies including: Culinary Arts; Medical; Automotive Service; Automotive Collision; Medical Sciences, Veterinary; Business, Cyber Security-IT; Music- Rock & Roll; Digital Film; Commercial Arts; and Cosmetology. 

SouthTech Academy students on ‘fast track’ to help in-demand industries rebound

South Tech Academy’s approximately 1,100 students are back in in-person learning at a new campus. And this in turn is helping some of South Florida’s top industries rebound. 11% of students earn enough certifications to go right to work while others learn on the job.

High school senior Alejandra Gama has the passion for music and sound production.

“I sing in one or two public shows per semester — we just had one in Boca Raton,” Game said. “My dream job definitely be international. Doing world tours would be so fun.”

And just by listening to he vocals — she has the experience.

“We get to go and play lives shows and so that definitely gives us a heads up against other musicians,” she said.

It’s the same story for digital media student Jamar Labbe.


“I’ve done commercials, 30-second commercials and silent films,” he said. “I want to work in Hollywood, California. And I want people to say when they see my name, — ’oh, that’s the best editor.’”


And the stories of determination and experience continue in the veterinary assisting academy where dogs literally roam free.

“The idea is that we want our graduates to be self-sustaining right out of high school so that they can pursue their dreams,” said Eileen Turenne, South Tech Academy principal. “This is where they come when they know where they want to go and we figure out how to get them there.”

Ninety-minutes a day, everyday is dedicated to an academy or industry focus from automotive to cosmetology and culinary arts.

“In many cases the students will be working in an area where they have their industry certifications while they’re putting themselves through school,” Turenne said.

11% go directly to industry. As for the others, there’s on the job partnerships and early planning.

“Forty-nine percent of our students are going the state college route where they’re in two-year programs and in many cases the two-year programs are growing on what they’ve already done in high school,” Turenne said.


SouthTech Academy offers the following programs:

  • Automotive Technology and Collision
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Film & Broadcasting
  • Business Management
  • Graphics Arts
  • Motorcyles and Marine
  • IT
  • Music
  • Veterinary Assisting
  • Medical Science

The academy also has in-demand enrollment. There’s a waiting list. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are now open. To learn more visit, here:

Boynton Beach high school program fills growing need for auto technicians

SouthTech Academy’s automotive technology program continues to gain new interest

SouthTech Academy's Automotive Technology

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — SouthTech Academy, which recently moved to a new campus in Boynton Beach, is going the extra mile to ensure students are on the fast track for success.

The school’s automotive technology program continues to gain interest from potential students, especially with the rising demand for highly skilled technicians.

SouthTech Academy provides students with real-world automotive knowledge and practical experience in a nurturing environment.

The training prepares students to enter the workforce after graduating high school.

Instructors train each student to industry standards and provide certification through multidimensional training in the classroom and shop.

Students learn safety and accident prevention, tool identification, and proper equipment usage.

Additionally, they learn to diagnose vehicle problems, plan a course of action and recommend or make repairs as needed.

SouthTech Academy offers the following programs:

  • Automotive Technology and Collision
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Film & Broadcasting
  • Business Management
  • Graphics Arts
  • · Motorcycles and Marine
  • IT
  • Music
  • Veterinary Assisting
  • Medical Science

For more information about SouthTech Academy and the programs available, click here.

Get in touch

872 Arch Ave.
Chaska, Palo Alto, CA 55318
ph: +1.123.434.965

Work inquiries
ph: +1.321.989.645