Adding Rigor, Relevance, and Value to CTE Instruction Through WBL Experiences in Commercial Construction  

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Henrico County Public Schools is utilizing students in our trades-related programs to help design and build a 48,000 sq. ft. school inside of an existing mall to serve our adult population! This experience has allowed students under the age of 18, to gain commercial construction experience while still in high school. The “Adult Education program at Regency Mall” will be a new location with a completely “New Concept” for providing continuing education in a post-secondary environment. HCPS will be able to serve over 5000 adult students each year in traditional adult ed programs such as ELL, general adult classes, and GED programs, while also incorporating more career-focused opportunities such as LPN, apprenticeship training, as well as financial literacy. The goal is to create a one-stop shop that will allow adult students to easily identify and connect to the next steps. Companies and businesses will sponsor "storefronts" which will advertise and promote career opportunities. The mall hallway will become the “commons area” where students can mingle or work on projects mimicking the overall environment of a college – but set in a mall.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Programming and analysis: Participants will learn about repurposing existing in-door mall construction for education.
  2. Project planning and design: Participants will learn how students in the k12 environment were involved in the planning, design, and construction of the 48,000 sq. ft. facility.
  3. Construction and evaluation: Participants will learn how we have measured the utilization of the renovated space to ensure the objectives were met.
Mac Beaton
Mac Beaton
Director of Workforce and Career Development, Henrico County Public Schools 

Mac has served as Director of Career and Technical Education for Henrico County Public Schools Henrico since 2000. He started his career as an apprentice electrician at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard but has spent the last 37 years in Henrico County Schools as a teacher, Education Specialist, and for the last 23 years has served as the director. Mac received his Bachelor of Science degree from Va. Tech and his Masters in Administration and Supervision for Virginia Commonwealth University. With the ever-changing world of education, Mac has been recognized with various awards for his progressive approach to workforce development. Most recently he was recognized nationally for the “The CTE Letter of Intent Signing Day” which recognized students leaving high school and entering the workforce much like the signing day for athletes. Also, he led a project to have students renovate 48,000 sq. ft. of an indoor mall to create an innovative learning environment for adult students providing them with a location to “Shop for their future!”

Beverly Cocke
Beverly Cocke
Coordinator of Workforce and Career Development, Henrico County Public Schools

Beverly, the Workforce and Career Development Specialist for Henrico County Public Schools, has been connecting business partners and career and technical education programming for two decades through her work at the school level and her eight-year service on the Henrico County School Board before becoming a Specialist three years ago. Beverly has worked to break down outdated misconceptions and build bridges with businesses and community partners that create opportunities for internships, job shadowing, career exploration, and employment for students. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Master of Education from the University of Richmond. You may reach her at

Susan Moore
Susan Moore
Director of Facilities, Henrico County Public Schools

Susan has worked in the building industry for over thirty years and brought her experience to HCPS in 2015. Prior to that, she served as a consultant to Henrico Schools (as well as other school systems) for almost ten years. She started her path by earning a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and then began working for local A&E firms. The first firm she worked with had a commercial roof consulting department in which she was cross-trained in. From that point forward, roof consulting work became a major part of her career and she earned the Registered Roof Consultant designation from the Roof Consultants Institute, Inc. As a design professional, she experienced a number of different projects and construction sites. However, her roofing specialty allowed her significantly more time on work sites and in the midst of the construction crews. She also worked for a commercial contractor during her career and experienced the construction workforce firsthand. As Director of Construction & Maintenance, she manages a department that employs the full gamut of tradesmen as well as architectural/engineering professionals.

Track: Resiliency

This track focuses on Resiliency and addresses how learning environments support the development of students and communities that have the strength and flexibility to withstand adversity and adapt to change. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the essential role that schools have in stabilizing communities during a time of crisis. How do schools support the development of strong community culture among teachers and students? How do schools foster physical and mental health and wellness to ensure all are ready and supported to learn? How do we create learning environments that are strong in intent yet adaptable to change? How do we learn from what does not work and further, learn to take risks daily to expand our comfort zone? What can we learn from research and our responses to past events to inform how to build toward a resilient future where we can withstand what crises and challenges the future brings? Topic areas, seen through the lenses of both Art and Science, include sustainability, physical and mental health, community, school climate and culture, safety, and security.

Primary Core Competency
Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner.

LearningSCAPES 2023

October 12-15 | Hilton Chicago

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