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PrintED accreditation instrumental in Florida high school earning $160,000 state grant to fuel expansion

Press release from the issuing company

By the time students return next August, Deltona High School in Deltona, Florida, will have transformed its Academy of Printing Technology with new faculty, new equipment and dramatically expanded capabilities.  The program’s key leader credits the school’s PrintED accreditation with making this metamorphosis possible.             Deltona’s comprehensive expansion is being underwritten by a $160,000 grant from the Florida Department of Education.  Instructor Ted Coons reports that “PrintED was absolutely critical” to realizing this vision. “Without our PrintED accreditation, we would not have gotten the grant. We would have been dead in the water.”             Deltona High was the first, and remains the only PrintED accredited high school program in Florida. It currently serves about ninety students.  That student community will grow to 120 as part of the expansion, which will also include three new faculty members, who will be teaching digital design, journalism and English. New equipment, including a two-color press, paper cutter and computer-to-plate system, will round out the academy.             “We believe this academy will provide our students with a rigorous and relevant educational experience that they can put to full use after they graduate,” says Deltona Principal Gary D. Marks.  “Students will graduate with the skills and knowledge that will give them an advantage as they pursue employment in the field of graphic design and printing. The courses they will be taking are extremely challenging and meet and/or exceed the high expectations of the Sunshine State Standards. For many of our students this program will provide meaning and relevance to their educational experience.”             Coons cites PrintED’s integration of nationally recognized standards and competencies as a key part of the program’s value. “The competencies form the basis for instruction and provide a set of specific tasks that students must master,” he says.  Adherence to these competencies, which are based on industry standards, also helps Deltona High meet a variety of state-mandated achievement metrics.             The Deltona High School Academy of Printing Technology also functions as a working print shop, completing more than 2.5 million printed pieces annually for the school, ranging from course catalogs to programs for school plays.              In addition, Deltona continues to reach out to graphic arts employers in its region, involving many local printers in its industry advisory council and seeking to place graduates in jobs with local firms.              Coons says he hopes other high schools in Florida will embrace PrintED as the basis for their programs and curricula.  Anne Gaither, Director of Education, Programs and Events at the Printing Industries Association of Florida (PIAF), agrees.             “We hope Ted’s program will inspire others to take up PrintED,” she says.  A number of other schools have been exploring accreditation, she adds, and PIAF is working on mechanisms to streamline and support these efforts.  “We definitely want to encourage this,” Gaither says. PrintED is one part of GAERF’s mission. In addition to this program, the Foundation administers two other programs designed to support recruitment and training of a skilled workforce: the grant-making program which since its inception in 1983, has awarded over $4.5 million in funding, and MAKE YOUR MARK in Graphic Communications, a campaign to high schools aimed at promoting a positive image of the printing and graphic communications industry and raising student awareness of the industry’s diverse career opportunities.             The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation was created by the National Association for Printing Leadership, NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies and the Printing Industries of America in 1983. These three national associations jointly own the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC).  GAERF was created to channel a portion of the revenues earned by GASC- managed shows into projects supporting a strong future for the industry.             For additional information about the Foundation and its programs, visit the GAERF web site at www.gaerf.org or call toll-free at 866/381-9839.