Professional Development



Best presentation I have ever attended. Motivating, made me realize what I must say to do to improve myself, my program, my students, my school!”

Eric Robson
Instructor at Lorain County JVS


Wonderful presentation. Kept my attention the entire class. As a new educator, this was the perfect class for me to take to build my program.”

Mikaela Weishaar
Esthetics Instructor at West Sound Technical Skills Center


Best presentation at ACTE’s VISION 2016!”

Travis Brown
Electrical Occupations Instructor at York County School of Technology


This was the most motivating workshop I’ve attended. You gave me a challenge and the branch creaked. I’m excited to create excitement in my students and staff.”

Greg Kilpatrick
CTE Assistant Director at South Kitsap School District


Educational, informative and entertaining.”

Peggy Ayres
Administrator/School Board Member at Framingham Public Schools


A cohesive message that our students and teachers need to hear.”

Lottie Wilson
CTE Administrator at Westminster Public Schools


The Career Tree concept is a great way to illustrate career potential. It’s something that can improve perceptions about what we do and how students can benefit. This was a fantastic presentation filled with valuable information.”

Andrew Loehwing
York County School of Technology


Career Tree is a new concept that I had not heard previously. Outstanding idea for goal setting. This is the third presentation I’ve seen Mark do. I’ve walked away from each one with ideas to continue to find and recruit the right students.”

Gerry Mentz
Director of Student Services at York County School of Technology


Mark’s passion and knowledge is contagious! I so appreciate his honesty and real experiences. What a great speaker.”

DeAnn Foster
Teacher at Coachella Valley High School


Students don’t know what they don’t know — well said!”

Kevin Plambeck
CTE Director at Stanwood-Camano School District


Easy to understand, very good information.”

Wanda Laducer
Dean of Students at Turtle Mountain Community College


It was fantastic.”

Kim Biasella
Business/CTE Department Chair at Turner High School


Mark presented a lot of great ideas in a short period of time. I left with a couple of potential solutions to pressing issues that we are struggling with.”

Jeff Rowe
Director CTE at Patterson Unified School District


This is my second time seeing Mark. He just gets better every time. His passion rubs off on the entire audience.”

Shelli Sowles
College & Career Readiness Specialist at 916 Career Tech Center


Common sense, easily understood, look at how students can explore career possibilities, lifestyle possibilities and then plan their path to it.”

Dan Franklin
CTE Teacher at Tippecanoe Valley High School


Engaging, great energy from Mr. Perna and frank conversations about obstacles in recruitment and retention in CTE.”

Rebecca Conrad
Recruitment and Placement Coordinator at Fort Osage Career & Technology Center


Mark engages educators to readjust old ways of thinking to seek the best students for CTE programs. A+ presenter, valuable content.”

Natalie Lavender
RN, CTE & Health Science at Pickens County Career Center


Mark’s presentation was full of great information. An hour was too short! I could listen to Mark all day!”

Wade Peary
Principal at Riverside College


Great presentation. Informative and helpful. You addressed the why…thanks!”

Jim Healy
Assistant Principal at Beaverton School District


Best session I’ve heard!”

Tammy Hendren
CTE Counselor at Nevada Regional Technical Center


Amazing speaker, awesome energy and information. Loved the personal testimony as it relates to students/his family/son.”

Courtney Butler
Academic Program Support Specialist at Community College of Aurora


Insightful and practical approach.”

Tom Schumpert
Director at MO Department of Education/CTE


Very excited to see you again. You were my favorite from last year at NCLA.”

Stacey Bellisimo
Teacher at Frank W Cox High School


Great information based on actual data.”

Steven Peterson
COO at Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation


This is an extremely effective presentation to share with school district admins to get more support for CTE programs. Every school board or governing board needs this presentation.”

Anna Long
Nyssa High School


This was the best presentation I have attended in years. It was informative, fast paced and worth my time. Thank you.”

Velda Arnaud
Department Chair and Instructor at Blue Mountain Community College


Great presentation! Informational, engaging, thought provoking, interactive and amusing. Kept you on the edge of your seat.”

Ples Davis
Career & Technical Intervention Specialist at East Paulding High School


A positive message yet challenge to each of us to set the bar high.”

Tina Boone
Head Guidance Counselor at Billings Public Schools


Lots of great information to bring all staff and faculty together for that rally cry that is about getting students through from beginning to end — in the door to across the stage and into the workforce.”

Cathy LeCompte
Director at AVTEC Alaska Institute of Technology


The session was a wonderful eye-opener. Very relevant and insightful.”

Elias Castillo
Coachella Valley Unified School District


It is an eye opener and a wake up call for me to get to understand my students. Excellent presentation and full of important information of CTE.”

Edna Mendoza
CTE Academy Teacher at Coachella Valley High School


Mr. Perna knows his field. He can be an advisor for the American education system.”

Tom Gholamipour
Automotive Instructor at Metro Ed


The session provided incredible and thorough insight.”

Simone Garcia
Director of Career Education Development at Office of the State Superintendent of Education


Great presentation and very inspiring to helping us help students reach their full potential.”

Elizabeth D’Angelo
Business Educator at Rockwood School District


Excellent presentation, new ideas and perceptions presented, provided a fresh new format to a very changed career/educational environment.”

Cassie Talbott
College & Career Counselor at Columbia High School/Nampa School District


Awesome, intuitive information.”

Aurora Umana-Arko
Principal at Early College HS & Career Pathways


Love the Career Tree! Like the concept of marketing purpose with the kids, showing the relevancy through the light at the end of the tunnel. I agree that we should eliminate the term soft skills from our vocabulary. This term minimizes the importance of these skills.”

Katie Legace
Principal at Mountain View High School


Could use a whole day!”

Jill Stewart-Kellar
Principal at 916 Career & Technical Center


I picked up a great number of useful strategies to improve our CTE program.”

Greg Lumb
District Office at Geary County Schools


I really enjoyed this workshop. Thanks Mr. Perna!”

Kim McCoy
Business Teacher at Legacy High School


I’m glad you clarified why we millennials ask Why. I called my father and told him what you said during the break, he gets it now!”

Nicole Rohrer
Guidance Counselor at River Valley Technical Center


The energy and enthusiasm for promoting CTE is refreshing. Ideas shared relating to specific language were invaluable.”

Meredith Watassek
Director of CTE at Fort Bend ISD


This was highly informational. I’m walking away inspired.”

Angela Rasmussen
Assistant Principal at Salem-Keizer School District


This was an informative and productive session. It is well thought out.”

Emmanuelle St. Jean
Project Director, Healthcare at University of the District of Columbia Community College


Outstanding and eye opening.”

Todd Sanders
Portland Community College


Thanks for giving me a different perspective on CTE teaching, learning and messaging. Much appreciated.”

Jill Hubbard
Engineering/Computer Science Teacher at Tigard Tualatin School District


So many ah ha moments. I could leave the conference today and feel it was worthwhile. Congratulations — wonderful impact on CTE.”

Tina Baciagalupo
Counselor at Bay Arehac ISD Career Center


The points made in this session, including the Career Tree concept, are so against the norm of CTE and help to redefine CTE as an opportunity and not the old-fashioned voc tech edu from the 1970s.”

Cathy Taylor
Manager of CTE Student Programs at Elgin Community College


Great way to start with the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll incorporate that immediately.”

Cicely Campbell
Director of Women in Transition Program at Cuyahoga Community College


Very timely info as we are looking to rebrand and better market our school.”

Sean Kelly
CTE Program Liaison at Dennis Technical Education Center


Mr. Perna’s presentation was excellent. The audience was comprised of highly informed CTE professionals with great experience, yet held their attention about everyday CTE topics for four hours — impressive!”

Jason Helder
Principal at Salem County Vocational Technical Schools


Great session! Lots to process but I know I will be acting on your suggestions.”

Cheryl Martin
PGP Developer at Bloomington Public Schools


The Career Tree just could transform our approach to writing curriculum!”

Joyce Foss
Curriculum Specialist at Orange County Dept of Education


Best presentation I’ve ever heard about CTE!”

Becki Shrum
College & Career Consultant at Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center


Excellent presentation, very motivational. Loved that our school is starting the Career Tree in January!”

Sumer Aspiazu
Nampa High School


Real practices that are possible to implement. The information on how to retain students was extremely helpful, especially the points on maintaining contact during the balance of their commitment year and summer.”

Diana Moline
Principal at Nampa High School


Thank you for helping me understand myself as a millennial.”

Mallory Essman
College & Career Advisor at Skyview High School


You validated many strategies I’ve been using and also helped me solidify next steps in outreach of our CTE benefits. Excellent information and presentation of it!”

Dena Pengilly
HS CTE Outreach Facilitator at West Ada School District


This was not just about strategies to gain students, it was about giving meaning to really help the right students.”

Brian Muna
CTE Career Counselor at Guam Community College


Very dynamic and relevant.”

Leo Johnson
STEAM Space Tech at Engineering Academy Magnet


What a delectable feast of strategy, reinvention of stale paradigms and practical implementation that create a banquet of good change.”

Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki
Campus President at Community College Allegheny County


Great ideas, wrote down quotes that I will be using in my classroom. You gave me a better look at the big picture.”

Donna Nowlin
Teacher at Fort Bend ISD


Love the presentation. You likely were the only one to keep my attention for 4 hours.”

Steve Spencer
Principal at Dallas High School


Very engaging presentation, good speaker, every minute was informative. Appreciated the humor, kept the workshop alive.”

Crystal Ceballos
Internship Coordinator at University of Hawaii Maui College


Thank you for sharing with us very practical tips and making it enjoyable and engaging.”

Rona Kekauoha
Coordinator/Counselor at Kapiolani Community College


This is my third time hearing Mark speak and he never disappoints. He was able to keep me engaged the entire 4 hours. I love his ideas and how he uses psychology behind his ideas. Simple and to the point.”

Leah Evans
Counselor at Amphitheater High School


This session provided me with fresh tools aligned with younger generations’ needs for recruitment, retention and performance. We think we know best but sometimes forget that students are our customers and we need to go to where they are.”

Jenny Geno
CEPD Director at Bay Arenac ISD Career Center