Salem High School CTE

Posted on: October 19, 2021

Dear Salem Families,

It is with great excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the new Director of Career and Technical Education. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Salem High School’s CTE department with such enthusiastic scholars, extremely dedicated staff, and a supportive school community.  I feel very fortunate to be part of this school and to support the students and families. My official start date at Salem was September 1st, 2021, and I have spent the last six weeks familiarizing myself with scholars and educators and I hope to expand into the community.

I have been dedicated to the field of education, and more specifically Career and Technical Education for over a decade.  Career and Technical Education (CTE) has become increasingly popular across the United States as more people realize how crucial the skills learned in these programs are to the country. Yet, many people remain unsure of what exactly “career and technical education” is. As Salem’s CTE Director I want to bring to light the amazing work that happens in a CTE classroom and debunk old myths of vocational education. CTE is the practice of teaching specific career skills to students. Although on-demand careers change based on new breakthroughs, best practices, and other advancements. It is our mission to provide training and rich, expansive career opportunities that are relevant and that allow students to explore what they love. CTE provides an alternative to traditional education, though it’s also common for CTE graduates to continue their education at four-year universities and even pursue advanced degrees. This means CTE programs teach students life skills and career skills at the same time, jump-starting their lives and turning them into productive members of their communities.

In my previous role, I was the Lead Carpentry teacher for Somerville High School. I helped expand Somerville’s CTE department by establishing a SkillsUSA chapter, Girls In Trade club, Student safety committee. I also served as Committee chair to develop the Exploratory workbook for quality assessments focused on inclusivity and equity. During my tenure, I also organized many grant-funded beautification projects for the school for summer employment and skill-building for students. During Somerville High School’s renovation, Is served as the superintendent liaison to the construction team and coordinated the various temporary moves during the construction.  I am thrilled to bring my skills as an educational leader and CTE advocate to Salem High School and to work with you as a partner in education to ensure your students’ success.

I view education as a life-long process and expect that I will continue to learn much about the uniqueness of Salem this year and in the years to come.  I also bring a belief that students are at the center of all school-related decisions.  I am truly excited to unite my experience, my eagerness and openness to learning, and my student-centered approach to support our students.  Because the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students, I encourage you to become involved in every way possible.  I look forward to meeting you soon!

CTE Newsletter 


Mario Sousa
CTE Director