PLYMOUTH — Numerous studies confirm business and industry’s continuing need for skilled vocational and technical workers … no surprise to the teachers and staffers at Central Montco Technical High School in Plymouth Meeting.

Public events like CMTHS’s annual Community Day — scheduled for May 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — help spread the word. So do in-house functions like May 7’s Distinguished Alumni Dinner and Induction.

CMTHS began recognizing standout graduates in 2004. This year’s nominees are Katiemarie Gale Vottero (allied health, 2009 Plymouth Whitemarsh High School); Shawn Holmes (culinary arts, 1999 Norristown Area High School); Robert Imperial (culinary arts, 1998 Upper Merion High School); Justin Morasco (automotive technology, 2006 Kennedy-Kenrick High School); and Derek Thomas (construction technology, 1999 Norristown Area High School).

The five join some 50 other graduates of PW, NAHS, UMAHS and private schools located within the Colonial, Norristown and Upper Merion Area School Districts. CMTHS Distinguished Alumni Association members must be out of high school for at least 10 years and, the organization’s mission statement notes, “have made significant contributions in the areas of academics, arts, careers, business, humanities or public service.”

Colleen Yaeger-Kriebel, a 2015 inductee, is one of numerous CMTHS alums who have made a mark in their communities.

After completing the school’s culinary arts program and academic classes at PW, the 1999 grad went on to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and earned a degree in baking and pastry arts. The Plymouth native subsequently honed her skills at a variety of hotel, restaurant and bakery venues (even managed an appearance on Food Network’s "Cake Wars" in 2016) and now oversees her own full-service bakery — Kriebel’s Custom Bakery and Café in Eagleville — where she also conducts decorating classes.

With everything, the local woman makes time to serve on CMTHS’s occupational advisory committee, provide internship opportunities for current students and, occasionally, teach. On April 29, she’s scheduled to present a cake-icing and decorating demo at the school.

“I give hands-down credit to the tech school for kick-starting my passion for the industry,” Yaeger-Kriebel says. “The teachers there are terrific.”

She gets no argument from 2019 Distinguished Alumni inductee and fellow Culinary Institute of America grad Imperial, who heads an on-site and off-site catering business and music hall — Imperial’s Catering — in Trappe.

“If it wasn’t for[CMTHS], I probably wouldn’t have been prepared to start my own business,” Imperial says. “It’s what you make of it, what you put into it, but the teachers there … the ones I had … were more like mentors than just teachers.”

Area residents can judge for themselves during CMTHS’s upcoming Community Day.

This year’s event will feature tours of the school’s classrooms, workshops and kitchens, as well as staff and student demonstrations. The latter will include computer “test and tunes,” a health fair and bake sale. Also on tap, face painting and assorted kids’ games and activities, raffles, door prizes and outside vendors. Area supermarkets, restaurants and caterers or other businesses and civic groups interested in donating items for raffle baskets or setting up information tables should contact Janet Hodge at 610-277-2301 ext. 240 or jhodge@cmths.org. Contributors’ names will be listed on a donors’ plaque.

Weather permitting, the day will also feature a car and bike show, open to all makes, years and models … motorcycles included. Trophies will be awarded to the top 10 cars and, organizers say, a “Best of Show for car or truck and motorcycle … with no rain date or refunds.”

“All money collected will be treated as donations and go towards our student youth organizations,” they explain.

Entries may arrive at 10 a.m. The show is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and conclude with the announcement of winners at 1:30 p.m. For additional details or registration forms, contact Fred McCarthy at 610-277-2301 ext. 200 or fmccarthy@cmths.org.

CMTHS is located at 821 Plymouth Road in Plymouth Township. More information about the school — including instructions for potential induction into its Distinguished Alumni Association — is posted at cmths.org.

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