Celebrating Welcome to the Future of Education!


Written by Victoria Meglio

Trey Douyon

Despite frigid temperatures and blustery weather, more than 170 people gathered on the evening of January 29, at Threadbare Ciderhouse for a fundraiser for RefocusED, a new non-profit whose mission centers around research and development dedicated to innovation in education.

The casual celebration was abuzz with positive energy from start to finish!  An eclectic group of supporters and advocates mixed and mingled throughout the evening, enjoying the aesthetics of this unique Northside venue while partaking in the delicious appetizers, craft cocktails and ciders, specialty pizzas, pasta, and salads made from local seasonal produce, cheeses, and meats.  DJ Garrett Shafer provided the musical backdrop for the evening, adding to the elevated mood.

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This amazing show of support is for a group of intrepid teachers and community members who believe the need to innovate education and provide more outstanding, free, public, open-enrollment education options for students with the fewest opportunities in Pittsburgh.

The three co-founders of Career Tech Charter High School, Maureen Anderson, Angela Musto, and Trish Howison, are experienced, successful professionals who are passionate about teaching and believe in the potential of their students.  They have created a new education model that shifts the focus of learning to a student’s well-being and optimizes their interests.

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The new, “Whole Person Model of Education” defines Career Tech Charter and is integral to the curriculum “Framework of Inquiry,” designed to inspire students to explore their world through comprehensive project-based learning and grow as individuals, becoming successful citizens and inspired future leaders.

The non-traditional education environment of Career Tech Charter High School also offers teachers more flexibility, autonomy, and the opportunity to work creatively with students one-to-one, facilitate group seminars and research projects, and collaborate with the community to regularly expand learning far beyond the four walls of the school building.

 This “Whole Person Model of Education” focuses on:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Academic skills and knowledge
  • Decision making and goal accomplishment
  • Healthy relationships
  • Financial literacy
  • Civic engagement

 Maureen Anderson – “Aren’t we incredibly fortunate our city has so many people who really care about all children, regardless of zip code or background, and believe each and every one of them deserves a high-quality education that will ensure they reach their full potential – which benefits students, families, communities, and the economy!”

 About Career Tech Charter High School

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Slated to open in 2020, Career Tech Charter will be an independent, public high school that prepares students for the workforce in the local Pittsburgh industry. It focuses on creating hands-on, real-world focused learning experiences through partnerships with area colleges, other training programs, and a wide variety of community organizations. Career Tech will provide students the opportunity to receive valid career credentials in STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) career fields, in the form of college certificates or associate degrees, in addition to their high school diplomas.

 RefocusED is a new 501c3 Non-profit organization – Our mission is to research, develop, study, and refine educational models, practices, curriculum, and programs which cultivate healthy, well educated, engaged citizenry who are primed to play an active role in our evolving global society and equipped for the demands of the ever-changing workplace.   Website: https://www.refocusedinc.org/


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A photo of our board members (Left to Right) Angela Musto, Ben Contrucci, Brian Brown, Erica Williams, Rashawna Richards, Trish Howison, Don Whitfield, Maureen Anderson, Victoria Meglio, LouAnn Ross.