PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – The Rotary Club of Prince Frederick donated $14,607 to cover the cost of professional certification exams for career and technology education (CTE) students in the graduating class of 2022. In a ceremony held at Calvert High School on June 11, Rotary Club President Justin Ruest and Treasurer Bonnie Barrett spoke about the club’s original intention to provide certification exam scholarships for three to five students. As they read the essays of the 71 applicants, however, they were overwhelmed by the accomplishments and potential of the students and committed to funding the exams for all 71.  The total amount of funds will cover certification costs for one-third of next year’s senior class at the Career and Technology Academy (CTA).

Carrie Akins, CTA principal and Director of Career and Technology Education, said, “These certifications provide a world of opportunities to our students. From being able to directly enter the workforce to having the ability to earn experience to later move into other career areas or having a job to pay for college, it is important that our students are able to earn these certifications. Having these costs covered for so many deserving students is simply a game-changer.”

The Rotary Club raised funds by hosting the first annual Rotary Ride Poker Run, a four-hour scenic ride through Southern Maryland, starting at the Calvert Elks Lodge in Prince Frederick and ending with a beach party at the Rod ‘n Reel in Chesapeake Beach. Ms. Barrett explained that the Rotary motto is “Service Above Self,” and the club pledged to continue annual donations for CTE certification exam scholarships.

In addition to Ms. Barrett and Mr. Ruest, Antione White, who serves on the Calvert County Board of Education and is a Rotary Club member, and Corporal Jay Johnson, School Resource Officer with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department, spoke at the ceremony. Cpl. Johnson and his wife are both graduates of CCPS CTE programs.

Anita Santoyo, event coordinator of the Rotary Ride Poker Run, and sponsors Janna Jackson of Exelon and Mark Wannamaker of Bayside Motors also spoke about their support of CTE programs.

For more information about CTE programs that are taught at CTA and Calvert’s four comprehensive high schools, please visit the Department of Instruction Program Information page on the CCPS website,