Cathlene Moatz, a senior at Kutztown High School is part of Berks Career and Technology Center’s (BCTC) first class of Diversified Occupations (DO) students. “I chose DO to focus on animal care, a program that isn’t offered at BCTC.” Cathlene continued, “It also gives me the opportunity to spent half of my day at work, earn a paycheck and get experience in a field I like.”
Cathlene spends her mornings at Kutztown High School taking the classes needed to meet her graduation requirements. One afternoon a week is spent at BCTC learning workplace safety, teamwork, economics, and career planning. “DO has taught me how to highlight my achievements on my resume and LinkedIn profile in a professional manner. It has also shown me the importance of being reliable and how my employer really counts on me.” Cathlene added, “I really enjoyed the classroom lessons and activities on teamwork. You have to learn how to work together, even with people you may not like.” The next lessons she is looking forward to in DO include loans, financial planning and budgeting.
She spends the other four afternoons of the week working as a Kennel Technician at Lehigh Valley Animal Hospital. Her responsibilities range from monitoring cats and dogs before and after surgery, to sterilizing surgical equipment, restocking supplies, aiding with bloodwork, and animal handling. “I like that there is always something to do. Even during the down time between office visits I am busy with something,” Cathlene said. “My job has given me a chance to do many different things at the Animal Hospital. I could be cleaning the kennels one day, helping in surgery or with the files in the front office the next day. No matter what I am doing, the animal’s happy, wagging tails always make me smile.”
Cathlene has always had a passion for animals. She raises and shows cattle and swine year-round, with a goal to supply quality meat to consumers. “I know everything about my animals, what they eat, how they are treated, where they live and how they are medically treated,” Cathlene acknowledged. “I raise the animals to make a profit, but the quality is so much better, and price of the meat is lower than you will find in the grocery store.”
After high school, Cathlene will be attending Delaware Valley University, majoring in animal science and livestock management with a focus on animal nutrition and minoring in agribusiness. Her goal is to be a livestock feed sales representative where she can teach others how to feed animals and produce quality meat within a manageable budget. Cathlene noted, “I’ve seen what a quality feed can do to an animal’s muscle and fat development through years of raising cattle and how the right feed can really make a difference.”
Currently Cathlene serves at the president of Berks County 4-H Livestock Club. Cathlene runs livestock meeting councils, reviews, and develops rules for different shows and fundraising events. While her time in 4-H will be ending as youth, Cathlene intends to continue her service. She stated, “I want to continue my work with 4-H after college and teach the next generation how to breed calves for high-end, show- quality cattle.”