Ardrey Kell CTE

Career and Technical Education

Ardrey Kell High School is a student-centered community that features a rigorous curriculum that increases creativity and problem-solving skills in students, and promotes a strong sense of honor, respect, and service.

Ardrey Kell's CTE department is one of the fastest growing parts of the school, and one of the most important. With intriguing and specialized courses such as AP Computer Science Principles, Intro to Engineering Design, and others, students are prepared for life in the 21st century and beyond.

Course Offerings

AP Computer Science

Scientific Visualization


AP Computer Science

This is an AP® course designed to teach students the basics of encryption, programming, and the fundamentals of the internet. A large portion of the curriculum addresses programming, which is extremely useful for solving a wide range of problems. This is used to teach other important topics, such as algorithms, data structures, and basic logic. The responsible use of programming and the topics discussed in class is an integral part of the course.

Scientific Visualization

This course introduces students to the use of complex graphic tools. Emphasis is placed on the principles, concepts, and use of complex graphic and visualization tools as applied to the study of science and technology. Students learn how to create complex 2D graphics, animate, edit, and analyze images to better understand, illustrate, explain, and present technical, mathematical, and/or scientific concepts and principles. Emphasis is placed on the use of computer-enhanced images to generate both conceptual and data-driven models, data-driven charts and animations. Science, math, and visual design concepts are reinforced throughout the course. Activities are structured to integrate physical and social sciences, mathematics, English, and art.


This course introduces students to the use of complex graphic tools used to communicate and understand ideas and concepts found in the areas of architecture, manufacturing, engineering, science, and mathematics. Topics include problem-solving strategies, classical representation methods such as sketching, geometric construction techniques, as well as CAD (computer aided design), orthographic projection, and 3D modeling.

Game Art Design

PLTW: Engineering

PLTW: Biomedical Sciences

Game Art Design

This course introduces students to techniques used in the video game industry. Students will focus on the principles used in game design, some of which include mathematical and virtual modeling. Emphasis is placed on areas related to art, history, ethics, plot development, storyboarding, programming, 2D visual theory, and interactive play technologies. Students develop physical and virtual games using hands-on experiences and a variety of software including Unity.

Project Lead The Way
Introduction to Engineering Design & Principles of Engineering

In these PLTW (Project Lead The Way) courses, students are exposed to the design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods, global and human impacts, engineering standards, and technical documentation involved in the process of creating a product. Students use CAD software to help them design solutions to solve proposed problems and learn how to document their work and communicate solutions to peers and members in the professional community.

Project Lead The Way
Principles of Biomedical Sciences

In this PLTW (Project Lead the Way) class, students survey engineering and are exposed to major concepts they will encounter in a postsecondary engineering course of study. Students employ engineering and scientific concepts in the solution of engineering design problems. They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, documenting their work and communicating solutions to peers and members in the professional community.

Student Projects

Students apply TSA event prompts in a wide variety of real-world applications. Click to learn about a few of them.

Students in VEX Robotics build autonomous robots to complete complex tasks.

This is a 3D printed replica of the original Wright Flyer. It was designed using Autodesk® Inventor Professional.

Developed by students in Introduction to Engineering Design, this engine was designed using Autodesk® Inventor Professional and 3D printed.

Architectural Design students create a home that effectively demonstrates Solar Energy Techniques.

Drafting II students create architectural plans using CAD programs such as Autodesk® Revit as part of their class projects as a preliminary step to creating real world models.

AK TSA students work together to create a website that provides a solid, reliable user experience from scratch using PHP, HTML, CSS, Visual Studio Code, Azure, and SQL.


Jason Sheffield

My name is Jason Sheffield and I have been a teacher here at Ardrey Kell High School since 2011, prior to that, I spent 18 years teaching at Harding University High School. I have a Master's Degree in Trade and Industrial Education form North Carolina A&T and a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols). I grew up in England and spend way too much time watching the beautiful game. I have been blessed to have found a woman way too good for me who inexplicably married me in 1992 - Suzanne is an Exceptional Children's teacher at Independence High School. Suzanne and I are the proud parents of a wonderful young man - Gabriel Quinn.

Elaine Friar

I am Elaine Friar and I have taught Business Education for 20 years. I am originally from South Carolina and received my B.S. in Business Education from Winthrop College (long before its name changed to Winthrop University). I have taught in several different states as I followed my husband in his navy career. We moved to Charlotte in 2000 along with our two children, Claudia and AJ. I earned my Master's of Education from the University of Maryland. In 2005, I became a National Board Certified teacher in Career and Technical Education. At this time, I am a sponsor of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). All business students should join FBLA and participate at the school, district, state and national competitions. Please encourage your juniors and seniors to excel so that they may become a member of NTHS, the prestigious honor society for Career and Technical Education students.

John Glenn

My name is John Glenn, and I am the Drafting and Civil Engineering teacher at Ardrey Kell High School. I am a native Charlottean and attended South Mecklenburg High School, graduating in 1983. I attended both the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, graduating from NC State in 1989 with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Industrial Arts Education. Upon graduation I taught Technology Education for eight years at South Mecklenburg High School, then taught Tech. Ed. at David W. Butler High School for one year in 1998. I spent the next ten years working in the home-building industry as a CAD operator and CAD Department Manager for Shea Homes in Charlotte. In 2008 I re-entered the teaching profession at Harding University High School teaching Drafting and Civil Engineering. In 2011, I was fortunate enough to be able to transfer to Ardrey Kell High School...without a doubt, the best place to teach in North Carolina! I have been married to my wife Shelby for 26 years, and have two children. My son Daniel is married to Samantha Glenn, and lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and my daughter Kelli is a junior at Western Carolina University majoring in Psychology. I also have a Jack Russell terrier named 'Jack' of all things. He showed up at my house and adopted my family about 5 years ago! I also have a sweet bulldog named Tigger. She's an old girl now, but the best dog anybody ever had. I also have two cats, but what can you say about cats?! They do their thing, and I do mine. I enjoy sports: baseball and football in particular, but my favorite sport, or hobby if you will is fly fishing for trout in the mountains of North Carolina. Nothing beats wading in cold clear streams and being in some of the most beautiful country on Earth! I fully believe God spent just a little more time on the Appalachians than he did anywhere else! If I am not here...I'm gone fishin'!

Rachel Robinson

My name is Mrs. Robinson. I have been teaching for 15 years in a wide range of classes, ages, and parts of the country. I earned my Bachelor's of Education in Secondary Computer Science from Baylor University in 1999. In the beginning of August 2014, I completed my Master's in Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I have been married for 15 years and I have two sons. My first teaching position was at Lorena High School in Lorena, Texas. After my first year I moved to New Mexico. For two years I taught classes and managed the training department at CompUSA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When that company closed, I found a job teaching at Rio Rancho High School. I taught at Rio Rancho for 9 years in a wide variety of classes: Computer Science/Programming (C, C++, VB), Game Design, Web Design, PLTW IED, PLTW POE, Technology Systems. A few years ago I moved to North Carolina where I taught at private schools initially: Lake Norman Christian and Carmel Christian schools.

Michael Hicks

My name is Mr. Michael Hicks. I teach Marketing classes at Ardrey Kell High School. I have over 9 years of teaching and athletics coaching experience. I graduated from High Point University with a BS in Business Administration. I have two wonderful boys, ages 8 and 15. Previously, I was in Corporate America where I held various positions in management, human resources and data management/analysis over a 20 year span.

Melissa Shaffer

The 2018-19 school year marks my 13th year as a teacher. Originally from Michigan, I lived & taught computer/business classes in Yuma, Arizona for 7 years prior to moving to North Carolina in 2013. This is my fourth year at Ardrey Kell as a Marketing teacher, DECA advisor, and assistant softball coach.