In addition to Maritime Studies and World Geography courses required for all freshmen, three elective pathways were introduced in fall 2015: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Digital Media, and Boat Operations.
The program prepares students to be college and career-ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills, and technical, job-specific skills. POLAHS' CTE program features high school, postsecondary, and industry partnerships, enabling clear pathways to certifications and degrees.
STUDENT SUCCESS | Alumnus Holly Ohlaug (POLAHS '10) spoke at POLAHS’ Scholarship Banquet in June 2015. In her speech to over 300 community supporters, Holly shared the following about her POLAHS maritime courses and path to the California Maritime Academy.
“I am the first in my family to pursue a career in the maritime industry. I have lived in a port town my whole life and never knew what opportunities awaited in the port, and that there are colleges where I could learn all about vessel and port operations. Mr. Desanto’s Boat Operations class made me realize that the maritime industry is what I want to be a part of, and that working on the waterfront is something I love. The teachers and staff at POLAHS truly care about each and every student. I wouldn’t have been able to succeed in college if I hadn’t been prepared in all of my high school classes, not just those in maritime studies. I found my calling in life because of POLAHS.
I started the Academy as a Global studies major, but switched to Marine Transportation. This new major was a huge challenge and there were many times where I struggled to keep my head above water. As a woman entering what is commonly considered a man's industry, I faced many harsh criticisms and had to work extra hard to prove myself. I made it through and have had some pretty great accomplishments along the way. As far as my post-graduate plans, I would love to work in the Port of Los Angeles, whether it be shoreside as a vessel planner, ships agent, or dispatcher, or on the water on one of the tug boats assisting all the huge ships going in and out of the port. I enjoy every aspect of the maritime industry from land to sea and cannot wait to have the opportunity and privilege of working in the Port of Los Angeles."
Holly’s fiancé, Brian Brawley (POLAHS '10), is currently serving in the United States Navy as an enlisted nuclear engineer on the submarine US Pennsylvania.
CTE LEADERSHIP | POLAHS’ Maritime CTE Program is led by Mr. Anthony DeSanto. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the California Maritime Academy and a Master's in Education from National University. In addition, Mr. DeSanto graduated from the Global Logistics Specialist program from CSU Long Beach. He has over 25 years of experience working in our Port. Mr. DeSanto developed the Program's standards-based curriculum; establishes partnerships between the school and our port community; coordinates professional development opportunities; and establishes program themes that are present throughout POLAHS' mainstream curriculum.
PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES | POLAHS continues to fundraise for components of the Maritime CTE Program, including: Computer laboratory and software; LA Maritime Institute TopSail sailing partnership; Boat Operations laboratory; and handheld GPS units.