Local philanthropist Ross H. Potoff worked for the prestigious College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona for 40 years as a precision machine designer based upon the vocational skills he learned in high school. The trade he learned in the 1960s provided him with a financially secure life and a debt of gratitude. Potoff said, “This is a goal I have had for many years.”
In 2019 Potoff pledged $1million dollars to Pima JTED with an idea called the Potoff Endowed Chair for Recruitment, Counseling and Job Placement. JTED agreed and drafted a job description. Kathy Prather, CEO & Superintendent of Pima JTED recently announced that Cari Burson, formerly the Director of Career and Technical Education at Catalina Foothills High School has been hired for the new position.
The new position at JTED is focused on enhancing and developing:
- Exploratory classes that introduce students to vocational certification courses.
- Recruitment initiatives targeting the 7th Grade and up.
- Guidance and counseling designed to help students stay on track.
- Close collaboration between JTED and regional employers to enhance job placement.
Burson has a B.A. from the University of Arizona and Master’s Degrees in Educational Leadership and Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University.