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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

  • August 16, 2023 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Sophie Patch is not your typical Dublin teenager.

    As a child, she bonded with her father doing maintenance work on his dump truck. As a high schooler, she built upon her mechanical interests by enrolling in the Power Sports and Auto Service Program at Tolles Career and Technical Center. She was the only female in her class, but went on to become a state champion and national bronze medalist in her chosen field.

    “It’s fascinating to me to see what goes on inside an engine,” says Patch, a 2023 dual graduate of Dublin Jerome High School and Tolles. “I enrolled in Power Sports because I wanted to work on things in my garage and not pay a mechanic to do it and I knew college wasn’t the path for me. I wanted to start making money right out of high school.”

    So she did. With a full-time job at No Cages Harley-Davidson in Plain City and the medal she earned at the SkillsUSA National Championship held June 19-23 in Atlanta, she is well on her way to her dream job.

    “I’d like to be an owner of a Harley-Davidson dealership some day,” Patch says, noting she has plenty of female role models at No Cages to encourage her. “The owner, the general manager, the sales manager and the motor clothes person are all women. It’s more female-dominated than you might think and we all have each other’s backs. I absolutely love it there.”

    Patch started working at No Cages through Tolles’ 2x2 Cohort Internship Program when she turned 16.

    “The Cohort Program was absolutely amazing,” Patch said. “You go to school for two weeks, then work full-time for two weeks. It was a good introduction to a full-time career. And everyone I met at Tolles had a passion for what they loved; they knew what they wanted to go after. I love to be around people like that who are motivated.”

    Gregg Hansel, who taught Patch the past two years at Tolles, says motivation has never been a problem for Patch.

    “Sophie is the type that can do anything she wants if she sets her mind to it,” Hansel says. “It would not have surprised me if Sophie won nationals to be quite honest. She’s just an amazing person and a very smart kid.”

    “If Sophie wants to do it, she will do her best and usually she’ll come out on top,” echoes Carter Rodriguez, a fellow Tolles Power Sports grad who also earned a trip to the SkillsUSA national competition with Patch. They were the only two Tolles grads to compete among the estimated 6,500 students from across the country who participated.

    Patch says her first “job” related to mechanics was holding the flashlight for her father as a young girl.

    “He was a truck driver, so almost every weekend he was working on something on the truck,” she says. “He was really into mechanics, so that was his way of introducing me to his interests. The dump truck intimidated me, though, because it was very loud, so I found an interest in smaller engines.”

    Patch’s father supported that interest and bought her a dirt bike when she turned 14, teaching her how to change the oil, flush the brakes, adjust the chain and do other basic maintenance. Her father passed away the following year, but Patch continued to pursue the passion she’d developed working on engines with him.

    “I am very satisfied and happy and thankful,” Patch says of her chosen career path. “I couldn’t be happier with my job and I really can’t see myself anywhere else doing anything else.”

    In fact, last November, she bought her first motorcycle.

    “It’s a Harley and I love it,” she says.

    For others considering careers in a typically male-dominated field, Patch offers the following advice: “Don’t let others stop you or influence you. Make sure you’re happy doing what you’re doing and it will feel like you’re never working a day in your life.”


    Caption for attached photo:

    Dublin Jerome High School graduate and Power Sports aficionado Sophie Patch earned a bronze medal for her spark plug presentation at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference held in Atlanta this summer. More than 6,500 students from across the country took part in the competition, according to the SkillsUSA website.

    For more information, additional photos or questions, contact:

    Todd Hoadley, Tolles Superintendent, 614-873-4666, ext. 4411

    Gregg Hansel, Tolles Instructor,: 440-541-4481 (cell)

  • August 16, 2023 8:44 AM | Anonymous

    On July 4, 2023 Governor DeWine executed the state’s biennial Operating Budget for FY 24-25 (House Bill 33). 

    Click here for the budget bill and associated summaries (including Gov. DeWine’s Veto Message).

    CTE-related highlights include:

     1.      Provisions establishing the revamped Department of Education of Workforce (DEW), with a Division of CTE

    2.       $200M in funding for CTPD Facility Expansion

    3.       $100M in funding CTE equipment (all schools)

    4.      Continued phase-in of the Fair School Funding Plan with data input updates that produce a collective increase funding for traditional districts and JVSDs

    5.      $32M in continued funding for Industry-Recognized Credentials (IWIP, Credential Cost Reimbursement )

    6.      $40M in short-term certificate funding (Adult Ed.) via the Talent Ready ($20M) and Work Ready ($20M) Grant Programs

    7.      Language facilitating the ability of secondary students to earn certificates and credentials at OTCs for high school credit

    8.      $100M in funding for SuperRapids (OTCs can apply directly to ODHE)

    9.      Continued funding for the Adult Diploma Program

    Congrats to CTE students, teachers, and administrators for a historic budget that advances career-technical education across Ohio. 

    (Will Vorys, Member | Dickinson Wright PLLC)

  • August 16, 2023 8:32 AM | Anonymous

    2023 Skills USA National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Seven UVCC students attended, with five competing in the nationwide competitions - all with fantastic results!

     UVCC SkillsUSA Chapter: 1st Place Model of Excellence in the Technical Skills area - represented by Sophia Walker and Taylor Geise.

    The Model of Excellence is one of the highest honors that can be earned by a SkillsUSA Chapter. UVCC is accustomed to receiving this award in the past 10 years. However, this year our chapter was named 1st place overall in the Technical Skills area and recognized as the best-of-the-best in the entire nation. We couldn’t be more proud of our students and their advisors!

     Alex Boerger : 2nd Place in Electrical Construction Wiring

     Brayden Romanowski : 2nd Place in Graphic Communication

      Whitney Welch: 11th Place in Cosmetology, scoring a 92.8%

      Eva Goubeaux and Peyton Wendel had a busy week working as voting delegate's doing the job of electing this year's national officers.

    Congratulations to all of these students. Your hard work, skilled minds, and attention to detail have come shining through!

    Visit this link for more information: SkillsUSA National Championships | Upper Valley Career Center ( 

  • June 06, 2023 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    Gongwer 6-6-23

    The Senate took steps Tuesday toward implementing one of the most significant tax system overhauls in recent memory, with many provisions in its version of the biennial budget fueled by billions in surplus state money.

    As expected, the GOP-led chamber's substitute version of the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 state spending plan (HB 33 Tracked) expands on tax cuts proposed in the House, but it also contains new mechanisms impacting the "rainy day" Budget Stabilization Fund, state spending limits, and other policies affecting Ohio's bottom line. ( Legislative Service Commission Track Comparison Document and Spreadsheet)

    Those changes, such as replacing the back-to-school tax holiday with a new, broader sales tax break dependent on future surpluses and seeded with $1 billion, are possible thanks to historically flush tax revenues and the remnants of federal pandemic relief funds. The latest preliminary revenue report from the Office of Budget and Management, released Tuesday, shows total tax intake running ahead of estimates by more than $840 million for this fiscal year alone, with only two months left in FY 2023.

    Other big-ticket items in the new version include an increase in the All Ohio Future Fund to $1 billion for site preparation and economic development investments, and a $1 billion One-Time Strategic Community Investments Fund to be used in FY25 "once all Ohioans, local officials, community leaders and others have time to make thoughtful requests for these dollars," according the Senate GOP's bullet-point breakdown.

    On the tax side, the bill reduces the number of state income taxes to two under a proposed two-year phase-in that builds on the House's plan by eliminating the top bracket and lowering the state's top marginal rate. It would leave Ohio with just two rates of 2.75% and 3.5%.

    In addition, the bill would phase in over two years a 25% reduction in Commercial Activity Tax rates and minimums.

    Among other highlights, the new measure also would:

    • Increase from 8.5% to 10% of the prior year's General Revenue Fund total the target for BSF transfers and tighten up the 3% State Appropriation Limit.
    • Overhaul the Department of Education (SB 1 Tracked).
    • Make EdChoice Expansion vouchers universally eligible to Ohio students with means tested awards for students in families with income above 450% of federal poverty levels and a minimum award of 10%.
    • Reinstate the Third Grade Reading Guarantee axed by the House.
    • Retain the base cost calculation and Fiscal Year 2022 salary data cost inputs for the Cupp-Patterson school funding plan while adjusting the foundation funding formula for schools and districts.
    • Fund the Ohio College Opportunity Grant at $400 million over the biennium – above the $315 million approved by the House but well below the $562 million recommended by Gov. DeWine.
    • Bar universities offering tuition guarantees from raising tuition and fees more than 3% over the prior year.
    • Ban state colleges and universities from mandating that students live on campus starting Jan. 1.
    • Largely restore executive proposed funding levels for the Department of Natural Resources.
    • Scale back the $307 million in House-passed H2Ohio support to $270 million, reducing allocations to ODNR, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture proportionally.
    • Enact a number of rail safety provisions, including by restoring $125 million in state matching funds for the Rail Safety Crossing program and creating a one-time $10 million wayside detector grant program.
    • Provide a $1 per hour increase, using local funds, for Direct Support Professionals providing services administered by the Department of Developmental Disabilities.
    • Increase funding for the Residential State Supplement by $8 million in each fiscal year.
    • Increase funding for state psychiatric hospitals by $15 million each fiscal year.
    • Reinstate language increasing the sports gaming receipts tax rate from 10% to 20% beginning July 1.
    • Allocate $75 million for local jail construction using the framework from previous capital budgets through DRC.
    • Create the Large Settlements and Awards fund and requires all judgments and settlements over $1 million to go to the fund for appropriation by the General Assembly.

    Senate Republicans said the "bold changes" in the revised document build a "strong foundation for schools, taxpayers and home ownership."

  • May 30, 2023 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    Bills in this Story

    HB33 FY24-25 OPERATING BUDGET (Edwards, J)

    Legislators in this Story

    Sen. Brenner, Andrew (R-Delaware)

    Sen. Cirino, Jerry (R-Kirtland)

    Sen. Dolan, Matt (R-Chagrin Falls)

    Sen. Romanchuk, Mark (R-Ontario)

    Teachers and parents urged senators to follow the House’s lead in using the budget bill to repeal the retention mandate from Ohio’s third grade reading law, among many other requests the Senate Finance Committee heard during a lengthy meeting Wednesday.

    Jennifer Bindus, an elementary teacher from Aurora who’s spent most of her career with third graders, said rather than focusing on a single test administration to determine students’ reading ability, schools should be allowed to use multiple measures over time. She also noted that the House-added provision to HB33 (Edwards) not only repealed the retention mandate, but also extended from third to fifth grade the requirement to provide intervention services and improvement plans for students who are behind.

    Katie Baker, parent of an elementary student who she said suffered significant stress from the reading guarantee testing, said the design of the guarantee law takes the wrong approach.

    “Our system of retention will never allow a student to catch up. By withholding access to grade level standards, and only teaching below grade level, it is no surprise that by the end of the year, they will remain below grade level. To put it bluntly, kids in Ohio are held back with the goal of catching up,” Baker said. “If we stop and think about that idea for a moment, we might realize the shortcomings of that plan. Our system holds back kids who were already behind, thus denying them access to fourth grade content, while their peers continue on to the next grade. Ultimately, while well intended, we created a structure in Ohio’s schools that perpetuate the achievement gap. There has been significant conversation and research regarding the effectiveness of a remediation approach such as this, versus an approach aimed at accelerating the learning growth of students. Remediation and learning acceleration are not the same, as the approaches used in each model are vastly different. Many states across the country have published research and guidance on learning acceleration, yet unfortunately Ohio hasn’t made this shift.”

    Northeast Ohio parent Jim Galon described the weeping he heard from his son, Hawk, as his wife called recently to tell him their son was 10 points short of the promotion score. “His realizing it’s a real possibility to fail third grade broke him in a way that I have never seen,” he said.

    Galon said retention doesn’t make sense because his son had previously reached the needed score on other administrations of the assessment and had good grades. “I struggled with school too … I imagine if this reading guarantee was in place when I was in school, I would not have passed, and my life would undoubtedly be very different,” he said.

    Sen. Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland), vice chair of the committee, asked what advice the school had provided after they received the test score. Galon said the family quickly met with the teacher and principal to come up with an improvement plan, which includes about 40 minutes of reading or other literacy activities at home per day.

    “How was your son’s confidence, his emotions? Is he able to bounce back?” asked Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo). Galon said he believes he can bounce back, but said he was “really sad” when thinking of how the friends he played soccer with would move on without him. His son has two more chances to pass the test, he said.

    Cirino asked Jennifer Glenn, president-elect of the Ohio School Psychologists Association and another proponent of repealing the retention mandate, how Ohio ended up with its current reading instruction problems, noting the dozens of teacher training programs at Ohio colleges and universities.

    “We’re churning out all of these majors in elementary education, let’s say, and we also have school systems that should be monitoring what’s going on, what methods they’re using and how effective they are. How did we get to this point where we have such reading deficits?” Cirino said.

    Glenn said some schools started taking up alternative approaches beyond phonics and phonemic awareness because they came with additional resources as part of research studies. She said she didn’t think the intention was necessarily to let go of phonics and phonemic awareness in the process, but schools might have looked for shortcuts to cover all the needed content as more demands came down up on them.

    Glenn told Cirino she does not believe the state is “at the point of no return,” noting literacy proposals in the budget and the recently enacted dyslexia support laws as ways to address the problem.

    Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) asked Julie Lather, an Olentangy Local Schools principal and representative of the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA), what will prevent schools from “just promoting kids along and then we find out in later grades they can’t read.”

    Lather said only a handful of students were retained in her time in her current building. “Retention is rare because of a single factor. One reading test on one day should not decide a child’s future … There is no magic in going from third grade to fourth grade. It’s a boundary that is as ambiguous as ‘We decided that from K to one they need to tie shoes.’”

    Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware), chair of the Senate Education Committee, asked what else the state can do to address, for example, the gap in major urban schools between the large number of students who were promoted to fourth grade during suspension of the guarantee in the pandemic, and the much smaller number who were able to pass the test. “That is setting up failure in the upcoming grades,” he said.

    “I would pose the question back to you – is it right to punish the child because the district fell short?” Lather replied.

    Ohio Excels, a business coalition focused on education and workforce issues, continued to push for lawmakers’ to keep the retention mandate. Lisa Gray, president of the group, said research shows the educational benefit of the retention law. Ohio Excels plans to release a report on that research at the Statehouse Thursday.

    “We believe that retention is intervention,” said Gray.

    Romanchuk noted advocates of repeal also claim research supports their position, asking who senators should believe. Gray said her group’s forthcoming report, conducted by the Ohio Education Research Center, will be the first of its kind “on Ohio students that have been retained.” She said it shows a “substantial” improvement in performance for retained students who scored just below the promotion score versus promoted students who scored just above it.

    Leaders from Whitehall City Schools and local United Way groups asked for support for a $1.8 million amendment to fund the United Way Collaborative, which would give six local United Ways serving 10 counties the capacity to expand early literacy and family stability strategies.

    Doug Shoemaker, who works on community partnerships at Whitehall, said the United Way’s Success by 3rd Grade program is “vital” to students’ success in the district.

    “Whitehall City Schools does a good job of providing more than one year’s worth of instruction in each academic year, but we recognize this is not sufficient to meet the needs of all our students. In their pre-K years, our students do not gain the foundational knowledge and experiences required to come to kindergarten as ready to learn as many of their peers attending other districts in Central Ohio and around Ohio,” he said.

    “It’s kind of hard to think that a 6-year-old could be educationally behind when they haven’t even started, but pre-K counts for a lot,” he said. “Our kindergarteners come to us not as ready to learn as in other districts.”

    Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), chair of the committee, said the testimony was disconcerting.

    “What we’re hearing is that what’s happening in public schools is not enough, so we have to bring outsiders in. The question is, where does it end? We get hit a lot for ‘Not funding our schools,’ but there’s dollars you want to take away from the schools to give to outsiders to help with what the schools are doing?” Dolan asked.

    “The barriers we’re talking about include food, clothing, homelessness, and a lot of mobility. We have a lot of students that are with us one year, Columbus schools the next, Groveport the next, back to us, back to Hamilton Local or wherever. Those are the sorts of barriers we’re talking about.”

    “As the partnership director, my job is to try to bring in partners to try to help the students in whatever way we can get help,” he said.

    Dolan said Shoemaker had just described the intended use of the student wellness funding included in the prior two budgets and proposed for inclusion in HB33.

    Multiple witnesses spoke in favor of a House amendment that created a new Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) program for Appalachian school projects.

    Nick Detwiller, superintendent of Eastern Meigs Local Schools, speaking also for the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, said his district faced the prospect of spending $2 million to fix a sinking floor before it could even begin an OFCC-funded project at one school. He said the special focus on big city school building projects enacted about 20 years shows that targeted help for high-need schools can work.

    “A one mill levy in our district produces around $100,000. So when we go to our families for our local share of the project it is a big ask. Especially in an aging community where a large portion of our population are retirees on a fixed income. As a district we have worked hard to take care of our facilities over the years and we are proud of what we have, but we want our kids to have some of the same opportunities as other students across the state. This is the reality for not only our district, but for 38-plus other school districts within the Appalachian Ohio region who have deferred, lapsed, or not yet been offered funding through the OFCC. These are hard working families and communities, with a lot of pride, but the realities of the economics of the region make passing levies very difficult and very taxing on our people,” he said.

    Numerous witnesses urged the committee to continue implementation of the new school funding formula, including the House’s use of updated cost inputs using FY22 data, versus the FY18 data included in Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive proposal.

    Among requests from the Ohio Association for Career-Technical Education (Ohio ACTE), however, was a revision to the formula to implement a floor for the state share percentage that applies to supplemental career-technical education funding. More than 100 districts have seen a decrease in such supplemental funding as an unintended consequence of the formula, said Dee Smith, Ohio ACTE executive director. “I can provide you several examples, but the one that sticks with me the most is a district in Northeast Ohio that will go from receiving over $300,000 to right around $30,000 at full phase-in; and this district runs 13 CTE programs. We are talking about funds used to buy welders, metal, and gas for welding programs; construction materials, tools, and safety equipment for construction programs; and hard drives, software, and networking materials for IT/cyber programs,” Smith said.

    Dozens of people spoke or submitted written remarks for the hearing, which lasted from 9 a.m. until nearly 4 p.m., although with a couple of recesses.

    Story originally published in The Hannah Report on May 31, 2023.  Copyright 2023 Hannah News Service, Inc.

    OACTE Senate Finance Testimony Dee Smith.pdf

  • May 30, 2023 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    Presidential Scholars Include Three Ohio Students

    Three Ohio high school seniors are among 161 students recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2023.

    The program is meant to identify the most distinguished high school seniors in the nation, and the designation recognizes achievement in academics, the arts or career-technical education.

    The three Ohioans are Pranav Sompalle of Mayfield High School; Sanjana M. Velu of William Mason High School; and Jay G. Patel of Butler Tech Bioscience Center.

    More information about the Presidential Scholars program is at

    Story originally published in The Hannah Report on May 26, 2023.  Copyright 2023 Hannah News Service, Inc.

  • May 30, 2023 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) maintains his skepticism about the sustainability of the Cupp-Patterson school funding formula and argues a forthcoming Senate version of the budget, HB33 (Edwards), will provide a predictable and more sustainable framework. In an interview with Hannah News, he also expressed doubt about enacting totally universal voucher eligibility, saying he wants the Senate budget to focus on helping more kids, particularly those who don’t have other choices.

    “This formula isn’t any more predictable than it was before. Because in four years, the formula will require that a large number of school districts go off the guarantee,” Huffman said.

    “It’s even more unsustainable than I thought it was two years ago,” Huffman said.

    While backers of the formula, devised by a working group of school officials under the leadership of former Speaker Bob Cupp and Rep. John Patterson, have sketched a six-year phase-in, Huffman again argued every two-year budget cycle is its own animal. The current budget, 134-HB110 (Oelslager), explicitly left calculation of school financing components to lawmakers for FY24 and beyond.

    “There is no six-year Cupp-Patterson plan, it doesn’t say that anywhere in the Ohio Revised Code, and we actually said when we passed the budget last time … this is only for two years,” he said.

    “We are drafting a school funding plan that I believe will be sustainable and predictable and fully fund the operations for all the K-12 education in the state of Ohio, which again will be record funding for all this, especially given the growth of spending that we’ve had,” he said.

    Huffman said the plan will include an approach to move off guarantees – a persistent issue in school funding debates – and added that doing so will be a long-term project.

    Huffman said full details are not yet finalized, but he said it will include a basis for the per-pupil funding amounts that it generates, as Cupp-Patterson does.

    “That’s the predictability and understandability part of it,” he said.

    Regarding the potential expansion of vouchers, Huffman said he’s skeptical of opening up EdChoice to any student regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Gov. Mike DeWine proposed to expand the income eligibility threshold to 400 percent of poverty and the House bumped it to 450 percent, but both chambers have heard proposals to lift income caps entirely or otherwise make the program accessible to any family.

    “It’s a question of how many more kids are affected, and my view is the dollars ought to be generated toward people who truly can’t move and can’t pay,” he said.

    Huffman pointed to the city of Columbus, where neighboring districts have declined to accept open enrollment students. “What choice do those kids have?” he said.

    Story originally published in The Hannah Report on May 26, 2023.  Copyright 2023 Hannah News Service, Inc.

  • May 25, 2023 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    Ohio’s Teaching Financial Literacy Conference program has just been published (Click Here)! This event will be hosted at The University of Akron on July 6-7, 2023. We invite you to join us either in Akron or virtually through our hybrid offerings.  

    As you know, Senate Bill 1 is a game changer for teaching personal finance in the State of Ohio. This is a historic time for our state and its families, as high school students are now required to complete a course of instruction in financial literacy for graduation. Participation in this Conference is eligible for the Ohio Financial Licensure License Validation training, as all sessions prepare educators to teach Ohio’s Learning Standards for Financial Literacy.

    This two-day event will provide you with plenty of opportunities to connect with peers and financial industry experts. You’ll attend sessions on a variety of subjects to gain practical tips for incorporating personal finance and economics into your curriculum. Educators can choose to invest in their career further by pursuing discounted graduate credit (additional fee of $200 per hour, up to 2 hours). Information and resources will be available from our robust list of national and local exhibitors who are eager to share how they can support you and your students.

    If unable to physically join us in Akron, please consider registering as a virtual attendee! Virtual attendees can tune into a select number of sessions throughout the Conference. A limited number of scholarships are available, and you can request to be considered when registering for the Conference.

    We are thrilled to be working with all our partners, including our gold-level sponsor Charles Schwab, to bring this special event to life. After all, you are never too young to learn and talk about money. We truly appreciate your assistance in helping us get the word out to educators of all grade levels and subjects.

    Register now at

  • May 25, 2023 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    The 2023 Ohio Teacher Leadership Summit is June 14. This exciting event will be held at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University and bring together educators from schools, districts and organizations doing innovative work to develop teacher leaders. Summit attendees will share successes, lessons learned and strategies for overcoming challenges around teacher leadership implementation. 

    Participants will share their knowledge, create networks and connections and participate in professional learning. The summit offers an opportunity to become engaged in a statewide network of teacher leaders and administrators to promote and strengthen teacher leadership. Ohio’s Teacher Leadership Summit aligns with current and future education topics related to Future Forward Ohio.

    Registration is free and attendees will receive contact hour certificates. Register using this form.

    Contact with questions.

    The Department is committed to providing access and inclusion and reasonable accommodation in its services, activities, programs and employment opportunities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws. Attendees will have the opportunity to request accommodations or support when they register for the Ohio Teacher Leadership Summit. Conference organizers request at least two weeks advance notice to arrange accommodations.

Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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