two staff members with mickey mouse ears on


Hello and welcome to Highlands Community Charter and Technical Schools! My name is Mark Lutgen, and I am the Lead Data Specialist at HCCTS. 


Saying “Education is my family business” would be an understatement. I was raised by two teachers, my dad’s brother is a Principal of a CTE-focused charter school (also married to a teacher); my mom’s sister is a science teacher. The list of relatives in education does not end there, not even close. I had the importance of an education not only for myself, but also for others ingrained in me since early childhood. 


For others, however, it may not have come as easy as it did for me. I never worried about not knowing the language everyone else does. I never worried about feeling outcast due to my race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I never worried there would not be food in the fridge after school. Without those barriers, I had the privilege as a child to focus on my education. Not everyone does. However, education does not end at high school. It does not end at college or post-grad. Education is a lifelong journey.


That is why I could not be more proud to work for an organization like Highlands. Three weeks after graduating from UC-Davis in June 2016, I applied to Highlands. Immediately after leaving the interview, I was antsy for a call and was lucky enough to receive one.


Nearly four years later, it’s amazing to see how far this school has come and how far we will go. I have learned so much during my time here and I could not be more grateful that I continue to be a part of the Highlands family.


Thank you!  It’s Never Too Late!