February is National CTE Month, and students and faculty at Elkin High School have joined other schools nationwide to celebrate national Career and Technical Education. This year’s theme is Opportunities for Career Success.
The Elkin High School Career and Technical Education Department offers courses that provide students with real world experience and allow students to link core academic content with career preparation.
Nationwide, CTE courses encompass 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States and include high schools, career centers, community and technical colleges, four-year universities and more. CTE is a major part of the solution to myriad national economic and workforce problems, such as high school dropout rates, a weakened economy, global competitiveness and massive layoffs.
At a time when opportunity for employment is so critical, the Elkin High School CTE programs ensure students are equipped with the skills to successfully enter the workforce. Currently, 99 percent of the 2016 graduating class has taken at least one CTE course during their high school career, and most have taken multiple courses.
Elkin’s CTE students are actively involved in student organizations such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). These student organizations (CTSOs) are key components to strong CTE programs. They (CTSOs) integrate into CTE programs and courses and extend teaching and learning through innovative programs, business and community partnerships and leadership experiences at the school, state and national levels.
North Carolina has a strong CTSO presence with more than 57,542 student members statewide. Elkin High School has two students serving as state officers in FCCLA. Georgia Longworth serves as the vice president of Membership and Mary Claire Hooper serves as the vice president for North Carolina Middle Schools.
Students enrolled in CTE courses have opportunities to earn highly regarded industry certifications. These certifications include Career Readiness, ServeSafe, Adobe Certified Associate Visual Design Specialist, and Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. Students are also provided opportunities to participate in internships with local business and receive course credit along with on-the-job experience and training. College credit can be earned through CTE courses that articulate with local community colleges.
Elkin High School has traditionally ranked as one of the top CTE programs in the state of North Carolina when evaluated on multiple criteria. “We are investing in students and providing them with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to be successful employees and future leaders,” stated Barbara Long, Elkin City Schools CTE director.
In order to highlight the accomplishments of the Career and Technical Education students, Elkin High School CTE teachers have selected the following students as Outstanding Career and Technical Education students in their respective career area.
Ashley Hemric was selected by Cherie Cooke as an outstanding Foods and Consumer Sciences student. Hemric is noted for her uplifting and positive attitude in addition to her academic excellence. She is in the 11th gradem plays softball and loves art.
She is planning to go into the medical field. She loves taking care of people, especially babies.
Aspen Shaw was selected by Chaise Swisher as an outstanding Technology and Engineering Design student. He said she is one of the hardest working students he has ever had. She is very driven and organized and is a very good leader. Shaw is in the 10th grade. Even though she loves engineering, her plans are to become an orthodontist. She wants to start her college career at Surry Community College and then transfer to a four-year university after two years.
Georgia Longworth was selected by Robin Hooper as an outstanding Foods and Consumer Sciences student. Hooper described Georgia as bright and hardworking. She is always willing to help in any capacity and she encourages others to work hard and to do their best.
Longworth is vice president of Membership for the State Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). In this position, she will help to conduct the state meeting in Greensboro in April. She said being on the state executive board has enabled her to make new friends across the state. Although all of the officers share similar traits, they are all so different and so very interesting.
Longworth is planning to attend UNC-Charlotte next year. She is not sure of her career choices, but right now is leaning toward a degree in business where she will concentrate on the artistic aspects of marketing or graphic design. Or, she might decide to become a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher.
Isaura Rodriguez was selected by Brent Poplin to be his outstanding business student. Poplin said Rodriguez “excelled greatly in the Microsoft Word and PowerPoint class last semester.” Along with being a wonderful student, she also was able to help out her fellow classmates on tasks they were unable to perform. She was patient in guiding them in the right direction and knowledgeable in the material.
Rodriguez is in the 10th grade and is in the Art Club and the Interact Club. Her favorite subject is art, but she also likes the CTE classes. She said the things she learns in CTE are things that are used in the real, adult world. She wants to study graphic design when she graduates.
Clarence Edwards choose Matthew Johnson as the outstanding student in Agriculture. Johnson was described as a hard worker. He has his own lawn care business and is very dependable. He has a physical disability; however, he doesn’t allow that to deter him from fulfilling his commitments or doing the things that he wants to do. He is very strong in the agriculture field, while being knowledgeable in many areas. He said the math that goes along with agriculture comes naturally to him. He is also very passionate about FFA.
Matthew, who is in the 11th grade, said he likes being outdoors and will pursue a career that allows him to be outside. He has not ruled out the possibility of becoming an agriculture teacher. Edwards believes he is truly a success story waiting to happen.
Beth Felts selected Noah Campbell and Allie Lovett as the Outstanding Visual Design Students for 2016. As this program is new to the school this year, the leadership these two took during the fall semester allowed for a successful environment for all students.
Campbell is a senior this year. Throughout his high school career, he has taken 12 CTE courses and has maintained a 4.0 GPA in all of these courses. While Campbell has done well in all of his CTE classes, he went above and beyond in the Adobe Visual Design program. He was willing to help other students and demonstrate skills in using the programs so that all could benefit.
Lovett is a sophomore at EHS. The primary reason she has been chosen as an outstanding CTE student is for her willingness to help others in the classroom. She takes a leadership role even when not asked. Lovett scored with one of the top three scores in each of the Adobe programs taught in the class, gaining a certification in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Lovett also earned recognition as a Visual Design Specialist by Adobe.
Both Lovett and Campbell were very enthusiastic about their CTE classes. When Lovett “grows up” she wants to be an event planner, owning her own business. She said she loves the Adobe program because it helps her to figure out logos and commercials that she can use. Campbell was just brimming with excitement as he talked about his CTE classes. He loves working with the computer and the CTE classes give him the opportunity to dig in. He plans to study graphic design at Surry Community College when he graduates and possibly continue into video game design.
Andrew Darnell was selected by Pamela Brown as the outstanding Health Occupations student. According to Brown, Darnell has the personality type for a health care worker. He is kind and has a compassion for helping people. He is also respected by his peers.
Darnell said he likes the wide variety of courses offered by CTE. He holds certifications in ServSafe, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint.
He is a senior and is planning to go to Surry Community College for two years and then transfer to UNC Charlotte, possibly studying radiology. Brown has said that he would be good as a registered nurse anesthetist, which is listed as the fourth highest job in demand in the coming years. He will do well at whatever he chooses to do.
Joe McCulloch chose Kaley Rudd as the Marketing outstanding CTE student. McCulloch said Rudd is “very diligent in her studies while balancing extra-curricular activities such as cheerleading and SADD Club.”
Rudd is a 10th-grader but plans to take business courses at Surry Community College. She eventually hopes to become a lawyer
Miracle Walters, the chosen outstanding Career Intern, interned in physical therapy with Dr. John Orta at Tri-County Orthopedic & Sports Medicine. Patsy Burgess, career development coordinator, said, “Miracle strives to do her best in all she does — meeting deadlines, being flexible, motivating others, working as an instrumental team member, and possessing superb written communication skills.”
Walters feels working for Orta was a good experience, but it did help her realize physical therapy was not for her. She also said the experience helped her prepare for her graduation project as she did the required portfolio and oral presentation.
Walters is a senior. She plays basketball and tennis for EHS. She plans to attend a four-year private college where she hopes to continue in these sports while majoring in either engineering or physics.