Cynthia LaRue is a junior at Elkin High School in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
LaRue is a newcomer to Elkin’s CTE courses. She moved to Elkin from New York as a sophomore. Now a junior, she has already taken many of the courses available at Elkin High School. She has studied Parenting and Child Development, Career Management, Technology Engineering and Design, and Technological Design.
As part of her Technological Engineering and Design course, Cynthia worked in a group that was tasked with creating a crane that could hold a five gallon bucket full of weights. Eventually, the test had to be stopped, because the bucket would not be able to support the weight. LaRue’s crane lifted more than 50 pounds of weights, causing the test to stop before the bucket gave way under the stress.
Elkin CTE Director Barbara Long described LaRue as a “nontraditional” student.
“She is taking classes that lead to jobs that are traditionally held by guys. And from the looks of it, she is excelling in them,” Long said.
Long said “her work ethic and persistence in class are keys to her success.”She also characterized LaRue as a humble student. “When interviewed, Cynthia was full of praise for her teacher, Mr. Swisher. She said that the Technological Design class, which has lots of hands-on activities, was fun.”
“Mr. Swisher tries to make you work your hardest,” Cynthia said. “He doesn’t grade the finished product; instead he grades the effort. He is also a teacher who will be there for the students, both inside and outside the classroom.”
In her senior year at Elkin High, LaRue plans to follow her interest in technology classes by taking drafting through Surry Community College. She plans to continue her education after graduation, but has not settled on what area she would like to pursue.