Community Education Schedule Published
The new schedule for Community Education classes is available! Check out the new courses including Quilting, Resolving Computer Issues, and Zumba.
Local Students Take National Honors
Career technical students in Raleigh, Wyoming and Nicholas counties took honors recently at a national competition held in Kansas City, Mo. in July. SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference gave students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in hands-on occupational and leadership contests in fields that included robotics, electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts.
Cody Cunningham and Mayson Pine, post-secondary students at the Wyoming County Vo-Tech Center, finished in second place nationally in mobile robotic technology. “It makes me proud any time West Virginia students excel on a national level,” said State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “This competition allows students to test their skills against their peers and opens the door to numerous educational opportunities. “I wish them future success.”
Other area students were recognized with certificates for placing in the top 10 in America: Stephen Sammons of Wyoming County Vo-Tech placed 7th for chapter display; Kia Wright, a high school student, of Nicholas County Vo-Tech Center, ranked 10th for commercial banking; Justin Fralin of Wyoming County Vo-Tech scored 9th in related technical math; and Terry Thompson of the Academy of Careers and Technology in Raleigh County placed 8th in masonry.
Arch Coal provided funding so that West Virginia students participating in opening ceremonies could each wear a lighted mining hat to illustrate the state’s coal mining heritage. This year’s opening ceremony was sponsored by Caterpillar, while the keynote speaker was Mike Rowe, the creator and executive producer of Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.”
ACT Honors Newest Graduates
Raleigh County’s Academy of Careers and Technology (ACT) honored its newest graduates Thursday, along with one of its oldest. The school honored approximately 200 students at the graduation ceremony, held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The evening’s special guest was Beckley resident Derothia James, who graduated from ACT 52 years ago, back when it was known as the Raleigh County Vocational School. She studied nursing. Not long ago, James showed up at the school seeking her transcript to apply for a new job. Pack was struck by the fact that James, 85, is still using the skills she learned at the school to find employment, raise a family and run a business. James worked as a nurse all over Beckley and in 1993 opened a daycare center for children who need special care. The business closed in 2012, but she’s not ready for retirement. She will soon begin work at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging, providing wound care for patients. “All the young people were really impressed hearing what she had done. ... Just like she used her skills for 52 years to support her family, now the skills they’ve learned will really help them in their lives,” said ACT principal Charles Pack.
Also in attendance were Raleigh County Schools Superintendent James Brown; two assistant superintendents; and three county school board members. ACT has been open since at least 1946. All four high schools in Raleigh County send students there to take career and technical classes. They are also home to an adult education program. Nighttime adult program graduates also attended Thursday’s ceremony. “We had the gray beards in with the high school students,” said Pack. “All the high school students wore their graduation cap and gown from their home school, and adults wore black gowns.” Enrollment at ACT stands at about 600 students. Last year, it was named Best Career and Technical School in the state by the Department of Education. It is a School of Excellence and is often designated as an Exemplary School. Two national board certified teachers are on staff.
The graduation ceremony gives students a certificate of applied study for completing programs like medical assisting, electrical studies and collision repair. Students must maintain a C average and demonstrate good attendance. Fourteen of the graduating students had completed the new Option 1 Pathway program, which is a blend of career technical education and more traditional academic work. Many of the graduating seniors will go straight into the workforce, says Pack. About an equal number will go on to attend a two-year career technical college. “Our students can be prepared for a career immediately upon graduation,” said Pack. “In some cases they can earn more straight out of high school than they can with a four-year degree.”
||First Day for Students
||Festival of Trees
End of First Semester