HVAC Instructor Sought
ACT is currently searching for an instructor for the new HVAC Technician program. The well-qualified candidate will have four years of industry experience and hold Industry Competency Exam (ICE) Entry-Level Residential Heating and Cooling Technician certification and EPA Section 608 Technician and Universal certifications. This is full-time, benefits eligible position. Class will meet five evenings a week. Visit https://ats1.searchsoft.net/ats/trans_login… to apply.
Closing date is November 17, 2015. For more information, contact the school at 304-256-4615.

ACT Earns Full COE Accreditation
The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE) has granted accreditation to Raleigh County's Academy of Careers and Technology. Announcement of the action was made by Mr. Al Salazar, Commission Chair, following the COE Winter Commission Meeting of the Council on Occupational Education. The award of accreditation status is based on an evaluation to demonstrate that the institution meets not only the standards of quality of the Commission, but also the needs of students, the community, and employers. The evaluation process includes an extensive self-study by the institution and an intensive review by a visiting team of professional educators representing the commission's member institutions from other states.

The Academy of Careers and Technology began its self-study in August 2013 and underwent a team visit in April 2015. "I am excited to receive the maximum length of full accreditation,” said Charles Pack, Principal at ACT. "It is an affirmation of the quality of our staff, programs and support system. A tremendous amount of work went into the preparation for the visit and our task now is to continue offering quality educational opportunities for our students as we prepare them for their future.” --- from The Register-Herald (October 14, 2015)

Assistant Superintendent Says CTE is Vital for State's Future
Kathy D’Antoni, assistant state superintendent of schools for the Division of Technical and Adult Education Services, said Career and Technical Education is vital for the future of the Mountain State.

She said CTE is preparing high school students for the demands of today’s high-skilled workforce.
“CTE encourages students to develop the skills that are in demand,” she said. “It also is a way for kids to stay at home in West Virginia with good jobs, good-paying jobs.”

The skills that students learn in CTE programs play a large role in the state’s economy. For example, students in Summers County High School’s culinary program could easily transition into a tourism job, said Robert Mazzelli, who oversees the school’s culinary program. And tourism, some believe, is the future of southern West Virginia.

D’Antoni said within the last few years, the state has witnessed more students enrolling in CTE programs than ever before. One reason, she said, is the stigma of a vocational career is beginning to fade. That negative perception was around for years. A few years ago, The Economist, a British newsweekly, wrote Americans viewed vocational-technical education with “unique disdain.” The magazine added that “Americans hate the idea of schoolchildren setting out on career paths — such predetermination, they think, threatens the ethos of opportunity.”

D’Antoni explained within the last 60 years, job skills have shifted from manufacturing to technology. Even working in a manufacturing setting, she explained, requires strong computer skills. To meet those changing demands, West Virginia has started to focus on the student taking charge of his or her future. “The simulated workplace environment permits students the opportunity to take ownership of their individual performance as it impacts the overall success of their education, while thriving in an authentic workplace culture,” the program’s website, www.simulatedworkplace.com, explains.

This initiative was created to assist schools across the state to implement a workplace environment that parallels West Virginia’s workforce requirements, including random drug testing, professionalism, attendance and safety. Simulated Workplace not only enhances instructional career education, but creates a more engaged career and technical student, D’Antoni said.

The initiative is receiving national and international notice. D’Antoni said representatives from eight states and Australia have visited West Virginia to learn how to implement a similar initiative. A call to the Australian Embassy in Washington, to inquire what the country’s educators learned, went unreturned for several days. D’Antoni said Austrian educational officials also inquired about the state’s CTE program and will visit West Virginia soon.
--- from The Register-Herald (Daniel Tyson, September 28, 2015)

Testing for Cosmetology, Surgical Technologist
Admissions testing for the January Cosmetology and Surgical Technologist classes is currently ongoing at the Raleigh County Adult Learning Center at 306 S. Kanawha Street in Beckley.

Students wishing to apply for the Cosmetology program must take the pretest by October 7, 2015. Depending on the pretest score, the applicant must complete 30 - 40 hours of training at the Adult Learning Center prior to taking the final test by October 28, 2015. Only the final test score will be used when determining eligibility for admission. Prospective applicants will also interview with the Cosmetology department. New student orientation will be held on November 12, 2015. Students must have their financial aid finalized (if applicable), have paid the $175 registration and application fees, and submitted a $25 check to the Cosmetology department for State Board registration by November 18, 2015.

Students wishing to apply for the Surgical Technologist program must take the pretest by October 14, 2015. Depending on the pretest score, the applicant must complete 30 - 40 hours of training at the Adult Learning Center prior to taking the final test by November 13, 2015. Only the final test score will be used when determining eligibility for admission. Prospective applicants will also interview with the Surgical Technologist instructor. New student orientation will be held on December 14, 2015. Students must have their financial aid finalized (if applicable) and have paid the $175 registration and application fees by December 18, 2015.

For more information about the Cosmetology and Surgical Technologist programs, contact the school at 304-256-4615. For information about testing, contact the Adult Learning Center at 304-256-3964.

Adult Registration for Fall Classes Underway
Adult registration for fall classes is now underway at the Academy of Careers and Technology. Register daily from
7:30 AM - 1:00 PM Monday - Friday (except Friday, July 3) through July 31. View a complete list of programs at http://wvact.net/programs.html. Don't wait till the last minute...classes fill up fast!
For more information, call the school at

School Effectiveness Survey Results Released
The Academy of Careers and Technology has released the results of the institution's first annual School Effectiveness Survey. Prepared by the Placement Office, the survey was completed electronically by 334 students. Students were asked to rate the school's facilities, including classrooms and labs; faculty knowledge, skills, enthusiasm for teaching, and interest in the progress of students; rigor and relevance of occupational programs; and quality and availability of services. According to Charles Pack, ACT Principal and Director of Career and Technical Education for Raleigh County, "Anytime 85% of your customers state they are satisfied or very satisfied with your product, you can be assured you're doing a good job!" View the complete survey results here.

Graduates More Than 170 Students

Balloons. Proud parents. Cheers. Pomp and Circumstance. 

The graduation season began Thursday night with more than 170 students of the Academy of Careers and Technology walking across the stage to receive certificates for their work in everything from automotive technology, computer repair systems, dental assisting, graphic communications, phlebotomy, welding — and more. 

Principal Charles M. Pack Jr., an ACT graduate himself, told students “this can be the beginning of a great career. Pack said they would need to do three things:

  • Be responsible. While their parents and instructors have been standing behind them up until now, he said it is time for students to take the initiative. 
  • Be a lifelong learner. Pack encouraged the students to take more classes and specialized training to advance their careers. 
  • Remember every moment of every day is precious. “Never pass up the opportunity to show friends and family how you feel,” he said. 

From the audience cheers for their students and the smiles and photo shoots after the ceremony, several families took Pack up on that particular suggestion. 

The Spirit of ACT Award went to former teacher Susan Rice, who had retired, but returned to the school to help.

Outstanding Student Awards went to Joshua Lowe, Emily Morgan, Tevin Persinger, Brad Stewart, William Stanley III, Keagan E. Tyree, Bobby Shawver, Selena Rash, Aaron Millner, William Snyder, James Ward, Katherine DeLuca, Nickolas Elkins, Ashley Lockhart, Kacie Justice, Jaimee Martin, Angela Young, Sandra Wriston, Justin Trent, Marissa Copley and Christopher Burgess. 

Scholarships were awarded to Jeremy Richmond, Alexander Kelley, Hannah Gunnoe, Matthew Ball, Brandon Carter, George Richardson and McKenna Hinds.

Pack gave the Principal’s Award to Bobby Shawver and Matthew Ball.

Danielle Sheets, an Independence High School senior said she feels “sad, but great.” Sheets, who gave up cheerleading, gymnastics and softball so that she could focus on studies at ACT, plans to go to Bluefield State College and major in pre-med. At Independence, her many activities included being president of the National Honor Society. She also holds a part-time job at Marquee Cinemas. “I’m a busy person,” Sheets said. 

In his speech, Pack said students like Sheets are not uncommon at ACT. Most of them sacrifice time with their friends and extracurricular activities to get a leg up on a career path.

According to its web site, ACT opened in 1977 as a “primary work-force provider and significant educational institution in Southern West Virginia.” Some students are enrolled in Raleigh County high schools, others are adults who have returned for specialty training. “The career and technical instructional programs are rigorous and yet designed to adapt to the needs of diverse learners,” the web site said. (...view the graduation photo gallery on our Facebook page... )

Medical Career Fair Scheduled
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 16, 2015---the date for the Medical Career Fair at the Academy of Careers and Technology. Many local hospitals, extended care facilities, and clinics have been invited to set up booths, provide literature about thier organizations, and connect with highly qualified employees—our students! The career fair will provide students the opportunity to explore various career paths, conduct company research, gather information from potential employers, and make personal contacts that can lead to a job. Students are encouraged to bring resumes and dress for success. The Career Fair will be held inthe lobby from 9 AM - noon.

Richmond Named Raleigh County Teacher of the Year


David Richmond’s wife, Tami, and the couple’s kids issued various exclamations Thursday night, moments after Richmond was declared the 2015 Raleigh County Teacher of the Year by Raleigh County Schools spokesman David Traube.
Richmond’s kids Brian, Tyler and Megan responded to the news via text.

“Holy crap,” “We already knew that” and “Oh my gosh” sequentially “popped” onto Tami Richmond’s cell as Richmond, the developer of the Law and Public Safety program at the Academy of Careers and Technology, stepped forward to offer a heartfelt acceptance of his award.

“It’s an honor to represent ACT as teacher of the year,” said Richmond, showing emotion. “It’s overwhelming to represent Raleigh County as Teacher of the Year. “There’s 28 teachers here tonight worthy and deserving of that honor, and I just appreciate being part of that process.” He thanked his administrators, students, the students’ parents and staff for supporting the school. Richmond’s “boss,” ACT Principal Charles Pack, attended the Teacher of the Year banquet, which honored 29 Raleigh County teachers who had represented their schools in the annual Raleigh County Teacher of the Year contest.

Prior to the announcement, Pack had noted that the Teacher of the Year award banquet — a yearly tradition in the county and sponsored by Beckley Area Foundation — had become more “secretive” in recent years. Previously, he’d said, the winning teacher knew who he or she was prior to the dinner. In later years, the event had become more suspense-filled, according to Pack’s statement. A special selection committee chooses six finalists from the 29 teachers and, eventually, they choose the Teacher of the Year from those six finalists. The winning teacher isn’t announced until the banquet, Pack reported.
When Richmond’s name was announced, Pack and Tami Richmond gave celebratory applause. Tami snapped pictures on her cell phone. “I’m not surprised,” Pack said. “He’s a great teacher and does a great job and has for many years. “We expect many more years out of him.”

Seconds after Richmond’s name was called, Tami said she didn’t know how to feel. A few minutes later, though, she said she’d thought, all along, that her husband would be named Teacher of the Year for 2015. “Did I think he would win? Yeah, I thought he would win,” she said. “His students love him too much.”

Richmond received a $1,000 cash prize from the Beckley Area Foundation and a plaque. Each of the remaining five finalists—Victoria McInturff (Beckley-Stratton Middle School), Juliana Huff (Bradley Elementary School), Lisa DellaMea (Crescent Elementary School), Kelly Williams (Daniels Elementary School) and Monica Britt (Trap Hill Middle School) — received $500 cash awards from BAF, which has partnered with Raleigh County Schools to honor the Teacher of the Year for the past 27 years.
Beckley Area Foundation is one of 28 community organizations in the state. The group facilitates development of endowed funds, fund management and grant making and is the area’s largest pool of charitable endowments. The group manages various funds, such as the Ford Family Fund, founded by Raleigh Board of Education Vice-President Larry Ford and his wife, and the EM and Maude Beasley Family Fund, Traube announced.

Raleigh Schools board members, administrators and principals, including Woodrow Wilson High School Principal Ron Cantley and Dr. Bev Weis (Mabscott Elementary School) and Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary Principal Alicia Lett were in attendance.

Teachers showed off their personal styles, from simple black dresses to stylish cowboy boots, as they stepped forward to accept framed certificates for representing their schools.

Traube organized the banquet.

Raleigh Schools Superintendent David Price praised the teachers and thanked administrators for their work in the school system, pointing out that a quarter of the prestigious West Virginia Bucklew Scholarship funds are awarded annually to Raleigh students.
Richmond will compete for the 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year title in Charleston in the future.
Michelle Durham, 2014 Raleigh Teacher of the Year, attended the awards. Independence Middle School students provided musical entertainment.

Richmond Named ACT Teacher of the Year
Congratulations, David Richmond, ACT Teacher of the Year!

David Richmond started the Law and Public Safety program at the Academy ofCareers and Technology and has served as the teacher for the past eight years. He cares about his students and wants them to succeed at every level. He has established a very successful program with very unique aspects. His students participate in a variety of activities including personal fitness, crime scene investigation, and law enforcement scenarios. Mr. Richmond always has a large class due to the popularity of the program and its teacher. Since he has been at ACT, his students have participated every year in statewide competition. His students have placed in the top three every year and several of these students placed first in the state and have represented ACT and Raleigh County in national competition. This is just one piece of evidence that points to a quality program.

Mr. Richmond has proven not only that he is an excellent teacher in the program, but an asset to ACT in many ways. There are few tasks that he is not willing to tackle with just as much enthusiasm as teaching his students. He has been the Faculty Senate President for five years and has led the implementation of the new hiring protocols as the chair of the hiring committee. He is the chair of the safety committee. He has served on the Local School Improvement Committee, been a PLC facilitator and a SkillsUSA student advisor. In each of these roles, he embodies a practical approach to school improvement.

Mr. Richmond, the students, faculty, staff, and administration of the Academy of Career and Technology couldn’t be any prouder of you. You make us all look good!

ACT ALL-STARS Race for the Cure
The ACT ALL-STARS team will be running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Charleston this Saturday, May 2. The 17-member team is composed of ACT staff, their families, and three members of the Raleigh County Board of Education staff. In honor of families, friends, and colleagues who have battled breast and other forms of cancer, the team has raised over $1800 in the fight against breast cancer. To donate to the team, visit http://westvirginia.info-komen.org/goto/wvact

Students Complete at WV SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference
Congratulations to all the students that competed at the WV SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, WV on April 11, 2015. You make us all look good!

Gold Medalists:
Katie DeLuca - Graphic Communications (secondary)
Emily Spencer - Cosmetology (postsecondary)
William Stanley - Collision Repair (postsecondary)
Brityn Stump - Architectural Drafting (secondary)

Silver Medalists:
Scarlett Farley - Job Skill Demonstration A (secondary)
Ethan Lehman - Architectural Drafting (postsecondary)
Tyler Ratliff - Masonry (secondary)

Bronze Medalists:
Brittany Bennett with Brittany Shupe (model) - Nail Tech (postsecondary)
Heather Dove with Savanna Caron (model) - Esthetics (postsecondary)
Joshua Lowe - Automotive Service Technology (postsecondary)
Selena Rash - Technical Drafting (secondary)
Bobby Shawver - Information Services Technology (postsecondary)

Surgical Technologist Program Open House
The Surgical Technologist program is hosting an open house on Thursday, April 2, 2015 from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Students in the program are trained to be surgical technologists who work as part of the surgical team to ensure the operative procedure is conducted under optimal conditions. The Surgical Technologist is responsible for preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases of patient care with minimal direction. The Surgical Technologist normally functions in a sterile capacity, passing instruments, equipment and supplies to the surgeon during the surgical procedure but may also perform many non-sterile duties throughout the work day. Learn more about this exciting program and view the state-of-the-art surgical lab and patient simulator, "Jack." Refreshments will be served.

Pre-Admission Testing for Practical Nursing Program
The Practical Nursing program will be pre-admissions testing Tuesdays during the month of March. If you are interesting in applying for the August 2015 class, please contact the school at 304-256-4615 to find out how to register. The cost of the test is $75.

Community Education Classes Postponed One Week
Due to continuing weather-related issues, the start dates of the spring community education classes have been pushed back one week. Classes will now start the week of March 2.

Cosmetology Open House
The Cosmetology program is hosting an open house on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 from 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Students are available to provide a variety of services including haircuts, manicures, and pedicures. View a complete list of services here. Walk-ins are welcome or call 304-256-4669 to make an appointment. Refreshments will be served. (If school is canceled due to inclement weather, the Open House will be rescheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 2015.)

Spring Community Education Schedule Announced
The schedule for ACT's popular community education program has been released for the Spring semester. Check out the courses, most of which are scheduled to begin in late February. New to the schedule are Beginning Canning and Introduction to CAD.

The Academy of Careers and Technology is also offering ACT Test Prep, starting in January. ACT Math Prep will meet on four consecutive Tuesdays from 4:00 - 6:00 PM beginning January 6, 2015. ACT English Prep will meet on four consecutive Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:30 PM beginning January 8, 2015. The cost of each class is $40 and includes the book. Cost for both classes is $70. The next ACT test date is February 7, 2015. The registration deadline for the February test is January 9. Online registration for the ACT test is available.

Festival of Trees Winners Announced
The fourteenth annual Festival of Trees was a huge success, with more than 800 guests viewing the trees in person during the open house on December 16, 2015. Each person in attendance received a green token to vote for his favorite traditional display and a red token to vote for his or her favorite nontraditional display. A "traditional" display featured a real or artificial tree, while "nontraditional" displays highlighted trees that were constructed or manufactured. This year's winners include:

Best of Show

Traditional Tree
Therapeutic Services, First Place
Phlebotomy, Second Place
Carpentry, Third Place

Nontraditional Tree
Electrical Technology (Night), First Place
Marketing, Second Place
Diesel Equipment Technology, Third Place

Facebook Favorite
Welding, First Place
Medical Assisting (First Year), Second Place
Law & Public Safety, Third Place

Supporters attending the open house were also eligible to win a variety of door prizes at the event. Winners included:
Felicia Treadway, free Community Education class
Donna Lilly, free Community Education class
Joan Anthony, iPad Mini

Virtual Festival of Trees Voting LIVE!
ACT's Virtual Festival of Trees is now LIVE. Visit http://tinyurl.com/actfestival2014 to cast your vote now through 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 18, 2015 (Facebook account required.) Come to the Open House on Tuesday, December 16, 2015 from 5 - 8 PM to view all the beautiful trees in person and vote for your favorite again!

ACT Hosts Annual Festival of Trees

Each year in December, career and technical education students and instructors design, sometimes build, and decorate a tree that represents the occupational area for which they are training. Sometimes “traditional” (live or artificial) trees are used and sometimes “nontraditional” trees are built from scratch. For example, Therapeutic Services has decorated a traditional trees with ornaments, stuffed animals, blankets, and coloring books and crayons from Walt Disney’s Frozen. All the tree items will donated after the Festival Park’s Place at Raleigh General Hospital. The Phlebotomy program’s traditional tree is embellished with vials of “blood” (not really) and hypodermic needles. Carpentry has a pair of trees covered with wooden cutouts of hammers and saws. The Masonry program has built two different trees from block and bricks. Cosmetology’s tree looks like an supersized tube of lipstick  decorated with acrylic nails.

Judges from Raleigh County schools, Concord College, and the Fayette Institute of Technology have viewed the trees and scored them for the Best of Show trophy. People attending the Open House at ACT on Tuesday evening from 5:00 – 8:00 PM will be given tokens to vote for their favorite traditional and nontraditional trees. Winners in these two categories also receive trophies. Finally, ACT is also hoisting a virtual Festival through midnight Thursday, December 18, 2015 on its Facebook page at http://facebook.com/wvact. Winner of the virtual vote will receive the Facebook Favorite award.

The Festival of Trees is free and open to the public on Tuesday, December 16, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Academy of Careers and Technology at 390 Stanaford Road in Beckley. Refreshments will be served and door prizes awarded.

Nov 23 - 27 Thanksgiving Break
Dec 15 Festival of Trees
Dec 23 End First Semester
Dec 24 - Jan 1 Winter break
Jan 4 CONTINUING ED DAY--No students
Jan 5 Classes Resume
Jan 18 MLK DAY
Feb 8 Third Midterm
Mar 10 Third Nine Week Ends
Mar 25 - Apr 1 Spring Break
Apr 20 Fourth Midterm
May 26 End Second Semester

The Academy of Careers and Technology is accredited by the Commision of the Council on Occupational Education:

Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell Road
Building 300, Suite 325
Atlanta, GA 30350

Notice of Nondiscrimination


Academy of Careers and Technology
390 Stanaford RoadBeckley, WV 25801
PHONE 304-256-4615 - FAX 304-256-4674 - EMAIL info@wvact.net

Raleigh County Board of Education - WV Department of Education- School Closings