Thursday, October 29, 2015
Reading, writing, 'rithmetic, and real world skills
Mark, a student in the Heavy Equipment and Construction Management program explains the backhoe exercise.
The career and technical education center at Goochland High School held a community open house on Sunday, October 25. If you missed it, weep.
The CTE program currently offers classes in several areas including: practical nursing; heavy equipment operation; Marine Junior ROTC; and culinary arts.
Students completing studies in these areas are well- equipped to continue their education and have marketable job skills.
Bruce Watson, CTE Director, contended that students who successfully complete the heavy equipment operator program are qualified to hold jobs paying $60,000 out of high school.
Palpable positive energy flowed freely during the open house as students demonstrated their learning paths.
In the practical nursing classrooms, regulation hospital beds are occupied by lifelike training manikins that students use for hands on experience. Another manikin has speakers so students can hear heart sounds as they learn to take blood pressure the old fashioned way with a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer.
Head of the Nursing Aide education faculty, GHS alumnus Dr. Antionique Jones, is a graduate of the VCU School of Nursing, and holds a doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia from the VCU School of Allied Health Professions. Upon successful completion of this CTE course, students are equipped to sit for the national exam for nurse aides and secure employment.
Jones believes that her program also provides students with exposure to a wide range of jobs in the medical field that could lead to satisfying and successful careers. Second year students assist the staff at the Meadows nursing home in Sandy Hook for hands on experience. Still actively employed in the health care field , Jones enjoys combining her professional skill and passion for education.
The Marine Junior ROTC program is also part of the CTE program. Cadets learn and practice important life skills including leadership, organization, personal discipline, and management. Not all marching and physical fitness, the MJROTC course has a cyberwar team that participates in simulated cyber-attacks.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Strong, lead instructor in the Marine JROTC program, said that, in addition to preparing students for military service, the JROTC program makes cadets proficient in areas including personal accountability, organization, and management that enable them to secure team leader jobs.
Food prepared and served by Chef Stephanie Charns’ Culinary Arts students filled the Goochland Tech facility with delicious aromas during the open house. A state of the art commercial kitchen AKA the food lab and a dining room gives students in this program hands on lessons in many facets of food preparation.
Chef Charns acknowledges that not all of her students will pursue food related careers. Students who complete the culinary arts program, however, will know how to work a restaurant food preparation line and always be able to find a job.
Students in the heavy equipment and construction management program helped renovate existing buildings that now how the CTE program.
The heavy equipment “lab” includes welding equipment and industrial ventilation systems. Ditch digging rises to a new level as students must demonstrate their proficiency with backhoe by excavating a straight trench of a certain length and uniform depth to pass the class.
Goochland Tech’s heavy equipment program is only the second to be offered in Virginia.
There are many more components to Goochland’s CTE program. Our high school students sample a wide range of career options and master real world skills so they can hold the jobs that build America. The program is a good investment in the future of our students and country.