Vocational building gives students chance to pursue career interests
by Hawkins Teague
Dec 06, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Matt Ladd, director of operations for Trigg County Schools, is proud of the district’s vocational school and the classes it offers to the high school students. It’s a locally operated facility that teaches career-based classes that relate a major the students choose.

“Hopefully they’ll get into a field of interest that will prepare them for the real world,” he said.

Although educational institutions of its type aren’t unique, they are still pretty rare, Ladd said. Although he wasn’t positive, he estimated that there were probably between 15 and 25 similar locally operated facilities in Kentucky.

One area of pride is the computer lab where students can learn video editing, commercial Web design and informational technology programs. He said most of the equipment, which is on both Macintosh and PC platforms, was purchased with a grant that teachers Dean Duncan and Lori Ricks applied for.

For teenagers interested in entering into a career in health care, Clara-Beth Hyde’s classes should suit them. Hyde teaches introduction to health occupations, growth and development and a course on death and dying, among others. One of her classes is split into two nine-week periods. The first half teaches students about emergency procedures like CPR and first aid. The other half is a medical math class. It mostly focuses on medical dosages and teaches students how to convert measurements from one medical system to another. There is, of course, the metric system, but there is also the apothecary system and the household system.

Hyde said she is proud of the leadership shown by members of the Trigg County Health Occupations Students of America. She said there are more than 20 members at the high school this year.

Connie Kennedy has a challenging job since she teaches all the freshmen in her computer applications class. She said they work on keyboarding for about three weeks and then students learn more about Microsoft programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and Access. She said they spend about three weeks on each program, although there is less emphasis on Access because Lori Wooton teaches it in her advanced class.

Wooton said she is proud of the 32 students who are in the local chapter of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) this year. Last year, 13 of her students moved on from the regional competition to state. Three of those students got to go to the national competition in Dallas in March. She said the competitions are primarily focused on marketing.

In another area of the building, Faria P’Pool teaches family and consumer sciences, or what used to be known as home economics. She said the class teaches a wide variety of life skills such as what to put on a resume and what to do in a job interview. She said students also learn about consumer laws relating to things like textiles, as well information about zoning laws and business plans.

“It’s not just cooking and sewing,” she said.

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