Career and Technology Center provides insight into future

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Picayune Career and Technology Center offers high school students an opportunity to learn about a career they might find interesting and possibly make a career of in the future. Students who attend courses at the Career and Technology Center are able to earn a two-year certificate in a potential career-path, such as architectural design and drafting, engineering, sports medicine, accounting, automotive services, early childhood, marketing and health sciences. 

Joaunn Lee, Director of the Picayune Career and Technology Center, said any student who completes a two-year program and has a 90 or better grade point average will be awarded with a full scholarship to Pearl River Community College for any program the college offers. A half scholarship is awarded to any student who has a GPA between 80 and 89.

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Students will soon complete choice cards at the end of January where they will indicate their chosen electives for the next school year.

“We ask that parents be aware of what our center has to offer and talk with their child about career goals and how our programs can help with these goals,” Lee said.

Angela Hawthorne, instructor of the accounting program, teaches students the basic concepts of the career field and gives the students an overview of what they might expect to be taught if they enroll in a college course.

Logan Dorn, a Picayune Memorial High School student, said the accounting class helped him develop an interest in the field and he now hopes to be an accountant in the future. Jahkee Harr  also took the course and said he plans to become a finance officer.

Hayley Wells is the health sciences instructor at the center. She said students in the first-year course learn basic body functions, body systems and infection control while second-year students get an opportunity to be more hands-on. Second year students in the program learn how to take a person’s blood pressure and also shadow staff at hospitals, dental offices, pediatric offices and veterinary offices.

Anna Turnage is in charge of the center’s accounting program. She said students in her class learn about every day life-skills such as how to write a resume, how to balance a checkbook and how to look for a job. Students in her program also man the school store where they learn skills such as customer service, counting money by hand, and communication.

Leo Raverty is the automotive program instructor and his goal is to teach students how everything in a vehicle works. Students in the program learn skills such as changing brakes, rebuilding an engine and how the electrical system in a car is set up.

Meanwhile, students in Jason Childs’ architecture and drafting class learn about drafting house plans on a board and on a computer.

Childs said students in his second-year class complete between seven and eight house plans.

Students interested in a healthcare career may decide to take the sports medicine program taught by Chris Griffith. The class teaches students how to treat sports injuries, prevent injuries, tape and ice an injury and most importantly how to help athletes return to the playing field as soon as possible.

Giglio teaches an engineering class where students learn how to use a 3-D printer, laser engraver and about robotics. Student Kolby Bach said what he learned in Giglio’s classroom helped him decide to either become a computer or software engineer later in life.

Last but not least, Sandra Spanks is the early childhood education instructor and the course provides hands-on experience to students interested in the early childhood education field.

At the Career and Technology Center, students are also able to receive academic support from Shelley Douglas, who is in charge of student support services. Douglas said her goal is to provide students with the help they need in order to be successful later on in life.

“The focus of our Career and Technology Center is to offer Picayune Memorial High School students the opportunity to learn program career related objectives and skills to help prepare them for the transition to either college or the workforce,” Lee said.