Surry County Schools this week recognized the efforts of students during Career Technology Education Month with prize patrols at all three high schools for a second year.
Members of the Board of Education, School Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves and Assistant Superintendents Dr. Terry Mosley and Charles Graham went to classrooms and congratulated students on certifications and awards earned.
According to information from Director of Educational Curriculum and Instruction Jill Reinhardt, more than 650 awards or certifications were earned in the 2011-2012 year. Adding those graduating, the total comes to 844 from spring 2012 until fall 2012.
Certifications and awards included CNA, CPR, basic financial training (EverFi), National Certification Construction Education Research (NCCER), First Aid Certification, food service or ServSafe training, Vision Screening Certification, as well as specialist credentials in Microsoft Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Word 2010. Students also placed first in a variety of state contests including the State Cattle Working, tractor driving and forestry contests, as well first place in the Future Business Leaders of America Job Interview competition.
East Surry student Briana Atwell represents many students who earned certification in personal finance.
“I was interested in taking it (EverFi) because it teaches you about banking and how to get through life,” said Atwell. “I wanted to know what not to do for instance, when buying a home.”
Others used CTE certification and awards opportunities to give them an advantage when they will be begin their undergraduate training.
“It’s a head start to the career I want to be in,” explained junior Katie Hooker who took the vision screening certification course, which is a new offering in the district this year. “I’m counting on this looking good to the colleges and universities I will apply to. I also wanted to help students at local elementary schools with their vision.”
Classmate Gisela Carrreon said she wants to be a pediatrician and also will use certification to improve her chances of being admitted to a university or college. She said she got certificate honors through HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and enjoyed doing vision screenings at Westfield and Pilot Elementary schools.
“This (the prize patrol) is great for us to get a chance to recognize students in front of their peers for their achievements,” said Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe. “It’s positive and gets their classmates thinking they could do the same thing as well.”
East Surry Sophomore Ben Martin appeared surprised when he was recognized in the classroom for earning certification in EverFi.
“I didn’t even know I’d be getting rewarded,” said Martin. “EverFi is a business course that teaches you how to manage your money. It helped me know more about insurance and it has helped me better manage the business aspects of life.”
East Surry Principal Diane Beane later praised the students in the cafeteria who were honored with a reception featuring punch and cookies.
“Being here means you have really done something great,” said Beane. “This is an accomplishment to be proud of and we are proud of the work you do.”
School Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves told the group the awards and certificates they had earned would make them “more marketable in today’s world.”
“Get involved as much as you can to learn,” said Reeves. “I applaud you for going above and beyond your peers. You want to get into the college of your first choice. It takes extra work to get these certificates. You want an edge. Continue to work hard and spread the word about the benefits.”
Board of Education member Sue Stone told the group a bill has been sent to the governor for consideration about making more Career Technology Education options available with the possibility of graduates earning a special seal on their diplomas for career readiness.
Each reception at the high schools concluded with schools Director of CTE Instruction Jill Reinhardt encouraging students to go back and thank their CTE teachers.
Surry Central Senior Samantha Wallace, who earned four certifications in a variety of Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Access programs said she took a course for Excel and became interested in the other applications. She said she plans on majoring in art and minoring in computer science and would like to be a graphic designer.
“I can take these courses and I don’t have to pay anything for them while I am in high school,” said Wallace. “Knowing this stuff helps in other jobs as well.”
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.