CTE students find job opportunity built into their school day

PHOTO PROVIDED Pictured, from left, are Nate Welch, Emily Smith, Katelyn Kinley, and Blaze McClements.

At the high school, there are many students who take advantage of the Career and Technical Education programs. Some advanced CTE students have the unique opportunity to work as an intern or apprentice in their respective programs. By taking classes themselves, then using what they learned to help first level students and to complete various tasks, for these students, going to school and having a job become one.

Chance Bower (welding), Sofie Howard (culinary), Katelyn Kinley (construction trades), Nathan Welch (construction trades), Emma Mercer (commercial art), John Snell (automotive) and Melinda Shipman (business administration), all spend part of their day working at the high school. Taylor Mazzullo and Paige Bashnick travel to Curtin and Jackson respectively.

Sofie Howard works in the kitchen lab several periods each day. She spends some of her time cleaning and sanitizing the equipment at the end of the day. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Sofie does prep work for Cafe service for the following day. Some weeks she prepares parts of the meal ahead of time. “Each upper level class is responsible for a getting all of the ingredients for one station prepped, but sometimes there is carry over that I work on. Other times there is something I can make ahead of time like a dessert, or if we are serving a salad that week, I can make the salad dressing in advance,” she explained. Sofie also helps design the Cafe’s weekly menus on occasion.

Chance Bower spends two periods a day helping Mr. Gephart with level one students. “I fell in love with welding day one,” Bower explained. “I am hands-on type guy, just like my dad.” “It’s a huge benefit to have Chance help with students. It allows us more time to teach the skills in level one,” Mr. Gephart explained. And for Chance and the kids like him, it is a great opportunity for them to take on more responsibility and leadership,” he added. Chance plans to attend Penn College after graduating and hopes to work as a rig welder on the pipelines.

Melinda Shipman spends part of her day in her own office at the high school. She helps maintain the athletic department’s website and performs tasks that help prepare her for a job in business administration. Melinda feels the job has taught her a lot about good communication skills. Emma Mercer spends two periods a day in the printing lab. “I create products like business cards and brochures, for example, and then print the required amount for each order,” Mercer explained.

Katelyn Kinley and Nate Welch spend sixth and seventh period helping level one students with lessons and projects. “We teach them about safety, how to use the tools, and give them extra help after Mr. Williamson does the lesson,” Katelyn explained. She added, “It’s really interesting to see the classroom from this perspective. Before, I just focused on my work but now I can look around and see if someone understands [the concept] or when a kid needs help.” “You can definitely see the younger students going through the same struggles we did,” said Nate Welch. “You can really see how much we have learned,” Welch also said of his experiences working with level one students.

This was created

by Billtown Banner students

at Williamsport Area

High School