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Future JCHS students tour vocational center

Local sixth-grade students recently were given the opportunity to discover for themselves what Johnson County Vocational Center has to offer. With their eyes toward the future, these young students had the chance to witness high school students in action, learning in an environment outside the traditional classroom setting.
This is the third year that behavior specialist, Sherree Schmees, has taken the sixth graders from each of the elementary schools on a field trip that lets them explore educational possibilities they may have never considered. Schmees shared that she hopes the field trip will help the students see their potential and “to think outside the box.” The visit to the Vocational Center, also known was Johnson County Career and Technical Center, allows the students to see for themselves what opportunities are available for them. The hope is that the students see beyond what traditional education offers and realize they may have an interest in reaching their fullest potential with the opportunities available at the Vocational Center. Skills they learn in this setting takes students beyond the academia to the development of skills that can be put into practical use each day. Schmees is hopeful that the students will see that there are many different doors that can open for them. These students were exposed to the many selections in courses the Vocational Center offers.
During the tour of each arena of learning at the Vocational Center, the students watched as one of the teachers in the automotive mechanic section started up a race car. “The kids went crazy,” said Schmees. One of the Vocational Center students took the fenders off the car and showed the sixth graders how they compete in various competitions. The students were able to talk to high school members of the Future Farmers of America as these students shared their experiences with state fairs and their travel throughout various states. “These are opportunities kids don’t know about,” said Schmees. The students were able to observe the high school students as they cleaned and filleted the tilapia grown at the Vocational Center and prepared it for market.
Aisia Robbins was one of the students from Mountain City Elementary School who visited Johnson County Vocational Center. Robbins was impressed with the students who worked with young children. “I liked the daycare center,” Robbins said. As she likes to cook, the culinary arts class quickly drew her attention. She is considering taking some classes at the vocational center when she enters high school.
Johnson County Vocational Center’s mission statement is as follows: “ The vision/mission of Johnson County Career and Technical Center is to promote excellence in academic, career and technical studies in order to prepare students to enter and remain competitive in a global workforce.” The career and technical center provides a gamut of educational opportunities for students. They strive to provide classes that offer their students an environment where they can learn skills leading to high wages in career fields that are in high demand. The goal of the Johnson County Vocational Center is to help the students develop critical thinking skills, working towards their highest potential, along with developing problem-solving skills and qualities necessary to become good employees, all while working towards the development of skills that will stay with them a lifetime.
Johnson County Vocation Center offers classes in the fields of agriculture, automotive, business, computers, construction, culinary, family and health science, and marketing. This article is part one of a two-part series, and next week’s newspaper will delve into the particulars of each area of study.