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New director appointed for career center

October 29, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Carlisle, Pa., educator has been named the next director of the Franklin County Career and Technology Center.

James T. Duffey will succeed Dalton Paul, who plans to retire in January from the post he held for more than 27 years.

Duffey was unanimously selected by the nine-member Joint Operating Committee Thursday.

"I called him Friday to let him know and told him he was welcome to start coming in any time he wants to," Paul said.

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Duffey, 39, is the director of Careers and Technology for the Carlisle Area School District. He lives in Shippensburg, Pa.

Duffey said he became familiar with the technology center when he served on its Cooperative Education Advisory Committee while employed at JLG Industries.

"I need to get in there and get my feet wet and learn a little more," he said. "The first thing I want to do is talk to the staff and see what they might feel would result in positive change, and talk to students and local businesses to see that student interest matches labor demands."

Prior to working in Carlisle, Duffey spent six years in Fulton County schools as the School-to-Work Coordinator and later as the Director of Vocational Education for Fulton County's three school districts.

He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Shippensburg University and a master's degree in workforce education and development vocational leadership from Penn State University.

Paul said Duffey will begin at the career and technology center Jan. 6 and they will work in tandem until his final day Jan. 17.

"For two weeks we will work together as a team. I will offer some insights on how the school has been operating, future challenges and answer questions," Paul said.

The Joint Operating Committee, which includes one superintendent from the six Franklin County school districts that send students to the school as well as area business leaders and farmers, narrowed the applicants down to four and chose Duffey as their top choice.

Duffey said he wants to become a familiar face in each school district.

"We need to do a little marketing with the home schools, and I hope to be in the home schools so kids get to know my face," he said.

Duffey will have three major challenges to tackle after taking over the helm, Paul said.

For more than a year the six school districts have debated whether to begin a new delivery system at the career and technology center. Currently students attend on a semester basis, but some districts favor a multiple-delivery system that would allow students to attend on a half-day basis.

There is also some discontent in the center's funding procedure that was outlined in 1967, and the districts might have to come to a new agreement.

A final challenge will be increasing enrollment in some program areas that have declined while there remains a high level of employer interest, Paul said.

Duffey said he is aware of the challenges and knows he has big shoes to fill.

"Following Dalton Paul after all of these years, I'm following some big footsteps," Duffey said. "I feel the Franklin County Career and Technology Center has been a model school over the years through his leadership, and I hope I can continue the progress he has made."

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