Middle, elementary school students check out Washington County Technical High School

April 04, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Junior Alex Corapi talks with Bester Elementary 4th-graders during their visit to the Washington County Technical High School on Thursday.
Yvette May, Staff Photographer

Washington County Technical High School teacher David Long spoke Thursday morning to middle and elementary school students about potential careers involving computers.

“Can you name any job that does not use a computer or the Internet?” Long asked the students. “Even today, I see farmers using cellphones.”

Long, who teaches computer repair and networking, told students they will use computers in any job they hold.

The computer repair and networking program was one of 17 programs that students from four middle schools and one elementary school in the county toured on the visit to Tech High.

Students had a chance to check out a variety of courses involving computers, medicine, carpentry and cooking with an eye toward possible career paths. They learned about dissection in biomedical sciences, the importance of monitoring their social media accounts, and the need for good grades and good attendance to get into Tech High.

Smithsburg Middle School, Boonsboro Middle School, Springfield Middle School, Western Heights Middle School and Bester Elementary School had groups at Tech High, said Crystal Knodle, recruitment coordinator for the school.


Kayla Ocana, 15, of Smithsburg Middle School, said she was mostly interested in the biomedical sciences program.

“I want to be a nurse, and I liked the hands-on activity,” she said of the program. “Dissecting things will help me learn things.”

Bester Elementary School fourth-grader Anthony Williams, 10, said he was most interested in the computer game development and animation program.

“I liked how I actually got to play the games on the computer,” Williams said.

Western Heights Middle School brought some at-risk students to the school so they could “see another side of education,” said Eric Rollins, student intervention specialist at the school.

Rollins said it was important for the students to see forms of education going beyond math and English and he could tell that many of the students were interested in the programs they visited.

Tech High Principal Jeff Stouffer told the students about how competitive the school is, mentioning that for the upcoming year, 153 students applied for the criminal justice program, with only 30 being accepted. He asked them if they already had ideas for their future.

“It’s just fascinating to see a 9-year-old or a 14-year-old say, ‘I want to be a carpenter’ or ‘I want to be a doctor’ at a young age,” Stouffer said. “A lot of them carry forth and come here and do well.”

Teachers in each of the programs and Tech High students shared with the youngsters what they could experience in their respective programs. Tech High students led the tours.

Stephanie Gonzalez, a junior in the school’s biomedical sciences program and one of the tour guides, said she took the same tour when she was in middle school.

“The tour helped me branch out into a different occupation that I thought was interesting,” said Gonzalez, 17. “I told the younger students what the different focuses were for each area.”

Tour guide Sarah Jones, 16, a junior in the health occupations program, said students appeared to take a lot of interest in criminal justice, health occupations and biomedical sciences.

“Students at that age have different career options and should start thinking about what they want to do,” she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles