The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

May 24, 2012

'Dynamic duo' make things happen at A-Tech

McQuoid, Carlson tend to details that ensure success of the many school activities

JEFFERSON — Thirty-seven years ago, the “family” here at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus gained a valuable member. In 1975, Gilda McQuoid began her career at Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School (as A-Tech was formerly known), teaching the Diversified Health Occupations program, now known as the Health Care Technologies program.

From 1975 to 2007, Mrs. McQuoid taught the Diversified Health Occupations program and managed the program’s transition to the current Health Care Technologies program. At some point during that period, she took on the additional task of preparing the school’s senior awards ceremony.

One thing led to another, and for the last 20 years, Mrs. McQuoid has been finding and auditioning the student speakers for the ceremony, and has also been meeting with every department throughout the school. These departments include various A-Tech programs, such as: health care technology, building and grounds, graphic communications, auto collision, welding, horticulture and the Student Ambassadors program. In order to make sure that everything is ready for the graduation ceremony, Mrs. McQuoid meets with program coordinators who assist with decorations, setting up chairs, flower arrangements, the creation of plant hangers, covers for event programs, repainting of plant stands and junior ushers. Once this is completed, she must then order the senior gifts as well as the balloon art. Her creative touch makes the school’s final event of the year a memorable one for its graduating seniors.

In 2007, Mrs. McQuoid became the school’s instructional coordinator. She says that all the things she is entrusted to perform couldn’t be done without the help of administrative assistant Shirley Carlson. Mrs. Carlson has worked at A-Tech for 15 years, and these two extraordinary women are in charge of more activities than many will ever realize. Mrs. Carlson is also in charge of many aspects of the senior awards ceremony, including ordering plaques, creating tickets and ordering and putting together the seniors’ career passports. Throughout the rest of the year, Mrs. Carlson is hard at work ordering student supplies, keeping track of students’ fees and pay plans, issuing work permits, creating monthly statements, sending out the senior awards information, reserving hotels for the school’s organizational field trips, and dealing with almost every aspect of A-Tech that can be handled online.

On the other side of the office, Mrs. McQuoid is always hard at work making sure that everything is being taken care of on schedule. In addition to the extremely important year-end tasks, she also takes care of other special events throughout the year. She makes sure that all of the dues for the Career Technical Student Organization are paid, and she is also in charge of arranging field trips, handling the registration, creating the certificates and recommending fund-raising for the school’s various clubs.

One of her closest friends on the staff, cosmetology instructor Judy Divine, said, “She initiated the canned food drive, the Spirit Chain competition, and the good, old, pie- in the face fund-raisers.” Mrs. Divine says she does it because “she believes in helping people.”

A-Tech principal Jon Whipple, who has worked with Mrs. McQuoid for 34 years, said, “There probably isn’t anyone who has been more devoted and dedicated to the mission of the school than her. She always puts students first.”

Mrs. McQuoid oversees many other activities including the perfect attendance ice cream social and certificates, student of the month applications, pins, and certificates, and making sure that each class earns an average 10 hours per student in community service. Mrs. McQuoid also sets up the arrangements for A-Tech’s semi-annual Red Cross blood drive, as well as the fall volleyball and spring softball tournaments.

One highlight of the school year is also assigned to her. The student lip synch/talent show requires her to send out applications, read the lyrics to each student’s song, screen each act, and run the dress rehearsal. Her attention to detail always makes this one of the days students recall years later. 

She is also in the process of organizing the Senior Farewell and the junior picnic for those with clean discipline and perfect attendance, creating the final LINKS class, and preparing the senior award assembly and senior awards night practice.

Mr. Whipple praised her dedication to the school’s youth clubs. In his estimation, she has been the single biggest influence on student success in youth clubs. For the SkillsUSA organization, Mrs. McQuoid helps coach A-Tech’s Opening and Closing team which, thanks to her generous help, will be competing in national competition this year.

SkillsUSA participation here at A-Tech blossomed under Mrs. McQuoid’s leadership.

“She was the one person who made VICA (a precursor to SkillsUSA) a reality here at A-Tech,” Mrs. Divine said.

Last year, the SkillsUSA organization honored Mrs. McQuoid by presenting her with the “Outstanding Educator of the Year” award, and she says that this is one of her best A-Tech memories.

School librarian Karen Uspenski summed up her colleague by saying, “I have a great deal of admiration and love for Mrs. McQuoid. She is the ultimate education professional.”

Mrs. McQuoid said, “I love my job here. I like the people I work for. I think the people I work for have a main objective, which is the students. That’s why I like working here.”

The staff and students at A-Tech would like to thank Mrs. McQuoid and Mrs. Carlson, for all of the hard work they do on a daily basis. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.

 

1
Text Only
School Columnists
  • Grand River Academy reporter GRA graduates offered thousands of dollars in college scholarships

    With the class of 2014’s graduation on May 24, seniors at Grand River Academy celebrated a 100 percent college acceptance rate. Students from many different backgrounds have had a year full of college applications, standardized testing, and periods filled with anxious waiting for college and university acceptances. Some may have applied to as few as two schools, others applied to as many as 16. Ranges of colleges include small liberal arts schools to large state schools, highly ranked universities to community colleges. While students may choose different paths to reach their goals, all have the opportunity to begin that path by attending college.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeside High School reporters Lakeside fund-raiser for cancer research has personal impact on those who have loved ones with the disease

    Every color of the rainbow was seen at Lakeside High School this month. The first Lakeside Loop, “Color for Cancer” took place on May 9 in honor of many special causes. Students could be seen racing around the campus, covered in various shades of powdered paint. Each participant possessed a personal story regarding his decision to take part in the event.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jefferson High School reporters Jefferson High School students join with elementary classes for Friendship Walk activities to teach healthy eating, fitness

    The second week of May marks Wellness Week for the elementary schools of Jefferson Area School District. For an entire week the elementary students put a special focus on eating healthy and getting active during the school day. The students participated in a plethora of events including walks to the high school football stadium, games and outdoor activities, and listening to speakers from the Ashtabula County Health Department, as well as a physical therapist, on nutrition and taking care of the body. To make this week even more fun, district nurse Peggy Savarese, along with the faculty of Jefferson high school and Jefferson elementary school worked together to plan an event called the Friendship Walk.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • A-Tech A-Tech students learn practical tips on managing their personal finances

    The Social Studies Department at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus held their annual “Personal Finance Week” May 5 through 9. The week is designed to give students real-world experience in finance including their credit reports and credit score, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts and retirement savings, purchasing an automobile and obtaining a loan, the advantages and disadvantages of renting and buying a home, and obtaining a mortgage loan.

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pymatuning Valley High School Academic Boosters host breakfast for PV honors students

    Principal Dan Jackson in accordance with the Pymatuning Valley Academic Boosters hosted an annual Principal’s Breakfast to honor high academic achievement. Qualifications include being on the honor roll for the first three nine weeks, which means students must have a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average. Students must also have at least a 95 percent attendance record along with maintaining a clean discipline record. Students who meet the requirements then receive an invitation for both themselves and their parents in the mail.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. John School St. John seniors enjoying final days of high school

    Senior year is such a bittersweet time in one’s life. It is a huge milestone as well as a great accomplishment. There are so many things going on. As the end of the year is rapidly coming to a close, it is finally becoming surreal. The last month at school at St. John is all about the seniors.

    May 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Geneva High School Save lives by donating blood at GHS drive

    Geneva High School is giving its students and the community a chance to make a difference by giving blood today. Every two seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion, and just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Geneva High School’s blood drives have earned it second place out of the high schools in northern Ohio for donations. This year, adviser Jessica George hopes to finally beat Sandusky High School, which has been number one for the past 10 years.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edgewood Senior High School Edgewood introduces new STEM program

    Edgewood Senior High School conducted its first ever STEM Fest on Wednesday in the Edgewood cafeteria. This “science-fair” based activity was held to introduce the new academy program that will be in effect next year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The science and math departments conducted projects and experiments to take part in the fest.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand Valley High School reporters State-mandated evaluations a new way for teachers to set goals, review their students' progress

    Among the several other new additions to the Grand Valley High School this year are the Student Learning Objectives, otherwise known as SLOs. Student Learning Objectives are state-mandated evaluations to determine the proficiency with which students learn the material of the course. Essentially, they are goals teachers set for their students, and at the end of the school year, they reflect how well each teacher accomplished these goals.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Conneaut High School reporters Conneaut National Honor Society members celebrate spring with trip to the 'windy city'

    On April 25 Conneaut High School National Honor Society students ventured to Chicago. The trip was organized by NHS adviser Emily Wacker. Students returned home early in the morning on April 28. Despite the students being exhausted from the trip, they enjoyed many unique activities. Those who were not afraid of heights rode the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier and saw a spectacular view of Chicago from high in the sky. The John Hancock Observatory also provided one of the best views of Chicago and its skyline. A boat ride on Lake Michigan was also a highlight of the tour.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video