The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 20, 2012

A-Tech students showcase their talents to community during December visits

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — In December, students and community members alike were welcomed to the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center campus in Jefferson to participate in sophomore visitation and the annual holiday dinner.

Sophomore visitation gives students from area schools the opportunity to visit the campus and see three of the technical programs that are of interest to them. Even though most county students know that A-Tech exists, few have had the chance to see what types of programs are offered or what actually happens during a normal school day.

A-Tech students typically spend half of their day in academic classes such as math, science, English and social studies, and then spend the other half of their day learning and working within the technical field of the lab they attend. Schools which participate in A-Tech programs include Lakeside, Geneva, Pymatuning Valley, Grand Valley, Howland, Jefferson, Conneaut, Edgewood, St. John and Ledgemont high schools.

Each year, 10th-grade students from all of the participating schools have the opportunity to visit and get a feel for the campus and get an up-close view of some of the work A-tech students do on a daily basis.

An interesting aspect of the visitations is that while program instructors introduce their programs and are present throughout the visitation the entire day, students do most of the work explaining the programs and demonstrating the work done in the lab setting.

A-Tech principal Jon Whipple said that he was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the students and staff with their demonstrations.

“They did a great job keeping everything going smoothly and organized. The visitors have had a positive experience and I was very impressed with the behavior and attendance of the sophomores. Overall it went well and I think the visitors had a great experience,” Mr. Whipple said.

A-Tech offers 27 different technical and career-based programs serving more than 1,300 students. Makeup visits are available for sophomore students who are interested in attending A-Tech, but did not get a chance to see the lab class they are most interested in during their school’s recent visit.

The community was also invited to attend A-Tech’s holiday dinner on Dec. 6. An annual event, the holiday dinner set a record this year with more than 970 attendees. The culinary arts program was the main attraction, and not only provided the wonderful meal, but also had a bake sale featuring all types of cookies, brownies, cakes and other confections. Every last item sold out this year. The horticulture program was also well represented with their seasonal offerings of poinsettias and wreaths created by students in the program.

The dinner is staffed by students, support staff, administrators and instructors from all across the A-Tech campus. It is a great opportunity for the community to create a holiday tradition, but it also enables the entire staff of A-Tech to build camaraderie and have some fun together outside of the normal school day.