5The Mineral County School District announced the first two graduates of the Career Technical Education Program, which has been offered to high school students for over four years. Skylar Tweedy and Romey Hickman were proudly presented their completion certificates from Dennis Samulewski, CTE Administrator for the school district.

Rose Lang was the first teacher to have her student’s complete the CTE program, but she is regretfully retiring and leaving Hawthorne. She took on the program and initiated it well, so she will be missed. Samulewski explained, “In high school, our students have the opportunity to work on a career before graduating. Many of our students need to take advantage of the currently offered five areas of career preparation. They are given a certification, which gives them an additional diploma once graduating. They are prepared to enter the workforce while continuing to work their way through college if they wish. Should they decide to enter the workforce directly, they are already far ahead of their competing students to take on quality jobs with a better than average entry wage. Technical schools are one way to achieve a career which can lead into many other successful areas in life.”

The current programs being offered through the Mineral County School District are administrative services, which is a three year, office and software based curriculum. Construction technology concentrates on trends, state requirements, electrical, concrete, plumbing, framing and three levels of safety, tools and the OCHA standards. Graphic design goes far beyond logos and basic design, taking the student into the areas of Internet and corporate design, portfolios, construction related composition and initiation of custom work. Food and nutrition prepares for the food industry, whether within a regular commercial setting or massive preparation as in hospitals. Family and consumer science encompass the parenting and development classes, sewing and basic skills needed to maintain a living.

A community liaison assists in the programing which includes internship for work credits of 60 hours. There is an employee skills test and trade requirements to follow before graduating, but it is well worth the results once completed.

“These students are not equal to the average worker coming out of high school,” Samulewski shared. “They have immersed themselves in the proper education to rise above the competition. They know how to interview, how to choose employers by compatibility, how to research and apply for the jobs they want and go to the companies seeking their skill set. The program is beginning to take hold and has the endorsement of our school leaders and counselor, John Gavin. The State of Nevada administrates the program but it has national funding. The Junior High School students have also expressed an interest in becoming involved at an earlier age, which is being reviewed. Also on the review table is the possibility of a nursing program with the assistance of the local hospital. Transitioning students into this mindset of “education toward a career” is giving them an excellent launching pad. It can only create good things for this community’s future.”