Hopewell celebrates Career and Technical Education

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has named February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, and Hopewell High School this week honors its CTE teachers and students.

According to Instructional Coordinator Julie Gayheart, there are 630 students taking part in an array of Career and Technical Education courses and organizations at Hopewell, including marketing, business, accounting, hospitality, engineering, health sciences, family and consumer science and entrepreneurship.

The courses do more than just teach in the classroom. Students take on projects that can range from setting up a summer lawn service business to observing health professionals at nursing homes and Carolinas Medical Center.

“These are real world scenarios,” Gayheart said.

In addition to courses, Hopewell students participate in CTE clubs, such as Distributive Education Clubs of America, Future Business Leaders of America and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America.

“I chose FCCLA because of its community service,” senior Melissa Haines said. She is state FCCLA District 6 vice president.

Like Haines, Hopewell students are drawn to the programs for a wide variety of reasons. Connor Doten is vice president of Hopewell’s FBLA club and said his involvement opened his eyes to the business environment.

“I think everyone needs to understand how business works on a real world level,” Doten said.

According to Gayheart, the 2012-13 school year will bring an Academy of Hospitality and Tourism to Hopewell, expanding its CTE program at what seems to be perfect timing. The Academy will likely be in the thick of the action when the 2012 Democratic National Convention comes to Charlotte.

“We hope to be involved,” Gayheart said. “If that doesn’t prove why we need the Hospitality and Tourism Academy I don’t know what does.”

Overall, the CTE programs at Hopewell High are attracting a number  of students embarking on a variety of career paths and serving their school and the community.

– Alan Hodge

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