Lee County students get hands-on training, experience for their future

LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Lee County high school students are getting hands-on training and experience for their future, all under one roof.

The district’s “Career and Technical Center” opened one year ago, and the center is helping students envision their future career paths.

Students in this Health Science class are learning how to check someone’s pulse and they’re doing it on a mannequin named Alex.

The hands-on class is one of nine courses taught at the CTE. Since it opened one year ago, students from Mooreville, Shannon, and Saltillo High schools have come to the CTE for vocational classes.

Before the CTE opened, in THE HIVE Industrial Park, Lee County outsourced its vocational courses, or offer them on a limited basis.

Health Sciences Teacher Charla Creel said the CTE has brought all classes under one roof, with the latest technology.

“We teach them technical skills and also things they will need to know when they get out into the workforce, we even teach them soft skills, communication skills, as well as hands-on,” said Creel.

Student services coordinator Laura Honeycutt said the CTE has been a game changer for students.

“What’s different is all our students have a place to come together with new technologies, businesses, and industries are involved in our center, helping make it a place for students to be prepared for what comes after high school. We are preparing them for college, university, community college, or straight to the workforce,” said Honeycutt.

There are requirements for students to get into CTE, such as attendance, grades, and behavior.

Unmanned Aerial Systems Instructor Noah Bass said students in his class are motivated.

“The kids here, all seem to be doers, we’ve opened a new pathway for students who like to have hands-on, we see that a lot with our students,” said Bass.

Students said they enjoy the challenges in the CTE programs.

“Mrs. Creel has taught us a lot that I didn’t know before and if I do go into nursing school, what she’s taught is very helpful,” said Madie Ellis, a student.

“I’m looking to go into the medical field, but I always thought, I need to know how to cook, so when I didn’t get into health science, culinary was where I needed to be, so, learning to cook,” said Keira Portilla, a student.

The CTE can accommodate about 350 students and classes are so popular, it is expected there will be a waiting list next year for students.

The Career and Technical Center is the first building in “The HIVE”, Lee County’s newest industrial park.

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