From ABCs to CTE

BUCKHANNON — The incoming director of Fred Eberle Technical Center will go from leading a K-5 school to one that teaches 11th grade through adult in a simulated work place.
Rebecca-Bowers Call is leaving her principal’s job at French Creek Elementary to take the director’s position at Fred W. Eberle Technical Center, a move that brings her back into her original career aspirations.
“I started my career in education as a career and technical education teacher,” she said. “I taught marketing and business at B-UHS. Then, I was the director of career and technical education in Barbour County. Career and technical education is where my passion is.”
Fred Eberle Technical Center is a tri-county center that is fed  by 11th- and 12th-grade students from Upshur, Lewis and Barbour counties. It also has adult programs.
“I think they are turning out a great product at Fred Eberle,” she said. “Not only are our students book smart and capable of completing their skills but they also have experience in a simulated work place.”
The state moved to simulated workplaces for career and technical education a couple years ago meaning students clock in and out, experience job interviews, even submit to random drug testing, learning what it takes to be employable, according to Bowers-Call.
“The students are coming out of Fred Eberle with the skills to do the job and the communication abilities and traits employers are looking for,” she added.
Bowers-Call said her official tenure is effective July 1 but due to the timing of the Fourth of July holiday this year, her first days at work may be later.
However, she said she is looking forward to getting started.
“I’m going to be able to spend some time with Dr. Cutright before he leaves so I’m looking forward to that as well,” she said.
In Barbour County, Bowers-Call said she oversaw the career and technical education classes that the high school offers.
“It’s a comprehensive high school,” she said. “They have a separate building for career and technical education and they don’t offer the same programs that Fred Eberle has. When I was there, we had about six different programs that were not offered at Fred Eberle Technical Center.”
As Bowers-Call meets with Cutright and begins making preparations to become director, she said she will be evaluating the current programs.
And even though she has been at the elementary level for a few years, she said she is also looking forward to returning to the higher level.
“I started out as a high school teacher,” she said. “I was familiar with secondary education and I have also taught at the college level so I am looking forward to working there but knowing there will not be as many hugs and high fives as I receive here at French Creek,” she said.
Bowers-Call earned a business degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her Master’s in Education  from Marshall University.
She also received her administration certification through Marshall University.
Superintendent Roy Wager serves on the administrative council for Fred Eberle Technical Center.
He said the council hoped to hire an experienced person with the career and technical education and Bowers-Call met that criteria.
While missing Cutright who retires at the end of this month, Wager said the board is looking forward to Bowers-Call taking over July 1.
“Hopefully she will bring a fresh perspective on what we can offer and how we can expand the programming,” he said.
As for the French Creek Elementary School position, Wager said interviews were conducted last week and a hire was possible at Tuesday night’s regular board of education meeting.

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