Lesson Learned (June 4)

“Health is wealth!” is a lesson learned in the midst of this totally uncharted time of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our Mission of the Upshur County Schools includes providing education for employability. An obvious finding in this time of record unemployment—surpassing past recessions and rivaling the Great Depression—is that our students receiving career technical education at the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center (F.E.T.C.) right here in Buckhannon are faring the best in a dismal job market. Our commercial truck drivers and licensed practical nurses, for example, are probably desperate for a day off of work. A salute to democracy where we the people speak. In the past year, the collective wisdom from our community has been an urging to increase career technical education. Self-evident truth!

“Health is wealth” as a truism comes up against the plague devastation we all face. Here we are in the midst of our first-ever declared national health emergency impacting all 50 states (and 184 countries around the world). The wisdom of Solomon is now required as we continue behavioral measures to contain the virus, while preparing for the eventual reopening of our schools, so our future-oriented students seeking challenging careers can be richly rewarded.

Once again on May 12, 2020, our Administrative Council for the F.E.T.C. met online using Microsoft TEAMS technology. We heard from George Carver, our retiring Upshur County Schools business manager/treasurer, who also oversees our technical center. All bills are being paid. We know wealth is not about the money we have on hand as we close out our school year; it's about the good health of our community. With a return to health, we can anticipate a return to a healthy economy, too.

Teacher Appreciation week was May 4-10. We applauded a stable and dedicated group of teachers at F.E.T.C. providing for careers in:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Carpentry
  • Collison Repair
  • Computer Systems Repair
  • CISCO Networking Academy
  • Cosmetology
  • Diesel Technology
  • Electrical Technology
  • Therapeutic Services
  • Practical Nursing
  • Truck Driving
  • Welding Technology

We completed an annual review for Rebecca Bowers-Call, our very competent Director of the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center.

“Reaching for the Future,” our motto for our career technical education center, looks like a reach too far as we face a scourge like none other we have ever faced. But our staffing team is strong. Our Barbour County, Lewis County, and Upshur County Schools Superintendents and Boards of Education are gung-ho.

American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson first said, “Health is wealth.” American exceptionalism means having the tenacity to keep it true. I am pronouncing F.E.T.C. alive and well!


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