LESSON LEARNED (May 13)


Our Fred W. Eberle Technical Center (FETC) Administrative Council met April 13 for our scheduled meeting. We have much to be grateful for including a successful review audit of our accounting practices by the West Virginia Department of Education. Having a carefully run school helps our students get a great career and technical education. This has been a chaotic year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. I once heard what the appearance of a duck swimming in a pond looks like. It is similar to a well-run school—a quiet appearance above the surface of the water, but webbed feet below the surface beating like crazy. At FETC, we have a calm exterior but much activity behind the scenes.

Recently, our students participated online in skills competition with other students across the state. We did exceptionally well. The winners are:

Cedric Grace - gold medal in Electrical Construction Wiring

Tyler Dunn - silver medal in Electrical Construction Wiring

Natasha Quinn - silver medal in Esthetics

Emily Smith - bronze medal in Cosmetology

Jordan Wills - silver medal in Information Technology Services Postsecondary

Christopher Burkhammer - silver medal in Information Technology Services Secondary

Sean Fitzsimmons - silver medal in Carpentry Postsecondary

Michael Rile - silver medal in Carpentry Secondary

As I observe the students interacting with their teachers, I see superb mentoring occurring. As in learning medical procedures, which I well remember from medical school, the custom is to observe first, perform under supervision, and finally perform alone with the teacher observing. A patient demeanor by the mentor makes all the difference. I see that our teachers want what is best for our students. They offer a reassuring presence. When I walk from class to class, I am struck by how calm each class appears.

We have had too little face-to-face teaching in our regular classrooms, but much more opportunity here at FETC. Director Rebecca Bowers-Call discusses a “summer vocation” in lieu of a “summer vacation” as an extra-mile chance for more skills training to gain full proficiency. She reports school visits allowing future students plenty of opportunity to sign on for next year. And we plan an outdoor graduation to be held at the Barbour County Fairgrounds on May 18, 2021.

Again, I see exquisite awareness that we are making a way where there has been no way for our students to overcome social determinants of limiting health and well-being, particularly overcoming poverty by acquiring career technical education. What motivates the staff at FETC is that personal satisfaction in helping students advance and fulfill their dreams. Success for those serving on the administrative council is wanting what our students want for themselves. On May 18, we will join family and friends saluting a very important milestone.

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