Duplin Co. Schools celebrate 100th anniversary of CTE classes

BEULAVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–Students across the East are getting a hands-on education that will carry over into their future careers. East Duplin High School is one of the schools in our area offering Career and Technical Education classes, also known as CTE classes.

Career and Technical Education is important to helping students succeed after school. “It’s important to hit on what kids are interested in and lead them toward what they’re going to be doing when they leave here,” Corey Keffer, a technology, engineering and design teacher at East Duplin High, said.

Today is the 100th anniversary of those classes in the state. At East Duplin High, students are involved in a variety of classes; like health sciences, where students learn CPR skills and the parts of a heart, and aquaponics, or farming using water.

Students in agriculture classes at the school are using aquaponics to grow a variety of house plants and tulips.

“We’re about to stock the tank with fish,” eleventh-grader Jordan Brock said. “The fish will supply the nutrients up into the water to the plants and help them grow.”

The aquaponics tank being used to grow a variety of plants.
The aquaponics tank being used to grow a variety of plants.

Duplin County Schools offers CTE courses in ten of sixteen schools in areas like business, health sciences, and trade/industrial education.

Students in Keffer’s class are creating robotics from scratch, and are using trial and error to get them to work. Students say it’s harder than it looks.

“There are certain steps you have to do to get that program to work,” Cristo Campos, an 11th grader, said. “And if one little step is out of range then the whole thing falls apart.”

Students say having the ability to take these classes is beneficial for their future careers.

“Agriculture is in my family,” Brock said. “We have hog farms, and we’re about to build more chicken houses. It’s always something I’ve been interested in, and it’s really cool to see how plants can grow without the soil.”

And of course, CTE courses have expanded and changed with the times since their inception. The county has CTE classes in all of its middle schools and says it’s committed to making sure these programs stick around.

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