Skills classes give Onslow Co. students hands-on education

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–Students across the East are getting a hands-on education that will carry over into their future careers.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes are offered at all high schools in Onslow County. The classes allow students to obtain certifications and education that can be used right after high school.

“CTE allows a student to see where they’re going to go in the world,” said White Oak High School teacher Marshall Smith. “Whether it’s a foods class, or a carpentry class or a masonry class, those are the things that kids are going to have to go out and do in the real world.”

Smith teaches “Project Lead the Way” classes at White Oak High. The classes teach students college level engineering.

“I do love math and science and was considering going into engineering,” junior Jade Sweeney, who’s in the class, said. “This is something that will help me understand better when I get into college.”

Students are able to use what they learn in CTE classes to further their interests outside of school.

“Instead of it just being like a math class where you only learn stuff or a science class where you just learn facts, it applies those processes into skills that are practical in the workplace and that would be useful,” Scott Siler, junior at White Oak High School, said.

Other examples of classes offered throughout the county include woodworking, EMT certifications, robotics, and culinary arts.

Sophomore Zaccahaeus Sharpless is in the Foods class at Dixon High School. He says the class puts a whole new spin on what it means to cook.

“It’s not as easy as people think,” Sharpless said. “This helped me so much and without the class, I don’t think I’d have as much experience.” His goal is to one day open his own restaurant.

Students in the CTE classes will compete this Saturday during Trades Day. Students from Onslow and Jones counties will showcase their skills.

Students have been preparing all week for the competition. “I did a practice run this morning with some chicken and roasted vegetables,” Dixon High senior, Rhiannon Schmidt, said. “So I’m thinking along those lines. Maybe marinate the chicken before I roast it.”

The event runs from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at Coastal Carolina Community College.

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