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Community involvement adds value to career and technical education

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Patterson SkillsUSA_Cut


Career and technical education classes at Coffee County High School would be less successful without the continued support of the community.  Each area has an advisory board of business leaders that offer assistance with the programs throughout the year.  These advisory board members are gathered each April in an effort to thank them for their contributions and to inform them about any upcoming changes to the programs.  The members are treated to a dinner prepared by the culinary arts program and later adjourn for their program meetings.

The Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Board have shown tremendous support for the programs encompassing manufacturing and technology and allowed the school to expand their program offerings in the upcoming school year.  Two senior manufacturing students also received scholarships from the chamber for furtherance of their education.  Storm Bruner will be attending a Tennessee College of Applied Technology, while Matt Watts will be attending Tennessee Technology University.

Arnold Air Force Base also contributes a great deal to these programs by providing support through its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.  AEDC’s Michael Glennon gave a presentation on the benefits of STEM education that was made available to all career and technical students in the school.  Glennon focused on the skills and training necessary to achieve a position in this field, as well as, informing students about current technology in use.

Other community members have also helped in various program areas, such as culinary arts.  Chef Mike Osborne from the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center hosts students from the culinary department in order to provide them with hands on experiences and also gives demonstrations in the classes of specific skills. Dietician Lois Thormaehlen shared valuable experiences from her career. She provided a demonstration on the importance of health, safety and food nutrition for these classes.

The Manchester City Police Department also contributes regularly to the criminal justice program at the high school.  Officers volunteer to evaluate students on skills involving law enforcement and forensic science.  These officers also instruct students on health and safety issues that deal with law enforcement and other careers.  Officer Chris Patterson of the city police department and Mark McClure of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department volunteered their time to serve as judges at the SkillsUSA State Conference at Chattanooga in April.  Without the assistance of our community and its members, our programs and student organizations would not thrive as they do.