Vocational School celebrates 40th anniversary

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By The Staff

Kentucky Tech-Harrison County Area Technology Center, or as it has been known these many years in the four counties it serves, the “Vocational School” recently turned 40.

The ATC was built in 1968 while Martin Carr was serving as Superintendent of Harrison County Schools, and William E. Boswell served as the Chairman of the Harrison County Board of Education. Over the years, the school has helped educate and prepare thousands of young people by expanding student career options to post secondary education or successful employment upon graduation.

When the Harrison County Area Vocational Education Center opened its doors, the school offered business and office, carpentry, auto mechanics, machine tool, welding, and drafting programs.

Today, the Area Technology Center offers business and office, construction, machine tool, welding, auto mechanics, health sciences, information technology, academic enrichment, and mechatronics (industrial maintenance).

The ATC continues to offer the same type of educational and practical opportunities for students from Harrison Bourbon Nicholas and Pendleton Counties and Paris Independent, as it did 40 years ago.

However, there are several new and exciting benefits. Students can earn college credits for many of the classes offered at the ATC, through articulation and dual credit agreements with post-secondary schools.

On the job skills are taught and practiced in school. Students have the opportunity to use those skills through clinical and coop situations.

The Harrison County ATC is one of 55 schools in the Kentucky Tech system. In December 2006, the Kentucky Tech System was nationally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. Kentucky Tech is the only Technical Education school system accredited by SACS/CASI in the United States.

A high school math credit may be earned by completion of a series of courses at the ATC.

All programs/instructors at the Area Technology Center are aligned with industry standards and are nationally accredited by industry. The instructors all have teaching degrees from accredited universities and have taught an average of 11 years. They also have an average of 18 years occupational experience.

For several years, the Harrison ATC has offered a cost free summer career camp for fifth through eighth graders that allows students to explore each of the programs offered at the ATC.

Students are involved in community service projects.

The ATC offers four main student organizations to provide an opportunity for growth and development. The student organizations are Skills USA, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), HOSA (Health Occupational Students of America) and HEAT (Harrison Environmental Action Team). All promote community service, leadership development and technical education skills training in regional, state and national competitions.

The Harrison ATC’s present principal, John White, is excited to further the mission began 40 years ago.

“The heart of any school is a dedicated and talented staff,” said White. “We have skillful, caring teachers, who strive to meet the needs of all our students. Through the years, this school has enjoyed a good reputation, and that tradition continues today.”