Lowe’s Donates Money for Agricultural & Culinary Garden

This summer, the New Albany School of Career & Technical Education received a $2,125.00 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for an Agricultural & Culinary Garden.

Lowe’s awarded the funding during the summer and the school hosted their kick-off project on Wednesday, September 20.

The grant application was based on the goal of establishing raised bed gardens for the purpose of providing educational opportunities for hands-on classroom instruction for the Culinary Arts and Agricultural Sciences programs, as well as providing activities for interest groups during Vision Time.

Grant funds were used to purchase building materials, mulch, and fertilizer to construct the raised beds for the school garden, as well as hoses, tools, plants, and seeds for continual work in the garden.

New Albany FFA members, under the direction of Agricultural Instructor Bert Anderson, were involved in the design and building of the raised bed gardens during the summer.

On September 20, the “Dirt to Dishes” Vision interest group and the “Envirothon” Vision interest group planted their first fall and winter garden, with the assistance of Lowe’s employee Chris Bishop.  The kick-off event was planned by Culinary Instructor Anita Alef.

Alef and Anderson will work together throughout the school year to provide hands-on, real work experiences for their Culinary Arts and Agricultural students.

“Our school and community will greatly benefit from this grant. We wish to thank Lowe’s for generously supporting this important project,” said Lance Evans, Superintendent of New Albany Schools.



Local Career & Technical Center Programs Ranked in State

Students enrolled in most courses at the New Albany School of Career and Technical Education take a state test each year.   The MS-CPAS2 (Mississippi Career Planning and Assessment System, Edition 2) is the test given to students in career and technical education programs.  The assessment is based on the career and technical curriculum taught in the classroom throughout the year.

Each year, career and technical programs are ranked individually with all programs throughout the state and rankings are based on assessment results.  Rankings for the 2016-2017 school year were released on May 18.

Bert Anderson who teaches Agriculture Science classes said that the students are exposed to a wide array of experiences in the classroom with instruction, assessments, and hands-on projects and it is preparing them for when they enter the work force or move on to a college setting.

The New Albany School of Career & Technical Education had nineteen areas tested.  Of those tested, nine were ranked in the top ten and fifteen were ranked in the top 15 in the state.

Those programs ranking in the top ten include:  Business Fundamentals (6th); Engineering II (10th); Marketing (2nd); Concepts of Agriculture (7th); Agriculture Animals (8th); Agriculture Environment (1st); Architechture/Drafting (5th); Construction Core (10th); Health Science Core (10th).

Also ranking in the top fifteen in the state were:  Automotive II, Agriculture Plants, Carpentry, Digital Media Technology, Early Childhood I, and Health Sciences II.

“Our students work hard preparing for the CPAS test all year long,” said Alison Moore, Business Instructor.  “It’s always exciting when the rankings come out, and we get to see how well our students did compared to other students across the state.”

John Ferrell, Director, explained that there was some worry that there might be a decline in the CPAS scores because of the heavy emphasis that the school placed on Work Keys certification this year.  “Our teachers stepped up to the challenge and responded with another great year of test scores, as well as excelling with competitions and the Work Keys program,” Ferrell said.


Career & Technical Education Focuses on ‘Soft Skills’


Soft skills have been the focus of study for students enrolled in classes at the New Albany High School of Career and Technical Education.  For the past two weeks, instructors have been team teaching students those skills that will help make them more employable.

The soft skills study began on April 25 with introductory lessons and concluded on May 4.  During the unit, students were introduced to soft skills, learned about job objectives and conflict resolution, as well as preparing a resume and job application.

A major focus was the job interview component.  Students learned how to prepare for an interview and were able to participate in a mock interview.  Second year vocational students were selected and trained to serve as the interviewers during the project.

Alison Moore, Business and Marketing Instructor at the Career and Technical Center, coordinated the study on soft skills.  She explained that career and technical instructors believe in educating the whole student and giving them as many opportunities to succeed as possible.

“This activity is one more way we can make sure our students are better prepared for the future,” Moore stated.  “It was a fun real-life learning activity and I heard so many positive comments from both the interviewers and the interviewees that day.”    Moore believes this will become an annual event.

“Through this process, we have given our students an opportunity to learn more skill sets while better equipping them for the job force,” said Kimberly Langley, an instructor at the Career and Technical Center.  “They now better know how to apply for a job and what to expect during an interview.”

Sarah Duley, a student at the Career and Technical Center added, “It was a great opportunity for us to learn tips for completing a job application and the proper skills for how to best present yourself in an interview.”

Health Science I Toured Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany

Health Science I recently toured Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany.  Mrs. Olivia Bennett, the hospital’s community coordinator nurse led the tour. Dr. Bill Poston, the hospital’s pathologist, also gave the students advice and encouragement about their future in health care. The students learned about the different departments and careers available in the hospital. Next school year, the students will job shadow two days a week at the hospital as part of Health Science II class.