AS EMPLOYMENT trends continue to grow in both vocational and technical careers, students in the area have an option to fill those needs at two local facilities.
The Belmont and Harrison Career Centers, located in St. Clairsville and Cadiz, provide "state-of-the-art" training to high school students meeting the necessary entry-level requirements in today's market. By opting to attend either facility, local high school students can also further their education at the post-secondary level.
The Career Centers offer programs in business, technology, personal services, skilled trades, mechanics and specialized areas. Most programs are offered to juniors and seniors, however, freshmen and sophomore students who are unsure about a future vocational field may enroll in the Connections or Occupational Lab programs and receive experience in small engine repair, welding, drafting, carpentry and more.
MIKE?SAFFELL, left, is the new principal for the Belmont Career Center while Paula Norman, right, was named the special education/testing coordinator. The two are pictured with Superintendent Richard Schoene.
Students also receive an academic course load to complete high school graduation requirements, as well as, meeting requirements for college. Career Center students are offered math, science, social studies, English and related technology classes, and can also receive credits in health and physical education. Students can receive 15 credits in two years while attending the Career Centers.
In addition to a computer/technology lab, students also can take advantage of individual tutoring services through the Resource Center, Ohio Graduation Test intervention, and GRADS services.
Early job placement is available and students are also eligible for academic and vocational scholarships to be used for post-secondary education.
With the start of the new school year, a few faces have changed at the Belmont Career Center.
Michael Saffell has assumed the principal role at the St. Clairsville-based school.
A 1991 graduate of the former Cadiz High School, Saffell earned a bachelor's degree at Muskingum College in 1995. He went on to complete his studies at Salem International University in 2009.
His previous work experience includes both teaching an coaching in the Harrison Hills City School District.
"I'm excited about this new school year," Saffell said. "I am looking forward to working with the staff and students and their families."
Saffell, a life-long resident of New Athens, and is wife, Jodi, are parents to two daughters, Michala and Shae.
Paula Norman, a graduate of St. Clairsville High School, is now the special education/testing coordinator at the school.
She obtained her bachelor's degree at Ohio University and a masters from the University of Dayton. Her post-graduation work was completed at Muskingum College and Ashland University.
Norman most recently, was the special education supervisor for Bellaire, Martins Ferry, Bridgeport and Shadyside schools.
A mother of three adult sons, Norman said, "I've heard so many good things about the programs and staff at the Career Centers. "I'm looking forward to meeting them and working with the students."
Both schools operate on similar schedules although the hours for each facilities school days differ.
Belmont Career Center classes begin at 8:13 a.m. and end at 2:04 p.m. The students at the Harrison site begin classes at 7:35 a.m. and are dismissed at 2:20 p.m.
For more information, call the Belmont Career Center at 7400-695-9130 or the Harrison Career Center at 740-942-2148.