PUNXSUTAWNEY — Jeff Tech (Jefferson County Vocational Technical School) students presented successes in their technical areas to Punxsutawney Area School Board members on Thursday.
In light of Career and Technical Education Month in February, students will be taking a tour to several area board meetings, said Jeff Tech Administrative Director Barry Fillman, who tagged along to Punxsutawney Thursday.
Next week, different groups of volunteer students will attend Brookville and Brockway board meetings, Fillman said. They’ll also present to Jefferson County Commissioners in March. Typically, they aim to take six to eight students from that district to each meeting.
Since about half of Jeff Tech’s student base is from the DuBois Area, more will attend that Feb. 21 school board meeting, Fillman adds.
Cosmetology students Courteney DeHaven and Olivia Harmon, Curtis Shoemaker of diesel and mechanics, Miranda Beane of culinary, Ty Neal and Andrew Burkett of machine shop all presented to board members at the district office Thursday, Fillman said.
“They presented about what Jeff Tech has meant to them, and successes in their own technical areas,” he said.
Encouraging students to speak publicly is also very beneficial to them, Fillman said.
“Any time you can push students out to a public speaking opportunity, the growth and poise doing those types of things is remarkable,” he said. “It’s a big part of them crossing that threshold into the professional world.”
Most of the students who presented in Punxsutawney are freshman at Jeff Tech, Fillman said.
“For them to speak in front of a school board takes some courage on their part,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to take that on.”
It’s also encouraging for board members from area towns to see where former graduate are now, Fillman says.
“These boards all support Jeff Tech, and it’s great for them to see the successes and growth in the students,” Fillman said. “They leave them after eighth grade, so it’s a ‘check up’ to see how successful they’re being.”