Kingsport schools mark CTE Month, honor students

Rick Wagner • Feb 14, 2019 at 5:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Career technical education is alive, well and growing in Kingsport City Schools, according to Bo Shadden, KCS Director of CTE and postsecondary opportunities at Dobyns-Bennett High School.

Shadden spoke to the Board of Education Tuesday as part of celebrating February as Career and Technical Education Month, and he helped honor nine students who earned certificates in CTE.

Shadden, hired from Sullivan County Schools back in the summer, said that CTE course offerings at KCS include industrial certification programs that in some cases can give completers $2 more an hour in starting pay.

KCS dual credit programs include partners East Tennessee State University, Northeast State Community College, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton and Milligan College.

In addition, Shadden said Career Academies include a dual enrollment with Northeast, which includes nationally recognized certifications. In those programs, welding offers 27 credits, machining 33, entrepreneurship 18, computer-aided-design 26, automotive career academies 14 and entertainment technology 24.

Also, he said summer opportunities for 2019 include construction classes, Federal Aviation Administration licensing for drones, cosmetology, clinical internships and Firefighter I certifications.

“We’re offering lots of opportunities,” Shadden said.

KCS Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse said Shadden has been working on memorandums of understanding with local colleges for the programs.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Shadden and BOE member Karen Reed-Wright recognized nine D-B students who have completed Certified Production Technician Safety Certification. They are seniors Michael Allen, Chris Cody, Noah Collete, Ian Cummings, Colton Russell and John Weatherall and juniors Matthew Delano, Walker Gentry and Aaron Spencer. Of the nine, Russell, Weatherall and Gentry attended the meeting. 

Also at the meeting, the board awarded tenure to 30 teachers with five years at KCS who met performance requirements, as well as awarded a low-bid contract to Gordon Food Service, the current vendor, for a grocery and beverage contract not to exceed $1.35 million. The other bidder was $55,000 more in the base bid, said Jennifer Walker, supervisor of school nutrition services, and Chief Financial Officer David Frye.