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Clinton Township, Macomb Township

March 6, 2013

Faculty, students praise career and technical courses

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

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Board of Education member Andrew Patzert holds up a wooden plaque presented to him and other board members from Dakota High School’s woodworking class. Students and teachers spoke positively of Chippewa Valley Schools’ career and technical education program.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — If it hadn’t been for the woodworking class made available at Dakota High School, student John Cadaris would not have graduated.

“I probably would have dropped out of school, if it weren’t for the woodshop program,” Cadaris said during the Feb. 25 Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education meeting. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life after high school, but this program gave me a direction in life.”

Cadaris was one of many students who teachers and Claire Brisson, the district’s director of career and technical education, used to highlight the district’s CTE Program.

“The skills they learn, they can transfer to many different industries,” said Chad Campau, a woodworking teacher.

Students said the program also develops social skills. Student Jacob Sunde told the board that woodworking strengthened his ability to work with his fellow classmates.

“Communication and teamwork are developed and strongly reinforced,” Sunde said. “This teamwork environment creates a positive learning atmosphere for everybody.”

Campau said the program helps captivate students who cannot be educated by sitting at a desk.

“The students that gravitate to this program are hands-on learners,” Campau said. “What I try to do is integrate in all the different academics along with a project to try and make the learning experience as fun as possible.”

The board expressed their support for the program.

“It shows you that, if you step out and try something different, you can be successful,” said board member Frank Bednard. “If you are willing step forward and put some initiative forward, you can accomplish great things.”

Board President George Sobah said any program that keeps students from dropping out of school is worth the funding.

“It is so nice to hear, as a board, that we are keeping kids in school and keeping students graduating,” Sobah said. “I know the state tries cutting back and saying it isn’t important, but here is living proof.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn at rguttersohn@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5006.