Students recognized with career and technical awards |

Students recognized with career and technical awards

by Sharlene Irete

Future veterinarians, civil engineers, auto techs, photographers, videographers, florists, agriculture experts, emergency medical personnel and entrepreneurs were recognized by their instructors as outstanding in their future occupational fields at the Career and Technical Education Awards in the Douglas High School media center Tuesday.

The Career and Technical Education program includes culinary arts, computer graphics, welding, architectural drafting, photography, screenprinting, auto technology, videography, agriculture, floriculture and an internship program. There were 10 students who received certificates and medals to wear at graduation.

Douglas County School Superintendent Carol Lark said she was excited about the growth of the Career and Technical Education and Skills USA programs at Douglas High School. She said that vocational-technical schools show the lowest drop-out rates.

“You have the highest growth of Skills USA in Nevada,” said Lark. “We need to start early and have opportunities (for career and technical programs) beginning in ninth grade.”

This is the first year that Douglas has been active in the Skills USA job skills training program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a successful model of employer-student collaboration. Skills USA focuses on public speaking, team building, community service and developing leadership skills.

Jim Meyers teaches architectural drafting, robotics, computer repair and computer literacy and said interest in these computer classes is growing. He saw an increase of 22 to 44 students in one year.

Meyers recognized Curtis Bertucci as a stand-out student in computer drafting.

“Curtis comes in during lunch to work on the house model,” said Meyers. “He is as professional as he can be and is making sure architecture is going to be in his future. He is going to be a success in anything he does in life.”

Bertucci said he always liked to build things.

“I liked to build with Legos until I was about 14 when I started working with the AutoCAD (computer-aided drafting and design program),” said Bertucci. “I always liked architecture but I think I’ll be doing civil engineering. I’m able to figure out stuff with physics and math.”

Many of the teachers presenting awards to their students said the students had inspired them to update their own skills.

“Kaitlyn Abbott has done so much for the program and has done a lot for me – she encouraged me,” said photography teacher Mary Kay Kaluza. “She has doing an internship with Belinda Grant. She’s done it all. Kaitlyn is the most focused student I’ve had in a long time.”

Abbott has plans to attend college at South Lake Tahoe where credit for her photography classes will be accepted. She said she learned black and white photography in Kaluza’s class, took up digital photography and never looked back.

“Photography is the way for me to be creative,” said Abbott. “I always drew and even still doodle on my notebooks but with photography I found my true calling.”

Outstanding Career and Technical Education students:

Curtis Bertucci – Architectural drafting

Jacqueline Koster – Agriculture

Ryndee Cortez – Floriculture

Paul Herrera – Auto tech

Darrin Dykes – Computer graphics

Michael Raker – Culinary arts

Michael Barnes – Internship/COE

Kaitlyn Abbott – Photography

Kyle Mannschreck – Screenprinting

Kyle Neddenriep – Video production