Education

Industrial tech sparks student interest

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NEW MARKET — Southmont Jr. High industrial technology teacher Michael Allen asked one of his students to give a presentation to the board of trustees during a regular district meeting Monday.

Seventh-grade student Toby Howell proudly displayed several pieces of art created through the use of a laser printer, and represented several of his classmates who have expressing an increased interest in technology.

Administrators are seeing a large increase of interest in technology at the middle school, Allen and Principal Kevin Wilkinson said.

“The kids really seem to be enjoying it,” Allen said. “The kids do outstanding work.”

“We saw a huge spike ... we have all these kids coming in and saying, ‘I want to get into tech.’ We’ve never really had this problem before,” Wilkinson said. “They all couldn’t stop talking about what Mr. Allen is doing in class.”

Howell described the process of using a laser printer to burn images or words into wood, impressing the board in the process.

Especially impressed was board member Daryl Hutson who practices woodworking regularly.

“I was very impressed,” he said. “The equipment usage must also be a boost in morale and self-worth of a child as well. I love these types of projects for kids.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved school improvement plans for Ladoga, New Market and Walnut elementary schools, as well as Southmont Jr.-Sr. High School.

• Approved a donation in the amount of $1,000 to Southmont and a total of $640 in donations to Ladoga Elementary.

• Approved the hire, transfer, resignation and termination of multiple employees. They include: Samantha Dittmer, hire as substitute teacher, Walnut; Katie Hopkins, resignation as preschool teacher, Walnut; Christopher Banks, hire as corporation technology specialist; Rick Overfield, hire as varsity assistant wrestling coach; Dan Chadd, hire as varsity assistant boys’ basketball coach; Craid Carrell, hire as junior varsity boys’ basketball coach; Ken Dooley, hire as freshman boys’ basketball coach; Maddie Chaver, hire as varsity assistant gymnastics coach; Kelsey Hughes, approved as varsity assistant gymnastics volunteer; Phil Keller, hire as varsity assistant boys’ and girls’ swimming coach; Dave Williamson, hire as eight-grade boys’ basketball coach; Andy Stetler, hire as seventh-grade boys’ basketball coach; Travis Bowen, approved as seventh-grade assistant boys’ basketball coach; and Kyle Davis, hire as sixth-grade boys’ basketball coach.

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