I am the vocational director, which is an administrative position like a principal. For some reason, the state of Missouri calls us directors.
How long have you been there?
I began working the first of July.
What are your goals at BTEC?
I have lots of goals for BTEC. The main goal is to produce workers with viable technical skills that are needed in the workforce. Another important goal is to train students for jobs that don't even exist, yet, which is a tall order. The technical world changes so fast that we have to prepare students for future studies in college, technical school, or on-the-job training for jobs that will be needing workers of the future. So, the goal is to prepare students for the world of work and further studies. We want each program to have college credits available through articulated credit and/or dual credit. Articulated credits are free – no cost -- from a particular college who recognizes that what is being taught in the coursework at BTEC is of the same rigor as the entry level classes at their college, such as State Fair Community College and Linn State Technical College. Within the next year, I expect all of our programs to have some sort of college credit available. Dual credit is high school credit and college credit for the same course. We have dual credit this fall for medical terminology with Missouri Valley College. The tuition is half the regular price, and we provide the ebook for them. It is an online course. We think it is important to train students to take online courses with us as these students will be taking online courses in college and for customized training in the workforce. The setup is totally different than it is with a face-to-face class, and we want our students to lead the way in knowing those types of expectations of an online course. A major goal for us at BTEC is to bring us up to speed with other career centers in the state and across the nation. We don't have to be the biggest, but we want our students having those employability skills that employers will recognize as having high-quality training coming from our facility. BTEC needs to expand our programs to meet the needs of our communities here in Mid Missouri. Our students will be the future community leaders of tomorrow. These are the types of students who will get their education and come back home to work, such as our agriculture students or automotive students. I am really excited to get this opportunity to forge ahead.
How do you think the new plans will affect the school?
I think the new plans will revitalize BTEC and gain excitement for our students and their potential. We are grateful to our sending school superintendents for sending their students to us and for the Boonville Board of Education supporting these endeavors for the betterment of our community. I think when people come through our building they will see a noticeable difference. Our students need these opportunities.
What other plans would you like to see?
The next program I am working on is JROTC. In fact, we have the Air Force JROTC commanders coming to do a site visit this afternoon to see if we could become a site for a JROTC program. I have worked with a JROTC program before and found it to be very beneficial for students and for the surrounding communities. In the long range, I would like to see an alternative energy program and a criminal justice program here for our students. Great things are happening here at BTEC.
Is there anything else you would like to add? My husband and I have really felt welcomed by the community. We have found people to be very receptive and warm. The school district is very caring towards the students, and the administration, teachers, support staff, and board of education have their best interest in mind at all times. At BTEC, we have the blessing of getting to work with five school districts, and I have found them all to be supportive. I hope to be here for a long time to come. I love the students at BTEC, and our staff is the best.