Lanett recruits students for CTE program

Published 10:11 am Friday, February 2, 2024

Lanett High School senior Ashanti Smith urged rising freshmen to take their high school years seriously when choosing a career pathway during an assembly on the Health Science/HOSA program on Thursday. 

Smith said she learned the hard way how hard it can be to catch up. She learned to keep focused on your growth even at times when it gets overwhelming. 

“Don’t take your four years of high school for granted because you’re not gonna be able to get that back at all,” she said. 

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Smith said the health science program taught her about all the different fields out there. She plans to pursue a degree in exercise science after she graduates from high school. 

Many Lanett Junior High School eighth graders have gotten a taste of their futures this week while attending presentations on each of the Career and Technical Education pathways available at Lanett High School. 

On Wednesday, students heard a presentation about the family and consumer sciences program taught by Bella Mitchell. The program covers subjects ranging from culinary arts and hospitality to exercise science to family relations and child development. Mitchell, also the school’s athletic trainer, trains students to get Serv-Safe certified or food handler or food manager certifications. In other classes, she helps students get ready for first aid training, CPR certification and babysitting safety training.

On Thursday, students of the Health Science and HOSA (Future Health Professionals) program talked about what their program offers. After taking four elective courses, students can take a test to gain patient care technician certifications. 

The program was introduced last year and got off to a good start, according to CTE Director Hilda Carlisle. Students can get a head start on their health science foundations. Last year, the program was taught by a registered nurse. 

Coach Ernest Webbs, who is teaching the course this year, spoke to the students as well. He encouraged anyone who is hoping to pursue a nursing career to join the program. The current nursing shortage means there are many opportunities in the job market right now.

On Friday, the students heard about JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The program is taught by Retired Lt.Col. Christopher McKinney and Retired Scf. Terrence Staples. In JROTC, cadets not only train and participate in programs but they work on leadership skills. The program has had many new projects over recent years. Last year, the air rifle training course was introduced. The program also received funding for drones that students can train on. 

Lanett’s eighth graders will also learn about the business/FBLA program on Monday. The program gives students opportunities to gain practical entrepreneurial skills and exposure to college opportunities after high school.