FORT SMITH (KFSM)-Mayor Sandy Sanders signed a proclamation Wednesday (Feb. 11) recognizing the school district for its efforts to increase opportunities for kids in career and technical programs.
“It`s my pleasure to declare this as Career and Technical Education Month in Fort Smith,” Mayor Sanders said.
He presented the proclamation at a ceremony held before Family and Consumer Science, Business and Marketing students and teachers at Southside High School.
“We`re really excited about this,” Laura Loyd, Family and Consumer Science Teacher said. “We`ve never done this before, and we`re really trying to promote what our students do in and out of the classroom.”
Kate Truitt and Maddy Willis are both involved in Future Business Leaders of America.
“We do a lot of competitions in FBLA, and some of them are accounting or business presentation where we learn the needs of something we`ll need to know in the business world later on in our lives,” Truitt said.
The mayor said the declaration not only recognizes schools for focusing on career and technical trades, but it's also is designed to educate the community on how this is preparing students for their future.
“It gives us a lot of good business contacts in the community first of all, and then it's always good to put on the resume for college and that sort of thing, but I feel really prepared and know what I want to do because of this,” Drew Smith, FBLA state parliamentarian said.
Smith said he plans to go into politics, while Willis wants to pursue a career in computer science.
“I`m taking an AP computer science class, and that`s prepared me so much,” Willis said. “I could have never dreamed of knowing all this at my age.”
“Not only are you gonna develop skills to work in the worksite, but you`re gonna develop skills to work in your relationships that will build success in every aspect of your life,” Loyd said.
Loyd said there are nearly 700 students enrolled in career and technical classes at Southside.
Data from the Arkansas Association for Career and Technical Education shows over 246,000 secondary students are involved in CTE.