ACT Students Compete at State Conference
Forty-one students represented the Academy of Careers and Technology at the 2016 WV SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference at Camp Dawson in Kingwood WV on April 15-16, 2016. More than eight hundred students from career and technical education centers and community colleges competed at the statewide event. SkillsUSA is the nation's largest showcase for career and technical education. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. More than 1,000 trade associations and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA nationally through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and employment involvement. Fifty-eight occupational and leadership competitions gave students to opportunity to demonstrate their technical and professional skills in everything from architectural drafting to welding.

ACT students competed in twenty-five different competitions and the following students won medals:

  • Brityn Stump - GOLD, Architectural Drafting (Secondary)
  • Shannon Rakes - BRONZE, Carpentry (Postsecondary)
  • Tiffany Scarbrough - SILVER, Cosmetology (Postsecondary)
  • Hunter Hackworth, Cean Keeney, and Brooke Pudder - BRONZE, Crime Scene Investigation (Secondary)
  • Cody Blevins - GOLD, Criminal Justice (Postsecondary)
  • Anthony Schumann - SILVER, Diesel Equipment Technology (Postsecondary)
  • Jamie Mowell and Heather Dove - GOLD, Esthetics (Postsecondary)
  • Nathan Long - GOLD, Graphic Communications (Secondary)
  • Ryan Heimer - BRONZE, Industrial Motor Control (Secondary)
  • Alex Daniels - BRONZE, Job Skill Demonstration Open (Secondary)
  • Bryan Deweese - SILVER, Masonry (Postsecondary)
  • Tyler Thompson - GOLD, Masonry (Secondary)
  • Miranda Baber and Kyndl Miller - GOLD, Nail Care (Postsecondary)
  • Erica Fenton - GOLD, Pin Design (Postsecondary)
  • Aaron Hunt - GOLD, Technical Drafting (Secondary)
  • Ian Boyd, Randall Kesler, and Kenneth Raye - GOLD, Welding Fabrication (Postsecondary)

Also competing were Patrick Mullins, Jordan Reed, Justin Ward, Thomas Rodgers, Dakota Cooper, Joshua Gilger, Tyler Pauley, Robert Kessler, Scott Priddy, Scarlett Farley, Angelelle Rumbold, Morgan Perry, Melissa Hazelwood, Blake Thompson, Brandon Bailey, Samuel Morton, Nicholas Blake, Garrett Cantly, and Trevor Quarles.

Gold medalists are eligible to compete at the national competition in Louisville KY in June.

Cosmetology Program Accepting Applications
The Cosmetology program is accepting applications for classes beginning in August, 2016. Applicants must complete the following steps to be considered for admission:

  • Each individual must complete the TABE pretest by June 10, 2016. The TABE test is administered by the Raleigh County Adult Learning Center. Please call 304-256-3964 to schedule your TABE test. There is no charge for the test.
  • TABE pretest scores will be used to determine which individuals will be selected to interview with the Cosmetology faculty.
  • Candidates for admission will be selected on the basis of TABE pre-test scores and interview results.
  • For information about general admissions requirements and financial aid, visit the website at

National Technical Honor Society Inducts New Members
Sixty-eight students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society on Thursday, March 24, 2016. The National Technical Honor Society is a curricular organization for outstanding students in career and technical education institutions in the United States. Today NTHS serves over 2,500 member schools and universities throughout the nation.

The goals of the National Technical Honor Society include:

  • Rewarding excellence in workforce education
  • Developing self-esteem, pride
  • Encouraging students to reach higher levels of achievement
  • Promoting strong values-honesty, responsibility, initiative, teamwork, leadership, citizenship, scholarship
  • Helping schools build effective business partnerships
  • Building a strong positive image for workforce education in America

"Can"struction a Hugh Success
In conjunction with the 15th Annual Festival of Trees, the Academy of Careers and Technology conducted a nonperishable food drive. For each item donated, open house attendees received a speacial token to vote for their favorite tree. In the three-hour period between 5 - 8 PM, several hundred items were collected."Snoopy's Christmas" was "can"structed in the school's lobby in the three days following the Festival. Students and faculty wrapped the more than 900 items in white, green, and red paper and engineered the seasonal display. All food items were donated to ACT's community service partner, Brian's Safehouse. The display was submitted to WV SkillsUSA as part of its statewide community service project. Entries will be judged on creativity, seasonal theme, color coordination, difficulty level, and dimensional appearance. Two awards, "Most Items Collected" and "Best Sculpture", will be given at the State Leadership and Skills Conference in April. 

2015 Festival of Trees Winners Announced

The fifteenth annual Festival of Trees was a huge success, with more than 600 guests viewing the trees in person during the open house on December 15, 2015. Each person in attendance received tokens to vote for his favorite traditional display and a red token to vote for his or her favorite nontraditional display. A "traditional" display featured a real or artificial tree, while "nontraditional" displays highlighted trees that were constructed or manufactured. A third, special category was introduced this year. For each non-perishable food item donated during the open house, individuals received a special token that could be used to vote for any tree. The tree receiving the most special tokens received the Community Spirit award. All food items will be donated to Brian's Safehouse.
ACT again hosted a virtual Festival of Trees on its Facebook page at The site registered more than 1,700 visits and 991 votes.

This year's winners include:

Best of Show

Traditional Tree
Careers in Education, First Place
Law & Public Safety, Second Place
Pharmacy Technician, Third Place

Nontraditional Tree
Electrical Technician (Day), First Place
Carpentry, Second Place
Diesel Equipment Technology, Third Place

Community Spirit Award
Practical Nursing, First Place
Therapeutic Services, Second Place
Electrical Technician (Night), Third Place

Facebook Favorite

(click each thumnail to view a larger image)

ACT's 15th Annual Festival of Trees Showcases Student Skills
Students decked the halls of the Academy of Careers and Technology (ACT) Tuesday night with a variety of wooden, metal, electric, electronic and traditional Christmas trees, all of which showcased the programs in which they are enrolled and the skills that they have learned. In its 15th year, the Festival of Trees typically welcomes around 1,000 visitors to see the unique trees and to vote for their favorites.

Cris Workman’s favorite was an elaborate metal tree with curlicue designsdescending in size from top to bottom, crafted by thewelding class. "It’s really neat with all the curls and the lights," Workman said. "You can tell it took a lot of time." Workman’s son, Andy, actually had a hand in the construction of the tree. Her daughter, Brittany, helped with a tree at the ACT, too.

Brittany’s class, Careers in Education, created a tree focused on the kids they hope to work with someday. Local pre-schoolers visit the class on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help the ACT students train for their future careers. Brittany said the kids made the ornaments that adorned their traditional tree.

Another traditional tree was decorated in ribbons of all colors by the practical nursing program in effort to raise awareness about diseases. Each of the 23 students hung ribbons and photos on the tree for friends and family members who have been affected by a disease. Each color represented a different disease — pink for breast cancer, purple for Alzheimer’s, red for heart disease, white for lung cancer, among others. The students provided supplies and welcomed visitors to hang their own remembrance ribbons on the tree Tuesday night. 

"It means a lot for us to be able to share this with the community," said Allison McClure, who is set to graduate from the practical nursing program in July 2016. She added, "With nursing, you have to be caring and loving."

Kevin Bolen, Adult Education Coordinator, said the construction of the trees is a great way for the students to practice what they’ve learned, as well as for the community to see what programs are offered at the academy. Bolen said local judges selected their favorite traditional and non-traditional trees to win prizes, and attendees at the open house were asked to choose the winner for "People’s Choice" in each category. 

He said this year’s event also included a charitable component — anyone who brought a non-perishable food item was given a special token to vote on a tree, and the tree with the most tokens was awarded for community spirit.  Food collected at the event is being donated to Brian’s Safehouse, an in-patient program in Mount Hope that helps those struggling with addiction.

For those who missed the open house, the trees will still be on display for a few more days at the ACT, located at 390 Stanaford Road in Beckley. For more information, call 304-256-4615 or visit

By Wendy Holdren, Register-Herald Reporter

ACT Hosts 15th Annual Festival of Trees
Each year in December, career and technical education students and instructors design, sometimes build, and decorate a tree that represents the occupational area for which they are training. Sometimes “traditional” (live or artificial) trees are used and sometimes “nontraditional” trees are built from scratch.

The Festival of Trees is free and open to the public on Tuesday, December 15, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Academy of Careers and Technology at 390 Stanaford Road in Beckley. Twenty-four trees will grace the school's lobby during the event. Members of the community attending the Open House will be given tokens to vote for their favorite trees. The winner in the Traditional and Nontraditional categories will receive a "traveling" trophy that make its way around the building each year.

A third, special category has been introduced this year. For each non-perishable food item donated during the open house, individuals will receive a special token that can be used to vote for any tree. The tree receiving the most special tokens will receive the Community Spirit award. All food items will be donated to a local food bank.

ACT is again hosting a virtual Festival from Tuesday, December 15 through midnight Thursday, December 17, 2015 on its Facebook page at Winner of the virtual vote will receive the Facebook Favorite award.

Finally, judges from Raleigh County schools and the Fayette Institute of Technology will review the trees and score them for the Best of Show trophy.

Mark your calendar now! Refreshments will be served and door prizes awarded.

ACT Earns Full COE Accreditation
The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE) has granted accreditation to Raleigh County's Academy of Careers and Technology. Announcement of the action was made by Mr. Al Salazar, Commission Chair, following the COE Winter Commission Meeting of the Council on Occupational Education. The award of accreditation status is based on an evaluation to demonstrate that the institution meets not only the standards of quality of the Commission, but also the needs of students, the community, and employers. The evaluation process includes an extensive self-study by the institution and an intensive review by a visiting team of professional educators representing the commission's member institutions from other states.

The Academy of Careers and Technology began its self-study in August 2013 and underwent a team visit in April 2015. "I am excited to receive the maximum length of full accreditation,” said Charles Pack, Principal at ACT. "It is an affirmation of the quality of our staff, programs and support system. A tremendous amount of work went into the preparation for the visit and our task now is to continue offering quality educational opportunities for our students as we prepare them for their future.” --- from The Register-Herald (October 14, 2015)

Assistant Superintendent Says CTE is Vital for State's Future
Kathy D’Antoni, assistant state superintendent of schools for the Division of Technical and Adult Education Services, said Career and Technical Education is vital for the future of the Mountain State.

She said CTE is preparing high school students for the demands of today’s high-skilled workforce.
“CTE encourages students to develop the skills that are in demand,” she said. “It also is a way for kids to stay at home in West Virginia with good jobs, good-paying jobs.”

The skills that students learn in CTE programs play a large role in the state’s economy. For example, students in Summers County High School’s culinary program could easily transition into a tourism job, said Robert Mazzelli, who oversees the school’s culinary program. And tourism, some believe, is the future of southern West Virginia.

D’Antoni said within the last few years, the state has witnessed more students enrolling in CTE programs than ever before. One reason, she said, is the stigma of a vocational career is beginning to fade. That negative perception was around for years. A few years ago, The Economist, a British newsweekly, wrote Americans viewed vocational-technical education with “unique disdain.” The magazine added that “Americans hate the idea of schoolchildren setting out on career paths — such predetermination, they think, threatens the ethos of opportunity.”

D’Antoni explained within the last 60 years, job skills have shifted from manufacturing to technology. Even working in a manufacturing setting, she explained, requires strong computer skills. To meet those changing demands, West Virginia has started to focus on the student taking charge of his or her future. “The simulated workplace environment permits students the opportunity to take ownership of their individual performance as it impacts the overall success of their education, while thriving in an authentic workplace culture,” the program’s website,, explains.

This initiative was created to assist schools across the state to implement a workplace environment that parallels West Virginia’s workforce requirements, including random drug testing, professionalism, attendance and safety. Simulated Workplace not only enhances instructional career education, but creates a more engaged career and technical student, D’Antoni said.

The initiative is receiving national and international notice. D’Antoni said representatives from eight states and Australia have visited West Virginia to learn how to implement a similar initiative. A call to the Australian Embassy in Washington, to inquire what the country’s educators learned, went unreturned for several days. D’Antoni said Austrian educational officials also inquired about the state’s CTE program and will visit West Virginia soon.
--- from The Register-Herald (Daniel Tyson, September 28, 2015)

May 19 ACT Graduation
June 3 End Second Semester

The Academy of Careers and Technology is accredited by the Commision of the Council on Occupational Education:

Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell Road
Building 300, Suite 325
Atlanta, GA 30350

Notice of Nondiscrimination


Academy of Careers and Technology
390 Stanaford RoadBeckley, WV 25801
PHONE 304-256-4615 - FAX 304-256-4674 - EMAIL

Raleigh County Board of Education - WV Department of Education- School Closings