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Balloons. Proud parents. Cheers. Pomp and Circumstance.
The graduation season began Thursday night with more than 170 students of the Academy of Careers and Technology walking across the stage to receive certificates for their work in everything from automotive technology, computer repair systems, dental assisting, graphic communications, phlebotomy, welding — and more.
Principal Charles M. Pack Jr., an ACT graduate himself, told students “this can be the beginning of a great career. Pack said they would need to do three things:
From the audience cheers for their students and the smiles and photo shoots after the ceremony, several families took Pack up on that particular suggestion.
The Spirit of ACT Award went to former teacher Susan Rice, who had retired, but returned to the school to help.
Outstanding Student Awards went to Joshua Lowe, Emily Morgan, Tevin Persinger, Brad Stewart, William Stanley III, Keagan E. Tyree, Bobby Shawver, Selena Rash, Aaron Millner, William Snyder, James Ward, Katherine DeLuca, Nickolas Elkins, Ashley Lockhart, Kacie Justice, Jaimee Martin, Angela Young, Sandra Wriston, Justin Trent, Marissa Copley and Christopher Burgess.
Scholarships were awarded to Jeremy Richmond, Alexander Kelley, Hannah Gunnoe, Matthew Ball, Brandon Carter, George Richardson and McKenna Hinds.
Pack gave the Principal’s Award to Bobby Shawver and Matthew Ball.
Danielle Sheets, an Independence High School senior said she feels “sad, but great.” Sheets, who gave up cheerleading, gymnastics and softball so that she could focus on studies at ACT, plans to go to Bluefield State College and major in pre-med. At Independence, her many activities included being president of the National Honor Society. She also holds a part-time job at Marquee Cinemas. “I’m a busy person,” Sheets said.
In his speech, Pack said students like Sheets are not uncommon at ACT. Most of them sacrifice time with their friends and extracurricular activities to get a leg up on a career path.
According to its web site, ACT opened in 1977 as a “primary work-force provider and significant educational institution in Southern West Virginia.” Some students are enrolled in Raleigh County high schools, others are adults who have returned for specialty training. “The career and technical instructional programs are rigorous and yet designed to adapt to the needs of diverse learners,” the web site said. (...view the graduation photo gallery on our Facebook page... )
Medical Career Fair Scheduled
David Richmond’s wife, Tami, and the couple’s kids issued various exclamations Thursday night, moments after Richmond was declared the 2015 Raleigh County Teacher of the Year by Raleigh County Schools spokesman David Traube.
“Holy crap,” “We already knew that” and “Oh my gosh” sequentially “popped” onto Tami Richmond’s cell as Richmond, the developer of the Law and Public Safety program at the Academy of Careers and Technology, stepped forward to offer a heartfelt acceptance of his award.
“It’s an honor to represent ACT as teacher of the year,” said Richmond, showing emotion. “It’s overwhelming to represent Raleigh County as Teacher of the Year. “There’s 28 teachers here tonight worthy and deserving of that honor, and I just appreciate being part of that process.” He thanked his administrators, students, the students’ parents and staff for supporting the school. Richmond’s “boss,” ACT Principal Charles Pack, attended the Teacher of the Year banquet, which honored 29 Raleigh County teachers who had represented their schools in the annual Raleigh County Teacher of the Year contest.
Prior to the announcement, Pack had noted that the Teacher of the Year award banquet — a yearly tradition in the county and sponsored by Beckley Area Foundation — had become more “secretive” in recent years. Previously, he’d said, the winning teacher knew who he or she was prior to the dinner. In later years, the event had become more suspense-filled, according to Pack’s statement. A special selection committee chooses six finalists from the 29 teachers and, eventually, they choose the Teacher of the Year from those six finalists. The winning teacher isn’t announced until the banquet, Pack reported.
Seconds after Richmond’s name was called, Tami said she didn’t know how to feel. A few minutes later, though, she said she’d thought, all along, that her husband would be named Teacher of the Year for 2015. “Did I think he would win? Yeah, I thought he would win,” she said. “His students love him too much.”
Richmond received a $1,000 cash prize from the Beckley Area Foundation and a plaque. Each of the remaining five finalists—Victoria McInturff (Beckley-Stratton Middle School), Juliana Huff (Bradley Elementary School), Lisa DellaMea (Crescent Elementary School), Kelly Williams (Daniels Elementary School) and Monica Britt (Trap Hill Middle School) — received $500 cash awards from BAF, which has partnered with Raleigh County Schools to honor the Teacher of the Year for the past 27 years.
Raleigh Schools board members, administrators and principals, including Woodrow Wilson High School Principal Ron Cantley and Dr. Bev Weis (Mabscott Elementary School) and Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary Principal Alicia Lett were in attendance.
Teachers showed off their personal styles, from simple black dresses to stylish cowboy boots, as they stepped forward to accept framed certificates for representing their schools.
Traube organized the banquet.
Raleigh Schools Superintendent David Price praised the teachers and thanked administrators for their work in the school system, pointing out that a quarter of the prestigious West Virginia Bucklew Scholarship funds are awarded annually to Raleigh students.
Richmond Named ACT Teacher of the Year
David Richmond started the Law and Public Safety program at the Academy ofCareers and Technology and has served as the teacher for the past eight years. He cares about his students and wants them to succeed at every level. He has established a very successful program with very unique aspects. His students participate in a variety of activities including personal fitness, crime scene investigation, and law enforcement scenarios. Mr. Richmond always has a large class due to the popularity of the program and its teacher. Since he has been at ACT, his students have participated every year in statewide competition. His students have placed in the top three every year and several of these students placed first in the state and have represented ACT and Raleigh County in national competition. This is just one piece of evidence that points to a quality program.
Mr. Richmond has proven not only that he is an excellent teacher in the program, but an asset to ACT in many ways. There are few tasks that he is not willing to tackle with just as much enthusiasm as teaching his students. He has been the Faculty Senate President for five years and has led the implementation of the new hiring protocols as the chair of the hiring committee. He is the chair of the safety committee. He has served on the Local School Improvement Committee, been a PLC facilitator and a SkillsUSA student advisor. In each of these roles, he embodies a practical approach to school improvement.
Mr. Richmond, the students, faculty, staff, and administration of the Academy of Career and Technology couldn’t be any prouder of you. You make us all look good!
ACT ALL-STARS Race for the Cure
Students Complete at WV SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference
Surgical Technologist Program Open House
Pre-Admission Testing for Practical Nursing Program
Community Education Classes Postponed One Week
Cosmetology Open House
Spring Community Education Schedule Announced
The Academy of Careers and Technology is also offering ACT Test Prep, starting in January. ACT Math Prep will meet on four consecutive Tuesdays from 4:00 - 6:00 PM beginning January 6, 2015. ACT English Prep will meet on four consecutive Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:30 PM beginning January 8, 2015. The cost of each class is $40 and includes the book. Cost for both classes is $70. The next ACT test date is February 7, 2015. The registration deadline for the February test is January 9. Online registration for the ACT test is available.
Festival of Trees Winners Announced
Supporters attending the open house were also eligible to win a variety of door prizes at the event. Winners included:
Virtual Festival of Trees Voting LIVE!
ACT Hosts Annual Festival of Trees
Judges from Raleigh County schools, Concord College, and the Fayette Institute of Technology have viewed the trees and scored them for the Best of Show trophy. People attending the Open House at ACT on Tuesday evening from 5:00 – 8:00 PM will be given tokens to vote for their favorite traditional and nontraditional trees. Winners in these two categories also receive trophies. Finally, ACT is also hoisting a virtual Festival through midnight Thursday, December 18, 2015 on its Facebook page at http://facebook.com/wvact. Winner of the virtual vote will receive the Facebook Favorite award.
The Festival of Trees is free and open to the public on Tuesday, December 16, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Academy of Careers and Technology at 390 Stanaford Road in Beckley. Refreshments will be served and door prizes awarded.
The Academy of Careers and Technology is a Candidate for Accreditation by the Commision of the Council on Occupational Education:
Council on Occupational Education
Academy of Careers and Technology
390 Stanaford Road • Beckley, WV 25801
PHONE 304-256-4615 - FAX 304-256-4674 - EMAIL email@example.com