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New Stanton school introduces children to career choices

| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 9:28 p.m.
For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Norvelt Elementary School sixth-grade students get to talk with cosmetology students at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology in New Stanton in December 2012 while they get their nails and faces painted. Pictured (front row, from left) Ariel Shultz, 11, of Trauger and Amanda Soule, 17, of New Alexandria; (second row) Rachel Albright, 11, of Calumet and Bethany Hall, 18, of Dawson; (third row) Paige Irvin, 11, of Mt. Pleasant Township and Savannah Howarth, 18, of South Greensburg. Linda Harkcom | For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Donegal Elementary School sixth-grade students get some hands-on experience with a Vitalcim adult patient simulator during a tour in Deceber 2012 of the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, including: (from left) Shane Piper, 11, of Stahlstown; Ethan Tinkey, 11, of Stahlstown; Ean Burnsworth, 11, of Donegal; Nathan Puskar, 12, of Acme; and CWCTC health occupations technology program student Kimberly Wright, 17, of Mt. Pleasant. Linda Harkcom | For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Savannah Howarth, 18, of South Greensburg, a cosmetology student at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, paints the face of Paige Irvin, 11, a sixth-grader from Mt. Pleasant Township. Linda Harkcom | For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Norvelt Elementary School sixth-grade students Samuel Painter, 12, (left) and Kyle Rylander, 11, both of Mt. Pleasant Township, look on as Herminie's Andrew Wright, 18, a student of the Powerline program at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology in New Stanton, demonstrates how to safely climb a power line and perform necessary maintenance in December 2012. Linda Harkcom | For The Mt. Pleasant Journal

Sixth-grade students from Mt. Pleasant Area School District got to learn about career options during a tour of the Central Westmoreland Career and Technical Center in New Stanton.

Traditionally, district students have not been taken on a tour of the facility until their freshman year.

“We want to encourage career awareness at a younger age so when they get to the high school, it is not a bombardment,” said Debbie Pierce, a student counselor at Norvelt Elementary.

Mt. Pleasant elementary school counselors received a Counseling For Career Success grant, sponsored by the United Way and the state Department of Education.

Beth Butala, a Central Westmoreland career education counselor, said the initiative is designed to educate children, beginning in kindergarten, about their choices in the world of work.

On the tour, the Mt. Pleasant youngsters learned about the center's Powerline program, which involves repairing power lines, climbing utility poles and relevant safety procedures.

Students also explored the fields of cosmetology, horticulture, graphic design and culinary arts.

“We wanted the children to be able to tour the facility and to be able to see all 23 different career programs we offer here and talk to (Central Westmoreland) students about what they do here every day,” Butala said.

Matthew Achtziger, 11, of Acme, said he thought the tour was interesting, particularly the display featuring mechatronics — a new program involving mechanical instrumentation, electronics, robotics, automation and computer systems. He also enjoyed the health occupation technology display.

“I think this would be a nice place to come when I'm older because I think it will help me prepare for college and help get me a job that I might choose in the future,” Achtziger said.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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