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Debut of New Academies, Programs Highlights HCS Celebration of CTE Month

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15 February 2013 (HCS) – Now you can add one more academy to the HCS family of offerings – “The Education Academy” at Hoover High School. Conceptualized and built over the past several months, this specific academy will begin this fall and offer interested students dynamic opportunities to explore careers in teaching and working with children.

“[In marketing this academy] we’re going to try and show prospective students a wide variety of career options,” Mrs. Jennifer Paradise, said.

Paradise, an instructional support teacher at Hoover High School, will serve as director and a lead instructor of The Education Academy. She has been working with district leaders choosing curricula and programs appropriate for this new venture.

“It’s going to provide students with a strong foundation in education and with teaching experiences which will prepare them for college and careers in teaching and education," Paradise said.

Four components will comprise The Education Academy “Education and Training”; “Teaching I” and “Teaching II”. The academy experience culminates with the fourth step: an education and training internship, whereby academy students will be paired with outside mentors, schools, businesses and other academy-related entities. Each level, however, will offer some degree of field-based experience.

"Utilizing the workforce data for our region, it was obvious to us that the Education Academy was a needed addition to our career and technical education (CTE) program," HCS district administrator, Dr. Debra Smith, said.

Smith has been working with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Ron Dodson and others on the creation of the new CTE programs.

Educators such as HHS teacher Jill Westerlund and others have already begun marketing the program to Hoover High School’s existing students and feeder schools, R.F. Bumpus and Simmons middle schools. Presentations were also made February 5 at Hoover High School’s annual Curriculum Night.

What better time to promote new CTE efforts than February? The month has been named the National Career and Technical Education Month by the ACTE (Association for Career and Technical Education). Hoover City Schools continues to expand its CTE offerings to meet growing student demand. Existing HCS programs will soon be joined by The Education Academy and several others:

• Pilot program for the Microsoft IT (Information Technology) Academy at Hoover High School
• Hospitality and Tourism CTE program at Spain Park High School
• Education and Training CTE program at Spain Park High School
• Fashion CTE program at Spain Park High School 

"Hoover City Schools has begun to take additional measures to provide a quality education in which our graduates are college and/or career ready," Smith said.  "We will continue to make additions to our program offerings to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our learners."

So what do HCS educators hope The Education Academy looks like at the beginning of “year one”? Hopefully a program with about forty students – and one that offers students early exposure to previously unexplored career options.

“I hope they get some opportunities to look into these education and child-centered careers and gain some firsthand experience in the field prior to pursuing higher education,” Paradise said.

For more information on The Education Academy, contact Paradise at 205.439.1231. Spain Park High School CTE program can be explored by contacting Larry Giangrosso (lgiangrosso@hoover.k12.al.us) and/or Melany Morgan (melmorgan@hoover.k12.al.us). Visit the Course Selection Guides here: HHS/SPHS.

ACTE’s celebration of February as CTE Month can be followed socially at www.facebook.com/actecareertech or on twitter, @actecareertech #CTEMonth and #careerteched.  

HCS students are celebrating CTE month in other ways.  See a related story here on the SPHS Engineering Academy

-Jason Gaston, HCS Public Relations

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