South Effingham High School is celebrating its career, technical, agricultural education students by declaring February CTAE Month.
“What are we preparing kids for?” said Sheryl Howell, an early childhood education teacher at SEHS who spearheaded CTAE Month. “For the real world. We’re teaching leadership to these kids; we’re teaching responsibility to these kids, life skills, work ethic.”
Students from CTAE classes and organizations have been celebrating their professional pathways and bringing CTAE awareness to other students and faculty through a variety of school wide initiatives. They had a professional dress down day where CTAE students could set aside school uniforms for a day to dress in the attire of the careers they hope to start.
They also passed out candy to each other, academic faculty and other students to inform them about CTAE courses, goals and to recruit other students to take part in CTAE classes.
“If you’re going to do anything with business when you grow up,” said SEHS Future Business Leaders of America president Connor Hixon, a sophomore, “all these high school CTAE classes for business are just one big introductory class to what you’ll need to know.”
“It’s prepared us to know what we need to expect whenever we go out into our careers,” said SEHS Future Educators of America president Elizabeth Huggins. “We get to go to the elementary schools and see what it’s like to be a teacher.”
To align with the national standards, CTAE standards will move from career pathways to career clusters, such as hospitality and engineering. So students passed out treats that told teachers about these changes.
State Sen. Buddy Carter of Pooler came to SEHS last week to sign an official proclamation declaring it CTAE month at SEHS. Carter has work-based learning students from area high schools working in his pharmacy to gain career experience and said he sees the value of such programs.
“So that’s the reason why it’s so important that people see that what we’re teaching is not just ABC’s,” Howell told Carter. “We’re teaching life skills, work ethic and responsibility.”
Participating organizations include the following: FEA, Future Farmers of America, FBLA, Family Career and Community Leaders of America and SkillsUSA.