Melanie Knutsen is the Career Technical Education (CTE) Counselor for John Marshall High School in Marshall County, West Virginia. Her favorite thing about CTE is that students can participate and gain valuable knowledge, no matter what academic level they are. She feels that the skill sets in each program are transferable to real-world careers. “I also love our programs because each student leaves high school having had the opportunity to create a complete portfolio, earn certifications in their field of study, and be ready to enter the workforce or go on to post-secondary education,” Knutsen stated. “CTE prepares students for their future by fostering a learning atmosphere in the shops and lab settings. Simulated Workplace is utilized in every program and replicates an actual company’s day-to-day business. Students have specific roles in the companies and some companies even have products or services for sale. Each student wears a uniform, clocks in and out, and is randomly drug tested for compliance. Students are proud of their programs and enjoy sharing what they learn.”
John Marshall High School is currently working on an innovative project by collaborating with East Coast Metals in the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge. East Coast Metals has an abundance of wooden pallets and have challenged the students with waste reduction by coming up with uses for the pallets. The students will brainstorm and use the engineering process to reduce waste in landfills.