The 2017-2018 year was an eventful one at Laurel Oaks Career Campus.
The Wilmington career-technical campus, a public high school which serves 11th and 12th graders primarily from Clinton, Fayette, and Highland counties (as well as portions of other counties), saw its enrollment increase by 8% to 656 students. Students also earned hundreds of professional certifications along with thousands of hours of college credit—all while still in high school.
Students compete at state and national level
Twenty students showed their professional skills and qualified for state and national competition in a variety of fields. Students in Health Technology, Early Childhood Education, Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Cosmetology and Digital Arts and Design attended the competitions, which are held by national career-technical student organizations as a way for students to demonstrate their knowledge, be evaluated by experienced professionals, and meet like-minded students from other schools.
Several of those students were among the best in Ohio.
Three Laurel Oaks students in the Early Childhood Education earned medals in their events at the Ohio Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Leadership Conference. Courtney Lamb, Laurel Oaks junior from Clinton Massie along with Jaebreon Burns and Saundra Shannon, seniors from Wilmington each earned a Silver Medal for the event Curriculum Unit Development. Saundra Shannon also earned a Gold Medal and a trophy for best in the State for Specific Task Assessment Kit.
Sarah Wilson used her skills and knowledge to qualify national competition in Dallas. The Laurel Oaks Health Technology student from Greenfield McClain earned the chance to attend the International Conference for HOSA—Future Health Professionals based on her performance at state competition, where she took third place in Ohio in the Extemporaneous Writing category. In this event, students are given a topic and must demonstrate both their knowledge and their writing skills in a timed competition.
Heavy Equipment Operations program opens
The Heavy Equipment Operations and Engineering program completed its first year in June. Students learned to:
• Operate earth-moving equipment under actual working conditions.
• Assemble, adjust, repair and maintain electrical, ignition, hydraulic, and cooling systems.
• Engage in minor engine repair, general maintenance, lubrication, and equipment safety.
• Conduct land surveys and read blueprints.
• Identify and measure the qualities of soils.
Aviation Maintenance program partners with Delta Air Lines
The Aviation Maintenance Technician program became one of just 38 training programs in the U.S. chosen to partner with Delta Air Lines. Through this partnership Delta donates materials, parts and manuals; serves as an advisor to the program; and provides employment options for top students. Students study Aircraft Maintenance at Laurel Oaks are working toward a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Maintenance Technician certificate as they graduate from high school.
Web Applications and Game Development program set to begin
More than 20 students prepared to start the 2018-2019 school year in a new program, Web Applications and Game Development. This program teaches coding and provides students with
a framework for life-long learning in this demanding field. Students are exposed to a broad range of hands-on software engineering opportunities leading to industry certifications for immediate employment or college preparedness.
Diesel truck customized by students makes its debut
When Laurel Oaks instructor Gary Bronson got a 2013 International Pro Star for his high school program, he knew that the truck would become a project for more than just his Industrial Diesel Mechanics students.
And after months of work, the truck made its debut at the recent Cavalcade of Customs auto show in Cincinnati and participated in April’s annual Findlay Market Parade to celebrate the beginning of the baseball season.
The truck was purchased by Great Oaks in 2017 to provide the Industrial Diesel Mechanics students with a chance to learn on a recent model vehicle; Bronson quickly involved others as well. As his students completed the truck’s required annual inspection, replaced the brakes, polished the wheels, and wired new lighting, other Laurel Oaks students got busy:
• Welding students built a mounting system for the rear fenders, built a headache rack for the back of the cab, and used a CNC plasma cutter to cut designs into the rack.
• Auto Collision Technology students prepped and painted the rear fenders.
• Digital Arts and Design students designed and created graphics for the truck’s sides and a “Career Ready” banner for the front.
• Computer Service Technician and Networking students set up a video display with the truck.
• CareerX students helped get the truck ready for public viewing.
The students were involved as part of a SkillsUSA project.
It was a great experience said one of the Digital Arts students who developed the graphics. “It was a chance to do a real-world project, and I feel like we’re leaving our mark on the school.”
With Bronson’s vision, and the students’ work, Great Oaks now has a truck for Industrial Diesel students to sharpen their skills on as well as a rolling reminder to the community of the professional skills and talents these high school students have. “And it only took me seven years (of proposing the project) to make it a reality,” Bronson laughed.