|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
THS expanding vocational programs
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Plans to expand Trinity High School’s vocational courses were given the green light Monday night, with school officials voting to add pharmacy and veterinary technician courses as well as medical billing training. During Monday’s meeting of the Trinity School Board, the board approved the purchase of licenses and teaching materials for the three courses at a combined cost of $37,500. Existing school staff will be able to teach the new classes, which will be offered to seniors starting in the 2012-13 school year. Career and Technology Education (CATE) Director Tally Jo Stout told the board the plan is to help seniors obtain state licenses so they will be able to immediately enter the job market after they graduate. Traditionally, graduating seniors are exempted from attending classes during the final week of school, but under the new program, students would come to school during that final week to take the state licensing exams. Noting that the state charges for their tests, board member Steve Tyler said he felt the school should find a way to come up with the money to cover those costs. “It would be a shame to have these kids go through these courses only to fall short because they couldn’t afford to pay for the test,” he said. Stout agreed, adding that Superintendent Dave Plymale had already instructed her to find ways to cover the test cost, which she said would run about $120 per student. In her report to the board, Stout noted there is a high level of interest by students in the new courses, noting that 20 have expressed interest in the pharmacy tech class, 17 in the medical billing course and 15 in the veterinary tech program. She noted that across the board, student interest in the career and technology courses being offered is on the rise. Stout told the board that 34 students have indicated they would like to take the game/robotics programming and design classes to be offered by Tom Sample next year. “Interest is this course is skyrocketing,” she said, noting that two classes will be set up in the game/robotics course next year to accommodate the number of students. In addition to the traditional vocational agriculture courses being offered, other CATE classes to be offered at THS next year include floral design; business information management; accounting; web technologies; computer programming; computer maintenance; professional communication; anatomy and physiology; theater arts, principals of law, public safety and security; and principals of education and training. In related action, the board accepted bids to make improvements to the THS agriculture science building. Affordable Plumbing was awarded the bid to upgrade the water and sewer system at the building at a cost of $7,650 while W.A. Electric won the bid to upgrade the electrical service at a cost of $35,000. Water tower eyed During the meeting, Plymale reported that problems with low water pressure on the Trinity High School/Middle School campus might be coming to an end. He said the city is now drafting plans to install a 250,000 gallon elevated storage tank on school property that would serve the high school/middle school campus and other areas along Highway 94 East in Trinity. Plymale told the board he met with City Manager Buddy Drake and an engineer hired by the city to discuss the tank and agreed on a site located along Highway 94 just west of the main entry road to the campus. The superintendent noted that this property would have to be conveyed to the city in order for the water tower to be built and that once the site is staked out, school attorneys could work on selling the property to the city. Plymale said the city plans to use some of its Hurricane Ike Recovery Grant funds to pay for the new water tower. He noted that currently the school has only 30 pounds of water pressure, which means that they cannot water lawns or sports fields while school is in session. The pressure also is too low to provide the fire hydrants with adequate water to for fire fighting at the campus. “If there were a fire, the fire department would have to depend on the water in their trucks,” the superintendent said. Coaches hired Following a short closed session to discuss personnel, the school board voted to hire two new coaches. Daniel O’Keefe, who currently serves as the offensive line coach for Cameron Yoe High School, was hired as the new offensive coordinator for the THS football program. Ray C. Cauthern Jr., currently the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Galveston Ball High School, was named as THS’ new defensive coordinator. Plymale noted that both men have coached state championship football teams. O’Keefe earned his bachelor degree in 2003 from Texas State University in San Marcos and coached and taught school in Bay City and Giddings before joining the Cameron Yoe staff in 2010. He will be re-uniting with Trinity’s new athletic director/head football coach Jarrod Smith. Prior to taking charge of the local coaching staff in January, Smith had served as the offensive coordinator at Cameron Yoe. Cauthern earned his bachelor degree in 1987 from he University of Houston and a masters degree in 2010 from Walden University. He coached and taught school in La Grange, High Island and East Chambers before joining the Galveston Ball High School staff in 2010. Other action During the meeting, the school board also vote to: • Approved the district’s summer nutritional program which will offer breakfasts and lunches to students over the summer. The program will operate Monday through Thursday (except July 4) from June 4 to Aug. 2. Breakfast will be served from 7-7:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Approved two out-of-state student trips over the summer. The board approved $2,500 to send James Lowe to the National Beta Club Convention to be held in North Carolina and $2,400 to send Katy Beth Clopton to the FCCLA National Convention in Florida. • Approved a resolution designating May 7-11 as Teacher Appreciation Week in Trinity.