School and Business Leaders Team Up at Carroll High School

Ozark, AL - Ozark school and business leaders are teaming up to improve the opportunities for students at Carroll High. The new high school could be home to different academies giving students a jump start into a career.

“I think it’s important for our students to be able to explore career options when they’re in high school. So we have travelled all the way from Texas to Hoboken, New Jersey, looking at academies,” say Superintendent Michael Lenhart.

Last week’s trip to Pensacola was the first step in trying to connect local businesses with these academies.

The school they visited has been using the academy method for more than a decade, and local businesses like Gulf Power have joined in. The students benefit by the education and the business has their pick of new employees following graduation.

“Everyone seemed to walk away with an “A-Ha”. They were very excited. They had heard about it. We’ve talked about it at the board meetings. We’ve talked about it at schools, but seeing it in action was just amazing,” said career tech director, Dana Griggs.

The new high school is designed by that theme. Each academy, from Business to the Arts, will have its own wing.

“We have a health science academy. We’re going to have a human services academy. There’s an academy of industrial technology, an academy of science technology and engineering, a business academy, and an arts academy,” says Lenhart.

Leaders think by focusing their electives on one subject it could help better prepare these students for college and the real world.

“Certainly we want to have any student that wants to go to college go to a four-year school, but there are those who want to go from school to work. So we’re going to have academies that help students do that too,” says Lenhart.

High paying careers like carpentry, welding, and brick masonry will all be available to students.

“You sit down and talk with parents and ask, ‘What do you want for your student?’ A lot of times we say,’Oh we want them to go to college,’ but what we really want is for them to be gainfully employed.

Unlike most schools they’ve toured where students had to take a test and be accepted into an academy, Carroll High’s academies will be open to all students.

The new school is expected to be complete by next spring.

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