“Career Exploration Center” coming soon to D.A. Smith Middle School

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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OZARK, Ala. (WTVY) - Outdated and unused classrooms at D.A. Smith Middle School will soon have a purpose.

“We want to expose kids to career opportunities sooner,” explains Reeivice Girtman, Superintendent of Ozark City Schools.

A total renovation will turn them into career tech classrooms.

Girtman continues, “From outdoor classrooms with new furniture outside, to indoor classroom that are spaces that allow ease and flow so teachers can supervise and work with kids that are working on multiple projects.”

From STEM to trade, the Career Exploration Center will help 6th 7th and 8th graders discover what they’re interested in.

“Criminal justice, nursing, masonry, teaching, culinary arts, digital media,” Girtman lists.

Eventually funneling students into Carroll High’s Career Tech program, then the workforce after graduation.

“I just think it’s a great idea,” expresses Mark Blankenship, Mayor of Ozark. “The younger we can start these kids in these vocational programs the better off we are. We have such a shortage here in Ozark.”

$75,000 of a $250,000 goal has already been raised through local partnerships, one being Alabama Power Company.

“We know that the workforce is tough right now, so what we’re trying to do is invest back in the community, or as we like to say, elevate the community,” explains Trent Dillard, Community Relations Manager at Alabama Power. “So, share our experiences if it’s lineman, if it’s engineering, or if it’s accounting, we want to be there in the classroom also.”

Identifying with the district’s motto, “One Eagle” meaning, Ozark Needs Everyone.

Renovations will begin sometime this fall.

The goal is to have the center up and running by the beginning of next school year.

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