JEFFERSON — As the third quarter of our school year comes to a close, activities at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus are far from winding down. Actually, students are in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year, juggling many activities including the annual spaghetti dinner and the American Red Cross blood drive, all while preparing for state competitions in April.
On Feb. 28, A-Tech hosted the annual spaghetti dinner. The dinner is meaningful to the staff and student body at A-Tech because it is a chance to invite the community into our school and not only show our pride, but also simply to take time and introduce ourselves to community members and spend a minute getting to know the citizens who support us. More than 90 A-Tech students were able to stay after school for the event and assist the culinary department in providing more than 650 dinners! All of the proceeds from this event assist students through the A-Tech Scholarship Fund.
Instructional coordinator Brian Kimmel, who is in charge of the spaghetti dinner, said, “It never ceases to amaze me how many students are willing to donate their time and come back after the school day to help make this event a success. Their attitudes are awesome and they work extremely hard to make sure the dinner is successful.”
A-Tech also held a blood drive on March 6 and 7 in which approximately 216 students signed up to donate blood. Although the American Red Cross officially runs the blood drive, the staff and student body take pride in assisting their team in any way we can. Student assistants for this activity are made up in large part by the junior and senior health care technology students at A-Tech. Many students had to begin their day before 6 a.m. and worked until the school day ended at 2:30 p.m. The blood drive not only gave healthcare students valuable experience, but also contributed a significant number of hours toward their community service requirements. Business technology students also played a large part in making the project a success by scheduling student donation times and providing advertising on campus for the event. A-Tech exceeded its goal, collecting 161 pints of blood, 11 more than projected. Healthcare technology instructors were pleased with the program and the level of professionalism the students displayed.
“Everyone from the American Red Cross is very impressed with the way we treat them at A-Tech,” said instructor Shannon Cheney.
Marybeth Sanford, the new pharmacy technology program instructor, said, “My first year went really well. The American Red Cross was very happy with the drive. It went very smooth, and I was very impressed with how well the junior and senior students participated and it helped everyone out so very much.”
Instructor Mary Bettcher added, “It is nice to be able to spread our event over two days. If we only had one day, which many schools do, it would be difficult for everyone who wanted to participate to be able to.”
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Dominoes Pizza and Subway of Jefferson who donated pizza and sandwiches for those students who donated.
Preparations are well under way for several state-wide events A-Tech will be participating in next month. SkillsUSA, an organization which enables students to compete in their career-technical field, will be holding state competitions in Columbus on April 21, 22 and 23. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America will hold state-wide competitions on April 17, 18 and 19 in Columbus as well. These competitions will allow students to showcase their talents and compete against students from other career technical schools across the state.
Senior graphic communications student Nikki Dubecky is looking forward to the challenge at her second state competition. “After going to Columbus last year and advancing to nationals, I’m looking forward to this trip because I will know what to expect,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, there will still be nerves to deal with, but I expect that I will be much more confident and focused on being the best I can be.”
Good luck to all of the A-Tech students who are attending these events!