portsmouth-dailytimes.com

SciotoTech is not your parents’ VoTech

By Ryan Ottney

September 27, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney


PDT Staff Writer


When Emily Joyce told her parents told her parents she wanted to attend the Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech), they were less than thrilled. Two years later, Joyce has graduated from SciotoTech and enrolled in the engineering program at Wright State University in Dayton, but her parents say they were they ones who learned a valuable lesson.


Joyce was a sophomore at Minford School, interested in the prosthetic and bio-medical field and already considering her options for college.


“Her sophomore year she took Engineering 1 with Christy Veach; it was offered at Minford. Christy asked her if she would go to the vocational school her junior year to finish out engineering. When Emily proposed that to us, I said ‘absolutely not,’” said Emily’s mother, Dawn Joyce.


She said she remembered what “VoTech” was when she was in high school, and she wanted better for her daughter.


“It just carried a bad reputation,” Joyce said. “I don’t think necessarily that the career technical center as a whole was the bad taste in our mouth. It was just the people that were drawn there when I was in high school. I just didn’t want her in that environment.”


Emily’s junior year started at Minford, and the subject seemed to have been dropped entirely. But Joyce said Emily wasn’t happy in the the engineering program offered at Minford, so they finally agreed to let her transfer to SciotoTech. She was the first girl to enroll in the program at SciotoTech.


Within the first nine-weeks, Emily’s parents began to see a different side of SciotoTech.


“There was an open house, and we went out and spoke with Mr. (Superintendent Stan) Jennings and Mr. (Principal Kyle) Copley, and just saw the school and how things have changed; the different people that are out there now. It’s definitely not our VoTech, the way it used to be. Looking back on it now, it was the best decision we ever made,” Joyce said.


After begging Emily not to go to SciotoTech, her mother said they’ve changed their thinking so much that now they’re begging their son to go to SciotoTech.


“Things have changed. The type of instruction we’re trying to instill in these students has definitely evolved into a much greater curriculum, and a much more challenging curriculum for our students. It’s not what it used to be. We have great staff that take their jobs very seriously, and we also have great students, and that feeds off each other,” Copley said.


Emily’s mother said the scariest part for them was that Emily was getting so much at SciotoTech, they really weren’t able to help their daughter with her homework.


“They’re learning things that some of us have never seen before, and the only help that they can get if they have trouble is at the school. But every resource is available there that they need, and they’ve all been very helpful and continue to help,” Joyce said.


Emily completed the engineering program at SciotoTech and graduated this year. Thanks to dual-enrollment, she was able to earn college credit while attending SciotoTech. Emily started this fall as a sophomore at Wright State University, in Dayton, where she’s studying engineering with a concentration in bio-medical engineering.


“She was a direct admit into the bio-medical engineering program because of the Career Center and the post-secondary program that they offer,” Joyce said of her daughter. “She’s doing great (at Wright State University). She loves it. I don’t think she’ll ever come back to Scioto County.”


For more information about the secondary programs offered at SciotoTech in Lucasville, contact the school at 740-259-5522, or visit them online at www.sciototech.org.


Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.