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The Crossing Chronicle

CTE Pathways Expand to Include Electricity

Students can learn skills to help them launch careers upon graduation
Kendra Brewer
Mastering safety principles comes first in the electricity pathway, but then students participate in many hands-on learning situations.

Great Crossing High School offers a CTE (Career and Technical Education) program that allows students to explore many career driven pathways to prepare them for their future in the workforce. The most recent one that has been added is the electrical technician pathway.

This new pathway is taught by Mr. Gerald Sewell and offers students the proper insight and safety when going into the electrical field. For the first year, Sewell teaches a total of 92 students. Sewell has worked in the electrical field for years and holds many qualifications as a state licensed master electrician and contractor.

The pathway is open to students in all grade levels, and no experience with electricity is required. A stereotype that exists for the electrical field is that it’s just for male students, but that isn’t the case. Sewell stated, “It’s not for guys only; one of my female students wants to do welding fabrication. If she wants to do it in an area where she’s fabricating for an electrical company, this class allows her to know what her coworkers in the electrical field will need.” 

This class will help you get into an apprentice program.  My goal is to get my students to where they can get into this program. I’ve got students that will be engineers, some that may not be in the electrical field but associated with it, and the biggest thing is that you’ve learned responsibility.

— Jerry Sewell, electricity instructor

Students begin the pathway by enrolling in industrial maintenance electrical principles, and students gain skills required before beginning hands-on activities.  One of the focuses in this beginning class is safety.  Sewell explained, “Safety goes along with anything you do in any job; the only difference is safety in the electrical field can end up costing your life if you’re not paying attention.”

He added, “Teaching safety in basic electricity is the first thing that needs to be done in high school electrical programs.”

However, Sewell knows that students want to have hands-on learning opportunities as soon as possible.  “Right now, most of the course work is pencil and paper, but since this is the first year we’ve had this program, I’m trying to build it up,” said Sewell. Plans for an electrical lab are underway, and when completed, it will allow for even more hands-on activities for students.

The class will offer many benefits and certifications for the future. “This class will help you get into an apprentice program.  My goal is to get my students to where they can get into this program. I’ve got students that will be engineers, some that may not be in the electrical field but associated with it, and the biggest thing is that you’ve learned responsibility,” stated Sewell.

Sophomore Mara Lukow highlighted her experience with what she has learned in this pathway. “It is a very interesting class. You’re able to learn things about electricity that not everybody else knows, which gives you new expertise.”

It wasn’t completely what Lukow had expected. “Electricity is a lot more dangerous than I expected. This class helped me learn how to not zap myself and has taught me a lot about wiring,” Lukow added.

Junior Shawn Keaton has enjoyed being in the electrical pathway and felt like he has learned quite a bit. “We’ve been taught the basics of how to set up outlets and what employees have to do for this.”

He continued, “I’ve learned a lot about electricity, more than I would have known without this class.”

This pathway has brought in experienced speakers who have worked in the field to discuss and teach through many different stories and scenarios they’ve experienced. Freshman Kylei Centers explained one of the most interesting things she’s learned from the speakers, “You should always call 811 before digging a hole in your yard, because you never know what pipes could be lying underneath.”

Their guest speaker shared a story to follow with the lesson. “There was a guy digging a hole in a field, and he had hit a gas pipe which caused everything to blow up. I hadn’t known about that until we had a speaker come and explain it to our class,” Centers said. 

When learning about electricity, it is important to keep engagement so that students can pay attention and learn all the possible techniques they need. Mr. Sewell is appreciated by students for his hard work and dedication to the program. Freshmen Lily Perkins said, “This is definitely not like a regular class, and there’s definitely not as much structure. I think I enjoy it more because of the teacher. He keeps it a lot more fun and enjoyable. When we are talking about the dangerous parts, he likes to act it out or something.  He’s just really funny with it.”

However, despite his fun nature, Sewell’s students know that he has high expectations for them.   Sewell said, “I follow in behind a lot of young electricians that haven’t been taught right. When I get you, you’re gonna learn,” finished Sewell.

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About the Contributor
Kendra Brewer
Kendra Brewer, Staff Reporter
Kendra Brewer is a senior at Great Crossing High school, and this is her second year reporting for The Crossing Chronicle. Kendra enjoys films and writing to pass time. She will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall to major in Media Arts!

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  • K

    Kristy JohnsonMar 5, 2024 at 11:46 am

    I love that we have this program. With information being provided, like this article, my hope is we can get more students involved. Great work here!

  • A

    Annette ManliefMar 5, 2024 at 11:19 am

    What a great opportunity for GCHS students!!