There’s another new face in the building and that is Ms. Ammons. Ms. Ammons is the business instructor here and teaches strategic marketing internship and entrepreneurship and sports entertainment marketing. Before teaching here, she taught at the North Judson- San Pierre schools.
“I taught a wide variety of courses including business classes in accounting, personal finance, business math, marketing, et cetera, as well as technology classes,” Ms. Ammons said.
She uses all her knowledge and experience to help students in her vocational class everyday and helps develop skills in her students. Students and their success is her top priority.
“Each student’s achievement from this school is to find ways to learn, achieve, and succeed to the best of their ability. My part of that is to lead, encourage, challenge, motivate, and celebrate being part of a fantastic education opportunity here at PCCTC, and I want each student to connect this experience to their future success.”
She has been a great leader and supporter throughout the year for her students and has encouraged each student to do their work to the best of their abilities.
Ms. Ammons hasn’t always been a business teacher though. She originally was a music teacher, but quickly found out that business is where she belonged.
Being an instructor at PCCTC can be very different than teaching at a typical secondary school, and Ms. Ammons has quickly discovered that.
“It’s great to teach students who have really made an effort to ‘choose’ business not only as a class but as a possible career choice. The classes are filled with more like-minded students who are focused on business projects and exploring what area is of interest to them. Plus, I love the teacher and cross-curriculum support we have between the staff and students. It’s great to have so many opportunities to have the students complete hands-on projects in the business world.”
Ms. Ammons is a great teacher with a positive attitude and teaches skills that will help students in their future business endeavors.
A majority of students here know what they want to do and work hard to get to where they want to be. Working hard is something that all students know how to do at the career center, especially Jacob Evers, a student in the building trades class and a senior and Valparaiso High School.
Jacob’s hard work is shown both in class and at home. He has a hobby that most teenagers would not even think about having; he grows giant pumpkins in his backyard. His pumpkin business started around two or three years ago and has gotten much larger than what it was. He used to grow pumpkins that were your average size. Then he found some inspiration online and started growing 1,000 to 2,000 pound pumpkins. Each pumpkin takes about 100 gallons of water per day. To make the watering process a bit easier, he created a pump that brings up water from a river under his backyard. The pump is timed so that the pumpkins get the right amount of water at the right time. Along with taking his pumpkins to weighing competitions nationally, he carves his giant pumpkins to display.
But that is not all. Jacob also grows long watermelons that are 150 to 200 pounds.That’s almost ten times as large as an average-sized watermelon. Oversized pumpkins and watermelons is not where Jacob is stopping.
“Next year, I’m going to try and grow long gourds along with maybe long carrots,” Jacob said.
His business has been very successful and has multiple buyers for the pumpkins and the seeds. Because what he does is so interesting and he’s so young, he has gone to multiple classes here to tell other students about his hobby.
Jacob plans to continue this business after he graduates high school and is thinking about either going to school for construction or to be an electrician.
What’s Coming Up?
Ice Skating Party
To give students a time to gather with their friends at the career center outside of school, the staff is hosting an ice skating event at Urschel Pavilion in downtown Valparaiso. This event is one of many that students have the opportunity to participate in throughout the year. After everyone is done ice skating, there will be food. This is a great time to meet with friends from other schools that you do not see outside of school.
The Porter County Career Center is hosting an open house in December for students from multiple middle schools. Each class will open for potential students to come in and see. Students will be able to meet the instructors and the students who are taking the class now. This event could be the moment that students decide on their future and what they want to do after high school. The open house shows the students the kind of atmosphere of the school and how different it is than a typical high school. Mentors from each class will be giving tours and answering questions that anyone might have.
Mr. Zimmerman’s Career Help
Many students get professional jobs as soon as they leave the Career Center. Each class learns about the importance of networking when trying to find a job. With the help of Mr. Zimmerman, our career advisor, networking becomes easier.
He is going to each class and helping them set up LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn is a business or professional social networking site. He also is giving everyone tips on how to professionally network to get a job. This can be very important to many people and can potentially land them with a job in their interest-field. He is also helping students create strong resumes and giving tips on how to interview properly. With his tips, students can create powerful resumes that can take them to an interview for their dream job.
The video productions class makes a recruiting video for the Student Support Coordinators to show just about every year. This video shows potential students each class and a little bit of information about each one. To keep up with recent trends, the video this year is a mannequin challenge.The video productions student were going to do one just as a class but thought it would be a good idea to do one on a larger scale as a promotional video instead.
Each class struck a pose in their normal classrooms to give viewers a feel of what these classes are like. It was filmed by first-year video productions student Hannah Christy.
“I think it went really well. The majority of the production was made by first-year students and we really came together to make it good,” Hannah said.
The video is available for the public to see on the Porter County Career Center’s Facebook page.
Student of the Quarter
The staff enjoys rewarding students who work hard every day. Every quarter, the instructors pick a student from their class who has shown leadership skills, worked hard and stood out in their respective classes.
The Students of the Quarter in the morning classes for this first quarter are Truman Maxwell (building trades), Meg Parpart (health occupations), Hannah Christy (video productions), Eden Priest (entrepreneurship), Daniel Golko (auto), Scott Fisher (auto), Tyler Nordeen (CAD), Eric Jones (electronics), Anacelia Martinez (health occupations), and Anthony Stutz (machine trades).
The afternoon students that were selected are Angela Allison (auto), Steven McCarthy (auto), Alec Long (building trades), Kyle Stowers (strategic marketing internship), Dave Rivera (CAD), Ken Powell (electronics), Casey Zipped (health occupations), Lexi Sroka (health careers), Jason Shutske (machine trades), and Payton Ball (video productions).
Store Grand Opening
Since the beginning of this school year, the entrepreneurship class has been working hard to learn the basics of opening the school-based store and figuring out what to sell. They have named the store “Snacks by the Tracks” because of the recent rechristening of the Grand Trunk Train Depot. They had both an exclusive staff opening and a student opening.
On November 18th, the class opened the store for the staff to figure out what they needed to fix in order for the official grand opening to run smoothly. On November 21st, the class had their official grand opening. There was a ribbon cutting done by the entrepreneurship class president Derek Lasky, as well as the principal Mr. Groth. It was a special event for the class because all their hard work was finally on display for the whole school to see.
“I felt very excited about finally opening the store. I loved how the customers looked super happy and excited that the store was open,” Jasmine Wiley, a student from the business class said. “It was nice to hear the students and teachers say that we satisfied their hunger and that they loved the variety of foods that we offered.”
Since the grand opening, students have been working out all the problems and learning new things every day about what it is like to actually run a store. By the end of the year, every students will have experience in all the positions that are in the store such as manager, assistant manager and cashier.