PLCC Has a New Website

These are exciting times at the Portage Lakes Career Center campus. Our new website is live (obviously) with many improvements:

  • Better information architecture and navigation
  • An advanced calendar for upcoming events
  • A job board with individual listings
  • Beautiful Program pages that showcase what our students learn
  • a full Staff directory

And much, much more.

So, what do you think?

Our goal is to continue improving to become one of the top career centers in the nation. Send us a note and let us know how we’re doing by leaving a comment in the section below.

We hope you are as excited about this new direction as we are.

iPad for Each Student Through New iCan! Program

PLCC is excited to roll out a new program called iCan! in the fall of 2013. iCan! Is a 1:1 computer initiative that will be present to all PLCC full-time students as part of the Career Center’s plan to develop 21st Century Learners.

This program will provide every PLCC full-time student with an iPad for continuous use both in the classroom and at home. PLCC is one of the few schools in Ohio to provide iPads for each of its students. The iPads enable students to engage in the latest technology to prepare them for a global workforce. Academic classes will be more of a project-based curriculum further enhancing 21st Century Skills.

Teachers integrate technology into their classroom experiences, many not even using textbooks.

PLCC Engineering Students Sweep Bridge Building Competition

On Friday, January 25, thirty-four teams, representing seventeen Summit County schools gathered at the University of Akron to build miniature bridges of their own designs, made out of balsa wood and according to strict guidelines.

Congratulations to Don Ellesin and his senior engineering students who were named Champions of the 13th Annual Summit County Engineer Bridge Building Contest. PLCC Team 1 came in first place by constructing a bridge that held 58.1 pounds. PLCC Team 2 also claimed first place with the Aesthetics Award.

The contest is designed to encourage high school students to implement scientific and mathematical principles they have learned in the classroom. After about three hours of construction, the bridges were brought up on a stage to be load tested until they ultimately break.

The winning members of PLCC Team 1 were Howard Eubank, Chad Robertson and Jared Williams.

Jake Logan, Garrett Masters and Evan Schoonover made up PLCC Team 2.

In addition to being named Champions, each student that participated was awarded a cash prize and they are also eligible for the MBBC College Scholarship.

An Award-Winning Year

Portage Lakes Career Center is incredibly proud to recognize student Mike Smith as the Green YMCA Youth Volunteer of the Year Award winner.

Mike, a senior in the Careers in Service Industries program, has been volunteering with the Green YMCA since October of 2012. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Mike helps to keep the YMCA in pristine condition so guests can enjoy all that the facility has to offer.

Mike states that, “working with the people at the Green YMCA and meeting lots of new people” has been the best part about his involvement there. He notes that he will “take all of the skills I have learned at the Green YMCA and build on them in the future.”

Careers in Service Industries Program Instructor, Dale Dunlevy, agrees that Mike is a perfect choice for such an award. “Mike is an absolute pleasure to be around and he can get along with anyone. He comes to school in a great mood everyday and puts a smile on the face of everyone he sees. This award seemed to help Mike realize the impact that his work and his attitude has on people.”

Lisa Clarke, Job Placement Coordinator at Portage Lakes Career Center, is just as excited about this recognition for such a positive student.

“Mike’s attitude and desire to learn will take him very far; he has grown so much this year and his connection with the Green YMCA has been a wonderful experience for everyone involved.” -Lisa Clarke

While Mike will be graduating in May and moving on to new opportunities, he is thrilled with this recognition. “I am proud of myself. I learned that you have to work hard and that you need to ask questions if you’re not sure of something.

I also learned how much I like working with others.” In the future, Mike hopes to own a business involving woodworking and he reflects that he won’t forget all of the things program instructor Mr. Dunlevy and the staff at the Green YMCA have taught him.

Congratulations Mike!

PLCC Students Advance to National DECA Competition

This spring, many students from Portage Lakes Career Center have been preparing for their regional and state level competitions through the career-technical student leadership organizations that they are associated with. We are proud to congratulate three students who will advance to their National competitions and the many other PLCC students who won top awards.

Good Luck National Qualifiers

Cory Popson, senior Programming & Software Development student, taught by Maria Schlenk will travel to Orlando, Florida in May. Cory will compete in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Leadership Conference in the Visual Basic Programming Contest.

Cory competed against 20 other students from across Ohio at the State contest. “I thought I would do well, but I was shocked when they announced me as the 1st place winner,” said Popson.

“The contest was difficult in that it was a race against time. We were given one and a half hours to develop an application. I had to work fast while fully understanding the directions. Cory will be attending Champlian College in Burlington, VT next fall where he will pursue a 4 yr. Computer Science/Game Programming degree.

Kelsey Askew and Rebecca Askew, both senior Marketing & Management students housed at Springfield H.S. placed first at the state DECA contest and will be traveling with their teacher, Theresa Brugler, to Anaheim, CA later this month for the DECA International Career Development Conference.

The girls will be competing in the Hospitality & Tourism Operations Research contest.

“The topic for this contest is to create or enhance a website for an existing company,” said Brugler. “The project requires students to use primary and secondary research, prepare a (maximum) 30 page written plan and a 15 minute presentation. “I am very excited for and proud of these girls,” said Brugler.

“They worked so hard on it and I honestly thought the paper was phenomenal. They were up against some big school districts and actually beat a team that has won at the National level the past several years. It was like a March Madness upset!” The girls said the most difficult part of the contest was the stress leading up to the week of State Competition. They came to school early and stayed late several days to make sure they were prepared.

They also found the presentation difficult because they had so much information to present in a short time.

Pre-Nursing Student Earns STNA Certification

Andre Lettau, a senior PLCC Pre-Nursing student from Green, is the first in his class to achieve the State Tested Nurse Assistant (STNA) certification. The first step in earning his certification was to go through Portage Lakes Career Centers Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) utilizing the Ohio Department of Health curriculum.

Andre said the STNA exam was a four-hour test that included both a written and hands-on portion. “I was very nervous about taking this test, the results would dictate my future for a couple of years,” said Lettau. “I was the youngest person in the group taking the exam, and was mostly worried about the hands-on portion of the test. The margin of error was so small.”

Now that he has passed, Andre feels that this is one more thing he can add to his resume, and it gives him a higher level of credibility and professionalism.

Passionate About Serving People

“Andre is very passionate about serving people. He has a compassionate heart and will make a wonderful nurse someday,” said Debra Sawhill, RN, PC, program instructor. “He definitely has a goal and his work ethic will help him achieve his goals and be a valuable asset to the HealthCare Industry.”

Andre said his training at PLCC has definitely given him some advantages. In addition to earning his STNA certification, Andre has earned his CPR, AED and First Aid Certifications. Next on his list is getting his EKG Training Certification. “My goal is to eventually become an RN in an Emergency Room.” Andre also said that coming to PLCC better prepared him because of all of the one-on-one assistance his teacher Mrs. Sawhill is able to give in addition to having had a year and a half to really learn the medical terminology that is so important to know in this field.

Andre is currently working as an STNA at Manor Care in North Canton and will be attending Stark State this fall to pursue his RN degree.

Welding – It’s Not Just for Boys

Though not a traditional field most women have chosen, welding is a great field for a woman who likes to work with her hands and be creative using a variety of metals. That is exactly what you will find in two of Mike Kappas’s Welding students. Haleigh Coon and Anastasia Theodore, the only girls in the junior Welding class of 25 at PLCC.

“We love the program,” said the girls. “There is no drama, our teacher is do helpful and we are treated the same. Our teacher does not give us any breaks because we are girls.”

Women in welding basically have the job of adjoining any two metal; be it two pipes, steel beams or other objects. Many plants and factories are in need of welders. Many women like welding because traveling is often involved, such as in construction jobs. Also, work is often varied, making for an interesting and constantly changing career.

Haleigh Coon, a Springfield resident, says welding is in her blood. “My dad, six aunts and three uncles all are in the business.” Haleigh also had a cousin that went through the program at PLCC
and highly recommended it. “After I graduate I hope to either work on the pipeline or become a steelworker.”

Anastasia Theodore, of Coventry, says she likes working with her hands and the art of welding. “My parents weren’t sure about me doing this at first,” said Anastasia. “Now they tell me I have found my niche and can see that I have grown.” Anastasia particularly enjoys MIG welding and in addition to having a career as a welder hopes to have her own shop where she can do some artistic welding.