Jeffers offers opportunities to explore

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The Painesdale Post Office building, now the property of the Adams Township School District, contains an unoccupied room at its rear. That room is where the Jeffers High School vocational program’s culinary kitchen is being built.

PAINESDALE — Jeffers High School offers interested students opportunities to explore a number of skills and trades through the school’s vocational center, but the center is not intended as a career and technical education (CTE) program, Superintendent Tim Keteri said.

“On this, I want to be very clear,” Keteri said, “this is not CTE, and I don’t want it to be CTE. The reason I don’t want it to be CTE is I want kids to have the experience and have the opportunity to just explore. I don’t want them to be focused on CTE. CTE is Certified, Technical, Education, so you’re pretty clear, and you’re pretty motivated that you want to be in auto mechanics or be an auto technician. You’re taking health care, because you want to be a nurse. Kids who are in our program, they don’t know yet.”

Keteri said it is important for his district to provide opportunities for students to recognize that they can experience a skill or a trade, while at the same time not committing to earning a certificate in that field.

“I didn’t want that. Some of our donors call this our campus, we’re going to have places for them to experience,” he said. “For instance, I know for a fact that I don’t have a lot of chefs in the building. But I do have a lot of kids who would love to learn how to cook, and would love to learn ways to do it, and our program will supply that.”

In the area of culinary arts, there is a difference between a line cook, a prep-cook and a chef. There are many positions in a commercial or an industrial kitchen many people are not aware of.

“And they can see that here,” Keteri said. “They can look at that. So, if you experience this culinary center, if you really like it, let’s get you on a pathway.”