Wetmore students take advantage of HCC tech classes

Submitted by Faith Bratcher, WHS Student Correspondent

Five Wetmore High School students leave Wetmore each school day to take advantage of vocational classes offered by Highland Community College Technical School in Baileyville. Senior Kyler Vance and juniors Walker Gibson and Cooper Duryea are taking welding classes. Junior Joel Hutfles is taking construction technology, while Cole Strathman is taking precision agriculture.

The students have varied reasons for taking these courses.

“I decided to go to Highland because I felt I wasn’t a four year college student. My Highland Community College class is really hands-on, which is the biggest reason I am taking the class,” Strathman said.

Highland could help them all in the future.

“It (this program) will help me get a job in the future,” Duryea said.

Hutfles agrees.

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to remodel a house on my own,” he said.

Vance is equally enthusiastic about the courses.

“These classes will help to make me a qualified welder,” Vance said.

Vo-tech students are especially impressed with the hands-on learning.

“In the future, I could start my own business and use the knowledge I have learned at Highland, and use it to help other farmers find better ways to plant, fertilize and process data,” Strathman said.

“I really like welding, I’ve done it before, and I wanted to do more hands on work rather than being at school for the full seven hours,” Gibson said.

“Construction technology is a hands-on class. Right now we are turning a former band room into a conference room with a kitchenette. We have a little bookwork but the majority of our time is spent with hands-on learning,” Hutfles said.

Coaches have to work around the Highland schedule, since the students leave for Highland at 11 a.m. and don’t arrive back at Wetmore until 3:45 p.m. However, the staff is more than willing to begin practice a little later to accommodate these career-bound students.

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