Red & Black

Building a better future

Noah Holt, Reporter

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Nichols Career Center offers multiple programs in which students gain skills they will need to use in the workforce. Many students prefer this non-traditional way of learning because it prepares them for real life. This causes Nichols to have a higher attendance rate than any of its sending schools.
Elijah Shirk is part of the welding course in the Nichols building. Shirk is one of many students who enjoy the hands-on learning style of NCC.
“When I was younger, I used to be really into swords and blacksmithing, but then I found out that sometimes you can’t make a huge career out of it, unfortunately. So it would be more of a hobby. But I liked working with metal anyway.”
Shirk goes on to say how he started with the Metals Tech course and how he wanted to get more into welding once he completed Metals Tech, and proceed to join after a spot became free.
With any class there naturally comes some difficulties, as Shirk says that keeping up with attendance is major part of taking a Nichols program.
“They (Shirk’s counselor) told me that it would be a really big commitment.”
Shirk, during his 10th grade year had missed 26.66 days (including missing full days as well as separate blocks) and lowered that number to the current 2.15 days during this year, showing that he is truly honoring that commitment to attendance.
Shirk stated that he enjoys the teacher, Kenny Thomas, as he “really does try to help you out as much as he can, also the other students are great people who will help you out. You’ll have a great time in the Nichols program.”

Just down the hall from the Welding classroom is Matthew Sidebottom, who is in Auto Collision. Sidebottom states that he got into the class because of an interest in cars that he has always had, and from his brother coming home from college talking about how much he enjoyed it.
”Some stuff you might not understand off the bat because you’ve never heard of it before, and that’s some of the most difficult stuff, but once you learn it, you get the hang of it,” says Sidebottom.
Taking a Nichols class is much different from the average school day for most students. This provides an opportunity for non-traditional ways of learning.
”I just don’t like sitting and listening to lectures, I like to be shown how to do it. I’m a hands-on learner. When I’m just in a class and they are showing me how to do it. It just doesn’t click as well as when I’m in the shop,” explains Sidebottom.
Sidebottom says that he enjoys how the class helps give real experience, as the work done in the class really translates to what is done in real life mechanic shops.
Just like Shirk, Sidebottom had to make the large commitment with attendance, and again, just like Shirk, Sidebottom did an incredible job keeping his attendance, with it lowering from his 10th grade year with 23.47 missed days to his current 1.98 days. Both of these students truly do enjoy their classes and follow through on the rules that come along with them.

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Building a better future