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Learning to love technology

WHS dedicates new career, vocational technology building

Superintendent Tom Rogozinski addresses community members attending the Jan. 30 open house and ribbon-cutting. The red frame on the right is a vehicle lift. (Cindy Yingst)
By Cindy Yingst, Sunday, February 9, 2020

The building is a testament to the trades, a place for teaching lucrative job skills and generating a trained workforce for the business community.

Warrenton High School’s new Career and Technical Education (CTE) center was dedicated Jan. 30 during an open house designed for those who demanded more vo-tech classes and helped make it possible.

“I think it’s awesome. It’s got so much stuff in it. It’s really going to be useful,” said Isaac Betts, a WHS junior.

When asked what job he planned to seek after graduation, he said, “anything enjoyable that won’t get me into deep debt (such as) engineering or computing.”

Dwayne Wallace, a Warrenton Grade School eighth-grader, came with his auto-mechanic dad, Dusty, to check out the facility.

“I’m excited for it,” Dwayne said. “I really like them offering this type of education. It opens up careers.”

He’s thinking about automotive technology or metal-working.

Hayleigh Anglin, a sophomore in the high school’s fisheries program, wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “I knew it would come out really good, but this blows my mind.”

Sophomore Nathan Streibeck is enrolled in an auto class and loves the new building. “I was taking apart an engine over there.”

Members of Lower Columbia Classics Car Club came out in force to tour the new building. Club members have sponsored a student club for years and helped develop and support the curriculum at the high school and Clatsop Community College.

“Our kids need it,” club member Judy Jordan said. “Not everybody is wanting to go to college.”

Josh Jannusch, assistant principal and the North Coast coordinator for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), wrote a proposal that won a $436,000 state grant in late 2017, allowing the school district to build the CTE center.

He thanked all the businesses, groups and individuals who made it possible.

Among them: Retired Superintendent Mark Jeffery, for his vision; R&M Steel of Caldwell, Idaho, which donated the building’s $76,000 steel shell; Mark Baldwin Construction, the local contractor who worked with the district on a tight timeline; and companies that donated money, labor and new equipment.

“The community’s passion for WHS is very very strong,” Jannusch said. “I hope this is proof that your money is well spent. We’ve been able to furnish the entire shop with donations.”

The new building allows the school to offer or expand automotive, welding, graphic design and natural resource classes, such as fisheries. More will be added as the program grows.

“We hope to be able to thank you with a workforce ready to meet your needs,” Jannusch told the crowd. “I feel that we’re on the absolute right path.

“We’re changing Warrenton High School history tonight. We’re changing graduation requirements (so) students have to take a CTE class.”

Superintendent Tom Rogozinski brought school board members to the front and gave them bowls made by art students.

“No good work gets done without the school board having the same vision,” he said. “We have a very invested school board.”

Visitors tour the CTE building, which includes several 10-ton hydraulic presses used for engine rebuilding. (Cindy Yingst)

STEM education coordinator Josh Jannusch thanks community members and businesses for their donations and input. (Cindy Yingst)

Automotive technologies classroom. (Cindy Yingst)

Automotive/welding teacher James Veverka chats with a member of Lower Columbia Classics Car Club. (Cindy Yingst)

Posters and 3-D print projects made by graphic design students. (Cindy Yingst)


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