An Open House
For A New Era
BY LAUREN HENRY
There were no night classes Thursday evening at the Greene Technology Center, but the halls were filled with students, parents and community members for the fall Open House.
The Center, located at 1121 Hal Henard Road and formerly known as the Greeneville-Greene County Center for Technology, was open to the public to provide a look at the programs and curriculum being offered.
Programs such as welding, health sciences, machine tool, pre-engineering, and "green" technology provide students with a wide range of options on graduation day.
And the Open House was not just an event for parents and students.
Nancy Schneck has no children attending the center. However, she attended the Open House with her nine-year-old grandson, Alex MacDonald.
"We came to see the teaching and training that is offered here," Schneck said. She wanted her grandson to see what options are available to him when he is older.
All of the classrooms were open and the teachers ready to talk. Some even allowed visitors to get a taste of some of the technology used in classes.
The criminal justice classroom let visitors step behind the wheel of a police patrol simulator.
The class's teacher, Terry Nickels, said the simulator was the only one in a high school setting when the school purchased it.
Students in the criminal justice class can learn about the mechanics of police pursuits from steering and braking to properly maneuvering "S" curves in the simulator.
The center's first-ever home-schooled student also attended the Open House.
Jerry Ayers, Principal of the Greene Technology Center, said the school welcomed home-schooled students for the first time this year, on a space-available basis.
"[Home-schoolers] can't replicate this. They can't replicate a welding shop," Ayers said.
He explained that the idea to open the Center's courses to home-schoolers on a space-available basis came from seeing some unused space that could accommodate additional students.
"I can't stand to see a seat empty," he said.
Mark Ramirez, a home-schooled senior living in Afton, attended the Open House with his family to show them where he was attending class. He is taking welding and machine tool at the center.
"I really like both a lot," he said.
Ramirez is a member of the local home-school co-op, TEACH GREENEVILLE.
The classes at the Greene Technology Center are only one part of his education.
He also attends psychology classes at Walters State Community College and is working toward his Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts.
Ayers said that any registered home-schooler interested in attending classes at the Greene Technology Center should contact the school to see if space is available.
There were 278 people at the Open House.
Ayers turned the evening into a friendly competition among the classes. The class with the highest percentage in attendance would be rewarded with breakfast with the principal.
The winner was Don Saunder's welding class, with 70 total people.