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Occupational Olympics For Local High Schools

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Columbia College, CA — Over 200 high school students from Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties will compete in Career Technical Education areas at the Occupational Olympics.

The event will be held this Thursday April 11th for the 13th year in at Columbia College. Participating schools include Sonora High School, Summerville High School, Calaveras High School, and Bret Harte High School.

A new category in the Occupational Olympics this year is Law Enforcement. Other competition categories include automotive, computer business applications, cosmetology, digital photography, drafting, entrepreneurship, fire technology, foods, health occupations, natural resources, and welding. Columbia College faculty has asked industry representatives to come and judge the competitions.

Dean of Carreer Technical Education, Chirs Vitelli, says that approximately 20-30 students compete in each category and awards are given to the first through fifth placing students. Vitelli says, “There are quite a few benefits for the students who participate. They get to contextualize what they are learning in the classroom. It gives them an opportunity they to use their skill sets, critical thinking skills, and apply it to the content of their learning within their particular career pathway. Secondly, it engages the students in a career pathway. Research shows if we can get them engaged in a particular pathway early, then they will continue to advance in that particular pathway.” Vitelli also noted “It gives us an opportunity to connect with them and tell them about all the wonderful programs here at Columbia College.”

Summerville Union High School District Superintendent, Dr. John Keiter, Bret Harte Union High School District Superintendent, Michael Chimente, Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Northington, and Deputy Superintendent, Marguerite Bulkin will join Columbia College Acting President, Dr. Leslie Buckalew in presenting the awards to the winning students in each event starting at 12:15pm.