Whitley County Faculty and Staff,
There has been much discussion lately concerning some possible changes to the Whitley County High School Vo-Ag Program. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my vision for Whitley County High School that will explain why restructuring opportunities are being considered and why these changes are best for the future of our students and community.
First, no part of my vision for Whitley County students is to terminate Future Farmers of America (FFA) co-curricular activities. Furthermore, the Vocational Agricultural Program will still be a vital part of Whitley County High School. I want to provide every opportunity for all students; therefore, other career pathway offerings must be considered. Decisions to restructure are not taken lightly. Decisions are made after extensive data research, discussions with community partners, and doing what is best for our students.
Currently, Whitley County High School offers pathways in two of the top five high demand industry sectors: Business and IT Services and Health Science. The Allied Health Pathway was added this year as another opportunity for our students. Advanced Manufacturing is another top five industry sector, and by adding an Industrial Maintenance Career Pathway our students would have another opportunity for certification in a top five industry sector. This would give Whitley County High School pathways in three of the top five industry sectors.
An Industrial Maintenance Pathway would afford our students the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in electronics, robotics, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), equipment calibration, etc. These are some of the skills necessary for gainful employment in our local manufacturing and production plants. According to KYSTATS.KY.GOV, there will be 2,602 employment opportunities in production occupations over the next five years for the Cumberlands Local Workforce area.
As the years progress, my vision for the future of Whitley County students is to continue to provide a high quality education in which all students are college and/or career ready. As re-structuring opportunities present themselves, I will consider the addition of other career pathways, academic opportunities, and athletic opportunities to advance our students, district, and community forward.
John Siler, Superintendent