Wake Ed

Wake County names new CTE high school and hires its principal

The Wake County school system will turn the former Wakefield High School Ninth-Grade Center in Wake Forest into the new North Wake College And Career Academy. The building, a former Winn-Dixie supermarket, as seen on Jan. 4, 2016.
The Wake County school system will turn the former Wakefield High School Ninth-Grade Center in Wake Forest into the new North Wake College And Career Academy. The building, a former Winn-Dixie supermarket, as seen on Jan. 4, 2016. cseward@newsobserver.com

A new Wake County high school that will offer students training in fields such as the culinary arts and computer technical support got both a new name and its first principal this week.

The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to use North Wake College and Career Academy as the name for the new career and technical education high school scheduled to open in Wake Forest in August. The other choices were Horse Creek College and Career Academy and Wakefield College and Career Academy.

The school board also announced Tuesday that Elizabeth Battle, the principal of Daniels Middle School in Raleigh, will lead the new high school.

The school will be located at 931 Durham Road in Wake Forest, a former Winn-Dixie supermarket that was renovated to serve as Wakefield High School’s ninth-grade center. With crowding less of an issue, the freshmen are now back at Wakefield’s main campus.

North Wake College and Career Academy is a partnership of the Wake school system and Wake Technical Community College. Students will be able to graduate with both a high school diploma and a certificate in one of five career areas: culinary arts, early childhood education, emergency medical science, hospitality management and IT – technical support.

Graduates can take the college credit they’ve earned to pursue a degree at Wake Tech or another post-secondary institution.

The five programs were chosen based on labor market data showing what fields are expected to have job openings and a survey of students asking which areas they’re interested in studying. Organizers said they tried to not offer programs that would compete with those found at career academies at nearby high schools or at the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy in south Raleigh.

Students studying the culinary arts will be prepared for positions in food-service settings such as full-service restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs, catering operations, contract food services and health facilities. Graduates may advance to positions such as sous chef, executive chef or food services manager.

Students in the early childhood education program can focus on areas such as infant/toddler education, school age education, family childcare education and early childhood administration.

The emergency medical science program will provide training to prepare students to become emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

The hospitality management program prepares students for professional positions in hotels, motels, resorts, inns, restaurants, clubs and other institutions. Graduates would qualify for supervisory or entry-level managerial positions, which answered a concern from some school board members that the program would only lead to jobs working at hotel front desks.

The technical support program would prepare students for employment “with organizations that use computers to process, manage and communicate information.” Students could get a hardware support and repair certificate and an IT – Technical Support degree would be available if they continued their studies in college.

Students would also be able to apply and test for the A+ certification and Microsoft Desktop Support Technician Industry Certification once they complete the program.

Parents and students can learn more about the new school at the school system’s Early College Fair, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy, 2200 S. Wilmington St., in Raleigh.

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