South Tech honored students during our 2018 Tops at Tech Banquet on Thursday, April 26th at Andre’s West in Fenton, Missouri. Each instructor selected one student to represent their major based on their performance, dedication, and enthusiasm. Families joined their students and teachers for the evening event, hosted by principal Jacob Lohse. Congratulations to our award winners!
Seven members of the Missouri Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda Chapter from South Technical High School recently traveled to Springfield, MO for the Missouri Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference. This five-day conference, beginning Friday, April 6, featured dynamic workshops, innovative keynotes, and professional networking opportunities with Fortune 500 companies for middle school through college students.
New activities this year included LeadershipEDU, an in-depth focused workshop designed to help uncover a student’s true leadership potential, SpecializedEDU, a series of workshops on topics like Discovering Your Passion and Maximizing LinkedIn, and a brand new interactive conference mobile application.
Over 5,000 students and advisers came together for the event, with over 150 business education related contests running during the event; contest topics range from accounting to website design, marketing to mobile application development.
Overall, South Tech brought home many awards, including:
First Place in Network Design—Team of Adam Green, Andy Nguyen, and Chris Moore
First Place in Network Concepts—Chris Moore
Third Place in Network Concepts—Nathan Scott
Tenth Place in Network Concepts—Andy Nguyen
Eleventh Place in Network Concepts—Dakota Smith
Fifth Place in Computer Problem Solving—Nathan Scott
Seventh Place in Management Information Systems—Team of Steven Chalmers and Danny Fitzgerald
Of these winners: Network Design Team and 1st & 3rd place Network Concepts winners qualify to compete at Nationals in Baltimore, MD from June 28-July.
On September 5, 1967, South Tech welcomed its first class of 400 students to campus on West Watson Road in Sunset Hills. The Special School District Board of Education stated a simple, but challenging goal for their newly established Technical Division: “make available to the youth and adults of St. Louis County a program of vocational technical education second to none in America.” Fifty years later, South Tech continues to strive toward this goal and enjoys a long list of successful, happy graduates. To honor 50 years of service to the community and its students, Sunset Hills Mayor Patricia A. Fribis shared a proclamation declaring April 24, 2018 “South Technical High School Day”. Principal Jake Lohse was awarded the proclamation at a recent Sunset Hills City Council meeting.
South and North Tech High Schools were developed using grants from the Vocational Act of 1963 which aimed to ensure that new and expanded vocational and technical education opportunities were available to students and remained in harmony with the needs of industry. The act’s language about meeting the “needs of industry” required flexibility and a commitment to providing education that remained relevant. The resulting variety of program offerings over the decades reflects of our ever changing labor force.
In the 1967-1968 school year, South Tech offered the following courses: Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Appliance Service, Auto Mechanics, Body & Fender Repair, Business & Office Education, Commercial Art, Electronic Data Processing, Fitter-Welder, Industrial Electronics, Offset-Lithography, Radio-TV Service, and Sheet Metal. Juniors and seniors attended for the full day and took social studies, physical education and English classes along with their technical courses. Since the high school was comprehensive, students also participated in a variety of extracurricular activities including prom, sports, student council, and other clubs. South Tech continued offering a full day program until 2008.
Tech today continues developing dynamic courses for students to prepare them for in-demand career opportunities both regionally and nationally. Programs like Pharmacy Sciences and Design & Entrepreneurship have been added in response to increased regional interest in these fields. Dramatically increased demand from the construction industry inspired a recent restructuring of our construction programs to allow more exploration during the junior year. Students can become more familiar with fields like carpentry and electrical trades and learn about job opportunities with those programs’ industry partners before choosing an advanced core class their senior year. Echoes of 1968’s Electronic Data Processing are present in the complex and challenging curricula of our CISCO Networking Academy and Web & Computer Programming. Industrial Electronics has evolved into an Electronics & Robotics Engineering course, preparing students for high-level university study. Demands in medical science inspired the development of courses in Health Sciences, Dental Sciences, and Veterinary Assistant. South Tech also began training students for public safety careers in Law Enforcement and Firefighting and Emergency Medical Technician, sending countless numbers of students to respective academies after graduation to join the forces of those who serve to protect. And human service programs like Early Childhood Education, Culinary Arts, and Cosmetology have given students opportunities to earn certifications, licensure and college credit in creative and exciting careers.Unlike the programs offered in 1968, many of today’s skilled trade and technical fields require post-secondary education. Choosing to attend a university or college, technical college, or community college is a common next step for most of our students. Over the years, many of career fields have added certifications (IRC’s) to the credentials they require for employment. South Tech has incorporated these exams into our curriculum, giving students a jump start as many search for part-time employment and internships as they begin their post-secondary studies. Programs that give students career opportunities immediately after high school graduation, including several apprenticeship programs, also remain among our offerings. Because Tech is focused on preparing and inspiring students, there are no limits on where they can go after completing one of our programs.
South Tech’s next 50 years look even more promising. As the national conversation about K-12 education shifts focus to include a more concentrated effort on producing career-ready graduates, South Tech’s career and technical education electives will play an important role in preparing our region’s students for the career opportunities of the future. South Tech’s commitment today remains as it was in its inaugural year. As stated by the school’s first principal, Homer Horton, “The South (County) Technical High School expands the realm of educational opportunities for the youth of St. Louis County and provided better prepared young employees for business and industry.”
Fast Cheese is still under construction, but will soon be ready to destroy! Precision Machining juniors Lili Rodriguez, Lauryn Giesler, and Matthew Haugsness are hard at work preparing their bot, named Fast Cheese, for competition in BotsSTL on April 21 at Ft. Zumwalt South High School.
BotSTL is a program to boost interest in and exposure to manufacturing careers sponsored by the National Tooling & Machining Association. This STEM-focused, project-based learning competition encourages confidence, teamwork, problem solving and creativity. Local manufacturing firms provide support and mentorship to student teams throughout the competition. Cultivating interest in manufacturing makes good sense for our region as St. Louis employs well over 100,000 people in the industry and opportunities and demand are expected to grow.
STROCO Manufacturing, Inc. is supporting South Tech’s team. STROCO manufactures and assembles metal products for the aerospace industry and high precision industries. South Tech’s instructors, Bob Arcipowski (Precision Machining) and Albie Mitchell (Design & Entrepreneurship), are also helping other student teams in the area prepare for the competition.
Our three-student team was drawn to compete due to South Tech’s 3rd place win in last year’s inaugural BotsSTL competition. As they construct and program their robot, they must meet weight limits while ensuring their robot will withstand the competition. Rather than designing to complete a task, Fast Cheese must instead be built to fight other robots and survive their attacks. Additionally, our students will be able to network with representatives from industry.
We are looking forward to the competition results and wish our team the best of luck!
The Maritz Corporation recently hosted an Information Technology (IT) Extravaganza for our Web & Computer Programming students. On April 18th, students were treated to a panel discussion, lunch, and tours of IT departments.
Denise Gibbs, a DBA-SQL at Maritz and advisor to our program, put together the visit and speaker panel. Her goal was to help students realize the wide variety of IT professions open to them. Students heard speakers from several departments who shared their backgrounds, described the education required for their position, and answered student questions. Speakers included: Valerie Gemmingen – MITS HR, Michael Gorzel – NOC Operations, Jerry Johnson – Big Data, Mark Renaud – Windows Administration, Joe Epplin – Application Development, Lisa Spahr – Project Management, and Amy Detzel – Security. Gibbs has served on our advisory board for over 30 years and graduated from our former O’Fallon Tech campus. Epplin and Harwell also serve on our board. Students also learned about several tools currently used in quality application development such as Hadoop, Ploymer, Swagger, Angular, AOP, Spring, VM Management, Jump Box, and AWS.
Leah Harwell, an applications developer and 2009 South Tech Web & Computer Programming graduate, also met with students and shared information about her post-secondary education and her Maritz career. Allowing our students to see Tech alumni in their work environments is always an engaging experience for them.
Students toured the Network Operating Center, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During a tour of the server room students learned about the programming and systems analyst positions at Maritz along with other supports. , the server room, the area where programmers and systems analyst reside and other parts of the Maritz Corporation.
Beginning to build the real world skills required for a career in information technology is one of the many benefits of participating in a South Tech program. For more information about Web & Computer Programming or to apply, please visit: http://southtechnical.org/programs/.
South Tech students excelled in this week’s SkillsUSA competitions held in Jefferson City, Columbia, and Linn, MO, bringing home 39 medals. Several students, including five who competed nationally last year, are eligible to advance to the national competitions which will be held in Louisville, KY in June. SkillsUSA sponsor, Sally Difani, was thrilled with our students’ accomplishments, but even more so with their character and dedication. “All of our students represented their instructors and our school admirably. We should all be proud of what our students accomplished this week,” she said.
Congratulations to our students, their instructors, and all of our SkillsUSA sponsors. A complete list of the winners is below. Photos from the competition can be viewed here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XseqLI0jIuuPjmyH3. We will continue to add photos to the gallery as they are made available. This is TECH!
Special School District Notice of Non-Discrimination and Accommodation
Special School District does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation against an individual based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, ancestry, disability, veteran status, age, or activity protected by federal or state law in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Direct inquiries and complaints under this policy to Special School District’s Director – Compliance Liaison, 12110 Clayton Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63131, telephone (314) 989-8100 or to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 320, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, telephone (816) 268-0550, fax (816) 268-0599, TDD (800) 877-8339, email OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov Information about the existence and location of services, activities, and facilities accessible to impaired persons can be obtained from the Special School District’s Director – Compliance Liaison at the phone number and address listed above.
314.989.7400 • 12721 West Watson Road, St. Louis, MO 63127