New Career Tech program strives to prepare students for the world of business


Photo: Lily Condron

Seniors Eric Turner and Courtney Carpenter create a PowerPoint about the factors of economic development in Matt Hughes’ IB Economics class. Both students say they think the Business Academy is a great opportunity for younger students.

If the world of business intrigues you, Fairmont’s new Business Academy Career Tech program can help you prepare for a place in that world.

The Business Academy is being added to the Career Tech offerings in 2015-16, and Matt Hughes is one of the three teachers involved in the new venture.

“Basically, we’re combining all of the business electives into one program,” Hughes said. “It’s a way for students who are interested to earn college credit while grasping skills needed for the business world.”

This two-year course will be instructed by Hughes, Len Byer and Kent Drake. Hughes will teach the majority of the classes, while Byer and Drake will teach one class each.

Hughes says they wanted this to become a Career Tech program earlier than now, but there was some difficulty on how to form it all together. With a little push from the administration, they’re able to have it official this upcoming school year.

Senior Eric Turner says he wishes he could have taken the program. Since students can only join a CTC program beginning their junior year, Turner was unable to apply.

“Mr. Hughes told my IB Economics class about it. I would have definitely applied if they had had it when I was a sophomore,” Turner said. “I think the program is a great chance for students to explore different sections of business and figure out what appeals to them the most.”

Turner took Intro to Business as a freshman, then the Marketing class because he wanted to explore possible business-related college major choices his last two years of high school.

Fairmont’s Business Academy will be taught during first and second periods next year. In their junior year, students will learn about the foundations of business, management principles and the legal environment of business. The understanding of operation management, accounting and strategic entrepreneurship will be the focus of their senior year.

Courtney Carpenter, another Fairmont senior, was disheartened by missing the chance to join as well. Carpenter runs her own shop on Etsy, a shopping website based on people’s creations worldwide.

“I would’ve applied without a doubt,” Carpenter said. “My ultimate goal is to run my own fashion company, and the classes offered in this program would really help me to develop some skills to go along with that. It’s also only two periods a day, so I still would have been able to take all of the other classes I wanted to take without the program taking up too much time.”

Sophomore Chase Brentlinger has shown a lot of interest in this new Career Tech program. After taking multiple business-related electives and finding more out about the program, Brentlinger applied and received his acceptance letter.

“I think Business Academy will help me learn important things essential to the business world and make it so I’m aware about what’s going on with my finances later in life,” Brentlinger said.

Hughes says the Career Tech program will help with heightening skills including communication, problem-solving, human and public relations. Basic core class skills will be strengthened as well and up to 12 Sinclair college credits can be earned.

The Business Academy plans to participate in the Business Professionals of America and DECA, take trips, and get real-life experience during the two years.

“This class will give you real exposure to business,” Hughes said, “and a solid foundation to start college as well.”

Hughes said the program is open to 25 students the first year, and a few spots are still available. For more information on the program, visit Room 526 in the Career Tech Center.