Buchanan High adding Automotive Academy, Culinary Academy

BUCHANAN — Buchanan Community Schools is creating two new educational paths for students interested in the automotive and culinary fields.

The Buchanan High School Automotive Academy and Buchanan High School Culinary Academy — scheduled to start next school year — will allow students to graduate high school with college credits and certificates in their respective fields.

Josh Paquette, CTE director, said the programs were developed with the intent of allowing student to get a head start on post-secondary education while also providing the necessary skills to obtain entry-level jobs immediately upon graduating high school.

“We don’t want to close out that post secondary window for them — we want to create an easier pathway for them to do that,” he said. “But if they don’t choose to do that we want them to be able to go work as well.”

The ideal situation, Paquette said, is for a student to have the ability to get a job in their field while pursuing a higher education that will open up even more doors to further career success.

Buchanan will host two parent/student information sessions on the new academies next week.

The information night for the culinary academy is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 in the culinary classroom at the high school. The automotive information session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Paquette said students interested in enrolling in either program should attend the appropriate session as enrollment is limited. Applications will be available there.

“We’ve done surveys and we are looking at about 15 students right now for both,” he said, adding that classes would likely be capped at 30 students for the first year.

The automotive and culinary academies will be open to Buchanan juniors and seniors beginning next year.

Students will spend much of the day in either the auto or culinary labs — depending on what academy they are in — and the rest of the day in an on-campus online learning center where they will be complete core course work, such as English and math.

Both academies will have separate online learning rooms.

“It will have a modern, almost college like feel to it,” he said.

Students will also have opportunities to apply for internships/school-to-work and dual enrollment at local community colleges.

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