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Firefighter and Finance Academies Coming to Glenn High

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month.

Glenn 77 By Kim Underwood

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

FEBRUARY 5, 2019 – Sign up now to embark on new learning adventures at Glenn High next year. That’s Principal Brad Craddock’s invitation to high school students.

Next year, Glenn is offering two new academies. One is the Firefighter Academy. The other is the Finance Academy.

Those academies will join CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs already in place at Glenn such as Allied Health Sciences, which enables participants to graduate from high school as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant).

The Firefighter Academy has strong support from the community and the school system, Craddock said.

Chief Chris Langham of the Kernersville Fire & Rescue Department is already working with the Glenn in establishing the academy, and the department has a new training facility that is being made available to Glenn students.

Eddie 55 At the moment, the Fire Academy at Walkertown High School is the only Fire Academy in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, and Chief Eddie Bottoms plans to help Glenn with its academy in whatever ways he can.

“His cadets and my cadets will be able to meet and work together,” Bottoms said.

In choosing academies to introduce to Glenn, Craddock said he thought the Firefighter Academy would be a good fit, in part because a number of students and Glenn graduates are already active in that world.

Some work for Kernersville Fire & Rescue Department. Others volunteer with such volunteer departments as Beeson Crossroads Fire Department, Union Cross Fire & Rescue, and Horneytown Fire Department.

The Finance Academy will enable Glenn to expand an already strong finance program at the school, Craddock said. The Finance Academy will be under the leadership of business teacher Glenda Head. She will be working with the other business teachers in developing the academy.

The Finance Academy will be affiliated with NAF, a nonprofit organization that organizes high school academies. Other Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools have NAF academies focusing on such subjects, as Health Sciences, Information Technology, Hospitality & Tourism, and Sports Marketing and Hospitality Management.

With the Firefighter Academy, the leader has not yet been officially named. Craddock said he is talking with someone who already has strong ties to the Glenn High community.

One of the bonuses for students who enroll for the coming year, Craddock said, will be being active participants in building the academy’s program.

Craddock encourages both young men and young women to participate.

By no means do students need to be set on a career in finance or firefighting to find participating in one of the academies a valuable experience. Both will give students experiences that will serve them well in life no matter what career path they choose.

“There are a lot of skills that each of the academies teach you,” he said.

As students participating in the Finance Academy at other high schools in the school system have pointed out, such skills as learning how to interact with others, how to analyze complex processes, how to dress for success, how the government and businesses function in the local community, and how taxes work, will serve them well in everyday life.

And such skills as working together on a team are at the core of the Firefighter Academy, Craddock said.

In working with his cadets, Bottoms said, one of the first points he makes is “Nobody does anything as an individual.”

“Every day is about a call to help somebody else. You learn about not being selfish.”

For Craddock, what students will learn in the Firefighter Academy brought to mind what students learn by participating in the JROTC program.

And participating in the academies could provide experiences that open doors into other possible career paths. With the Finance Academy, students will serve paid internships out in the community.

With Glenn having such a diverse student body, Craddock also expects the Firefighter Academy at Glenn to bring more diversity to the firefighting community.

Bottoms also made the point that, in addition to serving students at Glenn, the new academy will serve the wider community.

As it is, Bottom said, volunteer fire departments have been having difficulties finding enough volunteers in recent years.

The Fire Academy at Walkertown has helped such volunteer departments as the Walkertown Volunteer Fire Department, the Belews Creek Fire Department, and Mineral Springs Volunteer Fire & Rescue.

The new academy at Glenn will help support the Beeson Crossroads, Union Cross, and Horneytown departments.

From talking with people associated with volunteer departments in the northwestern part of the county, Bottoms said, he knows that they, too, would like to see high schools in that part of the county establish an academy sooner rather than later.

With the Firefighter Academy coming to Glenn, Craddock said, the school would welcome students from other high schools wanting to transfer to Glenn.  

Craddock envisions the new academies enriching an already strong program.

“We’re looking forward to getting these programs up and running,” Craddock said.

And Bottoms is looking forward to having another school offering students experiences in the firefighting world.

“I’m super excited,” he said.


Kim Underwood