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Career Center High School Holding Open House Jan. 27

The Career Center High School Open House is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday Jan. 27. Career Center High School is at 910 Highland Court. It shares a campus with John F. Kennedy High and Carter High. For more information call (336) 727-8181.

More information about Career Center High School is available on their website. Go to Career Center High School

Center 56By Kim Underwood

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

JANUARY 12, 2022 – For years, Career Center High School has offered learning adventures in Advanced Placement courses in a wide range of academic subjects and in Career Technical Education courses that lead to certification in such rewarding fields as cosmetology, health, and auto mechanics.

Next year, even more learning adventures will be available.

For one, the Career Center is establishing the AP (Advanced Placement) Capstone Academy, which will enable students in ninth grade to take classes that will lead to taking AP classes as juniors and seniors.

“This is the first half-day program for ninth-graders at Career Center High School,” said Dr. Nancy Martinez, the principal.

Josh Present, who is the Instructional Facilitator at Career Center, has been serving on the committee working to establish the academy.

“The first cohort of Capstone Academy students at Career Center will begin as ninth graders in August of 2022!” Present said.

Career 78“These students will be simultaneously pushed and supported by a team of teachers, community mentors, administrators, and counselors, as they cross the bridge from middle school to intensive preparation for college level work.”

“Along their journey to an AP Capstone diploma, students will develop sophisticated academic skills that will set them apart in college and beyond – all the while becoming self-confident, critical thinkers with the ability to solve problems independently and collaboratively.”

Career Center High School will also begin offering a class in drones that will lead to certification as a drone pilot. In addition to enabling someone to operate drones as a business, such knowledge will enhance the skills of people planning on careers in such areas as construction.

On Jan. 27, students and their families can learn more about everything Career Center High School has to offer by coming to the open house. There, they can visit with teachers and administrators and talk with students already taking classes there.

“You will have the opportunity to ask your questions,” Martinez said.

They will also be able to enjoy a refreshing beverage as they take their tour.

“We will be serving lemonade and vegetable/fruit-infused water,” said Chef Chad Estep, the head of the Culinary Arts program.

Career 63Asked what makes Career Center High School special, Estep said, “When you come to Career Center, it is the reason you come to school.”

Officially, the open house is for students now in grades eight through 11 who could attend the Career Center next year. Younger students are also welcome, Martinez said, because they would be delighted for students-of-the-future to learn what the Career Center has to offer as well.

In addition to offering courses that may not be available at a student’s home school, Career Center High School offers such benefits as giving students opportunities to meet and collaborate with students from other Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools.

As Martinez sees it, the Career Center provides a college atmosphere where students are treated as responsible and mature.

“I see Career Center as a bridge to success after high school,” Martinez said.

Bruce Sherman is Executive Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) and Vicky Wheeler the Director of CTE.

Career 45“Career Center offers students a great variety of CTE courses which allow students to develop skills and earn industry credentials to be career-and-college ready,” Wheeler and Sherman said.

“The CTE courses are in alignment with high-wage, high-demand careers and give students an advantage over their peers in preparation for post-secondary opportunities.  We are very proud of all our CTE offerings and know from our CTE graduates the value these courses can have in students’ lives.”

For those who want to go to work straight out of high school, Career Center High School offers many opportunities. Students who earn the necessary credentials in the cosmetology, early childhood, culinary arts, and other programs can count on finding many work opportunities.

Through a partnership with Flow Automotive, students who earn the necessary automotive credentials can go to work at a dealership. They also have the opportunity to earn additional credentials at Forsyth Technical Community College.

School Counselor Stefanie Jones is the Director of Students Services. She appreciates that the Career Center provides opportunities for students to connect with students throughout the school system.

“The main thing that makes the Career Center special is the opportunity for students to learn and socialize with students from across the county,” Jones said.

Career 96“They learn from each other different perspectives.”

Mark Underwood is the Digital Media Instructor.

"Being the parent of a someone who attended Career Center has significantly influenced my being a teacher at Career Center,” Underwood said.

“As a parent, I've seen the long-term benefits of my child's personal experience. Like others, he attended at an age where he was struggling with his options for the future. His Computer Science teacher facilitated his discovery process; not just with the curriculum, but more with what he as an individual was able to do with it.”

“He had to continue with further studies at college, but it was his experience at Career Center that established him on his path. My goal as a teacher at Career Center is to create that opportunity for as many 'other people's children' as possible."

Andrea Raines, who teaches art at the Career Center, shared the thoughts of some of her students about what makes the Career Center special:

Cat A.: “Getting to be in a class with people from multiple different schools, backgrounds, and interests, allows for you to expand what you would explore if you were just at your home school with people you’ve known for years.”

Career 12Nate R.: “Art at Career Center goes way beyond regular art classes… and provides really valuable opportunities to explore what particular part of art you enjoy most. If you are interested in any specific form of art that might not be included within the regular art curriculum, trying Career Center classes can finally allow you to explore that specific niche more in depth.”

Austin W.: “The Career Center's art classes enable you to enjoy artistic expression in a group of like-minded peers, one of the greatest tools for genuine improvement and maintaining motivation.” 

Chris Garmon teaches music at the Career Center.

“Here are some quotes I got from my awesome students - they are our salesmen!” he said.

Logan Burge: “Career Center is a fun, friendly environment. The classes here are more specialized which lets us enjoy them more.” 

Boone McIntosh: “There is more freedom here.  It's a more open environment to allow more choices and classes.

Carolyn Rowell: “There are always cool events and things to do here with students from all the other schools.” 

Terrell Robinson: “The classes are shorter and easier to stay focused on. “

Laurin Brallier: “The students that come to Career Center are more focused on their work. This creates a cool vibe.

Shawn Stewart: “There are more ways to connect with teachers. They are more personable.” 

Gillian Pruteanu: “The classes at Career Center provide foundations for actual careers.  Even without college, Career Center can help you get a job.” 

Kabari Walker: “Career Center is a safe place to be who you are.  I feel like this encourages diversity.”

Because of the challenges brought by COVID-19, enrollment has decreased at Career Center High School. Martinez is looking forward to more students choosing to come next year.

“We are hoping by next year, we will be at full capacity,” she said.

That would be about 2,300 students. 

The drone class is a one-year course that will lead to certification as a drone pilot of a drone categorized as a “small unmanned aerial vehicle,” which is a drone that weighs less than 55 pounds. That covers pretty much all of the drones currently available.

Brian Lee, who is an assistant principal at Career Center High School, has been leading the project to bring the program to the Career Center.

“It’s cutting edge,” Lee said.

The field is expanding as drones are being used in more and more ways, such as wildlife research and gathering data after natural disasters.

The credentials would enable the person to operate a drone business doing such things as making videos inspecting bridges, surveying land, checking power lines, and providing information for construction companies.

“The course is great for students in aviation or general engineering,” Lee said. “It’s a great add-on credential.”

In addition to flying the drones on campus, students might take field trips.

In addition to learning how to fly different drones, students will also acquire such skills as programming them.   

The Capstone Academy will meet the first half of each school day.

“We are designing a program that will get them ready for AP classes,” Martinez said.

In addition to taking pre-AP classes – and, in some cases, AP classes – in such subjects as world geography, biology, and English, students will choose another course in art, music, or a language, including Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

The teachers in the Capstone Academy will be veteran teachers who have already been teaching AP classes.

The departments at Career Center High School include:

Allied Health Sciences


Automotive Collision Repair

Automotive Technology


Carpentry and Construction


Culinary Arts

Creative Media

Early Childhood Education


Exceptional Children

Foreign Language



Social Studies