Name: Paige Tracey
High School: Philo High School/Mid-East Career and Technology Centers
Immediate next steps: Zane State College degree program in physical therapy assisting
The common thread in both careers is that people are being helped – with heat in homes and with recovery from injuries or surgery like she had on her knees when in eighth grade.
In today’s world, you need to be prepared in more than one career field, according to Paige Tracey. She’s well on her way in that regard after completing a two-year high school program in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) at Mid-East Career and Technology Centers in Muskingum County and taking enough classes at Zane State College her senior year to give her a 12-credit jump on being a physical therapy assistant.
Paige Tracey, center, with two Mid-East staff members she credits for boosting her success, Polly Mingyar, left, and Sam Griffin, right.
Paige serves as an example of a young person who took advantage of nearly everything Ohio high school education had to offer her. In her sophomore year, she participated in a program called Career Connections, which allowed her to see the academic and technical aspects of three career areas she chose – electrical technology, HVAC and health. In her junior and senior years, she was one of only two girls in an HVAC program, which further allowed her to apply English, math and science in high-level technology. In her senior year, the REACH program enabled her to finish high school while completing college courses in English, sociology and psychology.
As a member of the high school class of 2011, she has a GPA 3.2 of 4.0. Her Zane State GPA is 3.5. She attained these grade-point averages while juggling a busy schedule that includes 30 hours a week working in a local fast-food restaurant.
Paige's future, appreciation and advice
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I plan to be working as a physical therapy assistant while being able to repair my own heating and air conditioning in my home.
Q. What’s the best part of your Ohio education experience so far, including one person (teacher, parent or other), who contributed to that?
A. My grades and excitement about school changed for the better when I went to Mid-East. Teachers there are inspirational and make learning fun. Two staff members were especially helpful. Sam Griffin (math/science teacher) believed in me when nobody else did. I was always weak in math, but Mr. Griffin turned that around so that I excelled in pre-calculus. I actually like math now. Polly Mingyar (career counselor) was always there for me as someone to talk to, to encourage me and help me write for scholarships. So far, I’ve got one of those scholarships and hopefully more.
Q. What’s one piece of advice you would give to a current high school freshman?
A. Think about trying out a career center. You will get to meet a ton of new people. The classes there are connected to work. And there are teachers who don’t just teach but care about you personally.
More information about this story can be obtained from Pat Huston at email@example.com.