Gibson Technical Center Newsletter

December 2021

Note from the Director's Desk

As we finish this first semester, it is amazing to see the progress that our students have made as they acquire skills in each program to complete their industry certifications. Each program has been very busy with completing projects that will simulate real world scenarios that they will encounter when they finish high school. In addition to project-based learning, our students have been involved in several community outreach activities. Students have completed: a coat drive and a food drive. They have also volunteered at the Stone County Pantry, Tri-Lakes Humane Society and Convoy of Hope. It makes our staff very proud to see our students becoming productive, civic minded citizens.


Nick Thieman

Director- Gibson Tech

Spotlight on Automotive Technology

Automotive Technology is one of the most popular programs at GTC with an enrollment of over 60 students. In this two year program students gain industry experience by learning the many facets of this lucrative industry. Students learn the importance of safety in the workplace. They are trained on how to properly use tools and all of the state of the art equipment in the shops. In order to have the privilege to work in the shop, all students must earn 100% on their safety test. The labs are essentially run and operated like any other shop. The students create invoices, work with customers, and complete all types of repairs including but not limited to: brakes, alignments, electrical, steering and suspension systems. Students have a great opportunity to obtain up to five different Student Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certifications. This important credential indicates a satisfactory level of practical knowledge-based readiness for the workforce in candidates seeking a career in the automotive service industry. Students in this program learn the importance of getting the job completed correctly the first time. Getting a 90% on an Algebra test is great, but earning a 90% on a brake job could be a matter of life and death.

Alumni Spotlight: Juan Rodriquez

We are featuring Juan Rodriquez as our alumni spotlight of the month. Juan is a 2018 graduate of Hollister High School and completed our Auto Technology program. While at GTC, he was a member of SkillsUSA and was a student advisor. He continued his education at the Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas where he earned certifications in Auto and Diesel Repair. Juan treasures his time at Gibson Tech. From the moment he started he knew he was going to pursue a career in the automotive industry. As he reflects on the past, he is thankful for Mr. Caudill (Automotive Technology I instructor) because he was and is a great mentor who would do anything to help him out. He learned how to work effectively and independently in the shop through Mr. Sears (Automotive Technology II instructor) empowering him to take ownership in his individual learning. Upon completion of his program of study he knew the Universal Technical Institute was the right place to continue his education because dealers and other automotive industry leaders know students from UTI are the best of the best entering the profession. Juan is currently a mainline technician at James River Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram in Ozark, Missouri. Juan is so thankful for GTC making his love of the automotive industry into a career. The ceiling for Juan is limitless!

Staff Spotlight: GTC Paraprofessionals

GTC would like to showcase our four paraprofessionals. The work of these dedicated educators is a cornerstone for the success of students and staff at Gibson Tech. We appreciate how flexible these dedicated professionals. They go above and beyond on a daily basis. This group is devoted to helping students be successful, especially students who have not experienced much success in their educational career.


From left to right Jake Seiler, Kara McGregor, Steve Davis, and Keith McDannold


Keith McDannold is in his fourth year as a paraprofessional at GTC. He is the sponsor of our highly decorated SkillsUSA chapter. Before his career at GTC he was the Vice President of Operations for Sharpshooter Imaging for over 20 years. He truly enjoys working with the students especially when they learn and master a skill he/she believed was unattainable when they entered his/her program of study.


Kara McGregor is in her fifth year as a paraprofessional at GTC. She has served in the Reeds Spring R-IV School District for 25 years. Before working at GTC she was Parents as Teachers district liaison. She loves how she can use her skills of being flexible in meeting the needs of students and staff. She takes pride in her ability to gravitate to students who need her help the most.


Steve Davis is in his 19th year as a GTC paraprofessional. Before serving at GTC he was a small business owner. He loves the challenge of meeting the needs of all students. The relationships he builds with students and staff makes all the work involved in his position worth the time he has invested in GTC through the years.


Last, but not least, we have Jake Seiler who is in his eighth year as a paraprofessional, eleventh year at GTC, and he has worked in the Reeds Spring R-IV School District since 1975. In his time in the school district Jake has taught many different subjects, in different buildings and has coached multiple sports. He loves interacting with career focused students. He takes great pride in former students reaching out to him and communicating how much of a positive influence he was when they were Reeds Spring and GTC students.

Spotlight on Welding

GTC’s Welding Technology program has recognized that today’s educational opportunities for welders is growing as the United States faces a shortage of skilled welders and a rising number of industrial construction projects.


Contractors are struggling to find workers capable of performing even common construction tasks. This shortage is the result of an aging workforce. GTC strives to keep all CTE programs running strong with new technology in each program and qualified instructors. The Welding program has state of the art equipment to help prepare students for a career in welding.


Students who complete the two-year program are taught specific job-ready welding techniques, reading blueprints, and completing basic construction tasks needed in all construction trades. Additionally, second year students design, draft blueprints and construct a scaled model of a bridge. All students who complete this two year program have an opportunity to earn his/her OSHA 10-Hour Card. Through this program students learn basic safety, workplace hazards, workers' rights, and employer responsibilities.


To cope with this demand, industry leaders across the country have been working with legislators and educators to expand and improve CTE programs and develop more efficient pathways for students to gain industry experience and certifications to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

Spotlight on Computer Technology

The students in Computer Technology are taking advantage of all of the great opportunities this class provides. The first year students have been working on their TestOut PC PRO Certification. In addition to the online training, the first year students are installing and setting up hard drives and installing operating systems like Windows 10 and 11, as well as different distributions of Linux.


The second year students are working on earning their CyberDefense PRO Certification. The second-year students are also setting up routers and switches and configuring them. These students will gain valuable experience working with other types of operating systems like Linux and run scans to protect computers and networks from online threats.


All online curriculums are supported with hands-on labs to provide the students with industry ready experience. Upon completion of the program students have an opportunity to earn an Industry Recognized Credential to be used when they enter the workforce or if they decide to further their education.

GTC Morning Student Advisory

The GTC student advisors are a group of students who represent every program. They play a vital role in facilitating service projects, GTC open house, career week, sophomore tours in the spring, and serve as a voice for all GTC students.



Click on the the image to enlarge the photo.



The morning student advisors from left to right: Alex Coria (Auto Technology II/Blue Eye), Jacob Bumpus (Welding/Blue Eye), Dakota Powers (Collision Repair/Blue Eye), Paige Rowton (EMT/Forsyth), Ty Evans (Construction Technology/Forsyth), Chance Moore (Computer Technology/Branson), Sara Griffin (Health Technology/Branson), Kyra Page (Printing Technology/Forsyth), Gennalyn Haack (Early Childhood Careers/Forsyth), Angel Hammond (Auto Technology I/Branson), Lilly Berry (Culinary Arts/Blue Eye), and Clayton Rains (Marine technology/Chadwick)

GTC Afternoon Student Advisory

The GTC students advisors plan and organize the following service projects throughout the year: Food Drive, Coat Drive, Big Buck Contest, Trunk or Treat, and Highway Cleanup.



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The afternoon student advisors from left to right: Tyler Carr (Culinary Arts/Galena), Jarred Eaton (Welding/Reeds Spring), Fralynn Frederick-Patton (Auto Technology II/Reeds Spring), Michael Tharp (Construction Technology/Reeds Spring), Lynn Palumbo (Printing Technology/Reeds Spring), Xander Dejager (Computer Technology/Reeds Spring), CJ Merritt (Auto Technology I/Reeds Spring), Evan Wilson (Marine Technology/Reeds Spring), Jake McCracken (Collision Repair/Reeds Spring), Natalie Moore (Health Technology/Reeds Spring), Rachel Hood (Early Childhood Careers/Hurley), and Savanna Baker (EMT/Galena)

We're Building a House!

In September the Construction Program began construction on a new house on Craig Street in Reeds Spring. This will be the fourth house Mr. Young and his students have built in his time at Gibson Technical Center. This is one more example of how GTC is preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress of the students as they mark their legacy at GTC.

Did You Know?

  • The CTE student graduation rate is 13% higher than Non-CTE students.
  • 91% of CTE students are better prepared for a future career compared to 43% of Non-CTE Students.
  • 80% of CTE students have an opportunity to gain experience through internships compared to 30% for Non-CTE students.

Source: Advanced CTE

Gibson Technical Center

386 West State Highway 76

Reeds Spring, Missouri 65737