Career Connection

Bulloch County Career, Technical, & Agricultural Education

Fall 2019

Graduation rate for Career Pathway students tops 93 percent

Commitment to learning is high in skilled trades education programs


In Georgia, the graduation rate for students involved in Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) programs has risen to 96.54 percent. This rate – which applies to students who complete at least one career pathway – exceeds the statewide graduation rate by 14.54 percentage points. In 2018, 99.6 percent of students in Georgia, who completed a Career Pathway went on to post-secondary education, advanced training, military service, or immediate employment.

Bulloch's graduation rate is 93.95 percent for students who complete a career pathway

This trend is similar within Bulloch County Schools' three high schools where the graduation rate is 93.95 percent for students who complete a career pathway, compared to the overall four-year cohort graduation rate of 82.0 percent for the district – a difference of 11.95 percentage points. Like the state, high school students in Bulloch County who enroll in advanced academic content courses, world languages, or fine arts, are shown to achieve higher four-year graduation rates of 97.38 percent or higher.

Career, Technical & Ag Education provides training and certification in high-demand jobs

Georgia offers students nearly 150 Career Pathways within 17 Career Clusters. Bulloch County Schools offers 20 of those Career Pathways in 13 Career Clusters, and more than 2,200 students are enrolled in these courses where they are identifying and building skills for specific careers.


Career & Technical Student Organizations

Each Career Pathway has a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) that provides a national student membership organization. They offer leadership development, peer networking, and skills competitions and service opportunities at the regional, state, and national level.



Career, Technical & Ag Education immediately connects students to local workforce

The Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education programs within the state’s public high schools and middle schools leverage local and area partnerships with businesses, industry, and colleges and universities to make sure students have the industry-certified skills and connections to successfully enter the workforce in the time and ways they choose:


Options in high school


  • Earn national industry certifications to show you're job-ready
  • Earn a wage from a local job that is an approved work-based learning site
  • Earn a wage from a local job that has an apprenticeship program
  • Dual enroll at Ogeechee Technical College or Georgia Southern University to begin and/or complete an occupational program or academic degree while still in high school


Options after high school


  • Seek possible full-time employment at your work-based learning or apprenticeship site
  • Continue or enroll in a career pathway-related degree program at a college or university
  • Help pay for college with co-op or scholarship programs offered to employees of local industries
  • Use your career pathway program skills to have more employment options and to earn a higher-wage job while you pursue a college degree


Bulloch County’s CTAE program and its industry and post-secondary partners provide concentrated skills education opportunities for local students. Teaching skilled, vocational education never left our high schools, but they have adapted to today’s workforce and technology trends.

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Work-Based learning pays off for students

Did you know? During the first semester of school (August - December 2019), Statesboro High School students who are employed at an approved work-based learning site, earned more than $90,000 in wages in addition to their workforce skills. Margot Bragg is the work-based learning coordinator for the school. Information is not yet available for Southeast Bulloch High School and Portal Middle High School. Marsha Arnett is the work-based learning coordinator for Portal, and Michael Powell serves Southeast Bulloch.

Business & Industry Showcase 2019

The Second Annual Business & Industry Showcase was sponsored by Ogeechee Technical College in partnership with Bulloch County Schools' Career, Technical, & Agricultural Education program. The event is designed to increase students' awareness of the careers available in our community particularly in healthcare, public safety, manufacturing, construction, and more.


Approximately 20 local businesses and industries participated, and they showcased their professions, networked with students, and provided hands-on activities like the following:

  • Fingerprinting and investigating a crime scene
  • Assembling mechanical bearings
  • Bending conduit to a specific angle
  • Maneuvering a robotic arm
  • Performing CPR
  • Examining X-rays and identifying body parts in an X-ray
Collage of student photos

Manufacturing Day 2019

More than 150 eighth-grade students and their school counselors participated in Manufacturing Day 2019 on October 3, at six local industries. Led by the Manufacturing Institute, the international event for schools and manufacturers is used locally by educators, industry, and economic development leaders as a workforce development tool to showcase career opportunities and help rising freshmen make career pathway decisions before they register for their high school courses. Students from each of Bulloch County Schools' four middle schools and its Transitions Learning Center participated.


Briggs & Stratton, Brodie International, Claude Howard Lumber, Great Dane, M-D Plastics, and Viracon each opened their doors to visiting students. They shared information about the following:


  • Types of skilled labor local industries need
  • How the these skills relate to certain career pathways taught in local high schools
  • How the skills relate to degree programs taught by local post-secondary institutions
  • Available, paid apprenticeship opportunities for high school students
  • Industry-funded co-op opportunities some industries provide for their employees who want to obtain post-secondary degrees while actively employed in manufacturing

Career Cluster News: Health Science

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Pye is Georgia's Health Services Career & Technical Education Teacher of the Year

Sharon Pye is the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education's (GACTE) Health Serivces teacher of the year. Pye is the Health Sciences instructor and the Health Occupations Student Association adviser at Southeast Bulloch High School. Pye was selected due to her significant contributions toward innovative, unique, and novel programs to improve and promote career and technical education. The GACTE is the state chapter of the national Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE).

Career Cluster News: Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources

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Portal opens new Agricultural Building

Portal Middle High School dedicated its new Bill Brown Agricultural Building on September 19, prior to its inaugural event, the annual Portal FFA Livestock Show. At a cost of nearly $650,000, the new 10,151 sq. ft.building building will continue the school’s tradition of providing agricultural education programs.The facility was made possible through Bulloch County Schools' education special local option sales tax (E-SPLOST)


"Agriculture is a vital and integral part of the Portal community," said Dr. Tom Marshall, the school's agricultural education teacher and FFA chapter advsier. "Moving forward, we are excited about the opportunities this new facility will afford. While livestock showing will be its primary function, there are unlimited and creative possibilities for the engagement of student learning and community involvement. The students I taught in the early 90s who showed livestock in the old barn are now bringing their children to do the same thing. The young people involved in livestock today will be bringing their children and grandchildren here to this new facility for many years to come."

Portal FFA places third in State Meats Evaluation Event

The Portal Middle High School Meats Evaluation Team won third-place in Georgia FFA Senior Meats Evaluation Career Development Event on November 16, at the University of Georgia. The team advanced to the state event after winning first place in the Area IV event held at Toombs County High School/Rutland High Schoo this fall. Team members are James Jackson, Katie Fondren, Krista Nesmith, and Elaina Parker. Nesmith was also awarded the High Individual honor at the Area IV event. Dr. Tom Marshall, Portal's Agricultural Education teacher, is the team's FFA adviser.


During the competitions, the team completed three different rotations: a knowledge test, the classification of four cuts of the same meat, and the identification of 30 different cuts of meat from lamb, pork and beef. The students had to learn over 100 cuts of meat before the contest.

Southeast Bulloch's Guillen places 2nd in state wiring contest

Southeast Bulloch High School's Dimas Guillen won second-place in the State EMC/FFA Electrification Career Development Event on January 12, 2019, in Covington. Sponsored by the state's electric membership cooperatives, the contest encourages students to learn about electricity and its available careers. Guillen won a $300 college scholarship. Brian Elrick serves as the school's Agricultural Mechanics instructor and one of two FFA advisers.

This is an image of two photographs. In the photograph on the left Southeast Bulloch High School Agricultural Mechanics Instructor and FFA Advisor, Brian Elrick, stands next to his student, Dimas Guillen. In the photograph on the right, Dimas Guillen is shown wiring an electrical outlet box.

Burke wins 3rd in State Tractor Operations

Cade Burke of Southeast Bulloch High School won third-place in the State FFA Tractor Operations Career Development Event on October 16,at the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie.

The National FFA Convention experience

Each year some members of Bulloch County's National FFA Organization chapters get to experience the organization's annual convention. In 2019 the 92nd National FFA Convention was held in Indianapolis, on October 29 - November 2, with over 72,000 FFA members from across the nation in attendance. While there, students attend leadership workshops, hear engaging guest speakers, further develop their skills, and participate in skills competitions and chapter recognition events. They bring those experiences back to positively impact their schools and community.
National FFA Convention attendees for Southeast Bulloch High School

Career Cluster News: Architecture & Construction

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Building relationships at Statesboro High School

Construction Pathway students in Joshua Hall's class at Statesboro High School built some special relationships and memories this holiday season by hosting a Santa's Workshop for the school's Pre-Kindergarten children. The Construction students pre-cut the wood pieces and enjoyed creating step stools with the four-year olds for them to take home. The Statesboro High Pre-K site also functions as a learning lab for Kristen Rogers' Early Childhood Education Career Pathway students.
Photo collage of construction pathway students

Construction helps school & community

Statesboro High School's Construction Pathway students, led by Josh Hall, are applying their skills to a variety of real-world projects that benefit the community:


  • Built a clothes closet for Statesboro High to collect and store clothes for those in need
  • Built a partition wall, installed soffit, & other projects at Fostering Bulloch's 7th Mile Farm
  • Designed & built a serving tray for special education students
  • Repaired a planter box for Statesboro High's Culinary Arts students' herb garden
  • Built miniature walls to demonstrate an understanding of wall systems
  • Helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity
  • Built a playhouse for a child
Construction students
Collage of Construction Pathway projects

Career Cluster News: Education & Training

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Bulloch Students Attend National Convention

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members from Statesboro High School and Southeast Bulloch High School attended the organization's National Convention in Anaheim, California this past summer. FCCLA is a national student organization that helps youth develop leadership and workplace skills and prepare for both college and careers.


While in California, the 18 students participated in competitions and earned nine gold and nine silver medals. Georgia FCCLA was also represented by Statesboro High's Keylee Phillips, who is serving as the state Vice President of Community Service.


The participating students are part of their schools' Early Childhood Care & Training, Teaching as a Profession, and Culinary Arts career pathways. They were accompanied by their instructors and chapter advisers Jackie Merrill and Cynthia Lovett of Southeast Bulloch High School and Bethany Gilliam, Kristen Rogers, and Cindy Hart of Statesboro High School.

Two photographs show students from Bulloch County School in attendance at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Convention. On the left are students from Southeast Bulloch High School. The photo on the right shows students from Statesboro High School.

Career Cluster News: Government & Public Safety

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Statesboro instructor is Top Teacher

Congratulations to WTOC's Top Teacher, 1Sgt. (Ret.)David Redwine, a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) - Army instructor at Statesboro High School. WTOC-TV, the Savannah-area's CBS television affiliate, recognized him as an outstanding teacher who shares a love of learning with his students. Top Teacher recipients are nominated by the community, and to be considered, they must excel in career and civic activities and work to make a difference in the lives of children. Watch the WTOC Top Teacher video segment.

Career Cluster News: Hospitality & Tourism

Culinary Arts career pathway photo collage

Culinary Arts shows Pre-K how to cook up an apple a day

Southeast Bulloch High School's Pre-Kindergarten students visited the school's Culinary Arts class to receive a heaping helping of fun. Their older cooking classmates engaged them in an activity with apples. The youngsters were all smiles, and they got to taste the best of what the Culinary Arts program has to offer. The career pathway is led by Cynthia Lovett. The Pre-Kindergarten site at Southeast Bulloch High School also serves as a learning lab for the school's Early Childhood Care & Training pathway courses.
culinary arts students cook for pre-k students

Can-Do Attitude

Our instructors are always cooking up some new skills. Cynthia Lovett and Brenda Clark attended a canning workshop recently. Lovett is the Culinary Arts teacher at Southeast Bulloch High School and Clark is the Nutrition and Food Science instructor at Portal Middle High School.

Tawes takes third place at Georgia National Fair

In October, Southeast Bulloch High School's Chloe Tawes won third place for her fabulous chicken recipe at the Georgia National Fair.

Career Cluster News: Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics

Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics photo collage

Distribution & Logistics is on the move

Dr. Glenn Bailey and Distribution & Logistics students at Statesboro High School are on the move with these engaging learning experiences:


  • Students took field trips to Matson Worldwide Logistics, Viracon, Orafol Americas, and Koyo Bearings to learn how distribution and logistics skills are used in their operations.
  • Jillian Walton of Ogeechee Technical College spoke with students about the college's Logistics degree program.
  • Present and future DECA officers attended the state-sponsored WorkWinWow professional development and officer training workshop held on September 10-11, at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington.
  • DECA members attended the annual Six Flags Over Georgia Fall Rally on November 6.
  • DECA members participated in the State Online DECA Testing Competitions to showcase their skills against DECA clubs from around the state on November 19.
Distribution and Logistics students at Viracon

Career Cluster News: Science,Technology,Engineering, & Math

Tech Day at the Georgia National Fair

Statesboro High School Technology Student Association members participated in Technology Day at the Georgia National Fair Grounds in Perry, Georgia. Students had the opportunity to compete in 11 individual and team competitions and the chance to win prize ribbons and cash awards for themselves and their chapter. It was also a great opportunity to meet other TSA members from around the state.


The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national organization for elementary, middle and high school students who are presently enrolled in or have completed technology education classes. Engineering & technology education classes have a two-fold mission: to help students gain an understanding of the engineering career field, the development and use of technology and to assist in the development of individual potential.


View a photo album from the event.

Statesboro High attends LeaderCon

Statesboro High School students participated in the Technology Student Association's (TSA) Fall Leadership Conference – LeaderCon. The event provides Georgia's TSA members and advisers the opportunity to increase their leadership, communication, and team building skills by attending hands-on workshops, seminars and general sessions.


Leadercon also hosts several competitive events: a VEX State Qualifier Tournament, a First Lego League Tournament, the Georgia TSA Electric Vehicle Rally, a VEX IQ Tournament, and the Armada Boat Race.


View photos from the event.