Jack James High School students show off their skills

Melissa W. watches a demonstration during Try a Skill night.

A twirling disco ball cast spotlights on students at Jack James High School as they strutted down the runway in clothes they fashioned themselves. Would-be movie producers showed off their skills on screen in a movie production and a robotic demonstration in partnership with DeVry Institute of Technology had the crowd amazed.

The activities were part of the school’s open house and ‘Try a Skill’ event held Dec. 6. Grade 9 students and people from the community were invited to try various skills or watch Jack James students in action.

The events ranged from creating ice cream with the science department, learning airbrush techniques with the auto body team, designing cupcakes with commercial cooking, learning hair braiding techniques in cosmetology to building electrical switches in construction. All the activities showcased Jack James students and their work in various trades.

Jack James High School is a “knowledge and employability school” for students pursuing trade careers or interested in a high school diploma. 

Melissa W. is a Grade 12 student, who will be attending SAIT in March. Melissa’s dream of becoming a chef began when she was young. Jack James has helped her on the path to achieving her goal of becoming a head chef at a CP Rail hotel.

“I went to a Grade 9 tour because I heard Jack James was a trade school. I knew right away this is where I wanted to be, and I have met a lot of great teachers along the way. One day, I would like to be a cooking teacher to repay the favour of how they were there for me,” said Melissa. “It is really important for our school to hold open houses, because it gives the community an idea of the different career choices available.”

Bill Bobenic, principal of Jack James High School, and Rhonda Adkins, a career practitioner, are proud of the school and the students.

“Our open house is a student-driven showcase that demonstrates to our student body, future students and their families the opportunities and culture of our great school. Our school supports Calgary Board of Education’s goal of all students succeeding in and completing high school,” said Bobenic.

Adkins adds, “The administration and teachers put a lot of care and energy into the students”. In return, the students are passionate and interested in what they are doing. They love our school, and they are very successful. That makes a difference. You can see it in the kids as they blossom and mature. The open house gives a chance for the students to show off their skill sets.”

As students demonstrated their abilities in different shops, there was a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Student Najeeb K. was drawn to the baking and construction programs when he attended the Grade 9 open house. “Our open house events have been very successful over the last three years. Parents and junior high teachers are surprised by what we do and accomplish here. It’s wonderful to see so many from the community here.”

So if you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a welder, carpenter, cook, electrician or cosmetologist, come see what Jack James High School has to offer. “The kids coming into our school don’t always know what they want to excel in. The tours will help them acquire an idea of what they want to go for. It will give them a head start in their high school career,” said Grade 12 student Matthew P.

The Grade 9 tours and open house were held in early December but parents/guardians and their student (s) may book an individual tour at any time.  Please call Guidance at 403-248-4145 to arrange.

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Last Modified: December 13, 2012