LHS receives coveted award

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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Lincoln High is one of six schools in California to receive a Career and Technical Education (CTE) award and is now a model school for its vocational programs. “We have some of the best programs in the state, maybe the best programs,” said Principal Dave Butler. The award, presented Friday in Southern California, recognizes Lincoln High’s farm, industrial arts, home economics and regional opportunity programs. “It’s a great honor,” said Chant Leavell, a teacher at the farm. “It definitely shows the dedication of the teachers and the students in the career-tech programs and the school farm.” Barret Hess, agricultural mechanics instructor at Lincoln High, who wrote the award proposal, turned visiting representatives from the state’s Department of Education over to the students. “I didn’t realize how many reasons we had to be proud of our school,” Hess said, adding that he discovered many of those reasons when he wrote the proposal. “Between the distinguished school award and the CTE award, we’re making a name for ourselves in the state,” Hess said. Despite statewide recognition, Hess said Lincoln High remains a community school with close ties to the community. Junior Kyle Dawson said he has learned how to do body work on cars and even became a certified welder through Lincoln High School, which he hopes to pursue after graduation, possibly by joining the Navy and becoming an underwater welder. Senior Jake Martin already has a job as a result of his auto bodywork skills honed under Hess’ tutelage. “I got a job at a body shop at Beale Air Force Base,” Martin said. “I was working on a car and the owner came in and saw the work I had done so he gave Mr. Hess his card.” Martin said the award is well deserved and that Lincoln High has excellent programs. Another of the many programs Lincoln High received the award for is iDesign, where students use advanced computer numerically controlled machines in the manufacturing process. “These are the exact machines they would use when they graduate and get jobs,” said iDesign teacher Scott Seacrist. The program is partnered with Sierra College and this was the first school year the machines have been used. “It’s cutting edge,” Seacrist said. “It adds a saleable skill and gives them knowledge of high-technology equipment.” Seacrist added that he tries to make the projects fun so students can make clocks and three-dimensional mazes as projects while learning skills they can use in a job. Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at