After nearly three decades in the Carlisle Area School District, Frank August is the new director of the Center for Careers and Technology. (Jason Minick/The Sentinel)
Vocational director adjusting to new role
, 56, has worked in the district since 1975, when he
was first hired as a teacher in the vocational education program.After shifting into several administrative roles, August says he feels like he's "almost gone full circle" by taking on the administrative position that heads up the school's vocational technical program.He
most recent post as assistant principal at Wilson Middle School
to start his
new job, which began on Jan. 2.
"Right now, my goals are just to get a handle on the job and to understand the needs of the district and the students," August
says."There are many facets to the job."
Also heads up adult ed
As the program's director, he
is now in charge of the district's vocational program as well as its adult education program, which offers night classes.He
also must work with community members, business leaders and the state Department of Education to meet their needs and standards and coordinate programs.
"As a teacher, I never understood why the vocational director was never around, but now I understand why," August
says of his
One change he
is hoping to implement right away concerns eighth-grade tours of the vocational technical unit.In recent years, he
says, the students have been brought "four days in a row.It's disruptive to the classes here, and I know from working in the middle schools that it's disruptive for them, too."
hopes to take on one eighth-grade team each week to provide scheduling flexibility for both the middle-schoolers and for the high school student guides that will take them around.August
himself will talk to students about career choices and the value of learning a skill."You'll never lose it," he
says."I learned to be a mason and a brick layer, and I've never lost that skill.I can still do it.I may have slowed down a little, but I can do it."
The vocational program offers courses in business, communications, computer technology, human services and industrial trades.
first job in the education field in 1973 at the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center
, a vocational technical school in western Pennsylvania.Just two years later, he
was offered a job at Carlisle.
Built masonry workshop
Having grown up in eastern Pennsylvania in Mahanoy City, August
liked the idea of living closer to his
came to Carlisle and built a masonry shop with Carlisle high school students over the summer, then taught the masonry program for about 20 years.He
taught the class trowel trades by getting them involved in home building projects, block laying, cement finishing and stucco work.
When the need for an assistant principal came up at Lamberton Middle School
decided to fill in.He then returned to teaching half-time while serving as the high school's dean of students for the eleventh grade.
felt the divided job was not fair to his
students.He shifted through the district for the next several years, becoming the ninth-grade assistant principal for four years and the assistant principal at Wilson Middle School for three-and-a-half years.
was offered the position as director of the Center for Careers and Technology.
One downside to the job, August
says, is that he
doesn't get to interact with students as much, although former Wilson students do come in to visit and talk to him in his
office."I don't want to lose that connection," he
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