Reunion and open house set for Feb. 20

To celebrate National Career and Technical Education Month, the Davis H. Hart Career Center in Mexico is holding its first annual Alumni Reunion/Open House. Food, tours and videos of memories captured will be shared. HCC alumni, current students and the public are encouraged to attend.
The administration is excited and HCC students are amped about the idea. Mexico High School students along with students from area sending schools, will serve as ambassadors, tour guides, and have activities going on in classrooms.
"When our alumni come, they will see something more than just bricks and a building," said Hart Career Center Director, Dr. Mickie L. Shank. "We have about 60 students coming to serve and give tours, and we'll have hotdogs, hamburgers and lots of things to share."
Shank said the idea for the reunion came out of a faculty meeting held earlier this year.
"We were talking about what we could do to get the community more involved (with HCC)," Shank said. "We know that we have some very, very proud alumni and that the center was key in their life and success. So, we kind of brainstormed and came up with the reunion."
The reunion is scheduled Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 5-8 p.m. at the Hart Career Center.
"We want people to come and reunite, and share their positive feelings. We also hope that the people that were in common programs will bump into each other and talk," Shank said. She said MHS students from Jami Williams' class plan to video the event and record testimonies from any alumni willing to share their Hart Career Center experience.
"We're hoping to learn from the alumni and also encourage their involvement with the center. They can sit on the advisory committee, give advice about a program, mentor a student in a program, or offer ideas for future job shadowing. There are so many things here they can do."
Shank said the reunion will give the administration and HCC students the chance to tell what the vocational center is all about.
"We know that many people do not understand what goes on in our program, and this reunion will allow us to show them. We will also be able to use their testimonies in our marketing materials," Shank said.
The Davis H. Hart Vocational Technical School opened in 1968, offering a variety of programs to the community and secondary students from eight mid-Missouri area schools. The name has since been changed to the Hart Career Center.
HCC programs provide entry level skills and training in technical and service job areas that are in demand in today's economy. Classes provide preliminary skills and training for other technical fields such as engineering, computer networking, healthcare and other careers. Secondary students receive high school credit for their career center classes. Many of the classes offer articulated college credits as well. Certificates are awarded for satisfactory completion of each program. Programs offered today include: Automotive Technology; Ag Machinery and Diesel Technology; Cosmetology; Health Occupations; Welding Technology; Occupational Child Care; Computer and Network Support; Graphic Arts Occupations; Website Design and Computer Programming and more.
HCC students also participate and compete in Skills-USA on the local, district, state and national levels. "There are two things we hope to accomplish," Shank said. "Obviously, we want people to come and reunite, because that gives such a good feeling and allows us to see people who have come through the program that we haven't stayed in touch with.
"It also offers us the opportunity to gain positive feedback and learn from those that attend." Shank said each of the HCC programs will also have SkillsUSA officers and representatives in the rooms sharing what they do in their programs.
"We'd love to see a lot of people turn out. We're going to have fun no matter what," Shank said. "It's going to be an informal event, with the students taking visitors around, showing them what HCC is all about. We're hoping to learn a lot while the people are together. So, come on out and enjoy some good food and good conversation."
For more information, call the Hart Career Center at (573) 581-5684.