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The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Trade school helps students find jobs

Special classes at Peaslee Tech train students for well-paying jobs
Maison Flory
Senior Colin Sandefur checks the joint for exhaust leaks during the Auto/Welding for the Novice course at Peaslee Tech.

“What are you planning to do for college?” is the ominous question every teenager has been asked at least once during high school.

Most believe that college is their best chance at achieving their dream job or financial stability, but those at Peaslee Tech would disagree.

Peaslee Tech is a trade school that helps students find work right out of high school. It offers an intro to training that is required for multiple jobs including construction, automotive and welding, and high school students can take advantage of many of those classes are part of their school day. The College and Career Center, located next door is another avenue for students seeing carer training.

Senior Jameyson Wilcoxson is a welding student at Peaslee Tech. Starting at Peaslee in his sophomore year, he entered Intro into Automotive class. Although he stuck with the course, he has started to branch out more into the work field.

“I’m currently working three jobs,” Wilcoxson said. “My main job, I’m working as a mechanic, and then I do just some freelance work, doing construction, fixing things. Just random tidbits here and there.”

Growing up in a college town adds an extra layer of pressure to go on to higher education, and Peaslee Tech’s enrollment services coordinator Charlie Lauts said this makes it even more important to get the word out about these programs.

“I just think that when you grow up in Lawrence, Kansas, your whole life you’ve heard, ‘When do you go to KU?’ Or ‘What are you going to study when you go to KU?’ or ‘What are you going to do in college?’ ” Lauts said. “That’s what you hear from [the time you are] a small child, is ‘College, college, college.’ Seventy-five percent of careers do not require a four-year degree.”

Peaslee is not only useful for people wanting an alternative to college, however. Some students like senior Kiana Sales, who was enrolled in a Peaslee course the previous year, just wanted to gain a solid foundation for life skills necessary for adulthood.

“I wanted to learn how to change a tire,” Sales said. “I just felt like that’s something I need to know because in fact, I’m moving away for college. It just helped with real-life things that you may have to deal with.”

The layout for this program is not like a standard education curriculum. Most of the work is targeted toward tactile learners, Lauts said.

“A lot of it is hands-on for us,” she said. “I would say with even the high school-level classes, there is some lecture, of course, but most of the people that are enrolled in these classes are working with their hands. They’re not all just sitting and listening.”

One of the major struggles for students in college are the tests and exams, which can make up significant amounts of your grade. Peaslee has an alternative method when it comes to testing.

“There aren’t really tests besides turning in our welds,” Wilcoxson said. “At least for the final of the welding class, there’s something called a bend test, which is where you butt two pieces of metal up to each other.”

The community at Peaslee continuously strives to mirror a real-life work environment, and Sales appreciates this relationship with her teachers.

“[They were] almost kind of like a coworker almost,” Sales said. “It wasn’t like, ‘I’m a teacher, you’re a student.’ It was like, ‘I’m your coworker, and I’m just training you to go and do what you need to do to have this job.’ ”

While college will still be a common path, Lauts notes that Peaslee is a financially-friendly option that gives young people the flexibility to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

“I had a girl about a month ago with a civil engineering degree who has never been an engineer, nor does she intend to,” Lauts said. “She came here to inquire about our electrician’s class. She has $80,000 in college debt for a degree she never ever plans to use when our electrician program costs $2,500. So it’s like, why does she have all this debt for something she doesn’t even want to do?”

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About the Contributors
Zana Kennedy
Zana Kennedy, The Budget Co-Editor in Chief

I am going into my second year on staff as Co-Editor in Chief of the LHS Budget print publication, and I’m ready to help this publication rise to the occasion. When I’m not knocking out stories or planning the latest issue of the Budget, you can find me doing ballet at the Lawrence Art Center, playing the violin in orchestra, reading, baking or hanging out with friends. I am also involved in Link Crew at LHS.

Maison Flory
Maison Flory, Red and Black Photo Editor
I'm a third-year photographer on the journalism staff. When I am not taking pictures, I am showing my animals in 4-H and play club and school soccer.

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