PCHS finance academy earns honors

Published 8:52 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Business and Finance Academy at Pike County High School in Brundidge has been named an Exemplary CTE Program by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technology Education and the Consortium and National Career Technical Education Foundation.

Dr. Mike Hall, PCHS principal, said the Exemplary CTE Program distinction is one that PCHS and its Business and Finance Academy are honored to receive.

“Our academy will now represent Alabama at the regional and national levels,” Hall said. “When monies are allocated for programs on the national level, Congress wants to know that these dollars are being well spent. It has to with future funding and we are proud that the Business and Finance Academy at Pike County High School has been recognized as an Exemplary CTE Program.”

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Hall said the Academy was established as a pure academy in partnership with First National Bank of Brundidge.

First National Bank built a replica of its space to provide a classroom and laboratory area where students in the program can work along side of bank employees.

“This allows the students to learn and practice in a realistic context with professionals,” Hall said. “We only have room for 20 students in the Academy. Juniors and seniors are admitted to the Business and Finance Academy but must take pre-requisite courses before applying to the academy.”

Hall said students must have a high GPA, must have exemplified good citizenship and must participate in a series of interviews by a committee of staff members to be admitted to the academy. “Business and Finance Academy students take English, American history and business classes at the Academy,” he said. “They also work a rotation in the bank and then do a two-week summer internship at the bank.”

Students who complete the Academy and take required on-line classes earn an associate degree from Enterprise State Junior College when they graduate high school. Hall said the success of the Pike County High School Business and Finance Academy is measured in several ways.

“The graduation rate for the students in the Academy is 100 percent,” Hall said. “And, 95 percent of the students who graduate from the Academy go on to post secondary institutions. The program also facilitates a paid summer internship and the graduating seniors can receive an associate’s degree in addition to their high school diploma.”

Jimmy Ramage, First National president and CEO, said he is proud of the recognition for the Academy and proud, also, of First National’s involvement.

“All of us at the bank enjoy working with the students,” he said. “The Academy has been a win-win endeavor for us. It’s a pleasure working with students who have the drive and initiative to take what they are offered and use it to better their futures.

“The first group that worked with us has now graduated college and they are doing really well in different careers. This recognition says a lot about the CTE Program and Pike County High School. We applaud their efforts.”