District Message

By Principal Carol Bebout

As I complete my 43rd and final year in education, I think about all of the students, staff and parents who have had an impact on my life. I have learned so much from them about life, about commitment, and about the ability to meet a challenge. Tri-Rivers Career Center is fortunate to bring together students from many school districts where students become a family in their chosen career tech program while they learn new skills.

A career technical school offers students the opportunity to do things they never imagined they could do.

They may have always enjoyed working on cars, but they come to Tri-Rivers and discover they can gain skills that make them competitive in the work place because they are training on the most current equipment with an instructor who remains

As I begin my 43rd and final year in education, I think about all of the students, staff and parents who have had an impact on my life. I have learned so much from them about life, about commitment, and about the ability to meet a challenge. Tri-Rivers Career Center is fortunate to bring together students from many school districts where students become a family in their chosen career tech program while they learn new skills.

A career technical school offers students the opportunity to do things they never imagined they could do.

They may have always enjoyed working on cars, but they come to Tri-Rivers and discover they can gain skills that make them competitive in the work place because they are training on the most current equipment with an instructor who remains educated in the changes in the industry. They may have never thought they would have the ability to develop the unique and precise skill of welding but they find that they enjoy the persistence it takes. College credit can be earned in labs and academics. Their academics become relevant to them. Students celebrate the successes and do not quit when they are challenged.

Here are the Top 10 things I have learned from my kids:

#10 -You are never too old to learn something new. I had never driven a forklift but the students in Ag & Industrial Power stopped me as I walked through the compound and asked if I wanted to try. I knew nothing about the forklift but the students walked me through it step-by-step and soon I was picking up the pallet and moving it. Students find that not only are they learners, they can become the teachers. The level of confidence they feel is incredible.

#9 – Change is Good. Students come to us from many backgrounds. Students understand that with a skill they can rise, achieve, and be the person they want to be. Some students come to us never having experienced a leadership role. When they come to our labs and are surrounded by others who have similar goals, interests, and talents, they find the leader inside of themselves that has been waiting to be awakened. Students meet that challenge. They are forever transformed. Watching that transformation changes me, too. I have so much respect for these young people.

#8 – Confidence. Hello, my name is ______. I hear this so often as industry comes to see our students in the labs and observe them working. Our students are proud to introduce themselves and share their enthusiasm for their career choice. They want to make a connection with an employer, make an impression on them, and in turn, they become more confident. To see students, who may have been shy and withdrawn when they arrived at TRCC, step outside of their comfort zone is heartwarming. They look at themselves in the mirror and see who they are now and who they will become in the future.

#7 – Students Can Take Advantage of Many Opportunities. Our students are fortunate because their opportunities double when they enroll with Tri-Rivers. These students stay involved with their home school being involved in music, sports, and multiple activities. They attend dances and pep rallies and special events with their home schools. At the career center they attend leadership camps, competitions related to their lab program, career technical organization activities, and take field trips where they are treated as professionals in their fields. The opportunities are limitless and the students take advantage of each offering. Their world is so different from what they thought it would be.

#6 – Our alumni are members of our family forever. The students look to their lab instructors forever to guide them and help them. They have a mentor for life. Students spend half of each day for two years with their lab instructor and their team members. The bond is strong and the family is forever. Students assist each other and enjoy watching each other succeed. Our buzzer at school rings and a former student returns to be a presenter in one of our programs or speak to an academic class. They are the people who can truly show the students that they can be a success because they have been trained so well and are a success in their field.

#5 – Failure Can Lead to Success. Something students learn at TRCC is that failing is the first step in succeeding. F-A-I-L stands for First Attempt In Learning. They are learning something very new that they have never tried before. So when they fail, they try again. They get help from the teachers and from their classmates. That failure turns into a success very quickly. Their life takes a direction that they were not aware was possible before they came to TRCC. They see the spokes to the wheel that are a part of the career opportunity in each area. They see their future open up before their eyes.

#4 – Drug Free. Hire Me! Matters – Our employers tell us that they have a difficult time hiring employees because they are unable to pass the drug test. This year we started a program called Drug Free. Hire Me! Students voluntarily submit to a drug test and agree to random testing. So far, over 259 students and staff have been tested. Students and staff proudly wear the shirt sporting the logo and declaration that they are drug free. This is another way our students show their pride in being a TRCC student. They show their care about themselves and others.

#3 – Teamwork. I can walk into Vet Science and drop my dog off to have it groomed, my car can go to Auto Tech for an oil change, I can stop at Criminal Justice and ask about a security system, leave my mower in Ag & Industrial Power to have the blades sharpened, have Construction build me a shed, have Digital Media & Entertainment design an invitation for an upcoming school event, make an appointment to have my nails done in Cosmetology and a facial in Esthetics, have Health Care explain to me the coding on a bill I received, ask CNET to fix my computer, arrange for Culinary Arts to bake a cake for a luncheon we are having, Engineering can program the computer to make an etching of the school on a piece of glass, Advanced Machining can create a part for a broken machine in the office, and Welding can repair the leg on the table we use for displays.

#2 – Students are resilient. Students come to school with 2 backpacks. One you see and one you can’t see. Until you know what is in the one you can’t see, you can never give students the help they need. So I always look for that invisible backpack and I peak inside of it. That is how we know how to really work with a student. You never know what goes on in their home when they leave school or the type of life they lead. You never know how important the school, the staff, and the friends are to a student. While some look forward to the weekends or vacations, some dread that time at home. This is why the family atmosphere I see at TRCC is so important to our students. That invisible backpack can be very heavy. Coming to TRCC they find that there is help carrying the weight. I admire their strength.

#1 – The number one thing I have learned is that I will truly miss the interaction with the students, staff and parents when I retire. Each day I learn so much more than I ever thought was possible. I am a richer person because of the people I have met and worked with and the students who have touched my life.

I tell the students each day – Do something today to get to graduation. ILMJ ILMC I love my job! I love my career! I wish I could express to each person the appreciation I have for letting me be a small part of their lives and to thank them for touching my life and my heart. Tri-Rivers will continue to enrich the community and it will make a difference in students’ lives and the communities it serves.

—Mrs. Bebout, Tri-Rivers Principal