Spruill visits Starkville High for CTE Month

Starkville High School junior Andrew Carlisile, right, listens to Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill during a lunch and learn event held for CTE Month Tuesday. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

Staff Writer

Students at Starkville High School had the opportunity to visit with Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill during their lunch periods Tuesday.

Spruill was on campus for approximately two hours as part of one of the school’s career technical education (CTE) lunch and learn events, exposing students to various career fields. The lunch and learns will go on all week, as part of CTE Month. Spruill was available to discuss her career in business and her time as mayor, among other topics. WCBI Chief Meteorologist Keith Gibson and anchor Aundrea Self were also on hand to answer students’ questions about their careers. Starkville Fire Department and Starkville Police Department personnel participated on Monday, with more organizations scheduled throughout the week.

“Our grades 9-12 can talk to individuals out in a field which I’m hoping toconnect them to, to ask questions about what that real world job is like,” said Starkville High School CTE counselor Amanda Adams. “My whole purpose is to be able to direct our high school students to college and/or career paths.”

She explained the purpose of CTE Month.

“The goal of that, just like any other commemorative type month or event is to be able to raise awareness on career and technical education, and to be able to help connect students in all grades, in essence, from kindergarten all the way up to secondary education, to be able to understand that college is not the only option that they have, that there are career and technical programs that they can take in high school and after high school to be able to lead them to a well-paying, sustainable career, not just a part-time job,” Adams said.

While at SHS, Spruill signed a CTE Month proclamation, along with Millsaps Career and Technology Center Director Lenora Hogan. This was Spruill’s second year participating in CTE Month.

“They asked me to come out here and talk about careers in business and the city,” Spruill said. “There are obviously careers in business, as well as in the city.”

Spruill, who operates the property management firm her father founded, said her business career had been a learning experience.

“Obviously, careers in business are fascinating, because it’s ever-changing, and you’ve got to stay on top of stuff, and you get to be your own boss if you’re a business owner, so there are lots of opportunities,” Spruill said.

Spruill encouraged students to follow their passions and find a career meaningful to them.

“You can work in a job you don’t like and be miserable, or you can do something that’s meaningful to you,” Spruill said. “That’s on a personal level. You have to determine what your passion is and follow it.”

She also lauded the district’s CTE efforts, including the upcoming academic houses at SHS.

“Not everyone goes the same route,”Spruill said. “To have lots of options is a really good thing.”