Tyrone students learn valuble job skills at GACTC

Tristen Walters in Cabinet Making

Fifty Tyrone Area High School students are currently enrolled in programs at the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center (GACTC).

The number of students enrolled this year is far greater than ever before, thanks to the new cooperative agreement between the GACTC and the Tyrone Area School District.

The Eagle Eye News recently sent a reporter and a photographer to the GACTC to spend the morning with students from Tyrone, taking photos and interviewing Tyrone students. The Eagle Eye asked the students why they chose their program, if they planned on making a career out of this profession, and how long they have been enrolled in programs at the GACTC.

All the students interviewed from Tyrone report that the programs are very helpful and they are gaining a lot of valuable hands-on experience.


Cosmetology is curently one of the the most popular program among Tyrone students this year with eight Tyrone students currently enrolled.  They are seniors Sierah Bogel,  Mercedes Robinson, Elizabeth Walk, and Sarah Wiser, juniors Sabrina Borgess, Shelby Harris, Courtney Kurtz, and sophomores Talyor Gardner and Kayla Green.

I joined this program because it is something that has always interested me”

— Senior Sarah Wiser

“I joined this program because it is something that has always interested me,” said Tyrone senior Sarah Wiser.

Wiser “definitely” plans to pursue a career in cosmetology after graduation.

Fellow senior Elizabeth Walk also joined this program because cosmetology is something she would like to make a career. Elizabeth has been in the program for two years, and will be graduating this year.

Automotive Technology and Automotive Diesel

The Automotive Technology and Diesel programs also have eight Tyrone students enrolled.

Sophomore Jessie Barnes, senior Dustin Sprankle are in the Auto program and Daren Reese and Cody Cassler are in the Diesel program.

Barnes took this course because he enjoys working on vehicles. This is Barnes’s first year at GACTC, and he plans on making a career of this trade.

Sprankle also plans on a career in auto repair after high school. Currently on his second year in the program, Sprankle took automotive technology because he likes working on vehicles.

Two students enrolled in Automotive Diesel are senior Daren Reese, and junior Cody Cassler.

“I took automotive diesel because I want to be a mechanic,” said Reese, who hopes to find a job pertaining to this trade after graduation.

Reese is currently on his third year enrolled at Greater Altoona.

Cassler chose this trade because it’s interesting to him, and he wants to learn about trucks.  He is in his second year at GACTC, and plans on making a career of diesel engine repair.

Culinary Arts & Food Production

Four Tyrone students are currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program.

First year student Cheyanne Burket said she took Culinary Arts because it looked interesting to her, although she isn’t sure if she is going to pursue a career in this field of work.

Stephanie said she took this course because she may need a backup job. She says that she will probably make a career out of the Culinary Arts program.

Adkins took Culinary Arts because she wants to learn how to cook.

“I would like to do something with Culinary Arts because it would be a good job to have”, said Shania.

Four other Tyrone students are enrolled in the Food Production program.

Brittani Sciarrillo,  currently on her first year, is one of those students.

Sciarrillo said she would like to do something in food production because “it is fun, and you can do a lot of stuff with it.”

Welding Technology

Four Tyrone students are currently enrolled in the Welding Technology program.

Senior Jesse Jones has been at GACTC for two years.  He  took Welding Tech. because it is something that interests him, there is a wide job selection, and it has good benefits.

“I would like to make a job out of this because it is a good trade to get into,’ said Jones.

Sophomore Brady Shaw  took welding because he thinks it is an interesting trade. He wants to work in this field because it “keeps me on my toes and I won’t get tired of it.”

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Program (HVAC)

Sophomore Cody Eckels, junior Ty Snyder and senior Shawn Lehner are all enrolled in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) program.

Eckels said he joined the program because, according to Eckels, the salaries are good this field and his father is in the same trade.  This is Cody’s first year in the program.

“It is a good program to get into, also it has a high job demand,” added Snyder, who is in his second year at GACTC.

Administrative Office Specialist

Two students from Tyrone are taking the Administrative Office Specialist program, Beth Hunter and Skylar Rudasill.  They are both currently in their first year at GACTC.

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I will probably make a career out of this trade ”

— TAHS student Skylar Rudasill

Beth Hunter said she joined this program because she has a friend in the same course.  She also likes accounting because it’s something that comes easily for her. She reported planning on making a career out of this trade in the future.

Skylar Rudasill joined the Administrative Office Specialist program because she loves math.

“I will probably make a career out of this trade because my mom does it as well,” said Rudasill.

Emergency Services

Sophomore Tessa Osterhout and senior Simon Wilson are both enrolled in the Emergency Services program.

Osterhout said she has always wanted to be a paramedic and feels that the program at GACTC will help her to achieve that goal.

Cabinet Making

Juniors Tristen Walters and Tanner Adams are both enlisted in the Cabinet Making program.

Walters said he joined this program because his entire family is in this trade and he would like to continue the family tradition.

Dental Assistant

One student from Tyrone, Caitlin Williams, is currently enlisted in the Dental Assistant program.  Caitlin is in her third year in the program and will graduate this year.  She said this is something she has always wanted to do.

“I plan on making a career out of this because I love teeth, and I think it’s important to keep them clean,” said Williams.

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I love teeth, and I think it’s important to keep them clean!”

— Senior Caitlin Williams

Electrical Trade

Todd Mertiff from Electrical Trade says he joined because he wants to become an electrician.

This is Mertiff’s first year at GACTC.  He plans on finding a job in the future that has something to do with the electrical trade.

Multimedia and Web Design

One student, junior Cody Shultz, is currently studying Multimedia and Web Design at GACTC.  Shultz is in his first year.

“I joined this program because I love anything that involves electronics and art”, said Shultz.  Although he isn’t completely sure, he will probably look for a job related to this program after graduation.

Precision Machinery

The lone Tyrone student enrolled in the Precision Machinery program is Cody Leech. Cody said he joined this trade because it is something he enjoys doing, and his family is into machinery. This is Cody’s first year, and he would like to work in the Precision Machinery field because he thinks it is fun.

Outdoor Power Equipment

Marcus Chamberlin, in the Outdoor Power Equipment program, is on his first year at GACTC. Marcus took this course because he wants to learn how to work on small engines, although he isn’t sure whether he wants to pursue a career in this field or not.

The other two Tyrone students enrolled in this program are sophomore Donovan Oswald and Marcus Chamberlain.

All of the students in the GACTC program spend about half their school day taking classes at the technology center and return to Tyrone High School for their other core classes.