Porter County Career Center Hosts Annual Orientation

By: Andrew Guenther Last Updated: August 10, 2012

It is a unique experience photographing and reporting on an event that you were a part of running, but this reporter did his best to do both. The Porter County Career & Technical Center recently had its annual orientation/meet and greet for incoming marketing internship and business ownership students. Mrs. Judy Commers, the business/marketing instructor at the Career Center, plans and runs the event each year.

“We want to get the students used to the idea of the class before the beginning of the school year,” she said.

The orientation began with a short ice-breaker, in which students had to ask each other a series of questions that Mrs. Commers has prepared. The students who found people to answer all of the questions won a prize. The room soon turned abuzz as students ran back and forth, asking questions such as 'How would you describe elderly people?' and 'What do you typically do when you have an hour free?'

After the students sat down and got a bite to eat, it was down to business. Six students who had already graduated from the Career Center came to the orientation and took the new students on a tour of the Business Ownership Store.

“You'll be running this store every morning; Someone will be managing the accounting, someone will be managing inventory and someone else will be the General Manager,” Career Center graduate from Morgan Township High School Andrew Sharp said.

Meanwhile, recent graduates talked to the students about DECA, a marketing education competition that the Career Center competes at.

“It's probably the most fun you'll have all year,” Courtney Mason and Mitch Stevenson, both Porter County locals, explained.

Perhaps the most touching testimony came from Ryan Kominakis, a former-Marine who graduated from Wheeler High School and attended the Career Center.

“The Business Ownership Class covers every aspect of business there is,” he said. “There's so much about business you don't know, and you will be experiencing it all.”

Kominakis continued, becoming increasingly enthusiastic as he relived his high school days.

“Out of my four years in high school, the two I spent in the Career Center were my best,” he said. “This class is unique. Other classes can teach art, history and mathematics, but these classes will teach you real life skills. DECA teaches you salesmanship; it teaches you to think on your feet. Mrs. Commers teaches you to be ready. You're always learning here.”

The Porter County Career Center starts classes on August 22, and will compete in DECA over the course of the upcoming year. Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities or learning more about the program are encouraged to email either Mrs. Commers at jcommers@valpo.k12.in.us or me at Andrew.Guenther@indianadeca.org.