Second Building Bridges event to bring school, community together

Morgan Barnes, Features Editor

Career and Technical Director Melinda Rangel believes that the high school has previously benefitted from the connection of businesses and industries throughout the community. On the evening of Feb. 21, the school will be hosting the second annual Building Bridges event.
Rangel said the high school has seen many benefits of the Building Bridges event last year, from job shadow opportunities, to donations and even field trips. There are hopes that the benefits will only increase following this year’s event.
“We have always had advisory boards in our career and technical education pathways. The idea is to include the advisory boards that we currently have in place, but to throw a bigger net to get more businesses and industries involved,” Rangel said.
There will be a large range of attendees, primarily businesses and industries in Harvey County. The high school works to involve these businesses, and the businesses themselves show an interest in the school programs.
“Newton Medical Center is a wonderful partner with lots of manufacturing partners. Hutchinson Community College representatives are coming, the Mayor of Newton is coming. There’s also Kuhn Krause, which is a business partner in Hutchinson, that has donated hundreds of dollars in metal for us this year,” Rangel said. “That is huge, because businesses and industries want to partner with us. They want to help in the education of our students through a variety of ways, whether it’s field trips or guest speakers, sometimes it’s even monetary. Then people will want to be involved, and are supportive. It just opens lots of doors that we didn’t know were available.”
Not only does this event benefit those students who choose to participate by representing the departments they are a part of , but students from the culinary department at the high school as well. The culinary arts students will provide the catering for this event.
“It is a fantastic way for them to showcase their skills that they learn in restaurant and event planning. We have a RSVP list and they give them the numbers, and then they have to plan the menu. They work to organize the menu, how much to prepare, and they make and serve everything,” Rangel said.
There will also be students representing and answering questions for the departments involved later in the night.
“I choose to participate in it because I think that it is important to connect with the community on the things that we do in the Ag. shop, and just in our school,” junior FFA officer Kit Kingsley said. “It would depend on who attends, but if some nurseries or any type of organization that has to do with horticulture. They would be able to see what we do and hopefully be able to help run programs through us or anything else that could help.”