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McFatter Technical Center Students Very Focused, Driven, Director Says

“I love to challenge myself,” says one student in the Davie school's welding program

By Julia Bagg
|  Wednesday, May 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:16 PM EDT
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Brittani Maskley s Davie high school is getting national attention as one of the best in the country. Director Jeanette Johnson and valedictorian Luciano Arango.

Brittani Maskley s Davie high school is getting national attention as one of the best in the country. Director Jeanette Johnson and valedictorian Luciano Arango.

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Brittani Maskley’s Davie high school is getting national attention as one of the best in the country.

A senior, Maskley knew McFatter Technical Center would offer her an early competitive edge for a high-paying job.

“I love to challenge myself,” said Maskley, a student in the school’s welding program. “You can leave high school not only with your diploma, but you can also leave certified in whatever tech program you go into so you can start working right away."

That works well with her plan to work while she studies metal science at the University of Florida. She’ll be job-ready as soon as she steps on campus.

“Instead of working at a fast food restaurant,” she said, “I can work as a welder and make some pretty good money on the side.”

The campus of 600 students has a rare atmosphere where juniors and seniors work side by side in their chosen technical field for half of their school day.

“They’re very focused, they’re very driven, because they’re surrounded by adults,” said director Jeanette Johnson, who emphasized the value of “positive mature role models” for her students.

One role worth modeling is that of Luciano Arango. He’s the valedictorian, and has received multiple Ivy League offers. He plans to study at Harvard and work in its information technology department. To earn one of the certifications he already has, he had to repair 10 computers.

Those qualifications often surprise and even confuse college administrators, Arango noted.

“They’re amazed that I have these certifications that are usually for adults,” he said.

Arango expects he could make $30,000 to $40,000 a year working full time because of his certifications alone – before adding on a college degree.

“The world is open to them, anything they want is what they’re going to be able to achieve,” Johnson said.

To learn more about McFatter Technical Center, and how to apply, go to www.mcfattertech.com.

For more Education Nation stories, see here, here and here.

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