Students find ‘ACE’ deals winning hand in construction trades

Whether they’re interested in architecture, construction, or engineering – see why this new charter school is attracting the interest of students across East Multnomah County …

Prospective ACE Academy students take a look around one of the facilities that will participate in the new school’s program.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
There hasn’t been a new charter school established in Multnomah County for quite some time. But the ACE Academy has been attracting the interest of high-school age students, even though it won’t open until autumn, 2008.

Parents and students are getting a sneak-peak at one of the training facilities that will be used, and learn about the program, at a series of “information nights” run by the new school’s staff.

Michael Taylor tells why the ACE Academy “model of education” is great for students considering going into architecture, construction, and engineering careers.

“They’re getting to experience an overview of our program,” stated one of the school’s directors, Michael Taylor. “They’re looking at what they’re going to learn and how the topics will be taught. In our case, both of these models are unique. And, they hear about the advantages of going to school with us, as opposed to a more traditional school.”

Also present at the open houses are industry partners. On the night we visited, an architect and a contractor told why they love their professions – and answered questions.

Father and son, Foster and Caleb Thompson, tour a construction training facility after learning about the ACE Academy program.

Wants an early start
After the formal presentation, we spoke with Parkrose High School sophomore, Caleb Thompson. “I’m thinking about this for next year. I want to come here, because I like instruction. I work with my dad in construction all the time. It’ll be a good thing to start learning early.”

His father, Foster Thompson, said he liked the ACE Academy concept. “I think it’s an excellent idea that students spend some time in the trade and the rest of their time in their high school environment. If they learn a trade, from the ground up, while in high school, it would give them a boost getting a job later.”

At an ACE Academy information night, contractor Eric Jackson of Charter Construction, answers questions about the construction trade.

Two more nights next week
On February 11 and 14, ACE Academy is holding two more information nights for prospective students.

Parents and high school age students in East Multnomah County will discover how this school will help students excel in the fields of architecture, construction and engineering.

These open houses run from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 4222 NE 158th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. Call Michael Taylor at (503) 546-9928 for more information.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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