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Greene Technology Center Principal Randy Wells announced his plans to retire at the end of the current school year on Thursday evening.
His quarterly report to the Joint School Board, which combines both the Greene County and Greeneville City boards and meets quarterly to oversee the Technology Center, was the only item on the board’s agenda for Thursday other than routine business of approving meeting minutes and financial statements.
Wells started teaching machine tool courses at the Technology Center in 1993, after a career at Phillips Corporation. He became assistant principal in 2005 and principal in 2017.
He said the time has gone by fast, and he is now looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, especially his grandchildren.
“I am thankful to work with great people here at the school and have the support of this board and Greeneville and Greene County School Systems. Each year I have been honored to watch young people start their careers,” he said. “I am excited to watch what new growth and accomplishments occur here at the Center and both school systems.”
Before announcing his retirement, Wells reported to the board that beginning enrollment at the Technology Center for the spring semester is up 65 students over spring 2021.
“This is a path back to our numbers prior to the pandemic,” he said.
He has reported multiple times on the loss of enrollment due to the pandemic, particularly while students were studying virtually.
Wells said 57 students are enrolled in dual enrollment with TCAT Morristown, which shares the building and uses it for adult classes after regular school hours. He said that number represents 48% of all eligible students, and other students are still registering.
He also reported the Center has awarded 104 industry certifications to students from the fall semester.
“That number will grow by a few more as we have 14 students scheduled to take the CNA test in February,” said Wells.
In his report Wells also said the Center will host a summer camp for girls focused on advanced manufacturing through a Governors Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grant. He said more details would be ready to share in the spring.
Assistant Principal Aaron Flannary also gave a report, where he announced a new work-based learning program. He said 14 students are enrolled in the new program, through which they will gain experience working with companies in fields from manufacturing to tourism.
“We are training these students on soft skills, worker safety and work ethic expectations,” he said. “Moving forward we already have several companies that want to come on board and have committed to hosting students for next fall or spring, pending how the pandemic goes.”
He said he hopes to see participation double.
The next meeting of the Joint Board of Education will be in April.