Middle school students try out Triplett Tech classes during summer academy

Gabi Fream, 14, of Woodstock, front left, and Emily Miller, 15, of Edinburg, right, have Anita Foltz, a licensed cosmetologist and substitute teacher at Triplett Tech, demonstrate the proper technique of blow drying hair during the school's first summer academy on Monday. About 70 seventh and eighth grade Shenandoah County students are attending the weeklong program to learn about occupations they might pursue through the technical school. Rich Cooley/Daily

MOUNT JACKSON – Shenandoah County middle school students are getting a look at the wide variety of occupations they could enter with skills learned through Triplett Tech classes.

Triplett Tech is hosting its first summer academy this week for students entering the seventh and eighth grades, said Connie Pangle, Triplett Tech principal.

Pangle said there are about 70 students enrolled in the free program.

The program costs about $8,000 and is funded through a Moore grant, Pangle said. Students receive free bus transportation to Triplett Tech and a free morning snack.

Students in the summer academy picked a program offered at Triplett Tech to spend the week learning about. Programs available to students included cosmetology, auto tech, cybersecurity, carpentry, criminal justice taught by members of the Woodstock Police Department, health care sciences, culinary arts, early childhood development and collision repair.

Julia Biller, 12, of New Market, makes a pizza inside the kitchen of the culinary arts class at Triplett Tech on Monday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Anita Foltz, who substitutes for the school and is a licensed cosmetologist, is teaching the students in the summer academy. She said she is teaching them about hairstyling, manicures and pedicures, waxing, salt scrub on hands and, if time permits, pin curls.

In the auto tech classroom, teacher Lucas Long, along with former students who served as helpers, taught middle school students on Monday how to replace spark plugs, change oil and perform engine maintenance.

He said he was surprised by how quickly students were able to learn the skills needed to perform these tasks. Students were also required to wear particular clothing for safety reasons, such as closed-toe shoes.

Danielle Klinko, 13, of Woodstock, a rising eighth-grader at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School, said she took the class to learn the basics of car maintenance.

“It’s a little bit harder than I thought it would be, but I’m up to the challenge,” she said.

Danielle Klinko, left, and Jacob Bodge, right, both 13 and from Woodstock, change the oil in a vehicle on a lift inside Triplett Tech Monday. Rich Cooley/Daily

In the carpentry classroom, Barry Arey, who is a substitute teacher at Triplett Tech, taught the students how to use hand tools and how to measure. By the end of the week, he said his students will have built a bird house.

Students are doing wonderful things, he said. “They enjoy being here.”

In the culinary arts classroom, Chef Paje Cross, along with student helpers, taught middle schoolers how to make pizza from scratch.

Tiffany Burrell, 13, a rising eighth-grader from New Market, said she took the class to expand her cooking skills. She said she has been cooking since she was little and has fallen in love with it. She enjoys baking fudge and zucchini bread with her mom at home and watches cooking shows. Tiffany said she hopes to pursue a career in culinary arts in years to come.

Pangle said she hopes to continue the academy next summer and have more students sign up for the week-long program.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com