School of the Week: Golightly Career and Technical Center!

Roasted duck on a crostini. Herb-roasted chicken with fresh rosemary and cherry tomatoes. Tilapia with lemon dill sauce and fresh-sliced lemon and parsley.

Those were some of the tantalizing items on the menu at the 30th Anniversary Celebration and Buffet at Golightly Career and Technical Center on Friday, November 2, showcasing the Culinary Arts Department’s offerings.

But make no mistake that the full menu of career and technical offerings at Golightly Career and Technical Center goes far beyond Culinary Arts.

Golightly CTC is one of four Career and Technical Centers in Detroit Public Schools.  The center, which recently honored its 30th anniversary during a day-long celebration entitled “Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence,” prepares 10-12th graders within the district and non-district students for college and career readiness in technical professions for the 21st Century.

The program offerings are geared toward high-wage, trend-setting jobs that provide career planning and training to match students’ interests and abilities.  All programs, which are free, are both college-prep and career-ready, said Center Director Betty Edwards.

“The old misnomer is that students come to a career tech center because they can’t do anything else, but that’s not true” she said, adding that 95 percent or more of the students who attend graduate and pursue post-secondary education.

“Students come here because when they leave, they can attend college and have a marketable skill.”

Walking through the halls of Golightly is like stepping into a micro-society of the working world. Every curriculum within the center has a hands-on component.

Turn left, and culinary arts students in tall white chefs hats are hard at work in the Glass House, a functioning restaurant that performs catering and offers mouth-watering buffets. There, students learn every aspect of hospitality, food services, and how to run a restaurant, including the proper way to fold napkins into perfect rosebud shapes.

Turn right, and students are busy in the school’s mock travel agency.

In the Electronics Engineering Technology/Biomedical classroom, students are building electric circuits. In another classroom, students are working on computer-aided design.

In the award-winning mass media program, students learn not only the glamour and excitement of standing in front of the camera as television anchors, but they learn how everything works behind the scenes, including shooting and editing video footage and audio recordings.

“I decided to come here because I wanted to know more about filming,” said junior Sharneise Stokes, who attends East English Village Preparatory Academy. “And while I would like to be in front of the camera, I also wanted to learn about what people do behind the camera because they are so important.”

Students and staff say the hands-on learning is invaluable.

“In the Information Technology Academy, students work on networking, computer systems and how the Internet works,” said Marvin Ware, the Academy’s program manager. “Golightly CTC allows students to delve into the real-world of computers by touching the components and researching the components. To have this experience in high school is very unusual but very useful for the growth of the students….This gives them a leg up on the college experience.”

As she tinkered with the inner-workings of a parallel circuit, Natylie Henderson, 16, a junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, said she never expected to have access to such experiences in high school.

“This helps kids get a head start on doing what they want to do for their career,” she said.

Indeed, there are sixteen (16) program offerings at Golightly, as well as evening Adult GED and Pre-GED courses.

The course offerings include:

  • Business and Technology: Academy of Finance, Academy of Travel and Tourism, Call Center, Computer Graphics/Publishing Technology, Photography and Academy of Information Technology.
  • Hospitality and Food Services: Baking and Pastry Arts, Diversified Hospitality and Food Services, Meat-cutting and Charcuterie.
  • Trade and Industry: Agriscience, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Service Technology, Computer Aided Drafting/Robotics, Biomedical Engineering, Law Enforcement and Mass Communication.

Second-year students participate in a five-week entrepreneurial class, which explores the various aspects of Business Management.

Practicum, internships, scholarships and cooperative education experiences are available, and many students gain paid internships throughout Metro Detroit in accounting firms, restaurants, welding companies and much more, Director Edwards said.

Edwards added that students also are lucky to benefit from staff members who are highly qualified and have real-world work expertise in the areas that they teach, which also opens up opportunities for students.

Preparation and financial aid assistance are also provided for students for entrance into higher education/college. Students who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion.

“The Golightly experience is a school where we’re educating the minds and the hands at the same time,” Edwards said, adding that she considers Golightly to be a premier career technical program. “We are on the sunrise side of the city, east of ordinary, and that’s what we expect. We have high expectations here.”

Something you didn’t know:

Golightly Career and Technical Center is named in honor of Cornelius L. Golightly, the first black Detroit Board of Education president. The center opened in 1982.

Something else you didn’t know:

In the Culinary Arts program, students work in the Glass House Restaurant to gain knowledge into entry-level positions, including waiter / waitress, host / hostess, table bussing, cashier and table-side preparation. Students in the meat-cutting courses learn to operate commercial equipment, cut / bone meat, prepare and package meat, seafood, and poultry, prepare cold meat trays and handle customer concerns. Students also prepare soups, sauces, hot hors d’oeuvres and garnishes; learn ice sculpting; serve gourmet buffets, including daily a la carte / table side cooking and plate presentations. AND the public can get a taste of the fantastic offerings (like Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Stuffing) at the legendary Glass House during regular buffets.

To view a full list of program offerings for Golightly Career and Technical Center, click here:

 Golightly CTC Program Offerings for 2012-13

If you would like your school featured, send submissions to communications@detroitk12.org with the subject line “School of the Week candidate.”

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