NCTC students participate in the The Hive.

Amber Poquette, Contributor

At the Northwest Career and Technical Center (NCTC), the staff takes the community very seriously. 

NCTC has always organized activities throughout the year to bring the whole school together. According to Leeann Wright, the director of NCTC, four years ago students and staff at NCTC voiced that they wished they could do something at the beginning of the school year to help students and staff feel like they are a part of a community. After listening to this feedback, Ashley Aubin-Duncan, an instructor for the Cosmetology program, and Jennifer Konrad, an instructor for the Human Services program, took it upon themselves to put together the HIVE.

“We wanted students to understand that they’re a part of a community within our school, but they’re also a part of a community within Franklin County,” Wright said.

The HIVE is a three-day event that started in 2018 where all students and staff come together and learn about the community within the NCTC. Why is this activity called The HIVE? 

“It was a day in the fall where we built horizontal bee hives together, and so we connected that activity with relating it to the community,” Wright said. She added, “Bees work together for a common goal, to make honey, so we related [this] to our school where we all work together to create careers for the students.”

According to Wright, students from all programs were evenly split up into groups where they would be with people from other tech classes. “They were really deliberate about taking one or two kids from every program and bringing them together,” Wright said.

According to Wright, during the first day of The HIVE, students attended a meeting where teachers talked about the resources available to them and what they could expect for the next two days and other events throughout the year.

On the second day, students were split into their groups where they worked on an activity where they had to use their observation skills to look at multiple objects for a short period of time and memorize them. After this activity, students were then asked to build something out of random Legos that best represent NCTC. The team that had the best representation would have their piece displayed in the NCTC office.

“I found it very valuable to work together with people you don’t know,” Cora Thomas (24’), a student involved with the Medical Professions program, said.

To conclude The HIVE, on the third day students were split up into new groups than the previous day and tasked to complete a scavenger hunt throughout Main St., Saint Albans. The scavenger hunt brought everyone to Taylor Park where there were snacks, music and free hats for everyone to enjoy. 

“My biggest takeaway from The HIVE was definitely the bonds that I made with the other kids,” Thomas said.

“The students responded positively,” Wright said.

Thomas added, “It was a fun experience, I experienced working together with people I didn’t know and solving problems together.”