PARKERSBURG - Hundreds gathered Monday on the campus of Wood County Technical Center for a flagpole dedication and open house.
Director Doug Kiger welcomed the gathered students, parents and community members to the event, which showcased technical skill programs from both the technical center and the Caperton Center and affiliated groups. Students put on demonstrations of their skills, displayed current and completed projects and spoke to community members about the school.
Kiger said the center used to share an open house day with Parkersburg South High School, but decided this year to hold its own event.
Photos by Michael Erb
Blennerhassett FFA members Holly Walcutt, left, and Darca Sapp, right, share a laugh while atop a tractor at Monday’s Wood County Technical Center open house.
"We decided the only way to have people know about us was to toot our own horn," Kiger said. "We just want the community to see what we have here and that we are getting people ready for the jobs that are coming down the road.
"Judging from the number of people here tonight, it is a success."
Kiger said the center's old flagpole was destroyed during the June 29 derecho storms, which damaged buildings and knocked out power throughout the region.
While making plans to install a new flagpole, Kiger said, officials decided to dedicate it to Spc. 1st Class Steven Mercer, a graduate of the tech center and veteran who died suddenly in January.
Mercer's fiancee Natalie Barnette, a medical skills instructor at the facility, placed a wreath at the flagpole and a stone at the base of the flagpole bears an inscription dedicating the flagpole to Mercer and other former students who have served in the military.