BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Personal finance, basic life skills and management are just some of the topics students learn by taking classes in the Business, Finance and Marketing pathway in Clarkston High School’s Career Tech program.
“Everything to do with money is basically what I teach,” Career Tech teacher Kevin Smith said. “I do finance classes like building wealth, which is a personal finance class, and I do the business classes, which is entrepreneurship and management and then I do all the accountings.”
Though the courses Smith teaches are all electives, he said most of them can be used for fourth year math and allow the students to receive a certification in certain programs, such as Microsoft Office.
He thinks finance classes are important for students to take even if they’re not necessarily interested in the subject.
“You’re always going to mess with money, always going to be using it, always going to be losing it, earning it, everything, so it’s very, very important kids understand how money works,” Smith said.
Teaching students to use money efficiently and learn how to save is something Smith is passionate about, and he hopes his students never have to experience choosing between groceries and paying bills.
“It’s a place where you just don’t want to go and I don’t want them to ever have to be there. It’s near and dear to me. That’s why it’s important they learn about it,” he said.
Talking to students in his accounting class, they agree the career tech class stands out from core subject classes.
“It’s more about life and Smith is a pretty good teacher as well, to talk you through that and coach it, so you expect to know what’s going to happen once you leave high school,” said senior Christian Franco, who enrolled in the class because of a strong interest in math.
Junior Jason Richards chose to take accounting to learn about a topic he thought could be useful later in life.
Richards is enrolled CSMTech for engineering as well and plans to major in engineering in college, but he’d also like to pursue business.
“I’ve really enjoyed this class and just the idea of business as well, just kind of running your own company. It seems like a lot of fun to me,” he said.
Senior Hannah Allen took accounting for her senior math credit because she wants to go into business management.
“I want to run my own business,” Allen said. “It’ll be kind of cool to have the business and accounting background.”
Smith said his class helps with college and job prep as well by going over the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), job interviews, resumes and applications.
“The seniors really get a lot out of it. The older you get, the more you realize how important money and college is and you start getting into those things,” Smith said.
His business and finance classes qualify students for some jobs even right out of high school, such as a payroll clerk. They can also get college credit for the classes.
“There’s a lot of jobs out there the kids don’t know about that don’t require four year degrees,” Smith said. “A lot of the kids want to do entrepreneurship. There’s always jobs.”
BY JESSICA STEELEY