Getting Technical: Student's path to IT career started at Tolles

Emmy Beeson
Tolles Career & Technical Center

At Tolles Career & Technical Center, we have a very exciting mission.

We are a band of educators focused on creating an experience that goes beyond our students’, families' and partners’ expectations, with marketable skills and positive relationships to ensure all Tolles students are prepared for their successful futures.

Because our mission builds successful futures for young people, there is a real fire in our bellies – a spark of joy that propels us through the tough times.

Emmy Beeson is superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center, which includes students from the Dublin and Hilliard school districts.

And if you have talked to anyone in education right now, you know these are tough times.

Everyone needs a spark of joy to propel them, especially now. It seems appropriate that we share our spark of joy with you. With this, we might have a shared joy.

When one of our students is recognized in an industry publication, we know our work is headed in the right direction. Kira Hays, Hilliard City Schools graduate, was featured by the Computing Technology Industry Association, a nonprofit trade association best known as CompTIA, on Aug. 26. You may read the article at comptia.org.

From the moment Hays toured Tolles as a sophomore, she knew she wanted to attend Tolles to learn more about computer networking. She immediately saw that this program would give her a jump-start to her career.

While at Tolles, Hays participated in the Ohio Tech Prep Showcase Competition. This is similar to an athletics competition, and students bring all of their skills, practice and hard work to the table to demonstrate what they are made of.

At this competition, Hays presented in front of experts from the information-technology field about a Voice over Internet Protocol system she and her team designed. They took home the gold that day.

Hays' next stop took her to the U.S. Navy. That challenging experience birthed perseverance and determination, and when her military career ended, she was able to explore and obtain additional technical certifications, which led her to her position at Covered 6, a security-training agency.

Hays gives credit to Tolles and her instructor, Rick Doerr, for the foundation that helped her succeed.

When asked about advice for future students, Hays said, "I knew in IT, having that college degree is well and good, but once you graduate, it’s already obsolete. If you have certifications, you’re more in tune with what’s actually happening. With certifications, there are great job opportunities out there waiting for you."

Hays is yet another example that there are many pathways to success. As adults, we need to be open-minded to learning paths that do not solely embrace the four-year degree, and we need to make sure every young person in our lives knows it, too.

Kira, thank you for representing Tolles Career & Technical Center and Hilliard City Schools so well.

Emmy Beeson is superintendent of Tolles Career & Technical Center, which includes students from the Dublin and Hilliard school districts. Contact her at ebeeson@ tollestech.com.