CATA opens its doors to the public

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Cullman Area Technology Academy Health Science students stand in their high-tech classroom at the school’s Open House event on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. (Cheyenne Sharp)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) held its community Open House on Thursday, Feb. 15, giving prospective students and their families the opportunity to take a peek inside each classroom block, speak with instructors and current students and get a feel for what programs might best fit their interests.

Instructors and students alike were on the ball in their respective classrooms, demonstrating the skills they’ve learned. Students from the Health Science program gave tours of the facility, which includes multiple smart medical dummies and a state-of-the-art mock operating room, equipped with cameras for instant replay and mistake correction in real time.

“We had great participation last year and we have had great participation so far,” said CATA Principal Susan Patrick. Gesturing to the updated, high-tech classrooms, she championed the changes made under Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette’s tenure.  “We have been so grateful for Dr. Barnette; he has invested so much money into our programs and into our students.”

The school holds room for 16 separate departments for career technical education (CTE) trades, ranging from Cosmetology to Utility Line Worker; students gain real-world work experience and knowledge before they even walk across the stage at graduation.

Utility Line Worker program Instructor Justin Miller said with pride as he watched his students demonstrate their abilities on installed poles and lines, “We have several that work in electrical. One went to work with Pike Electrical out of Hueytown, one of the companies we work with, and he’s probably going to make $65,000-$70,000 annually – that’s right out of high school.”

CATA is located at 17640 U.S. Highway 31. Find out more at https://cata.ccboe.org.

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