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A member of the York County School Board who has worked for years to promote technical training for local students was honored for that work last week.
Page Minter was inducted into the Virginia Career and Technical Education Hall of Fame June 11 during the Creating Excellence Awards Program in Richmond.
Minter has represented District 4 on the school board, which includes Dare, Grafton and Harwood’s Mill, since 1995. He also serves as board chairman of New Horizons Regional Education Center.
Minter said he was surprised by the recognition.
“I was speechless,” he said. “I thought maybe they had the wrong number.”
Minter has been a vocal advocate of CTE during his tenure on the YCSD School Board, and has pushed for more program offerings at New Horizons. New Horizons offers technical training to students across the Virginia Peninsula.
“When I first got on the board, I realized there was an emphasis on all children being college-bound,” Minter said. “But that’s not the best plan for all children, and there are a lot of growing opportunities in career and technical education.”
Minter said the programs available at New Horizons had grown over the last 20 years, and he was especially proud of the school’s automotive service program.
Through the program, students are placed in paid summer internships with area car dealerships. As part of their internships, students begin by doing basic work on cars, like checking fluids and oil levels. After a time, they can move up to working with the car’s electronics and computer systems.
“They can move up to being a full technician pretty quickly,” Minter said.
The program was one of the first such programs in Virginia to receive automotive service excellence certification from the state, and Minter said it was a model for similar programs nationwide.
Minter attributed much of his enthusiasm for career and technical education to his father. The elder Minter was a plumber by trade, and emphasized the value of work, whether blue collar or white collar.
“He told me that all professions are honorable,” Minter said. “It’s just the attitude you have toward doing it.”
After graduating from high school, Minter said his father encouraged him to go to community college to study engineering and design, which led to a career at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Minter said career and technical education will continue to be important in the future, as fields like electronics, robotics, machine technology and indoor climate control become increasingly complex.
“I just want to keep the CTE program in the eye of the community,” he said.