Senior Balances School, Sports, Scouts and Part-Time Job
James Shackleford has long been interested in electricity, being fascinated by scientist Nikola Tesla before he could even fully understand the concepts that Tesla pioneered. So it was no surprise the Canal Winchester senior was drawn to the Electrical Technology program at Eastland Career Center. “I’m excited to wake up every day and go do something for myself and work with people who are like-minded.”
His parents, though, weren’t initially as enthusiastic. “My mom broke down for a couple of weeks because she thought I had just thrown away all of her dreams of me going to college,” he said. It didn’t take long for him to change her mind. “She came and saw all of the stuff we were doing.”
Shackleford has done a lot, alright. A member of SkillsUSA, he competed in the Quiz Bowl at the state leadership conference last year and attended the organization’s camp over the summer. He is also an Eagle Scout and plays two positions on the Canal Winchester football team. Somehow, he also manages a part-time job, gaining experience working for Claypool Electric and is helping build the new Groveport Madison High School next door to Eastland Career Center.
Shackleford plans to enlist in the Marine Corps in a few months and wants to serve as an engineer after he completes boot camp, disposing of explosives and rebuilding structures after natural disasters. “I still get all of my (industry) certifications if I choose to, through the Marines.”
As testament to his success, Shackleford’s younger brother is now enrolled as a junior in Eastland’s pre-engineering program. “As soon as my mom saw my experience here, she pushed my younger brother to come, too. Now instead of her being afraid that I would struggle to survive, she’s thinks I’ll surpass the rest of my family in earnings potential.”