Students at Academy of Careers and Technology set up Festival of Trees

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Students at the Academy of Careers and Technology have put together their annual Festival of Trees.

Each program at the school puts together a tree representing what they do. Typically hundreds of people come out to view the trees, but according to Principal Charles Pack, this year things need to be done a bit differently.

“The whole community and everything is sort of torn upside down this year. But this is one way of bringing Christmas home to the students and making it enjoyable for them. This year we can’t have an open house, we usually have 700 or more people come in and view the trees, this year they’ll have to go to our Facebook page,” Pack said.

The trees are available to be viewed online right now on their Facebook page. Roughly a dozen trees are set up in the school’s lobby with each program being represented. Medical assisting, automotive, electrical, welding and many other classes used their skills to set up a unique display. 

“We have a small engine repair class that decorated a lawn mower, our automotive class used parts of an automobile to decorate a tree. So that’s the kind of thing we hope to do each year.”

Another unique tree was set up by the Law and Public Safety class. Many of those students want to one day become police officers, and their tree was put up in honor of Cassie Johnson, the Charleston police officer that tragically lost her life not long ago. 

“We’re doing it in honor of Cassie Johnson and all the fallen first responders,” one student said.

“Sometimes I don’t think we take into enough consideration of what these officers have to go through on a daily basis. Not knowing if they’re going to make it home or not, not knowing what they’re going to encounter.”