Students learn valuable trade skills with this week’s Golden Apple winner

Golden Apple

CITRONELLE, Ala. (WKRG) — He’s the leader of a group of gearheads at Citronelle High School. Coach Ronnie Rankin runs one of the most unique classrooms in the county. His automotive shop is part of the Citronelle Center for Advanced Technology.

“I for one am a firm believer in teaching kids job skills…I love my job, that’s why I’m here every day.  Every now and then you see a light bulb come on over somebody’s head…that’s why you’re here,” he said.

Some students are learning the basic skills of automotive work. More advanced students are building a drag-racing truck.

“This year we built a new motor, changed a lot of stuff up,” said Rankin.

Students also learn by working on the cars of teachers and administrators, even the city police department, if they are willing to wait just a little longer.

“I teach off of them while I’ve got them, so I’ve got them for several days, most people can’t wait that long,” he said.

Shop classes that included welding, woodworking or automotive used to be a mainstay in high schools but began going away years ago, depriving some kids of valuable trade skills. But, not here in Citronelle.

“It’s a real unique situation here and what Ronnie does is he gets kids ready for post-high school work,” said CHS principal Randy Campbell.

Our congratulations to Coach Ronnie Rankin and Citronelle High School for a job well done.

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