Joe Bryan Teaches Skills Needed to Find Work in the Wired World

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 8/13/2012 5:00 pm
Joe Bryan didn't start his career in education.  For 30 years, he crunched numbers as an accountant.  I was "looking for something better to do, something I would enjoy more.  Not being stuck in a cubicle all day just by myself and actually I had always wanted to teach."

Bryan made his dream of teaching a reality eight-years ago, trading his cubicle for the spacious comforts of this computer classroom where students learn keyboarding, microsoft office, and web design.  "This class actually designs and builds sites for some area small businesses and organizations.  They build them here in class and work with the individuals and eventually publish the sites and turn it over to them."

Bryan's class recently completed work on the Charleston Calhoun Hiwassee Historical Society site, spending several weeks fine tuning it.  Senior Samantha Beyer says "I came in here during lunch and during my teacher aid period, whenever I could to work on it.  To get everything right about it."

Walker Valley also offers industry certification in Microsoft Office.  So, Bryan pushes his students to pass the exam, which gives them a leg up on others looking for work.  That paid off for Senior Kayla Lawson.  "It looked a little better on my record and everything and they were like even though you're in high school we can work around your schedule and since your MOS certified we know you're good with computers so I ended up getting the job."

Bryan says when students find work, that encourages him to do a better job.  Steven Lawhorn says Bryan "makes it easy to explain it to you and take the time out to talk to you and not get frustrated with you and he makes it fun.  He can joke with you and take a joke and it good that he can connect with you on another level than student teacher."

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