Freeman is ready for action
From textiles to teaching, Charlie Freeman has the background knowledge to do his new job well.
As of July 1, Freeman is the new Career Technical Education (CTE) Director with Rutherford County Schools. He is replacing Kevin Bradley who is moving into the position of assistant principal at Chase High School.
"Kevin Bradley has done a great job in this position and I want to build on what he's done for the program and how he's improved it," Freeman said. "I'm very excited about the position and I look forward to getting out into the schools and seeing the great job the CTE teachers are doing and seeing the kids work hands-on in some of these classes."
Freeman, a graduate of East Rutherford High School, received his teaching certification from Gardner-Webb University in 1991. After discovering that getting a teaching job was going to be difficult, he went to work at Stonecutter Mills. He spent 10 years in the textile industry before becoming a CTE teacher at Chase Middle School.
"I was a CTE teacher for five years in career development at Chase Middle School. My textile background helped me transition into CTE," Freeman said.
Freeman eventually moved into an assistant principal position at Ellenboro Elementary School in 2006 and became assistant principal at Chase Middle School in 2011, where he stayed until July.
As the CTE director, Freeman said his main job will be managing the eight different program areas at the county middle and high schools. The areas are agricultural, business and information technologies, career development, family and consumer sciences, health occupations, marketing, trade and industrial and technology.
"We have a broad scope of classes and we offer credentialing. We have certain courses that allow you to take a credentialing exam. For example we have the Microsoft Academy courses that allow you to be certified in Microsoft Word, Power Point and Publisher," Freeman said. "Students can go ahead and get that taken care of in high school. That lets them have a leg up on what career choices they choose to make and fields they go into."
Freeman said the biggest part of his job will be making sure the teachers have the supplies and equipment they need to adequately prepare students in the classes for future careers.
"We try to make sure kids have the skills they need to take out into the workforce. As the county's economy continues to improve, we want to have students have the skills to go right into those positions," Freeman said. "If you look at the classrooms, like our auto-tech and agriculture courses, they require a lot of different, non-traditional equipment that would go beyond the scope of what a normal classroom would have. You have to acquire the equipment that's relevant to today's society."
Freeman is looking forward to visiting more classrooms when the school year begins and seeing the students in action.
"This program lets kids go ahead and go through the preliminary aspects of an occupation or career to let them see if that's something they want to continue to pursue. We have a lot of kids who are taking the CTE courses and a lot who really enjoy the classes," Freeman said. "I'm looking forward to interacting with all of the talented people who do the teaching and seeing the kids work, make progress and grow."