Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 has announced Mr. Joe McGinnis will become director of the Collinsville Area Vocational Center (CAVC) effective for the 2020-21 school year.
The Collinsville Area Vocational Center is a two-year, public vocational training center for high school juniors and seniors. Housed on the campus of Collinsville High School, CAVC is a cooperative program which also includes students from Dupo High School, East Alton-Wood River High School, Highland High School, Lebanon High School, Mascoutah High School, Triad High School, Civic Memorial High School and Edwardsville High School.
McGinnis began with Collinsville CUSD #10 in 2011 as a Special Education teacher and most recently served as an assistant principal at Collinsville High School. His experience with construction trades began when he was a teenager working with his uncle.
He expanded his skill set by taking welding at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC). During his early years as an educator, McGinnis ran a lawn and landscaping company and worked for other area contractors. These experiences gave him an appreciation for career and technical education.
“People who have baseline skills in a trade can take that with them for the rest of their lives,” says McGinnis, “Even if they pursue another career path, they can always fall back on their vocational know-how. My favorite quote is from the early American West: ‘When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!’ Career and technical skills can become that ‘knot” for people.”
Currently, CAVC offers courses in Auto Body Repair, Automotive Repair, Building Trades, Clinical Health Occupations, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Engineering, Food Service, Precision Machining, Web/Graphic Design and Welding. A Cybersecurity program is scheduled to start in Fall 2021.
McGinnis says while he is most familiar with the trade side of CAVC offerings, he looks forward to learning more about the business courses and other career opportunities students have through the program.
McGinnis hopes to grow the number of students participating in the program and the course offerings available to them. He is planning to be a visible resource for the schools that send students to CAVC and looks forward to getting to know the CAVC students and their needs.
Joe McGinnis grew up in Collinsville. He received a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Learning Behavior Specialist 1 Certification from Southern Illinois University Carbondale; and Master of Arts in Education Administration and Principal Certification from McKendree University.
McGinnis and his wife Sarah, a special education teacher at Collinsville High School, live in Maryville, Illinois with their children Conner (6) and Austin (4). They are expecting the birth of their daughter Nora in mid-July.
Collinsville Area Vocational Center is a two-year, public vocational training center for 400+ high school juniors and seniors representing nine schools in Southwestern Illinois. The program is governed by the Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Board of Education and is located adjacent to Collinsville High School. Programs offer dual credit through Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), industry-recognized certifications, skills training and career exploration.