Whitko Career Academy Banquet:

Open House, Ribbon Cutting & Banquet


Saturday October 10th, the Whitko Career Academy hosted a banquet at their campus located in Larwill, IN. Beginning at 3pm, WCA was open to the general public hosting an open house. Guests were able to tour the newly renovated facility and encouraged to tour with a Whitko faculty or staff member. At 5:30pm, WCA hosted the official ribbon cutting ceremony, and at 7pm, guests who had RSVP'd were welcomed to the banquet and dinner.

Open House

Some of the many new machines that are a part of the engineering progam at WCA.

Some of the many new machines that are a part of the engineering progam at WCA.

After planting the seeds of exciting new changes to come to the Larwill Campus at Whitko's Career Academy, a beautiful sunset in October set the backdrop for an evening of harvesting the hard earned fruits of the school's labor.

The general public was invited to attend the entirety of the campus: nursing, engineering, welding, agriculture, culinary arts, and more as WCA unveiled the new reality that Whitko is now able to call their own.

In the nursing wing, multiple demonstration human manikins (both adult and youth) were readily available upon hospital cots and beds in two separate labs.

One of the highlights for families touring the welding wing of WCA was getting an opportunity to try virtual welding. WCA has 2 virtual welding stations that both attract new students to the trade and encourage muscle memory and correct positioning before moving into welding with a real torch.

The 80/20 Foundation Trust recently donated over $2.4 million dollars to support programming, renovations, and material needs at WCA, and while touring the engineering and machining floor, guests were undoubtedly impressed by the state of the art technology and tools readily available to Whitko's students. For the first time, guests walked among the bays of CNC lathes, 3D printers, drill presses, the plasma table, and welding stations.

The shop floor is an egineers playground with endless possibilities to embrace creative solutions for the future.

Students are eager to show off some of their new knowledge about programming the new 3D printers at WCA.

Outside, the agriculture lab is fully equipped to house livestock. Currently including cattle and sheep, students will also learn to use and to operate heavy machinery used in farming and other applications. WCA teacher Roger Carr has been instrumental in the vision and strategy behind the WCA ag program. In addition to the newly built ag facility, a new greenhouse will also be constructed on the grounds. With 2 greenhouses, WCA ag students will have access to myriad of activities including planting, harvest, and seed production, as well as a shrimp farm and hydroponics.

The New Agriculture Building located to the southeast side of WCA houses livestock and heavy equipment for students to learn about and train to use as they transition to the workforce.

The New Agriculture Building located to the southeast side of WCA houses livestock and heavy equipment for students to learn about and train to use as they transition to the workforce.

Ribbon Cutting

John Wood is honored with the official ribbon cutting for his support of WCA.

John Wood is honored with the official ribbon cutting for his support of WCA.

80/20 Foundation Trust's John Wood, Whitko Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod, WCA Director Joe Luce, WCA consultant Matt Dahms, Alan Tio of KEDCo, and Whitley County EDC President Dale Buuck each gave brief remarks at the WCA ribbon cutting ceremony.

WCA Banquet

The evening included a dinner, motivation message by Tyler Bradshaw who also doubled as the Master of Ceremonies, a WCA presentation on program, vision and collaboration, Wall of Honor recognition, and a silent auction as well as door prize winners.

The Whitko Alumni Association named 8 Wall of Honor recipients:

Georgia Tenney – Long-time resident and Whitko employee
Bill Patrick – Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Coach
Janie Fricke – Country Music Star
RV Reed – Long-time Whitko Principal
Randy Dormans — Director of Animation Production at DreamWorks Animation
Steve Nicodemus 2016 Silver Anniversary Men’s Team, 1991 Trester Award Winner
Walter Maliki - Former Art Teacher at Whitko
Bill McVay - Former Agriculture Teacher at Whitko

Special Thanks to our 2020-21 Business Partners:

3G Cattle Ranch, Ag Plus, Inc., AgriNovus Indiana, Babsco Electric Supply, Inc., Blue River Digital, Bowers Southdowns, Brook & Co., Camp Whitley, Chromasource, DeWALT Tools, Dice Family Simmental, Don Rodenbeck Swine Genetics, Fire N The Hole, Fox Products Corporation, Grace Village Retirement Community, Harker Simmentals, Hollar Digital Group - Warsaw, House of Style, Huntington University Ag Program, Iotron Industries USA, Jackie Bell Club Lambs, Katie Brown Designs, Keystone Construction, LLC, Krider's Meat Processing, Leininger Club Lambs, Maple Leaf Farms, Mason's Health and Rehab, Menards, Micropulse, Inc., Mid-City Supply Co. Inc., Morsches Builders Mart - Warsaw, National FFA/Indiana FFA Association, Northern Gases and Supplies, Inc., Northern Highlights, Office 360, Paragon Medical, Inc., Parkview, Pierceton Elementary, Pierceton Presbyterian Preschool, PT Solutions, Purdue University Animal Science Department, Red Star Contract Manufacturing, Renaissance Landscapes, Rogers Cattle Company, Shear Envy, Shindigz, South Bend Ethanol, South Whitley Elementary, South Whitley Police Department, South Whitley Town Hall, Steve Sickafoose Family, Stock and Field, Summit Pain MGT, Synergy Feeds, Tennent Club Lambs, Walmart, Wendy's, Whitko Community Schools Technology Department, Whitko Jr/Sr High School, Whitley Welding & Fabrication, Wolf Cattle Company