Vocational school options at PHS


Jack Hamman

Students in the automotive tech class work to re-attach a hood.

Ishika Mishra

Palatine High School offers a diverse range of vocational school opportunities to explorative students.

“I think the best part about all the things that we offer, is that if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, try it out here where it’s free,” Kristina Stary, a family consumer science teacher and Pirate Pete preschool lead, said. “You can test it out before you go getting a job that you feel like you’re stuck in forever.”

Palatine High School has a strong foundation for students who would like to attend trade school. Various opportunities are provided by PHS that directly set students ahead by giving credit to those who may be interested in vocational training post high-school.

For example, parts of the early childhood education curriculum carry over to post secondary school plans.

“The nice thing that is different from a credential as opposed to a certificate is that credentials don’t expire,” said Stary. “If you wanted to go to Harper or another school that would offer an associate’s degree, that level one credential pathway carries over. So they offer level one and two, but I’m giving it to you for free.”

Multiple courses in the Applied Technology department also involve obtaining certifications as part of the class work, and leave high potential for earning college credit.

PHS also offers dual credit programs in building construction, fashion construction, interior design, advanced early childhood education and culinary education.

Utilizing the trade school opportunities at PHS has given direction to staff and saved them money and effort in the long run.

“I know [Brody Muck] in special education,” Stary said. “He was one of my students. And he went back and forth on whether to be a teacher. And he tried our classes, he tried business classes. And then he decided no, I do want to go into education. He tested the world out first before he even had to enter it.”

Vocational school graduates, who are now employees, feel that exploring their careers in highschool helped gain experience for the future.

“All of my English classes helped prepare me, as far as proper sentence structure, punctuation and expanding my vocabulary,” a local court reporter, Barb Perkovich, said. “I also took typing classes which helped me with turning out transcripts in an expedited manner.”

Off campus dual credit classes are also provided to get credits for healthcare, graphics arts, cosmetology, criminal justice, forensics, American sign language, fire science, and refrigeration and cooling systems. Those interested can find a full list of courses that PHS’s district provides in the D211 curriculum guide.