Scott Musser has answered the same question often since leaving his role as principal and chief operating officer of Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown to head the Career Teach program at Mansfield Senior High.

“People ask me: Why Mansfield?” he said. “My answer: Why not? These kids deserve a great education and I think I can make a difference.”

Musser was hired this summer as an assistant principal at Senior High, where he oversees the 10 programs under the Career Tech umbrella. Two hundred and forty juniors and seniors are enrolled. He was at Bio-Med Science Academy for three years after an earlier career in the classroom, including four years as a chemistry teacher at East Knox High School. Bio-Med Science Academy, which accepts applications from students throughout Ohio, is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) high school located on the campus of Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

“I came from the No. 1 STEM school in Ohio where students take paths to medical careers. But regardless of the school, the root issues are the same: Help students toward successful futures,” Musser said. “I want to get these kids ready for industry, jobs after high school or post-secondary education. For some, it’s a pipeline out of poverty. I want all students to become productive members of the community.”

Musser wants to build on what he said is an already successful program. “During the last school year 100 percent of students took the WebXam – the state end-or-course test for Career Tech Education – and 98 percent passed,” Musser said. “That’s the result of the work of Dr. Hernandez (Senior High principal) and Linda Golden. We have great teachers here. My role is to support all of them and move the program forward. It’s not my program; it’s our program. I want to grow our courses; in health tech, for example. There’s a huge job shortage in the medical field.”

Musser’s other goals include expanding seniors’ opportunities for college credits and initiating competition against other Career Tech schools through Skills USA.

This year Senior High Career Tech students will have the opportunity to earn induction into the National Technical Honor Society.

In addition to auto tech and health tech, Senior High programs include computer-aided drafting and design, construction tech, cosmetology and salon business, culinary arts, engineering, interactive media, iTech and game design, and precision machine technology. “It’s going to be a good year,” Musser said. “I refuse to think otherwise.”

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