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Gov. Pence tours Career Center to begin visit to Steel City

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:45AM



GARY — Gov. Mike Pence’s visit to the Gary Career Center on Friday morning was an education in itself.

From the moment he arrived through the 90-minute tour, Pence made his way from one classroom to the next, posing for photos with students and teachers and listening intently to descriptions of various programs.

A group of school officials met Pence at the entrance of the building, eager to show him what local students are learning. But before he could wend his way down the hall, Pence graciously provided an on-camera interview with students from the radio and broadcasting department.

Senior Shaprice Porter quizzed Pence about his first month in office and his thoughts on the importance of education. Pence said whether students chose college or vocational studies, “All honest work is honorable work.” He added he wants to see high schools working with local businesses as part of the educational process.

When his student interview concluded, Pence quipped, “She’s good.”

Porter said later, “I had plenty of time to prepare,” but admitted she was “a little nervous.”

Pence stopped in the barber, cosmetology, horticulture and new technology classes, and the school’s radio station.

Cosmetology teacher LaLita Smith has instructed at the Career Center for 27 years, after attending classes there herself almost 40 years ago. “This gives students a jump start, and it’s absolutely free,” Smith said. She added a commercial plug, reminding the group touring with Pence that the price of work at the school was considerably less than at a salon.

The governor offered praise and positive comments at each stop. “Keep up the great work,” he told the cosmetology students, telling Smith, “You’re a delight.”

Pence spoke briefly with Gary Community School Corp. Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt before moving on to his speaking engagement at the Genesis Center.



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