Drafting their future:

Across Citrus County and the nation, schools have been dealing with a shortage of teachers —simply put, not enough college graduates are entering the teaching field.

One difficult-to-fill opening at Citrus High School, however, is for an entirely different reason — subject matter expertise.

“Right now, we need someone to come in and take over our drafting program at Citrus High School,” said Assistant Principal Philip McLeod. “They need either a four-year degree with two years drafting experience, or if they don’t have a degree, they would need six years drafting experience.”

The job has been open since August and many people have applied, but none have fit the criteria, he said.

This person must love drafting while teaching students; plus, they can build the program to personal interests within state standards.

For the past two years, Joe Melito directed the program, but since he moved to a position in the media center, a long-term substitute has run the class.

“Howard Lindsey ran the program for 15 years, but he developed it to what it is now — every student can earn their international drafting certificate,” Melito said. “He came from a mechanical engineering background and loved aviation, with a passion for building model RC airplanes.”

So, during Lindsey’s 15 years, students focused on drafting and designing airplanes. But, Melito had a love for architecture, so he molded the program to his interests.

Many students recognize the class prepares them for the future, according to Melito.

“Most of our students can take an exam for certification through the American Design Drafting Association, and many go on to engineering or even into the military,” Melito said.

Students begin preparing for their certification right away in Drafting I. They spend their first nine weeks drawing with pencils, and then once the task is complete, they move on to state-of-the-art three-dimensional (3D) mechanical design software.

“We use pretty professional programs like Autodesk, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture and Autodesk Revit,” Melito said.

Melito noted that drafting being a specialty subject, there isn’t much work for an instructor to take home.

“Typically, you don’t grade work at home; you have the time to do it in the day,” Melito said. “You can take stuff home, but only because of your interest in making the program better, thinking of ways to enhance it.”

Right now, the school needs someone with an engineering background but who may be semi-retired and wants to share their knowledge with younger generations. And, they need someone by the start of the new year.

“Our substitute is leaving us after Christmas break, so we are desperately looking to fill this position,” Melito said. “We have one of the larger groups of the students this year with talent, and we need someone to guide them.”

Those interested in the position may access the job applications by going to www.citrus.k12.fl.us, then Employment, and then Job Posting and Complete an Application.

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