May 5, 2022

WCA Holds First Annual Showcase Day

Our first annual Showcase Day at WCA welcomed many business leaders to see students in over ten different programs actively working in their labs, and then to share with the students about their specific business and industry. Culinary Art students served hors d’oeuvres during the Meet & Greet, followed by a welcome from Tim Pivarnik, Superintendent of Whitko Community Schools, and Chris Benedict, WCA Director. Thank you attendees for making this a wonderful day for students to network and continue to learn the skills needed as they prepare for an exciting future.

We are looking forward to our second annual Showcase Day in the spring of 2023!

Whitko Career Academy Showcase Day

November 10, 2021

Whitko FFA Earns Silver at Nationals

The Whitko FFA competed at the 2021 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on October 27-29 in the career development event of Environmental and Natural Resources. The National FFA Environmental and Natural Resources CDE is a competitive event that allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. This event focuses on testing students’ problem solving and decision-making skills in environmental and natural resources. These areas concentrate on soil profiles, water quality, waste management, and the use of global positioning units. In the end, team members Ryan Brown, Robert Werstler, Lexi Funnell, and Maggie Wolf received a silver ranking in the team event. Ryan Brown and Robert Werstler were both honored as gold ranking individuals. Lexi Funnell and Maggie Wolf earned silver medals in their individual rankings. The team was coached by Sam St. Clair, Scott Werstler, and Matt Dice. FFA Advisor Matt Dice said “it is quite impressive for this team to come out and become the 12th best team in the country. It’s a true testament for the ability and talent of these young kids here at Whitko.” There were 36 teams from around the country, each state sent their best team. Whitko FFA qualified for this event by winning the state Wildlife Habitat Educational Program & Contest last May at Purdue University.

Whitko FFA
National Finalist Team from Whitko. Members: Robert Werstler, Lexi Funnell, Maggie Wolf, and Ryan Brown.

November 9, 2021

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education instructor Angie Irwin uses classroom teaching activities with her students. Mrs. Irwin and students are pictured after completing a kindergarten level activity using grade level standards such as color, shape, and cutting.

Whitko Career Academy Education Professions

Updated October 5, 2021

The 2021 WCA Banquet is being postponed until the spring of 2022. Thank you for your understanding. All donations will be refunded in the near future. For future updates visit wcabanquet.com.

September 8, 2021

WCA Business students host Mr. Tim Pivarnik, Whitko Community Schools Superintendent, for their first podcast of the school year. Continue to look for the weekly podcast, “Big Blue News,” as the year progresses.


August 25, 2021

TIMES UNION REPORTS – Whitko Community Schools students will have an opportunity to learn and build skills in construction trades and agriculture, while at the same time explore career options, earn industry-recognized certification and test out ideas for starting a small business.


August 24, 2021

Logan Lemon of the Lemon Brothers Band visited the Whitko Career Academy to speak with students who may be interested in pursuing a career involved in the music industry. From producing, editing, playing or even just enjoying the music, Lemon shared that everyone can be influenced by those who choose a career path in music.


August 2021

A ribbon cutting was recently held at Whitko Career Academy officially opening the Little Cats Early Learning Center. Under the direction of Jamie Paino, the learning center is currently accepting enrollment applications for children 3-5 years of age, offers before and after school care for students pre-k and up, and provides childcare for Whitko staff members.



The 2020-21 school year has come to a close and we want to share our success in the opening year of the Whitko Career Academy. View the newsletter to learn more about Staying in Touch with our Business Partners, End of the Year Highlights, WCA Staff Professional Development, and WCA Pride.



Hannah Thomas wins the Junior Achievement Middle School Essay Contest

Congratulations to Hannah Thomas for winning the Junior Achievement Middle School Essay Contest, made possible by the Schwab Foundation, at Whitko Career Academy! A virtual award presentation ceremony in Hannah’s honor will be held on Monday, June 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

 May 2021

WCA Student of the Month

During the school year WCA is honored to announce a Student of the Month. Each student is recommended by a WCA staff person and honored in several ways including adding their name to the Student of the Month wall at WCA. Great job students!

Whitko Career Academy

 May 2021

Students Earn Welding Technology Dual Credit at Whitko Career Academy

The Welding Technology program at the Whitko Career Academy continues dual credit status with Ivy Tech Community College. 

Students enrolled in the Welding Technology classes have the opportunity to earn college credit while they are in high school. These credits are valid for Ivy Tech Community College and can be transferred to any state accredited college in Indiana such as Ball State University, Indiana State University, and Purdue University. 

These credits are available free of charge to those students that meet the eligibility requirements. This is a great way to jump start a post-secondary education. 

This is also an awesome opportunity for any student looking to pursue a career in any welding related industry including advanced manufacturing, industrial maintenance, and auto body collision and repair.

Whitko Career Academy welding

The following students have earned Ivy Tech dual credits in Welding Technology for the 2020-2021 school year: (Front Row, L to R) Aiden Hoffman, Storm Baldridge, Dylan Black, Robert Carpenter, Ethan Cassidy, Jesse Elder, Branigan Garhart, (Second Row, L to R) Issac Gonzales, Charles Halstead, Hunter Hedrickson, Grayson Lysaght, Morgan Miller, Andrew Mullins, Ethan Neer, (Third Row, L to R) John Osterman, Brandon Mills, Logan Paconga, Jacob Porter, Cody Ridenour, Caiden Sattison, Shane Shepherd, Hunter Sills, Brannon Stoddard, Blaine Stump, (Back Row, L to R) Kennedy Templeton, Gavin Ness, Grayson Ulshafer, Jacob Westerberg, Haley Whelpley, Cody Wilson, and Ethan Wunder.

Not Pictured: Jeff Farmer, Ben Benfer, Dale Lehman, Brandon Mills, Jacob Patrick, Andrue Rider, Joe Don Waller

 May 2021

WCA Livestock Gate Project

In a recent cross curricular Project Based Learning effort, the Agricultural and Welding Departments teamed up to design and produce livestock panels for the academy’s show barn. The initial idea was to allow students to research, design, and produce quality multifunctional panels to be used for the barn. Business & Marketing students helped with the promotion of the project. Great job to everyone involved!


Whitko Career Academy welding

Pictured: (Front Row, L to R) Morgan Miller, Cody Wilson, Dale Lehman, Andreu Rider, Jacob Westerberg, Ethan Wunder, Shane Shepherd, Aiden Hoffman, Ethan Neer, John Osterman, Caiden Sattison, Kennedy Templeton, Dylan Black, Jesse Elder, Blaine Stump, (Back Row) Robert Carpenter.

Not Pictured: Jeff Farmer, Sean Walls, and Haley Whelpley.


Annual Whitko Ag Day Hosts 3rd and 5th Grade Students

Pierceton Elementary School and South Whitley Elementary School sent two groups of students from their schools in third and fifth grades to Whitko Career Academy.

Elementary students were able to rotate through 20 different stations today which included: combine, tractor, FFA, dog, hogs, beef, flowers, coloring, pond, horses, dairy, jenga, dairy goats, meat goats, sheep, ducks, turkey, chickens, rabbits, and drone. Student groups were able to visit all stations over the course of an hour and a half.


Whitko ag day
Pierceton Elementary School 3rd Graders participate in Ag Day.
Whitko ag day
South Whitley Elementary School 3rd Graders participate in Ag Day.


Whitko Career Academy - 2021 Excellence in Construction Award Winner

Congratulations to Whitko Career Academy, a 2021 Excellence in Construction Award Winner from the Building Contractors Association (BCA of Northeast Indiana). The Building Contractors Association spring dinner was held April 29, 2021, and the entry was submitted by Michael Kinder & Son and MKM architecture + design.

Whitko Career Academy Building Contractors Association
Whitko Career Academy Building Contractors Association


Whitko FFA Banquet & Meal

Friday, April 30, 2021, Whitko Career Academy hosted the Whitko FFA Banquet & Meal. The FFA Banquet is a time to thank supporters of Whitko FFA as well as recognize FFA members and their accomplishments throughout the year. Awards given included Discovery Degrees (to students who officially completed their 7th or 8th grade year in FFA), Greenhand Degrees (awarded to high school students who have officially completed their first year of high school FFA), and Chapter Degrees (to students who have officially completed their second year in high school FFA). FFA members served the meal and current FFA officers led the recognition ceremony.


Congratulations to Isaac Irwin, Carle Sroufe, Maggie Clark, and Hannah Thomas for winning in the 2021 Wildcat Royal Showmanship Competition held Monday, April 26, and hosted by the Whitko Agricultural Department at the Whitko Career Academy (WCA). Top showmanship honors were awarded in four categories: swine, sheep, goat, and poultry. The annual competition is held to introduce new students to showmanship competitions within agriculture and generate new interest in the programming available through the agricultural discipline at WCA.



Thank you to Joe Luce, Jake Everett and the staffs from both WCA and WJSHS for collaborating together on this event. It was great to see both staffs working and learning together from one another!




WCA students recently passed their American Welding Society, Welder Certification Test.



The Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA) is a group working to save lives. Since forming their chapter in September, the students have helped over 30 people register to be donors. They say that each individual donor could potentially help save dozens of lives.



WishBone Medical, Red Star and Whitko Career Academy collaborate to create new project-based learning opportunities.


February 2021

Thankful to BizVoice for featuring WCA in their February 2021 publication! WCA is featured on pages 44 and 45 in the article entitled: “Whitko Career Academy Off to Promising Start”.


Host Sarah Rush discusses the Whitko Career Academy and the importance of opportunities for high school students with Jake Everett and Joe Luce.


WCA Director Joe Luce welcomed students, guests, and representatives from Ivy Tech Community College of Fort Wayne and Warsaw, Fort Wayne Metals, and OmniSource to the career academy auditorium on Thursday, January 28th for the NE Indiana F.A.M.E. Recognition Program. (The Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education)



Meet Taylor Hartsock and Blake Castle advocates and experts for Pre-Employment Transition Services. Passages and Easterseals have chosen to partner with Whitko Community Schools and Whitko Career Academy will be their premier location for the Pre-ETS program for all Whitko Students ages 14 – 22. To learn more about if your student qualifies for this free program, we encourage you to watch the video and begin the conversation today.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Whitko Career Academy  Culinary Arts instructor, Mallery Pierce, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Whitko Career Academy  Engineering & Design instructor, Derrek Sorg, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Whitko Career Academy  Health Sciences instructor, Tammy Coyle-Walter, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Whitko Career Academy  Agriculture instructor, Roger Carr, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Whitko Career Academy  Precision Machining instructor, Jade Hollenbaugh and Welding instructor Jay Ocken, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Today on ABC21 WPTA, Dr. Bradon Penrod, Superintendent of Whitko Schools, and Joe Luce, Whitko Career Academy  Director, spoke with Charity Freeman host of INsight.


Teams from eleven states competed at the annual Stockman Livestock Judging contest. Teams placed fourteen classes of cattle, swine, sheep and goats and gave oral reasons on six to eight of those classes.



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.



Whitko FFA traveled to Tri-County High School this weekend to compete in their Meats and Livestock Skillathon CDE. In meats judging contestants had to identify 25 retail meat cuts and place six meat retail classes. They took a meats exam and did a meat formulation problem.


$2.4 Million to Whitko Career Academy