Southwest Technology Center excited to welcome Mangum students to school district

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - Southwest Technology Center in Altus will now be educating students from Mangum Public Schools.

Mangum voters headed to the polls to officially join the Southwest Technology Center school district. It’s been less than a week since that vote and Superintendent Dale Latham said 25 students have already submitted applications.”

“It’s a historical moment, we’ve been trying for years, hoping for years, that Mangum would become a part of our school district here at Southwest Technology Center,” Latham said.

Students at Mangum High School will now be able to attend the tech center for free. They’ll be able to take 11 new classes, including things like biomedical science, automotive technology and cosmetology.

“Even if they’re not going to stick with one of these fields they train in, maybe it can benefit them as they go into life. Whether they go to college or whatever they may do, they pick up a skill, a skillset, certifications to be able to help them with their lives going on,” Latham said.

Adults living in the Mangum School District will also receive 50-percent off their tuition to the school.

“To expand on their careers, expand on their knowledge or just to learn things to help them. I’ve had people come to me and say I want to learn to weld. One individual from Mangum he told me I just want to weld so when I’m out on my farm and I can’t find anybody to do anything, I want to be able to learn to weld so I can fix things on my farm,” Latham said.

Superintendent Latham said the goal is to teach students skills that are already needed in our communities.

“We have several students in our aviation program from Mangum, that is going to put money back into the community in Mangum with them staying right here and training in Altus, training at SWTC and then living right there in Mangum as they work at Altus AFB. Grow your own mechanic, grow them right here,” Latham said.

Latham said these changes are already in effect for Mangum residents.

Mangum joins students from Altus, Blair, Granite, Olustee-El Dorado, Navajo, Duke and Hollis at the tech school.

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