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Mesalands partners with Vaughn High School to offer Wind Energy Technology classes for dual-credit

Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that they will begin offering Wind Energy Technology classes through dual-credit at Vaughn High School this semester. Administrators from Mesalands visited Vaughn High School last week to finalize the agreement and to meet with school administrators, teachers, and students.

The attendees to the presentation of the signing of the agreement between Vaughn School and Mesalands Community College, took a picture to commemorate the event.

“We have a first-rate Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands. We also have a seven-million dollar facility and an on-campus turbine that distinguishes us from other programs,” Natalie Gillard, Vice President of Academic Affairs said. “We are just glad to provide this type of training to you at your school, and we hope that when you finish high school that you will come to Mesalands to finish your degree in Wind Energy Technology.”

Mesalands will be offering the following classes online at Vaughn High School: WET 101: Introduction to Wind Energy, WET 105: Electrical Theory I, and WET 115: Field Safety and Experience. Following these classes, the College will be sending portable simulators to Vaughn High School to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.

Dr. Susan Wilkinson-Davis, Superintendent of Vaughn Schools, reached out to Mesalands about offering Wind Energy Technology classes at the high school. Dr. Wilkinson-Davis and Vaughn School Board Members, Rudy Martinez and Floraida Tapia, visited the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands last January, to see the first-class facilities at the Wind Center, to learn more about the Wind Energy Technology Program, and to meet Mesalands faculty and staff members.

“Vaughn has the best source of wind in this part of the State and we see this as the future for our students. This is a real opportunity for them to be prepared for a good career when they get out of high school,” Dr. Davis, Superintendent for Vaughn Schools said. “We appreciate the partnership with Mesalands and all of the other opportunities our students will have through the programs at Mesalands. This is a formula for success!”

Vaughn is located near two wind farms, Aragonne Wind Facility in Guadalupe County has 90 wind turbines, and the High Lonesome Mesa wind farm in Torrance County has 40 turbines, according to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department website. The proposed El Cabo wind farm that will be constructed in Torrance County, would be the largest wind farm in the State of New Mexico, with 149 wind turbines being constructed in the first phase, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The article mentioned that the first phase of construction could begin as soon as this year.

(Left to right) Mesalands Community College administrators, Jimmy Sandoval, Vice Chair of the Mesalands Board of Trustees, and Natalie Gillard, Vice President of Academic Affairs met with administrators from Vaughn Schools, Dr. Susan Wilkinson-Davis, Superintendent, and Rudy Martinez, Board Member to sign the agreement to offer Wind Energy Technology for dual-credit.

“With wind energy continuing to grow in our State, this partnership with Mesalands and Vaughn High School will be a great opportunity for both parties, and will allow our students to learn more about the wind industry,” said Jimmy Sandoval, Vice Chair of the Mesalands Board of Trustees. “I have always believed in education and that’s why I have been a Board Member for so many years.”

Esequiel Lucero, 16, explains why he has decided to take these Wind Energy Technology classes through Mesalands this semester.

“Because I think this will help my future a lot,” Lucero said. “I’m going to continue on to get my degree and I probably will be attending Mesalands.”