Facebook gave $200,000 to Crook County High School’s career and technical education programs Thursday, which will pay for new equipment and programming.

The donation will be divided among the high school’s seven career and technical programs: agriculture science, graphic design, business management, manufacturing and technology, culinary arts, health science and natural resource management, according to a Crook County School District news release.

This is one of many donations Facebook has given to Prineville-area schools and organizations since the tech giant opened a data center in the city in 2011. Facebook has donated more than $700,000 in funding to Crook County’s schools since 2011, according to William Marks, a community development manager for Facebook who works with cities in the Western U.S. that have Facebook data centers.

Marks said he and Facebook were very impressed by Crook County High’s dedication to career and technical education and getting students into practical careers after graduation. He said the company was excited to give those programs a financial boost.

“Man, what an amazing program they put together,” Marks said. “It’s a comprehensive vision of how they can create a holistic approach to career and technical education.”

Much of the $200,000 donation went toward new computers for computer science and graphic design courses, Marks said. But Facebook also bought something for each of Crook County High’s CTE programs, such as welding equipment or covering the cost of the forestry class’ field trips. Students at Pioneer High School, the school district’s alternative high school, will also use the new equipment and benefits provided by Facebook’s donation.

Marks made it clear that Facebook wants to support all of Crook County High’s career and technical education programs, not just those relating to tech and engineering.

“STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) education is incredibly important, but what I really love about this program is the career and technical aspect, which includes trade skills,” he said. “We wanted to make sure this grant encompassed the full spectrum.”

Macy Hagensee, who’s led Crook County’s culinary arts program for nine years, said his class will soon have lots of new equipment to work with. Some of the additions to the class’ kitchen include a double-decker pizza oven and a full hood and HVAC system that will cover commercial cooking equipment like deep-friers and grills.

“It’s difficult to get (students) ready for industry if they’re not practicing on industry equipment that meets its standards,” Hagensee said. “It’s nice that Facebook has stepped up … and allowed us to take our programs in the direction that looks a lot more like what these young people would walk into in the industry.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7854, 

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