Jakie Melendez graduated from the Dental Program at David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center in 2018. For more than a year, she has been a Lab Technician at Buckeye Orthodontics in Dayton. In this role, she uses the skills she learned at Ponitz on a daily basis.
Her main duties include taking impressions of patients’ teeth and creating clear retainers for them to wear after braces.
“It is all about the smile,” she said. “If you have a good smile – a perfect smile – you will be more confident. I like to help people with that.”
Ponitz Dental Assisting Instructor Felicia Thompson said students in the program learn clinical chair-side dental assisting skills such as infection control, mixing various dental materials, patient care, and taking X-rays and impressions.
Melendez graduated with a Certified Dental Assisting Industry Credential and Dental Assistant Radiographer License. She also graduated with several college credits because many of her classes for the dental program were at Sinclair Community College during her senior year.
Melendez credits Ponitz with thoroughly preparing her for her career. She was qualified to start her job immediately after graduation because of the licensure she earned as a student.
She is also thankful that she had the opportunity to earn college credit, because she is now furthering her education and does not need to pay for several required classes that she took in high school. She hopes to one day be a dental hygienist.
All DPS high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit, and even an Associate Degree, through the College Credit Plus Program. Students should speak to their school counselor for more information.
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