This is part of a regular series featuring a student and an employer involved in the Kokomo Area Career Center’s School-to-Work program. Any employer or student interested in the School-to-Work program should call James Stradling, Kokomo Area Career Center director, at 765-455-8021.
Student’s name: Hannah Reecer
Parents: Kathy and Andy Reecer
High school: Kokomo High School senior
Career plans: dental lab technician
KACC instructor: Beth Wetekamp, dental
Internship placement: Mooney Dental Lab, 1105 E. Markland Ave., Kokomo
Supervisor: Beth Jones, owner
Hannah Reecer thoughts:
I became interested in working at Mooney Dental Lab because I found out in my class at the [Kokomo Area] Career Center that I was better at working on models than inside people’s mouths. That’s when I decided I would like to become a dental lab technician. I was really nervous that first day at the Mooney Dental Lab, but [owner] Beth Jones and [assistant] Mitzi Huntley both told me I could watch and see what a typical day would be like first. That was a great learning experience. In the dental lab, my boss and her assistant work with the dentists while I work with the orders. I am very comfortable now in the dental lab. I plan to attend Indiana University Kokomo and then Indiana Purdue at Fort Wayne because IPFW is the only certified college in Indiana with a degree leading to becoming a dental lab technician. I appreciate my dental classes at the Kokomo Area Career Center because Mrs. Wetekamp has helped me learn the skills I need as a second-year dental student preparing to work in a dental lab.
Beth Jones’ comments:
Here at Mooney Dental Lab, we do work for local licensed dentists with the manufacture, repair and reline of full and partial dentures. This experience is beneficial for Kokomo Area Career Center dental students because this is a totally different experience than working in a dental office. This is work beyond the chair. Hannah has learned much more than most of our interns because the program allows her to work in the mornings. Hannah checks in tooth orders, articulates — or simulates jaw movement — and pours models. She also does investing, which is the final dental procedure, makes bite blocks and creates custom trays. Hannah has become more talkative and self-confident since coming to work here at Mooney Dental Lab. This experience will be beneficial for Hannah’s future as a dental lab technician because we are lab-oriented workers.