The Four Rivers Career Academy (4RCA) became the name of the former Fulton County Area Technical Center in 2018 through a New Skills for Youth Cohort II grant that was awarded to the center in July 2018. Principal Terry Sullivan (who serve from 2013-2019) worked with his staff and the NSFY Career Readiness Coordinator, Dianne Owen, NSFY Director Leslie Slaughter and the NSFY Advisory Team to worked together to rebrand the technical center to become an all-day regional academy. The 4RCA offers dual credit courses, industry certifications, and career pathways in business applications, computer science, automotive technology, welding, and health sciences. The 4RCA partners with five districts, two technical centers and two college partners as well as several businesses and industries. Although Principal Terry Sullivan has left to become the WK WKEC Gear UP coordinator, he will continue to work with the academy through this grant and continue to provide opportunities for the students in the region. Retired principal Tom Pyron (2000-2013) has returned to finish out the 2019 school year as principal of the newly formed Four Rivers Career Academy.
The Fulton County Area Technology Center was approved by the Kentucky State Board in April 1971 after five years of work spearheaded by then superintendent Harold Garrison backed by educators, citizens, and community leaders. The facility which has served students in the Fulton County, Fulton Independent, and Hickman County school districts as well as adult learners grew from the vision that a college degree was not in everyone’s future and the area had a growing need for skilled workers.
Today the personnel have changed but the “spirit of those pioneers of vocational education is strong with the caliper of students treading the halls and shop areas has advanced with the times. Students compete with top rankings on regional and state levels with students from across the state. Some move into full time jobs in their trades after graduation. Many go for additional training” at the West Kentucky Community and Technical college in Paducah and Murray State University in Murray or into other advanced programs in technical programs area colleges, and universities. (Excerpt from an article in Hometown Magazine, July 1998, by Cherry Pyron)