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Program Coordinator Excited about Auctioneer School

By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau

9 February 2005 — Rita K. Smith, the program coordinator for Jacksonville State University's Office of Continuing Education, is excited about this year’s auctioneer school offered by her department. She will take a more active role than ever in this year’s school, which begins February 18, because she earned her apprentice auctioneer license in February 2004.

“Auctioneer school is wonderful,” said Ms. Smith. “It creates a bond between the students and instructors and is fun.”

Once a student receives their apprentice license, they must work under their sponsoring auctioneer for one year and take part in at least five auctions before they can qualify to take the auctioneer test.

The school seeks to attract students from throughout the southeast. It lasts through February 27 and is one of the few auctioneer schools offered in Alabama.

Students who take the class will also take part in this year’s charity auction that will benefit the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center (JCOC). The auction will be at the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, which is next to the JCOC. The auction will be Saturday, February 26 at 6 p.m. Some of the students will tag items, some will be ringmen catching the bids, some will be clerks, and others will actually call the auction, which is called “bid calling.”

“You can make a dollar or a million dollars, depending on your drive,” said Ms. Smith.

Some of the students will take the basic course and then specialize in the various auctions, such as antiques, real estate, heavy equipment, automobiles, livestock, farms, and more. Past students say becoming an auctioneer has given them confidence.

“One instructor used the phrase, ‘I’m driving this truck,’” said Ms. Smith. “This meant he was in charge when in front of a class or bid calling at an auction.”

Anyone wishing to donate items to the auction should call the JCOC at 435-1891. The public can preview items from 5-6 p.m. on February 26 at the McWhorter Center, First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville.

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