High school CTE programs help students dabble with future career options
As a student graduates high school they are expected to either pursue a higher education or get a job, and they are expected to know what they want to be for their rest of their lives.
During their high school years, students have the option of taking classes geared toward a career field.
Career and Technical Education provides students in high school to gain skills that will benefit them both in the workforce and at college.
Kingman Unified School District provides both of its high schools, Lee Williams and Kingman, the ability to steer students down their desired path.
“CTE programs help students merge the real world of work with what they are learning in classes,” said Carol Gunnerson, KUSD CTE director in an email. “We teach the soft skills to students, so they can be successful when applying for jobs, careers, or interviewing for placement in college programs.”
Not only are the programs beneficial to students, but also to the community.
Gunnerson said communities can benefit from having a labor pool to choose from, and parents can see their children gain skills and learn about the work place today.
Currently at KHS, there’s 10 CTE programs and Lee Williams has seven.
Some of the programs offered are Early Childhood Education, Business Management and Administrative Services, Culinary Arts, Technical Theater and Nursing Services.
In technical theater, students learn about everything needed to put on a production. In the past the theater class has put on shows like “CLUE,” “Steel Magnolias,” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and is looking to bring other productions to their peers and community.
Jefferson Black, a senior at KHS, has benefitted greatly from the program. He landed an audition for The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
“Not only did he get accepted, but with a scholarship,” said Mark Mullins, technical theater instructor.
Notable alumni from the academy includes, Ann Hathaway, Danny DeVito and Meryl Streep.
Shai Weaver from Lee Williams had the opportunity to attend the Open Jar Institute internship in New York City where she worked with Jeff Whiting, the original Peter Pan for Disney cruises, Jack Sipple from Newsies, and other Broadway stars.
Asia Abraham, a theater student, is new to the program this year and will be playing Queen Guenevere in the upcoming production of “Camelot.”
“It’s so much fun and everyone is supportive,” Abraham said. “I decided to audition to overcome my stage fright.”
Spencer McCray, a junior at KHS, is part of the Early Childhood Education class. He said the class will help him prepare to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse.
Aline Parker, KUSD Allied Health, Family and Consumer Science instructor, said in her medical terminology class, students were recently certified in CPR.
“We’ve got about 20 students who are now certified in CPR outside in the community,” Parker said.
Students who are now in college or in the workforce can recollect sitting in a high school classroom learning about how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and how to create a resume.
Sonali Madahar, a Bulldog alumni, is studying at Arizona State University working toward her degree in logistics. In high school she was part of the business program and is confident about her future.
“I learned many valuable and marketable skills that have allowed me to progress through the business world in both school and real life,” Madahar said in an email. “I know I am secure in my future because of the knowledge I gained through this program.”
Other students who were also part of this program said the program helped them with job interviews, receive certifications for Microsoft Office, and resumes.