Thursday, May 28, 2020
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20191107 CTETourTo better prepare them for their life in high school, the Sharyland school district recently offered tours of its high school campuses to middle schoolers.

These tours, however, specialized in the campus’ respective Career Technology and Education department, or CTE.

“Our goal is to have them see what wonderful things we have at Sharyland ISD from the CTE department in the multiple clusters we offer from health science, STEM, agriculture, construction, law, business, arts, fashion design and more,” Sharyland Pioneer High School CTE Counselor Renee Huddleston said. “We want kids to stay in our district when they reach high school so we are showing them what they can have an opportunity to enjoy once they come here.”

The CTE program offers high school students a more hands on approach to learning by placing them in a real world setting where they will learn job skills related to their cluster of choice that will prepare them for a career outside of college, Huddleston explained.

All CTE classes are taught by professionals who have at least two years of experience in the field, Huddleston added.

“Kids have to be college and career ready once they graduate high school; they have to know what they want to pursue while they’re in college,” Huddleston said. “So why not have them take classes in high school that are free and they can have fun doing what connects them with what they’re learning in the academic classes like math and English and then apply it to our CTE classes.”

To give prospective students a taste of the CTE classes, both Sharyland high schools offered tours of its CTE classes to students in each campus’ respective feeder schools. On Thursday, Nov. 7, 6th grade students from Donna Wernecke Elementary school visited Sharyland Pioneer High School.

“Kids need multiple exposures and opportunities to try things out. Since they change their minds a lot, how are they supposed to know what they want to be the rest of their lives?” Huddleston explained. “So this is an opportunity for them to try everything out. There’s something for everyone here.”

As part of the tour, students were split into 11 groups to represent the different clusters of classes available under the program. Students in the tour visited and sat in on each CTE class for five minutes to watch a presentation from teachers and students.

CTE students led the presentations and served as tour guides for students. Huddleston said student presenters are used because they can relate to other students.

“We want to connect with them to make them interested in it,” explained Pioneer senior Miranda Montgomery, who lead a presentation for the education CTE cluster. “We’re able to connect with them because we were kind of like them.”

As a CTE education student, Montgomery interns as a student teacher at Donna Wernecke where she assists in grading papers, reading to students and occasionally teaches. With these CTE skills, Montgomery said she is preparing for a career in education and hopes to instill in the 6th graders a drive to learn more.

“It’s something that once they get to high school they’ll have to start thinking about,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t really know much about CTE or the clusters when we came to high school but once we got here it becomes a big part of your life. We want to make the transition easier for them.”

Among the students taking part in the tour was Troy Chapa, who said he appreciated the many presentations being shown for him and his classmates.

“But I think I want to do something in law enforcement like be a firefighter,” Chapa said. “But it’s cool that they show you a lot of different options you can do.”