Career and technical programs to be examined Tuesday |

Career and technical programs to be examined Tuesday

Teri Vance

Derek Paradise, 16, credits Carson High School’s career and technical education program with helping him decide his future.

After graduation, he said, he plans to enlist in the Navy and pursue a welding career.

“As soon as I got into (welding) class, I knew what I wanted to do,” he said. “This is something that helps teenagers find out what they want to do. We only have four years to decide what we want to do with the rest of our lives.”

School board trustee James Lemaire, chairman of the education subcommittee to the district’s master plan committee, would like to see technical programs increased at the high school as a means of engaging students and keeping them in school.

He said there are 1,100 seats available in career and technical programs, with about 2,200 students applying for them each year.

“We only serve half our needs,” he said. “I am fearful that students who do not get into the classes they want will leave because they are not being served.”

Students involved in vocational programs showcased their work this week at the high school’s annual career and technical fair.

C.J. Humpal, 15, demonstrated some of the things he’s learned in his automotive classes.

Although he said he’s always been interested in cars, the class has pointed him in the right direction for a career as a mechanic.

“It would be harder to find the knowledge on your own,” he said. “This way prepares you better.”

Hazel Rodriguez, 17, also feels better prepared for pursuing a career as a doctor after taking the health occupations class.

“It’s a very good class. It helps you so much,” she said. “When we do our internships it will open our eyes even more.”

Lemaire is recommending to the master plan committee that an outside analysis be conducted to see how to better meet students’ needs in the career and technical field as well as performing arts.

“I view the students as our customers,” he said. “Those classes should be as effective as possible.”

A rough draft of the master plan will be presented to school board members Tuesday, which will include a tentative proposal for a bond issue in this year’s election.