RED OAK — To celebrate the value of Career and Technical Education, Red Oak ISD is partaking in "CTE Month" throughout February by telling the story of how the program has opened new doors for its students. Currently, ROISD prepares students for careers by offering 84 CTE courses ranging from anatomy to welding

As told by the ROISD press release, “Such training offers students bright futures after they graduate from high school. Take welding for example. A student who works as a welder making a starting salary of $37,000 can choose to move up in that profession or finance a college education using that salary to pay for tuition and other bills. The average starting salary of a physician is $107,000.”

After brainstorming ways to celebrate this occasion, Director of ROISD CTE Department Lisa Menton, Executive Director of Communications Helen Williams, and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Brenda Flowers made the decision to create a poster series and billboard advertisement campaign on Interstate-35.

“We felt it was necessary that people are aware that 100 percent of our students at the high school take career and technical classes. A student can pay for their college by using their CTE skills to get a job to get through school. They’ll yield more professional experience and be more lucrative than waiting tables or flipping burgers. Telling the story that it’s not a separate track is important,” Williams said.

Menton added that the purpose of CTE is for students to create quality skills for the workforce.

“This is applicable to any student, and it doesn't have to be someone who is struggling in school. CTE can be for an AP student, we’ve certainly have had a few of those in our program. CTE is very technical and rigorous and very relevant to today's current workforce. Our students are able to gain industrious certifications that help them be more desirable for employment,” Menton explained. “They are able to attain those high demand skills that they need to work in different areas whether it’s welding, cosmetology or working on computers. It helps bring that community feel to employment because we work on making our students employable within the communities that they live.”

This CTE initiative also serves as a showcase for ROISD students who are not in high school yet by giving them examples of what will become available to them in the upcoming years.

The press release states, “The old perception of Career and Technology Education was that it was intended for students on a separate track apart from the traditional high school graduates. Today’s CTE offerings are far more exciting and rigorous. In fact, they are some of the most in-demand classes at Red Oak High School, and every student is required to take at least one CTE class.”

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454