When Dustin Binnicker graduated high school, he was determined to get to work right off the bat. After three weeks in the field, he realized college was inevitable if he wanted to move up his chosen career ladder. 

Binnicker has always been a forward-thinker when assessing his next career step. His work ethic and planning recently landed him the gig as the new Career Technology Director for Waxahachie ISD.

Austin has been home for the 38-year-old every since 1988, and he had only heard of Waxahachie when passing through town on Interstate-35E. The small town is now home.

After leaving the corporate world, Binnicker entered education at Round Rock ISD and taught technology education, business information and career portals to seventh-grade students for six and a half years.

"I didn't want to go into education, but after that first year, I was hooked," Binnicker said.

Campus administration became an interest and began to pursue his master's degree and underwent internships. Once he took a step back from teaching, he realized how to improve in the classroom. He then bridged his corporate experience and education for three and a half years as CTE academy specialist. He worked with 38 CTE teachers over 3,700 students. 

"Throughout that process, I realized that I want to know more about a district as a whole," he noted.

Binnicker is currently enrolled in the superintendent program at the University of Texas at Austin and is expected to graduate from the three-year program in 2021.  

Even though his first day with WISD was July 22, his big-picture goal is to "put Waxahachie CTE on the map." With state-of-the-art facilities and flourished student organization participation, Binnicker is focused on incorporating more industry certifications and expanding pathways.

"I want to help build more relationships and getting those businesses in here… finding true practicum programs so senior year kids can go off-sight and work in these facilities and are getting the classroom component and that workforce experience while giving back to the community."

He continued, "I think that will help the programs grown and help embed CTE in the community and really validates what we are doing in the district. It's garnering more community support by showing them what's happening, being accountable to taxpayers, and being transparent."

Another goal of Binnicker's is to make the CTE transition from middle school to high school seamless, comfortable and welcoming.

When reflecting back on his transition out of high school to college to the workforce, if he had been involved in a CTE program, it would have made that time more accessible and hopes to implement that experience for WHS students.

When Binnicker is not expanding his work knowledge, he is searching for the best taco in Waxahachie and is an avid morning runner. Binnicker replaces longtime CTE director Mark Bosher, who has since transitioned into an administrative role with the district.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450