The William S. Hart Union High School District showcased its Career Technical Education program at Castaic High School on Thursday, allowing its students to demonstrate the things they’ve learned to attendees in a hands-on and interactive way.
The event also coincided with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new welding center, which was built in collaboration with College of the Canyons.
In attendance were Mike Kuhlman, superintendent of the Hart District, Joe Messina, Trustee Area No. 5 representative, Omar Torres, assistant superintendent and Vice President of COC, and Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), as well as many other prominent members of the community.
CTE as a whole is 27 different programs that are designed to give students a pathway to whichever career or interest they have by providing them with hands-on training with industry-standard equipment, as well as the skills and knowledge to land a job in their field.
Some of these programs include health science and medical technology, arts, media and entertainment, business and finance and engineering and architecture.
Kuhlman said CTE is just one of the ways the district aims to make students “opportunity ready,” meaning that it aims to prepare its students for whichever decision they make.
“We have to make sure that we are preparing the way for every one of our students, and what are we preparing them for? Whatever choice they make,” said Kuhlman. “We have equip them with the skills, the knowledge and the experiences, so that they are ready for that next opportunity, and the offerings that we have available through our career and college readiness (programs).“
CTE also creates relationships with local businesses so that a communication line is opened. If businesses can tell schools what they’re looking for, schools can provide them with students that can do it.
Messina said this partnership was critical to the program’s success and that local businesses are constantly engaged with the Hart District.
“I’m so excited about the work that has been done so far. Before the pandemic, we were on the top, we were being talked about — what great classes we had, what great CTE programs that we had. And now we’re back at it again,” said Messina. “When you walk through these classes today. It’s all because of… the board, the staff, the teachers, and local businesses… we want to make sure all kids have all opportunities to succeed.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees went into several buildings on campus where students were eager to show off what they’d learned and the equipment they could use in several fields such as firefighting, robotics engineering, healthcare and culinary arts.
The ribbon was cut by Tim Baber, Welding Program Department Chair at Castaic High School. Color Guard was provided by the Golden Valley High School JROTC.