Career and Technical Education Awards

CTE Awards Night
By: Todd Martin

The Killeen Independent School District honored Career and Technical Education students receiving hundreds of industry certifications or meeting requirements to continue studies at the college level.
Numerous CTE organizations from the KISD Career Center and all four traditional high schools set up displays in a showcase prior to the award ceremony that filled three ballrooms Tuesday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
Career Center senior and Student Council President Bailey Greene urged his peers to pass on the generous gift of knowledge that instructors provided in the district’s CTE programs.
The Career Center, he said, becomes more of a home than the high school campuses where students begin.
“As you move on to college or into industry, you leave with a stable future,” said Greene, speaking to the students lined up around the civic center waiting to enter the ballroom, where hundreds of family members and educators watched.
Chief of College, Career and Military Readiness Officer Nancy Duran began the event thanking district and campus administrators and the numerous partners that invest in career-centered education across the school district.
She said it was the middle school and high school CTE teachers who are the “boots on the ground,” introducing students to career skills that often propel them into their occupations.
Deputy Superintendent Eric Penrod said KISD sets the bar for Career and Technical Education as high as any school system in the state and possibly the nation.
He directed the huge audience to stand and cheer, which they did, to express the kind of excitement for CTE students that is usually reserved for rooting on athletes during a game.
Further emphasizing the importance of teamwork in delivering education to students aimed at specific careers from welding to medical fields, cybersecurity, agriculture, digital graphics and numerous others, Duran gave special thanks to a few noteworthy partners.
She praised the school district’s transportation department, particularly Director Edward Thomas, for leading a team that transports students between four high schools and the Career Center daily for morning and afternoon sessions.
In addition, she pointed out, drivers transport CTE students from all the schools to competitions throughout the area and beyond. In fact, she said, Thomas has been known to drive a bus himself.
“Thank you for taking care of students daily,” Duran said, “and thank you for driving the bus.”
The CTE leadership also honored Director of Industry-Education Partnerships Charlie Ayres for support in providing professional development and externships for teachers and assistance in the senior job fair and College and Career Night.