career technical education


Life after high school is a daunting subject, but the Career Technical Education program is working to make transitions into the future much easier. CTE increases graduates’ career and post-secondary readiness.

Creation of the program stemmed from a need to look beyond high school.

“…Our students were always very talented and did well in school,” Health Science teacher Jane Rock said, “but when they entered post-secondary… they didn’t really have an understanding or a thought in mind of what they’d want to do as a career.”

While certain high school classes seem to lack post high school relevance, CTE  courses attempt to bring the “real world” into public schools.

“We want to bridge the gap between graduation and whatever happens next in a student’s life,” Rock said.

Human Growth and Development, Culinary Essentials and Pre-Med are just a few classes offered among Free State’s extensive CTE program. Opportunities will continue to grow due to a bond passed last year.

“We are just on the … beginning stages of an absolutely phenomenal career technical experience,” Rock said.

Practicing real life situations in class has an enormous effect on students.

“Well, I think [Human Growth and Development is] definitely changing me,” junior Tabitha Stumma said. “I’m realizing a lot of different things about children that I’ve never thought of before, like how there are stages in their life on how they develop, and I think it will just help me when I am a mother.”

Senior Veronica Pâté stresses the importance of preparing for what comes after high school.

“It’s better to know what to do than just being blind-sighted by it, not being able to face the challenges,” Pâté said.

Free State graduates demonstrate the effectiveness of CTE. The success of the program is undeniable in the face of living proof.

“There are a lot of students that come back and will say how beneficial it was for them in their college experience,” Rock said.

Addition of the program resulted in an obvious change in focus among students.

“So, when we’re cheering them on at graduation,” Rock said, “I can point to certain students, and … I know they’re going to this place, and they have a real focus to begin their education in this career pathway. I wasn’t able to say that three years ago.”