Buchanan senior Luke Fennacy wants to become a surgeon. He’s enrolled in the patient care career pathway at Clovis North High School but didn’t know the focused learning option existed until midway through his junior year.

The inaugural Career Technical Education Expo hosted Thursday night by Clovis Unified would have definitely been helpful, he said.

“With a CTE event like this, you can find out all of the options that are available before you register for classes,” Fennacy said.

Clovis High senior Jantzen Karageozian couldn’t agree more.

“This event does a great job of opening your eyes to what you might want to do,” Karageozian said.

Shortage of Workers in Many Fields

The other goal of the expo is to address the growing shortage of workers in technical and vocational fields, said CTE Director Chuck Sandoval.

“There is a little bit of a negative stigma with vocational education,” Sandoval said. “What we want students to understand is that CTE is an opportunity to learn about a specific skill so when you graduate you will be able to go work or go to college.”

All 18 of Clovis Unified’s CTE pathways were on display at the expo, which was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

“This event does a great job of opening your eyes to what you might want to do.” — Jantzen Karageozian, Clovis High senior

Programs included construction, automotive repair, culinary arts and agriculture.

Preparing Students for Their Future

Hundreds of students and their parents were intrigued by all of the options available.

“I can’t think of anything we don’t have, ” said Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell.

Clovis East teacher Aireal Covey said there is definitely something for everyone.

“A lot of students don’t realize how many opportunities they have in their education,” Covey said. “This event helps them to see what they can be doing now to begin preparing for their future.”

“A lot of students don’t realize how many opportunities they have in their education. This event helps them to see what they can be doing now to begin preparing for their future.” — Aireal Covey Clovis East teacher

Fennacy said the pathways are also a great way to get invaluable experience while still in high school.

“We are able to follow, shadow and observe a lot of what happens in the hospital in the patient care pathway,” said Fennacy.

Fennacy said his favorite part of the pathway is being able to observe surgeries taking place. “It is a great, fun opportunity and really exhilarating.”

Ever since Brooke Bentley enrolled in the animal science pathway, she never looked back.

“I really enjoy the responsibility aspect of having to take care of an animal,” said Bentley, a senior at Clovis East. “That sparked my interest in wanting to be a veterinarian.”

Karageozian said the district’s firefighting pathway is definitely giving him a head start in his career.

“It is a great program, and it has really taught me a lot about firefighting,” he said.

Bigger Expo Planned Next Year

The goal for next year’s CTE expo, Sandoval said, is to invite industry partners, colleges and businesses.

“We are definitely looking to expand,” he said.

Watch Students Discuss CTE Programs

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