Reynolds offers many unique programs in addition to its renowned arts courses. Some of the lesser known, but important aspects of Reynolds are the Career and Technical Education classes. Reynolds offers several classes in different disciplines including interior design, business, architecture, drafting, fashion and textiles, sports marketing, food and culinary science, finance and technology.
These classes are meant to help students experiment with real world jobs and pursue interests that are more interactive and career-oriented than other academic classes at Reynolds. “We teach career skills and allow students the opportunity to explore different jobs,” Career Development Coordinator Mary Bergstone said. “It’s good to do it in high school, because in high school it’s free-as opposed to college where you have to pay to try different things.”
The classes have become increasingly popular and many students have enjoyed experimenting with different fields of study. The CTE classes that focus on family and consumer sciences have been most preferred by students.
Apparel and Textile Production and Fashion Merchandising teacher Sharon Kerr enjoys teaching these skills to students and believes that taking a CTE course teaches students many different things that are necessary for a successful lifestyle.
“We teach about how to find a career and not only how to build that career but also how to build your life with that career on how to maintain your family, your home and your physical and emotional health,” Kerr said.
Taking Career and Technical Classes can help you learn even the most basic skills that will help you in the long run.
“I learned basic cooking skills and recipes that I still use from time to time,” junior Edith Gonzalez, who took the foods class last year, said. “It was pretty fun and I enjoyed it at the time.”
Added Kerr, “There are so many people that come to me just to repair a button which seems very simple, and it is but you do not know until you learn it. So many students say, ‘We wish there was a class to teach us these (basic life skills) things,’ and we say ‘But there is.’”
Some questions about the availability of these classes or working them in with schedule have emerged, but Kerr is sure that that is no longer a dilemma.
“Your schedule is set up now so that you can take electives and experience a lot of different types of classes in high school,” Kerr said.
The CTE programs at Reynolds are certainly something that students should take advantage of to help prepare them for their life after high school and to get a better understanding of the reality around them.
The overarching goal of these programs is to help prepare students for the next step in their lives: whether it be attending college or joining the work force.
“Our students should come out of Reynolds College and Career Ready,” Bergstone said.
Contributing author: Cayla Clements