Students pick up screwdrivers and dog brushes at Lehman High School

Hays

Hays CISD expands trade classes across more campuses

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Through December, a brand new auto workshop has a holiday special: free car checkups and tune ups for Lehman High School teachers.

The mechanics are Lehman High students.

“I’ve learned a lot. I learned how to do the alignment, how to use the lift, tools,” says Angel Gallegos, a junior.

He’s taking the school’s new auto tech class.

“In the past, we had Auto Tech at Hays High School but we didn’t have it at Lehman, so we were having to bus students,” says Suzi Mitchell, Hays CISD Career and Technical Education director.

The goal is to expand the program by offering all trade classes at all campuses.

Hays High School students are moving into a new CTE building with a new culinary class.

Students at Lehman High got into their new CTE building last month.

Students groom dogs as part of Lehman High’s vet tech class. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

“We actually had so many kids sign up that we actually needed two full time teachers,” Mitchell says of their new auto tech class.

The building at Lehman houses not only a bigger auto tech program for the district but also an expanded vet tech program.

“It was actually in a regular classroom so they had kennels and dogs in the classroom. So now we actually have a real vet tech,” Mitchell says.

She says the demand for Career and Technical Education is growing: In 2013, the district handed out 11 certifications to students.

Last year, that number soared to 3,700.

(KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

“They show up for CTE classes, they’re hands on, they enjoy being there,” Mitchell says.

That’s exactly what keeps Gallegos coming back.

“I like getting my hands dirty,” he says. “Going through the process and seeing results and then learning more about it.”

The junior doesn’t know what’s next after high school but he does know that this class has turned a childhood hobby into a viable career option.

“I would always see my uncles and my grandparents working on the big trucks. It’s now what I do,” Gallegos says.

Mitchell will be taking new classes to the school board this month.

She hopes to start offering barber classes in the district as well.

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