Left to Right: Anahy Juarez, Paula Mora, and Raegen Hanson, all freshmen, measure and cut wood for their project
Woodland students taking Construction Trades at the high school built a student store for Yale Elementary School as well as a shed that will be sold to raise funds for the SkillsUSA club. Students learn plumbing, how to wire electrical systems, frame buildings, and a variety of woodworking and tool skills.
Once students become familiar with the basics of tool operation and construction, they move on to more complicated tasks which empowers them to work on projects requested throughout the district. “I’ve greatly enjoyed the engineering classes I’ve taken over the years,” said Jose Valenzuela, a senior. “Outside of school, I already work in roofing, so I wanted to learn more construction skills so I can provide even more services.”
After graduating, Valenzuela plans to become an electrician. “I want to go to a trade school to learn even more and continue adding trades under my belt,” he said. “I have thought a lot about starting my own business, and probably will in the future.”
Anahy Juarez, a ninth grader, takes CTE courses to learn new lifeskills such as the proper operation of power tools
CTE classes offer students a way to explore skills they may have started learning at home. “I have always enjoyed building at home, cutting wood, and making new things,” said Anahy Juarez, a freshman. “I already had some skills from helping my dad, but CTE classes give me a way to learn a lot more.” Paula Mora, also a freshman, shared a similar experience to Juarez, “My dad is an electrician so I wanted to learn new skills; I really enjoy the hands-on elements like cutting wood and using tools.”
Some students take CTE courses just to experiment with new skills. “I thought taking Construction Trades would be fun and my dad was really excited for me,” said Raegen Hanson, a freshman. “Working with saws can be a bit challenging, but I really enjoy the process of measuring and making sure everything is in the right place; I might take other CTE classes in the future.”
Students in Construction Trades built an outdoor shed to auction to raise funds for the SkillsUSA team.
Woodland offers a wide variety of CTE courses so can have the opportunity to learn lifeskills which will benefit them for the rest of their lives while also exploring potential career paths in physical trades including metalwork, woodwork, culinary arts, agriculture, auto mechanics, Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) and much more.
Assistant Superintendent Asha Riley oversees CTE for the school district and points to the nationwide need for trade-based professionals as just one of the many great reasons for students to explore CTE classes. “Many professionals in trade careers such as automotive repair, welding, plumbing, electricians, and many more are retiring with few new entrants in the fields,” she explained. “The country needs younger people to start in these fields which offer lucrative lifelong careers.”
CTE students learn lifelong skills like woodworking, framing, plumbing, and more.
In addition to helping students potentially find their lifelong careers, students not interested in pursuing careers in CTE fields can greatly benefit from the courses, too. “CTE classes provide students skills they’ll be able to use throughout their lives even if they don’t pursue a career in the field,” said Riley. “Whether it’s cooking meals, repairing your car, wiring a new outlet in your house, or growing your own vegetables, every student can benefit from taking CTE classes.”
Woodland’s CTE courses are among the specialized courses funded thanks to the Woodland community’s support of the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy. The current levy expires at the end of 2023 with the Replacement EP&O Levy on the ballot for the April 25 Special Election. Click here to learn more about the Replacement Levy and why local funding is critical for Woodland schools.