Career Options Fair welcomes more than 1,500 visitors in first year

December 2, 2014


Cypress Falls High School junior Emily Hernandez speaks with Cypress Falls fashion design and interior design teacher Amanda Bailey about the school’s program during the Career Options Fair at the Berry Center on Dec. 2.

Dec. 2, 2014—More than 1,500 visitors attended the first annual Career Options Fair on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at the Berry Center.

Middle school and high school students and parents milled through the Berry Center arena to meet with representatives from the district’s 15 career and technical education (CTE) programs as well as more than 35 postsecondary trade and technical schools.

”This has been so exciting,” said Susan Firth, director of advanced academics. “As I’ve been walking through the booths in the arena, I’m hearing great conversations about course sequencing and graduation plans. That was the whole idea behind this. We are trying to address the goals of all students, since there are so many opportunities out there that don’t get addressed through a traditional college night.”

One side of the arena featured the following CTE programs:

  • agriculture;
  • automotive;
  • business/marketing;
  • cosmetology;
  • child guidance;
  • computer science;
  • culinary arts;
  • education and training;
  • engineering and architecture;
  • fashion/interior design;
  • health science;
  • manufacturing;
  • multimedia;
  • ROTC; and
  • welding.

“We try not to be the best-kept secret, but there are still programs in our high schools that people don’t realize because high school has changed so much since our parents were in school,” said Denise Kubecka, CTE coordinator. “There are so many opportunities for students to explore their options before they leave us.”

The other portion of the arena featured representatives from organizations such as the Art Institute of Houston, the Houston Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the Aveda Institute and the Aviation Institute of Mechanics.

“For our middle school students, it has been helpful for them to start thinking about careers and course sequences more applicable to their desires and passions, while it has been good for our current high school programs to build the interest,” said Dr. Sharon Hogue, CTE coordinator. “The postsecondary representatives are excited because they know the job potential is huge and they need to fill those jobs. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

John Denmon, high school representatives for the Art Institute of Houston, said he enjoyed the many interactions with CFISD students.

“The students have been very inquisitive. They’re asking a lot of questions about what we have to offer, and they come really eager,” he said. “I’m meeting a lot of eighth- and ninth-graders who are definitely thinking about the future. It has been neat to talk to them because it seems like they’re driven.”



Career technology education teachers Meg Young of Jersey Village High School and Keren Grissom of Langham Creek High School discuss secondary options with Salyards Middle School eighth-grade student Daniel Garcia and his mother, Ana Garcia, at the Career Options Fair.



Lt. Col. Tim Lambert of the Cypress Creek AFJROTC unit tells Salyards Middle School sixth-grade student Roberto Garcia more about the program.


1202_Career_Options_4.jpg S

pillane Middle School eighth-grade student Joanna Bui and her father, Brandon Bui, speak with UA Plumbers Local 68 representative Jim Seay during the Career Options Fair.



Danny Arocha, director of enrollment at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, speaks with guests at the Career Options Fair.



Kevin Tatum of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance speaks with Anibal Melendez and his son, Cypress Lakes High School senior Alejandro Melendez, during the Career Options Fair.



Cypress Ranch High School counselor Dede Johnson speaks with Salyards Middle School eighth-grade student Brianna Jarvis about high school plans during the Career Options Fair.

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