After a successful inaugural year, the Killeen Independent School District’s Career Center opened once again to high school students.

The center began the 2013-2014 year with just more than 1,050 students. That number is already higher than the 800 students enrolled in the spring.

“I’m really excited to be back,” said Tyrik King, a second-year student in the center’s cosmetology program. “I think there’s a lot of benefits to coming here.”

In addition to a new crop of students, the center also has a new top administrator — Scott Herald, chief career and technical education officer.

Before joining KISD in June, Herald held the same position in the Belton school district.

Herald said the center would continue to focus on making sure students received the hands-on training they needed to learn and succeed in their chosen career areas.

“We want to get them that professional certificate, and get them ready for a job,” Herald said.

In addition to a fresh crop of new students, the center’s teachers now have groups of more advanced, second-year students. For instructors like Lee Williams, who teaches the automotive technology program, those students are valuable resources.

“They have really become an asset,” Lee said. “They come back with a firm understanding of how we do things here, and they can help those newer students.”

Tristan Trujillo, a second-year student in the welding program, said he was happy to be back on campus, and offered advice to new students.

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” he said. “It’s up to you to make the effort.”

King, also a second-year student, agreed.

“The environment is very professional, because the students want to be here,” he said. “You need to remember that it is a privilege to be here. It’s a gift, and you need to keep that in mind when you come in every day.”

This year, the center did not add any additional career “clusters” to the 10 it offered last year. However, Herald indicated that recent passage of the state education legislation known as “House Bill 5” opens the door for the possibility of new programs in areas such as renewable energy in the 2014-2015 school year.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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