mag cover

The Killeen Independent School District Career Center is featured with a cover story in an education organization’s internal magazine.

The quarterly magazine of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, mailed to its 110,000 state members, includes a cover photo of KISD Career Center health science teacher Jeff Watson, also the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017, and senior Daniella Pazmino, according to a press release.

Career Center Campus Instructional Specialist Ron Sursa is a member of the professional educators’ association. He said the group first approached the story of the Career Center through an interest in dual credit courses available in Texas public schools.

Representatives from ATPE visited the Career Center and talked with Sursa, according to the release, as well as Career and Technical Education Program Advisor Warren Kostencki and CTE Executive Director Nancy Duran. They also talked to teachers and students.

“The real enjoyment was to let them hear it from our own students,” Sursa said in the release. “That is where you see the two students who are in the article come into play. Our main goal was to make them aware of CTE, but also to show what KCC and KISD are doing for the future of our students.”

The cover story details the changing perception of what used to be called vocational education, which suggested such students were unlikely to go to college, to the reality of a career-focused educational pathway in which students are statistically more likely to continue their education.

The KISD Career Center, now in its sixth year, has grown from 647 students its first year to about 1,700 students taking advantage of 14 career clusters including health science, digital graphic arts, television broadcasting, welding and more.

The magazine, called ATPE News is available at the following:

KISD has mentioned plans to expand the Career Center in past workshops.

An expansion proposed in November would provide additional classroom and lab space for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and other programs.

One proposal outlined an expansion that would cost $300 per square foot, for a total ranging between $20 million to $25 million.

The Career Center, which opened in 2012, is currently using 10 portable classrooms, two portable animal labs and a double portable cafeteria space to serve the student population. | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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