Fourteen San Benito High School students in the district’s Career Technical Education vocational program were recognized after committing to an array of career pathways once they graduate this spring.
In a first-of-its-kind ceremony March 28 fittingly held inside SBHS’s new state-of-the-art CTE building, veteran auto shop educator Tom Agan and CTE Program Specialist Julie Carriere presented certificates to select seniors who will continue in their respective fields in trade schools throughout the state.
“These are kids, in my opinion, who are a little ahead of the curve in that they have figured out what they want to do after graduation,” said Agan, who is in his 33rd year at SBHS. “This is the first year we’ve done something like this.”
With destinations such as the Universal Technical Institute, J&A Auto & Truck Repair, A Tool Shed and Cap One Fleet services, Agan’s 2019 graduating class have made him proud.
“Traditionally, we honor our athletes who sign scholarships and valedictorians who are accepted to colleges,” Agan said. “We wanted to honor these kids who have done well in preparation for the trades. They are just as valuable as everyone else.”
Six of the students—Reed Fulcher, Jacob Brock, Christian Cortex, Johnathan Reyes Luis Rocha and Daniel Bernal—plan to attend UTI, which has campuses throughout the nation with the closest in Sacramento. At UTI, students move into fields in automotive, diesel and collision repair.
“A lot of manufacturers have training right there on the campus and pay students to train,” Agan said. “Right now, a lot of kids that do well in trade school are literally being hired before they finish school.”
Other 2019 SBHS honorees are: Marcus Quattrin (Reedley College); Aidan Pung (Monterey Peninsula College); Destiny Rodriguez (Sierra Community College); Axel Santos (J&A Auto and Truck Repair); Axel Fernandez (A Tool Shed); Garret Zaucha (Cal-Trade Welding School in Modesto); Steve Bartnek (Cap One Fleet Services); and Devon Parra (apprentice with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers).
At the ceremony, Carriere told the senior students, “We love the fact that you are on the right path and know what you want to do.”
Agan has about 130 students each year enrolled in his transportation pathway program, where he taught five sections during the 2018-19 year: three year-long Auto 1 introductory courses and two blocks of advanced automotives for those headed toward employment in the transportation industry.
“The automotives have been a pretty consistent, popular class over my 33 years. Most of our CTE classes are like that,” said Again, estimating that several hundred more SBHS students enrolled in at least one of the many vocational courses offered at SBHS. “If you’re good and you can get the right skills and know the right information, you’re going to have a lot of job opportunities right away.”
SBHS’s multifaceted Career Technical Education Classroom Building—built with bond measure dollars and completed two years ago—allows for students to work hands-on and learn in the fields such as machining and forming technologies, welding and material joining, cabinetry, and transportation: systems diagnostics, service and repair.
2018-19 San Benito High School
Vocational Auto Students Destinations
Jacob Brock: Universal Technical Institute
Christian Cortez: Universal Technical Institute
Jonathan Reyes: Universal Technical Institute
Luis Rocha: Universal Technical Institute
Reed Fulcher: Junior college/Universal Technical Institute
Marcus Quattrin: Reedley Junior College
Aidan Pung: Monterey Peninsula College
Destiny Rodriguez: College, interpreter/teacher
Axle Santos: J & A Auto and Truck Repair
Axle Fernandez: A Tool Shed (local biz, rental equip company)
Garret Zaucha: Cal-Trade Welding School
Steve Bartnek: Cap One Fleet services
Devon Parra: Electrician apprentice
Destiny Rodriguez: Sierra Community College