Celebrating their next steps for area seniors
By Abigail Allen
In the course of two days, 13 students from Aubrey High School and Pilot Point High School celebrated their commitments to the next step in their future.
Two PPHS band students, Ruth Tullis and Jorge Nunez, signed letters of intent to their programs on Monday afternoon.
"We love to see our kids further their musical careers outside of high school," band director Dan Balkema said.
Nunez plans to study biochemical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin while participating in the band.
"Being a first-generation [college student], it's kind of what my parents always dreamed of," Nunez said.
Tullis plans to study biology with an emphasis in pre-veterinarian at Harding University.
"The academic [scholarship] participation for the marching band is $500 a year," Tullis said, adding that she hopes to have fun as part of the band.
Aubrey High School held a mass signing day on Tuesday to honor the 11 students who are putting the skills they learned in their career and technical education courses to use in their next step in life.
The students and their pathways were as follows: Max Griffin, film, University of Texas; Kristin Martin, culinary arts, Culinary Institute Lenotre of Houston; Skylar Tarvin, sonography, Collin College; James Williams, plumbing, Collin College; CJ Tubbs, culinary arts, Institute of Culinary Education—New York campus; Adrian Padilla, machinery service, Holt CAT; Brock Pierce, machinery service, Holt CAT; James Monk, welding, NCTC; Max Torres, HVAC, NCTC; Quentin Jefferson, cybersecurity, NCTC; and Jacob Bessire, plumbing, NCTC.
"CTE programs not only teach students real-world knowledge and skills, but increasingly provide opportunities for dual enrollment, industry-recognized credentials and meaningful work-based learning experiences," ag sciences teacher Traci Bloom said to open the celebration.
Gilbreath introduced the nine students present, and then introduced Rick Elmore, the workforce development liaison for Holt CAT.
"We have a new program, called Holt University, that's very similar to our educational partners," Elmore said. "If these two guys decide to, they can enroll in Holt University. The unique part about our training plan is they will be paid while they're going to school."
He and his team members then presented Aubrey High School a $10,000 grant to benefit the programs that provide students with the job skills they need to work at their company.
After the crowd cleared, Martin said she is excited to refine her skills at Lenotre by pursuing her pastry arts diploma.
"It's going to make me better," she said. "It's going to make me better for my business."
That's Kookies N' Krumbs, which she launched in August 2022.
Tubbs has aspirations of either being a chef in a Michelin star restaurant or of owning one himself.
"I think I had to go to New York since I know it's one of the top capitals in the U.S. for cooking," he said.
They both said their teachers were instrumental in helping them in the classroom and with opportunities beyond it as well.
Assistant Principal Jonathan Lee spoke after the event of the value of CTE courses, and he loved how the ag sciences team put the event together.
"It was a great opportunity to have their fellow students see them and see them already be on the road to success and see that they also have that opportunity to get plugged in somewhere," Lee said.