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Kent School District Celebrates CTE Month

If one were to boil it down, education for an individual can and should be described as a journey to become a successful and functioning member of society. This journey involves enabling students to learn legitimate skills they can continue cultivating and applying even after graduation. A tour through Kentwood High School's Auto Shop would undoubtedly bring this concept to life. "This class is based on developing students' real-world problem-solving and critical thinking skills," said Ivan Duimovic, Kentwood's Auto Shop Instructor. "My job is to ensure that students learn life skills that they can use for the rest of their lives, regardless of whether they aspire to be automotive technicians, maintain their cars, or be knowledgeable enough not to be taken advantage of when they take their vehicle to a shop." 

As part of our mission as a district in preparing students to be global citizens, we want to recognize the importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE) to our students' success before and after graduation. Here at KSD, we have a passionate team dedicated to expanding these programs in our schools. "My passion for CTE comes from the students," said Jennifer Barden, a CTE program specialist. "Seeing students make the connections between class and the real world is very exciting. Hearing students comment that a subject never made sense to them until they took this particular class energizes me as a teacher to keep going."

CTE courses allow students to obtain hands-on, practical experience in different potential career pathways before college. All CTE classes fall into one of 16 "career clusters," a group of jobs and industries related by skills or products. CTE classes integrate academics with technical skill development to help prepare students for higher-level courses in college or for internships. 

According to Washington State data on the Association for Career & Technical Education's websiteCTE Secondary Concentrators boast a graduation rate of 93.9%. In addition, 48.7% earn a postsecondary credential, certificate, or diploma, and 36.7% obtain employment or enter military service or apprenticeships within six months. Students also have opportunities to earn industry-recognized certifications and college credits through these classes. 

The hands-on nature of these courses also attracts passionate educators, including Ivan Duimovic. "I come from a long line of auto mechanics, starting with my grandfather," he said. "My passion for the history and function of automobiles drives me to work on cars as both a pastime and a career. Students with the same passion for vehicles motivate me to teach them to develop their skills and experience in the field." Putting everything into perspective, Jennifer Barden stated: "Having a student who graduated years before write and tell you that the skills they learned in your class have benefited them? Priceless."

Please visit our website to learn more about the CTE programs in our school district.


Student weldingStudent woodworkingStudent in digital designStudents in sports medicine class