LE Holds Open House for New Career and Technology Education Building

Graphic Arts Teacher, Alex Harris, shows Superintendent, Ronnie Thompson a new feature on his computer software. The computer lab has dozens of new Macintosh computers and large format printers for students to learn on. (Photo by Susannah LInnett |TXK Today)

Liberty-Eylau Independent School District held an open house to show off their new Career and Technology Education building on December 12, 2017 from 5pm-7pm.

The building has been opened to the students since just after Thanksgiving break.  Construction on the new building started back in January of 2017 and is part of the first phase of a $21 million-dollar bond to improve the buildings in the district.

The first phase also included the Kindergarten edition.  The second phase includes plans for a new elementary school on Highway 59. Construction has already begun with plans to open next August.

Matt Fry, Director of Communications, was very passionate while explaining about the need for this type of education on the high school level.

“I think that high schools have been focus on the ‘college-only’ approach for all students and not all students fit into that track,” Fry said. “Here at LE, we’ve had the Career and
Technology classes since about 2006, but this new wing will help us be more effective an efficient in teaching. We will also be able to hire people with experience in the industry, too.”

LEISD boasts 16 different entry level certifications for their students so they can enter the workforce as a profitable member of society right out of high school.  Certifications include, culinary arts, Science and technology, Graphic design and production, Pharmacy tech, Welding, Automotive and mechanics, cosmetology, banking and finance, Agriculture, plumbing and electric, construction.

Sophomore, Victoria Davis, and Culinary Arts Instructor, Shirley Washington, show off the new industrial kitchen at the CTE Building at Liberty-Eylau High school. Davis is excited to be able to use the equipment to become a better cook.
(Photo by Susannah Linett | TXK Today)

The new building now has an industrial kitchen for students to learn culinary arts.  The classes will work closely with Texarkana College. Ms. Shirley Washington has been teaching in field for 38 yrs. and is excited to have this new classroom and kitchen.

“This will give the students a chance to experience handling new foods and get a better experience overall.  With this new equipment we have plans to make a Christmas dinner,” she said.  “We’ve already made biscuits and they really enjoyed that.  The class she teaches right now is called Lifetime Nutrition.

The new CTE building is attached to the building built in 2001 that houses the pharmacy, welding and automotive classes.  New codes that started in 2016 made the building need to have a tornado safe room. The pre-k at LE was the first place to have one in Texarkana.  “It’s the safest place to be in the city during a storm or natural disaster,” Superintendent Ronnie Thompson said.

The district is pleased to be able to offer these classes in this beautiful new building. “Some of these kids have been going to school their whole lives without finding anything they are really good at,” Fry explained. “With these career classes, we are meeting them where they are and helping them focus on learning skills that will make their lives better.  What could be better than that?”

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