FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Since opening its doors to its first freshman class of students four years ago, the Career Technical Education Charter High School has been the fulfillment of an educator’s passion.

“What I’ve seen them doing at this school has far exceeded any expectation that I can have for any child. To go to school, graduate from college while you’re graduating from high school, to learn not only specific trades whether it’s manufacturing or construction but to be great communicators, good people,” said Jim Yovino, superintendent of Fresno County schools.

As CTEC prepares to graduate its first senior class of students, those who’ve been a part of this school since it opened in the fall of 2018 are looking back on what it was like starting something new.

“It was a whole new experience to be able to, to kind of communicate to families like here’s this great opportunity for you,” said Jonathan Delano, director of CTEC high school.

Four years later, the school is still growing. A host of dignitaries were on hand to witness the opening of the school’s new multipurpose building. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate its senior class, students who took a chance on a brand new school.

“I grew up with cousins and uncles who were all in construction so I was like oh I’ve got to do it, it’s something in construction and it was a little hesitation since it was new but you know I felt reassured by all the information they provided,” said Valerie Castro, a senior at CTEC.

Castro and 18-year-old Leilah Hunt will both graduate in June. Hunt says when she first entered CTEC she was intimidated by all the equipment, aiming to become a doctor she says she found her true passion here.

“I actually found my true passion and my future career here just going through like the other classes actually learned I want to become a mechanical engineer,” said Hunt.

90% of the senior class is on track to graduate with their high school diploma and an associates degree from Fresno City College.

“So, they’re ready for industry, theyre ready for college, they’re ready for the future and I think that’s what’s most exciting about what we’re doing,” explained Delano.