October of last year, community and business leaders joined the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools for a groundbreaking event.
Eight months later, work crews are hard at work completing state-of-the-art classrooms, or design studios as director Jonathan Delano calls them, for a new career technical education charter high school.
“CTEC is a completely different way that we look at education, the way we set up classrooms,” Delano said. “This is all inclusive; this is not expecting a kid to sit in a seat and learn about math and science from a textbook.”
CTEC will open this fall starting with a freshman class. Its curriculum has an emphasis on advanced manufacturing and commercial construction. It’s centerpiece is a $6 million shop or innovation center.
“Manufacturing is not just building something, it’s designing something, it’s creating something,” Delano said. “Commercial construction is not just about swinging a hammer and being outside in the heat you know. It’s about creating.”
The advanced skills and use of new technology are in line with what industry leaders are requiring in the workplace, and for the students who are signing up to attend, the opportunity to take college courses from Fresno City College and leave high school with an AA is a huge draw.
“One of the most things I liked about this school is it gave me the possibility to go into a career as soon as I get out of high school, and just being able to have any college credits when I get out of high school is just crazy to think about,” said 14-year-old Nicholas Noble.
Seeing this building go up is a dream come true for Superintendent Jim Yovino, a long time advocate of career tech education. CTEC is chartered by the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
“This school has the full weight of the County Superintendent of Schools Office,” Yovino said. “I’m committed to this; our office is committed to this school – and bigger than that, this community is committed to this school.”
CTEC has been talked about for months, under construction for almost a year, and educators here say when this school opens on Aug. 15 that students can expect a one-of-a-kind learning experience.