Our community deserves a school board that meets its students where they are and helps them find success. Success can be measured by reaching the height of academic achievement, finding a pathway to a career, or a combination of both. As a member of FCPS' Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee (CTEAC), I have learned that our students looking for careers right out of high school are more numerous than expected and that many of the jobs in high demand industries (such as IT, mechanical services, and others) do not require college degrees. Our job as education leaders needs to include helping students find their best path to set them up for a lifetime of success.
Fairfax County Public Schools already have some great career and technical education (CTE) programs that allow students to graduate high school ready to jump into the workforce. These programs include: Teachers for Tomorrow, Practical Nursing, Veterinary Science, Physical Therapy, Firefighter training, EMT training, and many more. As a school board, we ought to expand access to the existing programs and incorporate other courses to meet the needs of the changing workforce.