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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 4:23 pm | A Few Clouds 66º


High School Students Show Off Passions for Special Programs at Santa Barbara Showcase Event

Santa Barbara Unified students and teachers talk to prospective students about academies, career technical programs, visual and performing arts classes

students with baked goods Click to view larger
Lillian Huynh, center, and other members of the San Marcos High School culinary arts program bring their passion, and baked goods, to the Santa Barbara Unified School District showcase Wednesday night.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The culinary arts program at San Marcos High School gave Lillian Huynh the opportunity to begin exploring her passions before she enters the workforce.

Huynh, 17, who is taking the program in addition to her core classes, said she especially enjoys baking pumpkin cheesecake.

“We are always making something new, and it’s never the same foods,” said the high school senior, adding that the culinary arts program taught her the skills to safely prepare food, use kitchen equipment, and bake and cook. “Most of the time we get to try a lot of the foods we make. We usually critique our food and say things that we can work on.”

Huynh, along with about 180 high school student volunteers, were staffing exhibit booths during Santa Barbara Unified’s sixth annual showcase at the Earl Warren Showgrounds Wednesday evening. 

High school students shared their experiences with hundreds of junior high school students browsing the academies, career technical education, visual and performing arts, and other special programs offered at San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara high schools. More than 70 teachers also staffed the booths. 

The gathering allows prospective high school students enough time to apply for school transfers, and their desired program, before the district's transfer deadline.  

The intradistrict transfer deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 18 for the 2019-20 academic year and applications through Santa Barbara Unified School District Student Services start Dec. 8.

Counselors were on hand to help students and their families decide where to attend high school, and provided information about the showcased programs. 

More than 35 booths filled the exhibit building and student work was displayed from multimedia arts and design programs, engineering, entrepreneurship, computer science, and more.

New this year was the participation of all visual and performing arts programs at high schools, including the dance program at Santa Barbara High School.

The dance class there gives students the chance to develop their talents while improving technique, self-discipline, creativity and confidence.

people at table Click to view larger
Beth Goldman, dance instructor at Santa Barbara High School, right, and student Karla Leon,16, talk to prospective students Wednesday at the showcase event.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“I was always aware that I wanted to do the dance program, but once I started, it exceeded my expectations,” said Karla Leon, 16, a junior at Santa Barbara High School. “It’s also nice having a good support system.”

Dylan Aguilera, SBHS's new director of instrumental music, said during the showcase that he is looking forward to share his love of music in the classroom. 

“Overall, my favorite thing is the energy of being surrounded by the students,” he said. “The students are awesome. They work hard, are fun to be around, full of life, and they bring life to their music and are open to new ideas, which is awesome.”

About 15,000 families with children studying at Santa Barbara Unified schools were invited to the two-hour event, said district spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann.

Sixth-grade families at other local elementary districts were also invited, including Hope, Goleta Union, Cold Springs and Montecito Union, she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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