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Students Explore Santa Barbara Schools Career Technical Education, Special Programs, Academies

Fifth annual showcase featured high school academy programs and career technical education pathways

The Dos Pueblos High School Construction Technology booth allowed attendees at the fifth annual Santa Barbara Unified School District showcase to use various hand tools and lathes. Click to view larger
The Dos Pueblos High School Construction Technology booth allowed attendees at the fifth annual Santa Barbara Unified School District showcase to use various hand tools and lathes. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Over the amplified sounds in an exhibition hall and the smell of fresh cookies, Ruben Moscaira talked Wednesday night about what he hopes will be a promising career in culinary arts.

Moscaira was 7 years old when he began cooking, and says it was an activity he did with his mother.

“I like making smoked honey barbecue ribs — it’s always been my specialty,” said Moscaira, 18, a Dos Pueblos High School’s culinary pathway student. “Cooking has always been something I’ve enjoyed, and I love seeing people smile after they taste my food.

"I want to be a chef. Hopefully, I’ll be able to open my own restaurant someday.”

The course aims to introduce students to the art of cooking while developing professional career preparations skills. Students also have the opportunity to earn the ServSafe Manager’s certification.

Moscaira was among more than 250 students talking to attendees at the fifth annual Santa Barbara Unified School District showcase featuring high school academy programs and career technical education pathways.

The Earl Warren Showgrounds was a bustling place full of chatter, with prospecting students and families exploring multi-year courses offered in the district that integrate rigorous core academic knowledge with occupational and technical experiences to provide students with a pathway to careers and postsecondary education.

This year’s event included student participants from the district’s career technical education and special programs, in addition to the academies.

More than 1,000 community members came together at the free, two-hour event to get guidance on available courses at the district.

Attendees were exploring computer science, engineering, automotive technology, culinary arts, sports medicine, multimedia arts, entertainment and finance courses offered at San Marcos, Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos high schools.

Students displayed their talents by creating graphic designs on desktop computers and sketching art at the Santa Barbara High Visual Arts and Design Academy booth.

Santa Barbara High School culinary arts students on Wednesday at Santa Barbara Unified School District’s annual showcase featuring high school academy programs and career technical education pathways. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara High School culinary arts students on Wednesday at Santa Barbara Unified School District’s annual showcase featuring high school academy programs and career technical education pathways. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

At the Santa Barbara High culinary arts booth, students offered freshly baked cookies and spoke with attendees who were sipping fruit-infused water.

Students at the booths showed demonstrations and hands-on activities.

People had the chance to look inside the cutaway of an internal combustion engine and an ignition at the San Marcos High automotive technology pathway booth.

“I use them as teaching tools — the students can see the internal moving parts,” said Adan Vega, San Marcos High automotive technology pathway teacher. 

The goal of the automotive pathway is to produce a new generation of career readiness through academic preparation and work-based learning tools. 

“It’s important for students because they learn the preparation, basic maintenance and how to work on vehicles,” Vega said. “A lot of the students are going to own a vehicle, and they learn skills needed to seek part-time work and different options for the future. It’s a real-work learning experience.”

Auto No.1 is an introductory course covering the basics of the automotive repair industry. 

Students receive a comprehensive understanding of the operating principals of the 4-stroke internal combustion engine and tear down, fix and reassemble multi-cylinder engines in Auto No. 2 course.

The advance class allows students to analyze, diagnose and repair common vehicle repair issues by working in a shop setting.

The advance course is qualified as dual enrollment with some automotive classes at Santa Barbara City College, Vega said.

Kirby Cannon, 17, an automotive technology pathway student, said he enjoyed working with his peers while learning automotive repair and maintenance skills.

“It feels like a family — we all know each other,” Cannon said. “I took the course because I thought it was the most interesting. I heard good things.”

Xochitl Perez, 13, a Notre Dame School student, was watching a handful of kids wearing eye and face protection masks at the Santa Barbara High Construction Technology booth. The students were using various hand tools and lathes.

Perez said she liked the San Marcos Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment Academy, which aims to direct high-achieving student leaders to create a school culture that celebrates academic excellence while simultaneously developing student leadership skills by exposing them to opportunities that improve the school and the community.

District spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann said parents gave feedback about having a sense of pride and a school community.

“It makes people feel proud to be part of Santa Barbara and the student public education opportunities,” she said.

Kimberly Calaprice was in attendance with her daughter Gabrielle Brandt, an eighth-grader at Goleta Valley Junior High School.

“We want to see what programs are available,” Calaprice said. “I wish they had offered these kinds of programs when I was in high school.”

The event took place earlier in the school year so high school students can apply for school transfers in advance of the application deadline.

Transfer applications are available through Santa Barbara Unified School District Student Services starting Friday, and must be submitted by Jan. 19.

Additional participants at Wednesday’s event included high school counselors, representatives from the district’s Student Services, Alternative Education/Middle College, the Advancement Via Individual Determination and the Program for Effective Access to College.

District high school academy programs and career technical education pathways include:

San Marcos High School

» Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment

» Automotive Technology

» Culinary Arts

» Construction Technology Pathway

»Entrepreneurship Academy

» Health Careers Academy

» Teacher Education Pathway

Santa Barbara High School

» Business and Finance

» Culinary Arts

» Construction Technology Pathway

» Computer Science Academy

» Multimedia Arts and Design Academy

» Sports Medicine Pathway

» Visual Arts and Design Academy

Dos Pueblos High School

»Arts Media and Entertainment Pathway

» Culinary Arts

» Construction Technology Pathway

» Engineering Academy

» International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

» Sports Medicine Pathway

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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