BISD trustees take on CTE courses to see what students experience
By Lindsay Starr Platt
The Board of Trustees of Belton Independent School District (ISD) met for a special meeting on Monday night at the Career & Technology Education (CTE) Facility.
The meeting was called to order and trustees were treated to a meal of Cajun Pasta that was made in the Belton ISD Culinary Lab. While the trustees enjoyed their meal, they were to fill out index cards and list the three things they know about CTE programs. After their meal, they read off their cards and select items were discussed.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Deanna Lovesmith and Director of CTE, Amanda Necessary presented reports on the CTE programs and also informed trustees of what they need to know about the programs.
“Our students come in as freshman and fit into pathways. They then change their minds about what they chose,” said Necessary. “But, that is okay, because the principle programs are introductory.”
CTE has classes in the following; agriculture and manufacturing, business management, communication and information technology, construction and auto technology, hospitality and tourism, health science, public service, STEM, and computer science.
“Our teachers have the burden of learning industry standards. Our teachers do a wonderful job,” said Lovesmith. “Hats off to them! They do a phenomenal ob with our kids.”
The trustees had a chance to get some “hands on” experience of CTE has to offer on Monday night when they toured classes and participated in activities and projects that are taught to the students.
In the culinary lab, the trustees were given a recipe and ingredients and had 45 minutes to produce a White Chocolate Bread Pudding. As the teamed up in pairs they laughed and collaborated as they measured, poured and stirred. The instructor even reminded some of the “students” to remember to use the right measuring cup for liquids and solids.
“They (teachers) helped us experience what our students experience,” said Board of Trustees President Randy Pittenger.
When the trustees were finished with their cooking activities, they moved down the hall to Construction Trades to learn how to engrave a cutting board. The trustees sat at computers and configured where the etching would go on the cutting board. The computer operated the machine that engraved their projects and the trustees were able to go home with a customized wooden cutting board.
“Definitely a hands-on course, and hard to teach,” said Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon.
The trustees also had the chance to practice shooting some photography and editing their work with the Media Tech teacher. They each had a chance to pose for a photograph and to shoot one. They also posed for a group photograph.
“Students are so engaged. I see why our classes are so popular,” said Kincannon. “Providing the opportunities for kids to find their own niche.”
After the trustees were finished with their activities, they discussed what they learned from the meeting.
“We need to continue to upgrade our technology and software,” said Pittenger. “Technology is so amazing. All of the classes had some level of creativity.”