Repeating high school isn't on many people's wish lists, but that was a sentiment often heard on Oxnard Leadership '23's Education Day in April. The day began at Oxnard Union High School District (OHUSD) headquarters with Superintendent Tom McCoy and visits to Hueneme High School, Oxnard College, Local 805 Carpenters Union, and Del Sol High School. The day was coordinated by Leadership '22 alum Teodoro Lopez, OUHSD's Web & Multimedia Coordinator, who wanted to highlight the career-focused learning opportunities available from K-12 and beyond.
Lopez collaborated with OHUSD's Monica Phillippe, Director of Career Education, and Teresa Telles, Coordinator of Work Based Learning, to craft the morning agenda. After a welcome and review of the district's mission and goals from Superintendent Tom McCoy, Phillipe and Telles gave an overview of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, which range from Building & Construction to Business & Finance, and highlighted industry partners like the Port of Hueneme and St. John's Hospitals.
Telles then moderated a panel discussion focused on career education with Marisol Guillen from Hueneme Elementary School District, Marty McGrady from Ventura County Office of Education, Wanda Kelly from Rio School District, Beth Harris from Pleasant Valley School District, and Brenda Bravo from Hueneme High School. The highlight of the morning was visiting Hueneme High School for a student-led tour of the CTE programs. Students shared why they chose that particular program, what they were learning, and their career goals.
A visit to Oxnard College kicked off with Acting President Oscar Cobian. Leadership '23 learned about their top programs, such as Fire Academy, Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management, and Dental programs, and their two-year PACE (Program for Accelerated College Education) courses for working adults. An overview of financial aid services was eye-opening after learning that some students could receive upwards of $15,000 cash that can be used for school, living expenses and more.
Next the group met with Anthony Ventura and Pedro Toscano at the training center for Southwest Carpenters Local 805. They partner with CTE programs at OHUSD and other districts to offer career certifications or apprenticeships for young people seeking a career in construction. Earlier in the day, Philippe had identified that construction, medical and IT are the top three in-demand industries in Ventura County.
The final stop was a hardhat tour of Del Sol High School where they met with Principal Terri Leon. It was impressive to get a sneak peek at what students will experience and hear firsthand how quickly things will come together before the school opens in August. Leadership '23 was reassured several times throughout the day that the school will open on time.
A huge thank you to everyone who lent their time and expertise during this session!