Sherman High School Careers and Technology Education Program Director Jennifer Kelly said she was "quite impressed" with the more than 250 students of all grade levels who attended the program’s first-ever CTE Career Expo Wednesday.

Sherman High School Careers and Technology Education Program Director Jennifer Kelly said she was "quite impressed" with the more than 250 students of all grade levels who attended the program’s first-ever CTE Career Expo Wednesday.


Kelly said the event was "not necessarily a job fair but more of a career expo, so students could have exposure to business and industry, and local business and industry can make a connection to what we’re offering here at the high school.


"All of the CTE teachers were here representing their programs, so they could make partnerships with each business. It went very well. We had several partners say they’d love to come back and work some more with the students."


Kelly said the event’s focus was on helping students make the connection between career skills classes they can take and certifications and experience employers look for. Kelly said the career fair let employers talk about those concrete qualifications directly with the future young professionals.


Taylor Hart, a senior Bearcat who attended the career expo and helped Kelly set up the partners’ booths, said, "It was really cool to see the different types of business and things that you can do."


Hart said she has several friends who plan on attending Grayson College after graduating with the aim of earning a certifications in mechanics, agriculture or culinary arts. The CTE program, in general, she said, and Kelly’s career expo helped them understand the path to achieving their professional aspirations.


Hart said some of the most active booths at the fair were the employers highlighting high-tech career opportunities. "They had a lot of technology, because, of course, us teenagers are the most into technology," Hart said. She said her own interest was most piqued by a local graphic design firm.


Hart said the career-oriented focus of the CTE program has opened her eyes to the connections between education and professional success at every level.


"I’m also a ninth grade mentor," Hart said, "and we did activities about goals this week, so I had each one of them write down some goals they have and then turn it into a kind of story. A lot of them were things like nursing, designing video games, computer science. … It all goes back to CTE, and it’s awesome that they can get a head start."


Kelly said she looks forward to bringing the pioneering event back to SHS next year.