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Hallsville ISD, industry reps celebrate CTE programs

By Bridget Ortigo
Dec. 27, 2017 at 4 a.m.

Hallsville High School culinary arts students Aischa Jackson, left, Jayden Wellman, center and Corbyn Muse, back, serve food to guests Dec. 19 during Hallsville ISD's annual Career and Technology Education  Advisory Luncheon honoring its industry and business partners.

East Texas business and industry leaders gathered at Hallsville High School on Dec. 19 to be honored by the district's Career and Technology Education students and staff during its annual CTE Advisory Luncheon.

Representatives from Longview Regional Medical Center, Texas Eastman Chemical Co., LeTourneau University, Kilgore College, Pegues Hurst Ford Motor Co. and Drake Real Estate, who all partner with the district to serve on its CTE advisory council, heard a state of the program address and also received thanks for their support.

"It really takes a village," Hallsville ISD CTE Director Kathy Gaw said. "We can't do what we do in our CTE department if we don't know what the community is wanting and needing and that's where our council comes in."

Gaw said the district's CTE programs, such as its agriculture, culinary arts, floral design, process technology, aviation and medical terminology programs, benefit from practicum courses that allow the students to gain first hand experience outside of the classroom.

"We look to our local businesses and industries to see the current trends, that's how we came up with the process technology program with Eastman and Kilgore College," she said. "They tell us what programs are truly needed here locally."

The district's aviation program in conjunction with LeTourneau University is one of its newest programs and the culinary arts program recently received an update this year with a new instructor, uniforms and curriculum focus.

"This year one of our students designed new uniforms so we can all have that clean, professional look and we are focusing more on taking culinary arts away from the traditional home ec course and switching to a more industry driven curriculum so we can prepare our students for the workforce," Hallsville High School culinary arts instructor Jordan Hallum said.

"We are focusing on farm to table, making things from scratch and focusing on current trends in the industry. If we prepare our students for the workforce, they can become more career driven and use culinary arts to become anything from a traditional chef to managing the front of the house at a restaurant."

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