The CEC enters its sixth year at WFISD


Lenia Lange

The CEC enters it’s sixth year of teaching students, like Lawson Owens, technical skills for future careers.

The Career and Education Center enters its sixth year as a staple and major success factor for WFISD and continues to assist students with their education and future career paths. For many students the CEC is a vital part of their schedules through a school day.

The administration and staff at the career center work hard to maintain the reputation of the CEC while making sure students receive the best education possible.

Many staff love the work environment and opportunities that come with being a part of the CEC. Principal of the CEC, Synthia Kirby is an essential part of staff and has been successfully working at the CEC for six years.

“I was fortunate enough to get to be the principal for the entire time the CEC has been open,” Kirby said.“I was the principal at the other career center, it was called Carrigan and I was the principal over there for four years.” 

The CEC has around 1,300-1,400 students from each school district who spend their time at the CEC.  At the height of Covid-19, the CEC administration did not see much of a change in their numbers.

During the remote school year we were at about 1,300,” Assistant Principal Jennifer Spurgers said.“ We did have some classes that were required by TEA to be held face to face, the district allowed for students to come physically to those classes only and attend the rest of their classes remotely.”

The CEC is planning for many exciting events for students and staff to look forward to. The staff is exceptionally proud of the events that the CEC hosts each year.

“ We have our CTE certification ceremony,” Kirby said.“ One of our big events is the career job fair which we do every year.”     

The CEC has over twenty different career classes to enroll in for all different types of students, however some career pathways are more popular than others.

 “ We have a couple of programs that are a little small,” Kirby said. “We would like to try to focus on and really build those classes up. Plumbing and physical therapy/occupational therapy are two of the smaller programs we offer at the CEC and the larger programs include welding, cosmetology, and culinary arts.”

A number of students who enroll into CEC classes move forward with their education and continue successful careers right out of high school.

“ It is amazing seeing our former students in doctor’s offices, salons, mechanic shops,” Spurgers said.“ It is humbling to realize that we helped give students a start in a career field that enables them to grow and take care of themselves in the future.”

The staff is really proud of the students and their accomplishments they achieve with the help of the CEC.

 “My greatest accomplishments are the student’s accomplishments because that’s really why we’re here is to see the students succeed, “Kirby said.“ especially for this building here it’s a lot about certifications and licenses. We do have some students that are really pretty successful there and then get to go to state competitions.”

The CEC is a big part of education for many students who know what profession they want to take up,  but it may be a little intimidating if you don’t know what career you want to pursue in the future.

The CEC gives you a chance to try something new,” Spurgers said. “ I think sometimes students are worried they won’t like it. Sometimes discovering things you don’t like is just as important as discovering the things you do.”