Story by Rebekah Street 

Photos by Maddie Mason & Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick

CATE opens its doors for another year of furthering students’ career educations.

Whether it’s Veterinary Science or Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Service or Law Enforcement, the CATE Center has a program to suit students’ aspiring career fields.

The programs are unique to District 5, as are the opportunities.

“These are specialized areas,” guidance counselor Laura Dilworth said.“For example, a student that might want to become a chef, they have culinary arts over there, with the industrial style kitchen and everything like you would see in a restaurant.”

Veterinary Science students have the opportunity to work with various species of animals such as horses, goats and birds. Automotive Service students work on cars in their classrooms.

Every program offered at the center allows for students to have tactical experience in their selected field.

“I think it’s a really cool program, and gives kids a lot of opportunities,” senior Riley Gillam said. “And with the certifications, you can go out of high school and immediately go into your field, which is nifty.”

Besides the hands-on opportunities, the center also allows students who complete their selected program to receive a certification pertaining to that field of work.

For example, students graduating from the Emergency and Fire Management program can receive a certification enabling them to leave high school as certified fire fighters.

“The career opportunities that seem to apply to me are in the field of law, and I do believe I am getting a greater chance at reaching a career I want in law enforcement,” senior James Klinger said. “Only because the instructors there are tied closely to everything involving law. It’s nice to be in a place that offers so much and also gives just as much.”

The teachers at CATE not only have teaching degrees, but also degrees in that field of study which enables them to teach their students what to expect in that career field.

“Personally I enjoy the teachers and the actual fields of study they come from. They are more in tune with the students and people around them,” James said.

CATE currently offers 17 different programs.

“They have programs that aren’t at any of the other high schools. They’re unique and they’re technical study courses,” Dilworth said. “Some of these courses will lead into doing a third year internship type course.”

This allows the students to experience the job they hope to one day achieve firsthand.

“The CATE Center is a brand new building,” Dilworth said, “a state of the art building.”

While it has not been around for long, only a short three years, the center has already made an impact on students’ lives and choices. As the CATE Center dives into its fourth year, more and more students will have more of an advantage compared to students who just attend a regular high school.

“It’s made me feel better about where I want to go and what to be,” Riley said. “And shows me the steps to get there.”