Lindbergh expands career and technical education opportunities

District offers five career/tech education programs

Lindbergh expands career and technical education opportunities

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Career and technical education opportunities and programming were presented to the Lindbergh Board of Education May 19.

The presentation was given by Executive Director of Secondary Education Ronni Zagora. Zagora said students often only know about careers that people they know have, and their opinions are often based on if those people like their jobs. She said a large portion of Lindbergh’s efforts are in creating career awareness for students to see those jobs they normally wouldn’t. 

Zagora said some of the top concerns for employers in St. Louis include work habits, industry knowledge and general skills needed for any field.

“That’s what we’re really focusing on. Whatever career path a student is going into, giving them that experience in middle and high school that prepares them to be successful,” Zagora said.  

There are five certified CTE programs in Missouri — business, marketing, health science, engineering and family and consumer sciences. Lindbergh currently features all five of the programs and Zagora said each one is popular attendance-wise. The state may approve teaching programs as certified courses, and Lindbergh is set to add an aviation program this year — another program which could be certified.

The new aviation course surpassed the district’s popularity expectations. It originally estimated 15 students in the course, but 70 have signed up. Zagora said if students finish aviation one and two, they will receive a drone pilot’s license.

“Whether our kids are college-bound or not, that is a skill in high demand right now,” Zagora said.

After the addition of the health sciences program in 2017, the district combined its multiple career advisory councils into one overarching committee. Zagora said the council features business owners, administrators, teachers and students. 

In 2019-2020, the district implemented a program called the Pathway for Teachers —  funded by a grant from the state — although the program has been on hold due to the pandemic. The program features quarterly site-visits to different businesses to allow teachers to ask questions and prepare plans to teach students career-readiness.

Zagora said in the future the district will try to add more work-based learning, middle school career exposure and opportunities for staff to enhance career awareness.