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Comments from Carrigan Instructors About the Value of Career Education

Comments from Carrigan Instructors About the Value of Career Education


“Almost every collision repair shop in Wichita Falls employs technicians who got their start at Carrigan Career Center.”

--David Boller, Automotive Collision Technology instructor


“One hundred percent of my kids get certified in AWS Code Welding, either 9.1 (quarter inch plate) or 1.1 (structural steel).” – Gary Cunningham, welding instructor, 2016 WFISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and and 2016 Region 9 Secondary Teacher of the Year


Jessica Crosby’s students are required to take two challenging state-administered tests to receive their cosmetology license. Even though the state pass rate for the harder, written cosmetology exam is less than 57 percent, all of Ms. Crosby’s students passed it this year. Last year, more than 90 percent also passed this most difficult part of the exam. Cosmetology instructor Jessica Crosby is a 2015 West Teaching Excellence Award Winner


“I have had lots of kids come into this (welding) class who say they aren’t going to college, but end up going to college. I do a mid-year report with kids. We sit down together. I ask, ‘Where are you planning to go? What’s holding you back from being successful?’” – Gary Cunningham, welding instructor


“A young lady moved to Wichita Falls about six years ago. She didn’t know any English when she arrived but soon learned it. She excelled in high school, earning a 4.0 grade point average. She will be the first in her family to attend college. She could have chosen to do anything in high school but she chose cosmetology. When she traveled to the metroplex to take her cosmetology certification exam, she returned home without taking the test because she didn’t have a government- or school-issued ID with the proper requirements on it. She wanted to quit. She called me and was so upset with herself. I told her she was almost done. It was just a small bump in the road, and she would get past it.


“She returned to school on Monday with her head up. She had a school ID made with the proper requirements. She went back to the metroplex, took the test, and passed. She is now a licensed cosmetologist. I recently got a message from her that said, ‘I wanted to thank you for everything you did for me. I appreciate it more than anything in this world. If it weren’t for you having so much patience with me, I would not be a licensed cosmetologist. I miss you and the class. Thank you so much, Ms. Crosby.’”

         --Jessica Crosby, Carrigan Career Center, grades 11-12 Cosmetology

“Career programs allow kids to test out their career ideas. Is that what I want to do? Do I love it? Do I hate it? Or is it something I could just do on the side for the rest of my life? Or could it be a hobby? All kids need this certainty.”

         --Gary Cunningham, welding instructor


“I’ll get kids who come to my classroom and rebel at the prospect of sitting at at a desk for awhile. They say, ‘I don’t want to do classroom work.’ I say, ‘OK. Go out and set the welder up on reverse polarity with low hydrogen rod with a 3G.’ They just look at me. I tell them, ‘You have to learn the language.’”

         --Cary Cunningham, welding instructor