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Ground breaks for new Rigby High School Career Technical Education Center

RIGBY, Idaho (KIFI) - After a grant allowed Jefferson School District 251 to build a Career Technical Education outside of Rigby High School, the process of getting the ground ready for a groundbreaking was underway.

On Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held. Everyone involved with the CTE program at Rigby High School shared the excitement they had.

"It's exciting to see the work and a good community come. In other words, partnerships and legislative support to administrate, and give support in a community need to be able to fill those needs for our students that are coming in the future," Lex Godfrey, a teacher in the CTE program at Rigby High School said.

"Everybody's pretty excited about the building because we are crowded in our shop, like, in our shop and even just in our regular classrooms. and with that crowd noise, it's really hard to individualize learning for some of those kids who need it most. And I think that they're super excited to be able to weld more and have bigger projects," Kayda Hickman a student at the school said.

"I'm pretty excited for, like, the different opportunities we're going to get. And it's gonna you're gonna have a lot more classes and a lot more stuff to learn some more," Dylan Waldron a student at the school said.

"We are talking about preparing and developing kids. But ultimately, what do these kids do when they leave high school? They take jobs in the local community. They become the community leaders. They go on to build and develop themselves, and then they contribute back. And I'm so proud of everything that's happening here in Rigby, and we're so excited to be a part of it," State Superintendent Debbie Critchfield said.

"We're excited that they're here today. And and you know, it. What it does is it promotes, ongoing careers and also is up to the launch program, a lot of these kids and auto mechanics and welding, we'll take advantage of the launch program," Idaho Representative Ron Furniss said.

Lex Godfrey said in 2016, the welding class had only three students. Now, they unfortunately have to turn students away.

"This year we're, we're going to have over 20 sections. And for that, we don't have phase space to fill. And so the that need auto is saying similar and CNA is seeing similar. Our robotics and computer-aided drafting programs are seeing similar. So to be able to have a place to hold those and then expand in the cybersecurity, what could be better to fill a need and drive our economy forward?" Godfrey said.

Superintendent Critchfield says her goal is to see career technical education opportunities expand more statewide as well.

"We wanted to have this play out in communities all across Idaho. Whether you're in rural Idaho or not, I think it means something really special in some of our smaller communities outside of the Boise area to see these types of facilities. Either we expand or youth programs come into existence. Because we're talking about kids, we're developing kids, we're increasing their skills and their knowledge of how to make them successful," Critchfield said.

Representative Furniss was a part of the creation of the grant legislation that allowed for this building to become a reality. He says that he hopes this will motivate more students in the future.

"It just motivates them to move on and look at careers where maybe they didn't have hope before that they could go to college or trade. Now they can if they'll just try a little bit harder, they can get there and they'll be productive and stay in Idaho and be productive in Idaho," Representative Furniss said.

Students said it means a lot to them to see these teachers embrace bettering their education.

"When, Mr. Godfrey first told us about, he, got pretty emotional, and it was like, shows us how much he means. And, it's pretty awesome for, like, even just, like, not people in Rigby, but for this small town, Rigby to get this big of a project going on. So it's going to be pretty sweet," Waldron said.

"I've been here with my ag advisors, Mr. Godfrey, Mr. Hale, Miss Sanders, and Miss Graham until 10:00, 11 at night, working on who knows what, all sorts of different FFA events and, just seeing that their passion for teaching and knowing that they truly care about each of us individually is super eye-opening," Hickman said.

The new building will be ready for students around Memorial Day of next year.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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