About half a dozen or more school buses were pulling into the driveway around the Galaxy Theatre on Tuesday, where eight grade students from 17 different middle schools were gathered, not just Porterville Unified School District schools, who waited to be admitted to the Galaxy Theatre for the annual Pathways presentations.
Students were excited and had dressed up for this special outing, and they were interested and enthusiastic about the available the Pathways programs.
In multiple theaters the students were shown videos introducing each Pathways Academy, and high school students would talk about their Pathways and why they were so unique, interesting and fun, as well as challenging, and why they would help students succeed.
The high school students said they’ve been in the middle school students’ shoes, and were nervous about giving presentations but were also excited.
"Our job is to guide you and help you find your perfect match in a Pathway, so you do what makes you feel better. Something that will help you in your life and promote your strengths," said a presenter.
The video for Porterville Military Academy showed their flight instruction school, female cadets inspecting an aircraft, instructors speaking about the aviation program at PMA where students can become a pilot and earn their pilot license. The school isn’t a boot camp, but they emphasize discipline and responsibility. Cadets can join the military, but the emphasis at PMA is learning leadership skills. The school motto is "Leaders Forged Here."
Cadets can learn to build and fly drones and planes and learn to pilot them. The school recently became a Department of Defense STARBASE STEM site.
The next video presentation was the Careers in Education Pathway. Various teachers and coaches spoke about the Pathways program saying teaching goes beyond the classroom. An intern spoke about learning about energy and sustainability at the Sequoia Riverlands Trust, and said, if you want to teach, join the ACE Pathway and educate the next generation. The lively video showed the various local preschools, kindergartens, and elementary schools, as well as coaches talking about education and learning to coach students.
Porterville High School students spoke about the Business and Finance Pathway and their credit union at PHS. They spoke about the professional environment in the Pathway, and learning about banking and accounting. They said if you love money, this Pathway is for you. You will learn how to make money, save money. There are also opportunities to visit colleges throughout the year. You will have a background in accounting, banking and insurance. And in PAB you will learn to manage money.
The Academy of Performing Arts at Harmony Magnet Academy video showed students talking about dancing, playing musical instruments, theater arts, and design. One of the high school students from HMA was able to start his own business.
There was a break in the video presentations and a high school student asked if the 8th grade students would like to talk about their impressions.
One middle school student enthusiastically said, "I'm interested in PMA, because I've always wanted to join the military."
Another student was interested in acting and the performing arts, and was excited about HMA.
"What interested me the most was the digital arts at HMA, because I've always made designs,” said another student.
Students were enthusiastic about Harmony Magnet Academy, and one said they always sang, and would love to be in a choir.
Gabe Hernandez at Galaxy Theatre said technology will help one do things one is passionate about. He spoke about using video technology, and using graphic design. He studied at MHS in the Multimedia and Technology Academy.
The video about the pathway for Environmental Science taught at PHS was shown and interns and retired Circle J-Norris Ranch lead teacher Nancy Bruce spoke about working at Circle J Ranch. Learning about the ecosystem, diversity, animals, flora, fauna, and the careers are wide open said a young woman. ESA offers field trips and hands-on activities and internships. If you have a scientific mind this is the pathway for you, said a high school student.
A video about Digital Electronics at Harmony Magnet Academy was shown. While attending the Academy of Engineering at HMA, students can attend classes at Strathmore High School and they’re not required to only study engineering. The Pathways offer fluidity in course work, or linked learning. A female junior student in the integrated manufacturing class said, “I encourage you today to enter the Academy of Engineering, We’d like to see more girls enter this pathway.”
All of the high school students in various academies were trying to sell their ideas. The students of the Porterville High School Health Sciences said in the academy they learn to help others, especially during disasters, or any emergency. They all said to not be afraid to help.
At Monache High, the Manufacturing and Construction Technology Academy students said their projects were real world projects. They learn welding, building, and to read blueprints. They learn about architecture, construction and woodworking.
AERO at Porterville High is the Academy of Energy and Resource Occupations where students learn about engineering, construction, and automotive engineering. When students leave the academy they already have certifications and training to go out into local businesses. They learn about solar energy and technology and other alternative energy uses.
The Academy of Hospitality at Monache covers both Culinary and Travel, so there are two separate areas. There are opportunities to earn a food management certification with hands-on cooking experience. One of the students said she enjoyed learning how to cook food from different cultures, and said the academy offered work experience and real life skills. In hospitality area one learns to work with people and there are many field trips.
The Monache Multimedia and Technology Academy students spoke about learning social skills and graphic arts, and said they were pursuing things they were passionate about. Creativity through media, but it’s also a lot of hard work, they said. They said they learn about making videos, but also learn how to work together and be involved with other people.
The Law and Justice Academy at Granite Hills allows students to learn about law enforcement and dealing with the law. They learn about people, and how to handle them. They also learn to think and analyze, and help others. They learn to work with local professionals in the community, and help solve crimes. Students will work with the Porterville Police Department and will learn about forensics.
GHHS is the first high school in California to get its own Law and Justice and Ethics Center.