Kimberly, Menasha schools remodel construction and culinary classrooms

Claire Novin took her first construction course in the second semester of her junior year. She was “a little late to the game,” as she described it but still managed to fit in an apprenticeship and graduate from the architecture, construction and engineering academy at Kimberly High School

She may feel she was late to start her construction coursework, but Novin earned enough dual credit that she’ll be able to complete her time at Fox Valley Technical College in 2½ semesters rather than four. 

And at 18 years old, she already has two years of field experience.

“Me, personally, I like to be ahead of the game,” Novin said. 

Novin’s path is just one example of how high school students in Kimberly and across the Fox Valley are using career and technical education classes to efficiently experiment with future jobs and even earn some college credit.

Students try their hand at manual removal of concrete before moving on to mechanical options during a technical education class Oct. 11 at Kimberly High School.

Career and technical education, or CTE, is an umbrella term for classes, apprenticeships and other career-based learning opportunities that allow high school students to explore different industries. It includes opportunities such as welding, electric, early childhood and health care.

Less than 10 years ago, Kimberly High School remodeled its construction lab to create more classrooms, working spaces and bathrooms for female students. Interest in these classes has continued to grow, so another expansion is already in the works.