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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 27, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 27, 2016

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Ji- + A day in the life of a Livestock Show Queen - Page 1C Hays Free Press January 27, 2016 Page 3B l BY MOSES LEOS III Hays CISD's process of pinpointing a location for a potential third high school took its first steps Thursday during a public forum on the matter. While a possible May 2017 bond hasn't been fully discussed, Hays CISD public information officer Tim Savoy said knowing the location could help voters decide whether they will support a bond. "If you're going to vote on a project as large as a high school, then knowing where that high school is going to be built is important for voters when they make a deci- sion next year," Savoy said Thursday. Savoy said the district's site selection committee, which began discussions in November 2015, plans to give the school board its recommendation by Feb. 2. The committee, which consists of 21 individu- als, will whittle down the district's four options on where the high school could go. All four options are parcels of property currently owned by the school district. The parcels fit within criteria set by the district, which includes a minimum 80 acres of space. Hays CISD's path toward a potential third high school comes as the district anticipates an influx of students over the next few years. "It's not the school board that makes the decision to build a high school ... That's you." -Tim Savoy, HCISD public information officer The district projects more than 6,400 high school students within Hays CISD by 2020. Talk of a third high school was discussed dur- ing the district's last bond election in 2014. At the time, the district's bond capacity was only $70 million. Savoy said a new high school could cost the district roughly $100 million. Several factors, includ- ing growth in the district and paying off older debt, allowed Hays CISD to move forward with a pos- sible May 2017 bond. Savoy said a bond com- mittee will begin in the summer or fall 2016 and will assess what ~ go into the bond. Along with a third high school, the committee will also look into two to three more elementary schools and possibly a seventh middle school. According to Savoy, the faster the district starts on preliminary site work could lead to a faster time mobility would be "pie to construction, if the in the sky," according to bond is approved. The Lahmon. district hopes to open the "Putting a high school new high school by 2019. out there versus that "It's not the school traffic pattern, I don't see board that makes the that as a good marriage," decision to build a high Lahmon said. school," Savoy told resi- Buda resident Dave dents in attendance at the Ballinger believed it meeting. "That's you." would "make sense" to Kyle resident John l_ah- put a high school on the mon, who is a Hays CISD northwest side of the bus driver, was concerned district. about one of the four Ballinger also under- location options and the stood possible traffic traffic it could bring to issues, but said that traffic the FM 1626 and FM 967 was "already horrible" and intersection, that he didn't see it affect- Lahmon said he hears ing traffic "that much." about accidents along FM "If you do build a new 967 on the radio, where high school, whether you the district asks drivers to have to widen a road, that reroute; that change can may be something that be a challenge, has to happen. No matter Improvements at the where it's built," Ballinger intersection to upgrade said. BY PAIGE LAMBERT Hays Free Press Reporter Gabriella Ortegon opened the door to her biomedi- cal class at Hays High School and saw a crime scene strewn all over the room. Over the next few weeks, the class used the fake scene to work towards certifications in the Career Technical and Engineering program. The program allows high school students to obtain career-focused certifications while work- ing on a diploma. The courses provide real life experience and training to fully operate in their chosen field, whether it is welding or cosmetology. "It was exciting for me because it was such a hands on class and that's something I benefit from," Ortegon, Hays High sophomore, said. Within three years the program has jumped from 11 certifications to 1,916, CTE director Suzie Mitchell said. She said the program skyrocketed because the district realized students aren't always going straight to college. "We are trying to make sure everyone walks out of here college and/or ca- reer ready," Mitchell said. The district has ex- panded the program in many facets. Mitchell said the school board has allotted $35,000 for ad- vancements and to help levy the cost of certifica- tion tests. The bond passed in. 2014 also included funding for a welding shop at Lehman, which is planned to open in August, she said. The shop will bring all of Hays certification options to Lehman, except auto mechanics. Miranda Elise, who will teach medical billing and coding next year, said she has seen students from other districts suc- ceed with certifications PHOTO BY PAIGE LAMBERT Above, students in the cosmetology program wash their mannequins hair after a practicum in the Hair by Hays facility. Hair by Hays functions as the programs in house business and teaches students the ins and outs of a salon. Below, students work on welding techniques leading to receiving a Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration certification. obtained during high school. "Bight out of school they can have a career when a lot of these kids are still figuring out if they want to do college," Elise said. "Plus, with the medical field you are al- ways going to have work." Students get a chance to examine every aspect of a career they are inter- ested in. The cosmetol- ogy program functions as a real salon and the students manage the bulk of it, said Hair by Hays instructor Gabriel Lopez. "They not only learn the business behind the chair, but the marketing and retail side of it too, to help increase their pay checks," Lopez said. "The more things you know, the more you can help your clients." The certifications not only give students a foot in the door for a career but also help them find a better paying job while in college, Mitchell said. '~ lot of them want to go to college, but this will give them a career to pay for it," Mitchell said. "They can make $25 an hour instead of minimum wage because they have a certification." The biomedical courses cumulate with Advanced Placement tests as well. The tests result in college credit in addition to any certifica- tions they get. The program is project- ed to grow by 20 percent next year and introduce more certifications, Mitchell said. Whether students are preparing for years of col- lege or want an alterna- tive route to success, the program will propel them in the right direction, she said. "I'm using this as a preparation class to go into college and get more into the field and pediat- rics," Ortegon said. "But say I didn't want to be a pediatrician, I'll have another idea of what I could do." Booster Club. The show Hays ClSD is open to all who would Annual Talent like to audition. All students and adults are encouraged to audition. Go online to register at On March 3 at 7 haysrebelchoir.weebly. p.m., join HCISD at com by Feb. 12 to the PAC in Kyle for the audition. Auditions will annual HCISD talent be held Feb. 18 at 4:30 show. Admission is $5 p.m. in the Hays High for adults and $3 for School music building. kids. This is an annual For more information, fundraiser for the Hays contact TinaValdez at High School Choir 512-968-9914. PHOTO BY JIM CULLEN SUBMITTED REPORT taken to reach that point. This is the case So many times we do for Lehman High School not have the time or op- band senior Madison portunity to appreciate Batman. Being a mem- or acknowledge a stu- ber of a Texas All-State dent who is the "runner Ensemble is the highest up" or the "alternate" honor a Texas music since they did not get to student can receive. On stand on the podium, the weekend of Jan. 9 receive a medal or during the TMEA Area participate in the final Auditions, which were activity. 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