On Tuesday evening, the auditorium at Tampa Bay Technical High School was filled with excitement to celebrate Hillsborough County Public School’s Career and Technical Education programs. With over 600,000 thousand people entering the workforce in the month of June alone, there has never been a better time to learn a trade, improve skills, and celebrate vocational education in this country.
At Tampa Bay Technical High School, Superintendent Jeff Eakins was joined on stage with many education supporters, including President Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Florida State Governor Rick Scott, Congressman Gus Michael Bilirakis, and Tampa Bay Technical High School’s Principal Michael Ippolitio. Guests watched the President sign a copy of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which will provide more than one billion dollars in grants for career and technical education programs.
The President signed a copy of the Act and gifted it to Tampa Bay Technical High School, a school with 18 career and technical education programs. Tampa Bay Technical High School earned the district’s highest graduation rate last year at 97.6%. However, the real highlight of the evening was then Tampa Bay Technical High School’s 2014 Graduate, David Thompson, and senior Isabella Cruz shared their success stories.
David credits his time at Tampa Bay Technical High School and welding teacher for changing his life. David says the guidance and support he received in high school gave him the edge he needed to succeed in the workforce. He even had a job as a welder prior to graduation. Today, as a pipe welder, he continues to excel in an industry that allows him to travel all over the country. He impressed the crowd when he shared that his hands-on training and education has earned him a six figure salary.
“I am speechless over the opportunity Tampa Bay Tech gave me. I think I am doing pretty good for myself. A lot of people in my industry wish they had the educational opportunity I had, and for free!” said David.
Isabella Cruz is entering her senior year at Tampa Bay Technical High School with a GPA of 5.8. She is building a bright future with a focus on architecture and engineering, she got a laugh from the audience when she shared with the President that she too is a President, the President of the American Institute of Architecture Students at her school.
Isabella was inspired to study architecture when she saw her visions come to life on paper. Her time at Tampa Bay Tech has motivated her to explore chemical engineering, with plans to take an AP Chemistry this year. Isabella plans to go to college after graduation and credits Tampa Bay Tech for opening her eyes to a variety of programs.
“I was excited to be on stage with the President and share with him how important the school is–- allowing students to enroll into programs in areas they are passionate about and taking that with them into their future,” said Isabella.
Tampa Bay Technical High School’s Principal, Michael Ippolito, is proud of the opportunity that was provided for his school and students. For over two decades, he has been encouraging his students to always be life-long learners and reminds them strive to be the best they can be.
The district welcomed the opportunity to share this information and celebrate the success of its students and schools with President Trump, as it has with many national, state, and local elected officials in years past.
Fast Facts about Hillsborough County Public School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs: