CHS occupation programs influence students’ futures

While all CHS students intending to graduate have to take A-G requirements and master standards such as finding parameters in a linear or exponential function, or knowing that cells divide to increase their numbers through the process of mitosis, some students choose to study elective classes that influence a desired profession.

Students have an option of taking Regional Occupational Program courses, which give specialized training in entry-level job abilities or advanced training for college entrance.

CHS counselor Jeff Schatz claims ROP classes are the best way to gain specific skills that will be respected by employers.

“For careers, ROP classes are the best because they give you the hands on down-and-dirty of what the career is actually like before you go on to college to do the four year gig,” Schatz says.

One ROP course particularly popular among CHS students is Paul McFarlin’s Auto Shop.

Andrew Good, a senior in his second year of Auto Shop, hopes to design automotive systems and work on the engineering side of car engines in the future. Good notes that the class has taught him how to fix cars, which can save a great deal of money, and it has allowed students to work on various hands-on projects.

“It’s different from writing out equations,” Good says. “You’re really trying to figure out how all these pieces fit together. It’s almost like a giant Lego kit.”

Graphic Design, Video Production and Engineering are some more ROP-approved classes where CHS students have developed interests worthy enough to influence their futures.

Behind slick Mac projectors in CHS Graphic Design, senior Dani Garello has found a passion for Adobe Photoshop and its connection to marketing, a field she expects to study in college.

“Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator have taught me skills on how to produce advertisements,” Garello says. “We analyze texts and fonts, stuff that can persuade buyers for a certain market.”

Garello hopes to use the techniques she has learned in Graphic Design to pursue a career in advertising or communication.

At a more trigonometric level, Jonathan O’Grady, a senior in CHS Engineering, is already committed to the Colorado School of Mines, where he will study engineering.

O’Grady discusses how McFarlin has taught the class how the process of designing works and how an engineer comes up with an idea and draws it on paper. He claims the class has helped with learning how to use a series of different tools and how to sketch proportions, and he hopes to center his future job on anything related to engineering.

In the green room, senior Jason Clarke, currently in Video II, hopes to take Film and Television Production in college in order to find an occupation in the film industry linked to a production level job or related to direction.

“We’re lucky to have the program that we have because it enables us to work freely with other kids and take on bigger projects, and it really prepares you for college,” Clarke says about Video Production at CHS.

Some classes not necessarily categorized as ROP programs, such as electives like AP Computer Science, have also influenced students’ targets in life. In the intense computer science world of Javascript, booleans, integers and string literals, junior Harrison Whitaker has set some impressive goals for himself.

Whitaker, a CHS Robotics Club member, hopes to take some high-level programming and general robotic classes in college in order to create the next generation of advanced robots. He is eyeing dream jobs at companies such as Boston Dynamics, SpaceX or even Google.

Whitaker comments that AP Computer Science at CHS has taught him the fundamental applications of Java, which is one of the most widely-used programming languages in the industry.

“Computer science will help me found my career,” Whitaker claims.

Also in instructor Tom Clifford’s computer lab, senior Merekeleni Senivota hopes to use the her AP Computer Science skills to enter the coding business during and after college. She asserts that learning about Java has been the most useful tool.

“What Clifford has been doing so far has been really helpful, and I’ve learned a lot,” Senivota says.

All ROP classes are available to students in grades ten and up, and CHS has a wide range of electives tailored towards real-life applications.
-Daniel Orlov

Senior Andrew Good enhances a BMW E30 in Auto Shop. Good says the class gives students all the tools to work on various automotive-themed projects.

Senior Andrew Good enhances a BMW E30 in Auto Shop. Good says the class gives students all the tools to work on various automotive-themed projects.