Alamosa High School students ready to become CNAs
First cohort in Career Technical Education Program ready for state exam
IT’S a fabulous group photo taken by Andy Lavier, Principal at Alamosa High School. The kind you frame and hang on the wall, and then as you grow old you look back and remember the time when you were in it – the first class to complete enough hours to become Certified Nursing Assistants while in high school.
There are 13 students in the photograph, along with and school nurse and teacher Kristi Hillis. The students pictured are 1st Row left to right: Hiral Patel, Mica Raya, Kayla Medina, Kailyn Vigil, Delia Pablo; 2nd Row: Mayra Cristobal, Lia Castillo, Ariel Vigil, Skyler Cerny, Antonia Jimenez-Gonzalez; 3rd Row: Aracely Pedro Pablo, Ben Jackson, Jacqueline Gonzalez, Kristi Hillis.
Not in the photo are Angelica Chacon, Jada Pinto, Sara Salas, and Lila Velasquez, but that doesn’t diminish the significance of their achievements.
“This first cohort will always have a special place in my heart,” said Hillis. “They helped get the program off the ground. They named our ‘patients’ in our lab. They are Maryann and Fred. They will all make great CNA’s and those who choose to go on will make great nurses or healthcare workers.”
Once they pass the CNA exam they can work in a nursing home, hospital, home health or a clinic setting – all fields in need of fresh, aspiring confident faces.
The program speaks to the seriousness of Lavier and the teachers and staff at AHS to develop Career Technical Education certification programs as additional options post high school.
“Principal Lavier is always looking for ways to expand our student course choices,” Hillis said. “The CNA course has added to the CTE program. This gives students the opportunity to have a skill where they can join the workforce.”
The class is a semester long and students are required to have 75 hours – 59 classroom and 16 clinical hours. In the coming weeks this first class will take their CNA board exams and upon successful passage will be official Certified Nursing Assistants who can begin working in the career field.
Some of the students have expressed interest in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing to advance their education and training. Whether they do or not, they are career-ready coming out of Alamosa High School.
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