Student craftsmanship impresses state legislators

Garland ISD recently made its mark on the state capitol through an impressive showing of Career and Technical Education. Students, teachers, board members and Interim Superintendent Deborah Cron gifted handcrafted clocks to state legislators as part of the Garland Chamber of Commerce Legislative Day Feb. 15.

Every other year when the Texas Legislature convenes, the Garland Chamber of Commerce organizes a trip to Austin for community members, business leaders, city employees and school district staff. Participants get the opportunity to meet with representatives and senators regarding legislative priorities. The GISD Board of Trustees approved five priorities in February, including adequate, equitable school district funding; increased support for student performance; a clear, growth-focused accountability system; a strong, viable Texas Teacher Retirement System; and flexibility for school districts.

Since GISD will open its new Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center (GRCTC) this year, the district was asked to showcase its Career and Technical Education during this year’s Legislative Day visit. Students and staff from three high schools collaborated to build the commemorative clocks. Precision metal manufacturing classes at Garland High School used an industry-revered CNC machine to mill the state seal on the clock face. Construction classes at Naaman Forest High School also created medallions that highlighted the partnership between the Garland Chamber, City of Garland and GISD. Manufacturing classes at North Garland High School turned planks of wood into beautiful clock cabinets complete with crown molding bases.

On Feb. 15, Representatives Cindy Burkett, Angie Chen Button, Linda Koop and Victoria Neave, as well as Senators Bob Hall and Don Huffines, received the gifts along with an invitation to visit the GRCTC. Each one marveled at the exceptional craftsmanship and skill.

North Garland students Amanda Beatriz Gonzalez, Jay Chauhan and Alex Santana accepted their accolades in person as they accompanied the clocks to Austin with teachers Marcus Myers and Bob Robinette.