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Sioux Falls' CTE Academy Growing

September 1, 2012, 10:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Sioux Falls' CTE Academy Growing

The Sioux Falls School District's Career and Technical Education Academy is growing in popularity. Enrollment jumped again this year by more than 150 students.

Donning white coats and hats, CTE students are cooking up some tasty lessons.

"In this class they learn all the basics from safety and sanitation to how to properly use the knives and all the equipment you see in the kitchens," culinary arts and restaurant management teacher Megan Jaquet said.

This year more students are trying their hand at fine cuisine.

"I think with the popularity of TV shows such as Iron Chef and some of the culinary competitions and things with all the restaurants we have in Sioux Falls, we know it's a high demand area and a lot of these students could get employed in that area," principal Jim Kayl said.

But, Kayl says it's not just the kitchen that's attracting students. Other programs, like bio-med and engineering are also popular.

So far this year, enrollment is at 750 students, up 150 from last semester.

"Numbers are up and we're getting great students," Kayl said.

A culinary arts class at CTE allows students to learn while doing. It's that hands on experience that one student says is what brought her to CTE.

"I know I want to go into cooking and baking products. I don't know if I should open my store or what I should do, it's up in the air still," senior Katie Fiegen said.

Fiegen drives 30 minutes from Garretson for class. While she's undecided in a future career, she knows this is the best way to decide.

And Jaquet says it also opens doors and shows students all aspects of their prospective career.

"I think the students realize how much it helps them in their future, getting careers in the industry. When they go out into those jobs, that's exactly what they're going to learn in the classroom," Jaquet said.

Kayl says they've had to add a full time teacher to their bio-med program and a part time teacher to engineering because of the increase in students and the popularity of the programs.

This is the third year the school has been open.

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