City Club of Eugene: What Are Schools Up To In CTE?

Nov 19, 2018

Recorded On: November 16, 2018

Air Date: November 19, 2018

Solid research shows that students who take career and technical education courses are significantly more likely to graduate from high school than comparable peers. In 2016, voters in Oregon passed Measure 98, the High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act. Under this act, districts receive funds to establish or expand career and technical education programs in high schools, as well as to improve access to post-secondary programs and expand dropout-prevention strategies in high schools.

What have local districts done with the influx of new funding? In the three metro-area school districts, eight high schools are now operating 46 CTE programs in almost 20 career fields. Nine rural districts operate almost 30 more programs. The Lane Educational Service District provides support and coordination to all the districts. In this program, the superintendents and representatives from the various districts will explain how the programs are working, what kinds of outcomes they anticipate, and what additional plans they are making to ensure long term success.


Tony Scurto will moderate the discussion. Mr. Scurto began his educational career as a high school teacher. He moved to Oregon in 1993 and served as a school administrator at Coquille and Sutherlin High Schools. He worked as an assistant principal, principal, and superintendent in Pleasant Hill before joining Lane ESD as superintendent.

Gustavo Balderas became the superintendent of Eugene SD 4j in 2015. He spent many years as a teacher and administrator in Hillsboro, OR, schools. Dr. Balderas serves on several local and national boards, including that of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Parra is the Superintendent of Bethel School District. Dr. Parra has a diverse background in both regular education and special education programming in her 29 years as an educator, including teaching and administering at the elementary and middle school levels, and directing special programs. She knows by personal experience of the power of public education and its ability to change lives.

Bruce Smolnisky accepted the position of Interim Superintendent of Springfield SD in June 2018. He has served the Springfield community in a number of positions across the district, including 17 years in leadership.

Program Coordinator

Mary Leighton

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