Building a better future

The new construction program expands student opportunities on campus


   The Construction Pathway is a recent addition to the career technical education (CTE) classes on campus, designed to give students a head start on skills they may use later in life, and bond with other students. The program has already seen a wave of student interest with an estimated 90 members spread across three class periods.

   The Pathway has been in the works for some time. For the last several years, it existed in the form of a district-wide summer camp. New Assistant Principal Michael Gizzo has been instrumental in ushering this program onto campus.

   Having prior experience organizing CTE programs at the district level, Gizzo is adjusting well to his new position supervising them at Poway. He is enthusiastic about the Construction Pathway as it goes into its first year on campus.

   “When we build these pathways we look at what careers are in demand, and in San Diego especially there is lots of demand for construction. This teaches kids amazing transferable skills that they can put to use even if they don’t go into the field – as homeowners for example,” Gizzo said.

   Construction is in fact a growing industry, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating a 4% increase in the field overall, and California being one of the centers of that growth, behind only Texas.

   In-class activities are different from a typical high school elective, as the pathway trades out textbooks for power tools. Students complete weekly building projects, making anything from tool boxes to picnic tables, all of which can be seen outside of the construction room W-8. This unique approach plays into the program’s appeal, especially for students frustrated with the monotonous nature of regular classes. 

   Senior Amiyah Hogue was intrigued by the program and decided to enroll in the course when filling out her course registration form last spring. She felt the skills would be transferable to her intended career path as a mechanical engineer. “I really fell in love with the class’s hands-on approach…getting the experience building things myself has been fun. Everyone in the course is really interested, and we all work well together. I plan on taking more classes going forward,” Hogue said. 

   One of the biggest building projects taking place is the construction of two miniature houses, one of which is almost complete, and one that is just being started. The houses will either be donated or auctioned off. The construction of the houses is part of the curriculum – which is still being finalized by the course’s instructor, former math teacher Gene Tallon, who was a woodworking teacher in years past.