Pasco County's career and technical education director post has sat vacant for five months, after its most recent occupant Rob Aguis returned to the principal job at Marchman Technical Education Center.
A hire is getting closer, with interviews taking place much of this week. New leadership couldn't arrive soon enough for superintendent Kurt Browning.
"We've got to amp up our CTE programs," Browning said. "We have kids who are not college bound, and yet we are not providing them all the opportunities they have potential for."
He acknowledged the existing career academies in all high schools, and nodded to the $15 million improvements coming to Marchman. But in a district that aims to have students become "college, career and life ready," Browning said, "I don't think we have enough quality programs" for the career component.
That effort should extend into middle schools, he added, to capture kids' interest before they become discouraged. "We have an obligation to catch them and prepare them so they can be successful."