Culinary arts students helped prepare 250 dozen tamales for an annual fundraiser.

Daily, more than 400 Payson High School students prove that Career and Technical Education (CTE) is “Learning That Works for Arizona [and Payson].”

Whether it is a freshman learning how to change oil in automotive technology or a senior from marketing interning in a local business, students at Payson High School are building a resumé for their future and the future of our community. Many are unaware that students can enroll in 10 of the 59 CTE programs approved through the Arizona Department of Education. What is CTE? CTE are the courses and programs that address standards established by business leaders and educators to prepare young adults to enter the world of work and/or post-secondary education.

Students at PHS and PCS, who enroll in three or more related courses, can earn industry recognized credentials in the areas of agriculture science, automotive technology, construction technology, culinary arts, information technology, marketing and stagecraft. By taking part in programs offered through the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT), three additional programs are available: cosmetology, nursing/medical assistant and fire science.

Based on many studies, students taking part in CTE programs are more likely to remain on track for graduation, complete a postsecondary degree in high school, and enter the world of work with less debt and higher wages than their peers — even those who complete a rigorous college prep program. For more information on the benefits of taking part in CTE programs, visit

Here are just a few examples of the work accomplished by students in CTE during the first few months of the 2019-20 school year:

Four members from the Arizona Masonry Association worked with PHS and Snowflake Construction Technology students in October to prepare for their upcoming regional SKILLS USA competition. One PHS student was confident in his skills to represent the program in the Mason’s Skill Challenge and is well on his way to taking on the State SKILLS USA competition in the spring.

Culinary students worked side by side with Non-Profits Coming Together volunteers in the culinary arts classroom preparing nearly 250 dozen tamales for their annual fundraiser to support the Holiday Extravaganza for selected families in our community. All five classes learned from Cedar Ridge Restaurant’s executive chef Lupe Flores and interacted with several professionals and seniors from the community.

The Introduction to Automotive Technology students are changing the oil in the cars of parents, neighbors, teachers and community members to earn a Valvoline Certificate. Working in “pit crews,” students replace filters and oil provided by the vehicle’s owner to develop not only their proficiency in the task but explore the skills needed to work as a team in accomplishing a goal.

Without a doubt, CTE is “Learning that Works for” Payson! If you would like more information on the offerings through PHS and NAVIT, contact the high school.

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