Copperas Cove eighth graders get “sneak peek” at high school

By BRITTANY FHOLER 
Cove Leader-Press 

Incoming freshmen filled the old Copperas Cove High School gym on Monday and Tuesday morning as eighth graders from S.C. Lee Junior High and Copperas Cove Junior High campuses attended the annual Sneak Peek at the Dawg House.
The students started in the auditorium before making their way to Gym One, where dozens of Career and Technology Education courses were represented along with different extracurricular activities. Each student was given a Station Check-Off sheet for representatives from each station to sign off after the students had participated in the demonstrations.
The Sneak Peek helps students figure out their interests and what courses to take to best suit their future careers, which will come in handy when students begin registering for their classes for the next semester. 
“This is an opportunity for them to see what they want to do because we really want them to start it in their freshmen year and find an area that they’re interested in,” said Cynthia Kostroun, Director of Career and Technical Education at CCHS. 
Stations included JROTC, Agriculture including FFA and Archery, Family and Consumer Science, Theater Arts, Choir, Principles of Art, Counseling, AVID, Soccer, Aerospace Engineering, Robotics, Human Growth and Child Development, Marketing, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Education and Training, Interior Design and Construction, Principles of Architect, Engineering, Graphic Design, Baseball, Cheerleading, Swim, Statistics, Early College, Color Guard, Lady Dawg Volleyball, and different principles of Health Science to include Pharmacy, CNA, CMA, ECA,  Forensic, Med Term and Anatomy and Physiology. 
Students will be able to earn one or more endorsements as part of their graduation requirements. The endorsements, which consist of a related series of courses grouped together by interest or skill set, must be selected in the ninth grade. Students can choose from five endorsement areas- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Business and Industry; Public Service; Arts and Humanities; or Multidisciplinary Studies. 
This year marked the first year of the Sneak Peek being held in the same format as a job fair, which allowed for students to pick and choose the stations they were most interested in.
This also allowed the different programs of study the opportunity to showcase their program, according to Kostroun. 
“What’s also really good is our kids are actually leading it and talking to the other kids,” Kostroun added. “It’s not so much the teachers, it’s our kids.”
Abbie Wardlow, a senior at CCHS and an FFA officer, was one of the students answering questions at the Agriculture station Tuesday morning. FFA (Future Farmers of America) falls under Agriculture. To be in FFA, a student must be in an agriculture class to join, Wardlow said. It is is one of the widest pathways and includes welding, animals, archery and flowers. 
With her at the table were two show rabbits- Coffee Bean, a Lionhead, bred for its fur, and Dr. Chunky, a Californian, bred for its body. 
Wardlow has participated in the Sneak Peek since becoming an officer during her sophomore year. 
“It’s been a little fun,” Wardlow said. “It’s really interesting to see like how the kids are interested in things.”
It is also fun to try to change the perception of agriculture that most people have, she added. 
Wardlow is also an officer in the Pride of Cove Marching Band, the National Honor Society and a class officer and is involved in HOSA, with a focus on veterinary science. 
It was through helping at the Sneak Peek at the Dawg House prior that she found out about HOSA having a focus on veterinary science, she said. 
Alejandra Espinoza, an eighth grader at Copperas Cove Junior High School, said she liked the Sneak Peek. 
“There’s a lot more things in here that I didn’t even know existed, and that’s pretty cool,” Espinoza said. 
Her dream since second grade has been to become a teacher, so she was pleasantly surprised to see a station dedicated to education careers. 
Christian Lachica, another eighth grader from CCJHS, said he was thinking of becoming a biomedical engineer after graduation but his favorite station that he stopped at was the JROTC station. 
“That was pretty cool because they have so much to offer in just one little course,” Lachica said. 
 He said he appreciated the Sneak Peek because it helps him see all of his options. 
“It lets me explore everything that I want to know about high school, what I might want to do, stuff like that,” Lachica said. 

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