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September 16, 2014

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Magnet schools show off programs

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Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Home News

Southeast Career and Technical Academy culinary student Monica Kapala, left, tells Liliana Arreguin the price of various treats for sale during an open house at the school Feb. 5.

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Prospective applicants and parents mingle in the school cafeteria around tables representing various vocations taught at the Southeast Career and Technical Academy during an open house held on Feb. 5.

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Southeast Career and Technical Academy students Shannon Miller, left, and Daniel Montes answer questions regarding the field of construction to Saul and Elizabeth Valdez during an open house at the school Feb. 5. The Montes' son is interested in the field and is considering applying for the technical school, which is one of the largest high school construction programs in the area.

Southeast Career Technical Academy's principal isn't shy about his school, boasting only a 0.4 percent dropout rate and 94 percent of students passing proficiency tests.

For any high school students or parents interested in taking advantage of that success rate, the academy, formerly known as Vo-Tech, held an open house Feb. 5 to show off some of its current students and courses.

Applications to magnet schools, such as the academy, are due today, leading all of the magnet schools to hold an open house in the weeks before.

By Friday, Principal Rich Arguello had already received about 2,300 applications to go through. Only 500 freshmen will be accepted to the school. The number of students accepted in other grades depends on the number of students who have left the school for one reason or another.

The open house was a success, Arguello said.

"There was a tremendous turnout," he said. "We were steady all night."

Open house is a fun night for the school, Arguello said. It gives the staff and students and chance to show off what they're all about through various competitions and activities.

Among the competitions were an "Iron Chef"-style cook-off held by students in the restaurant program, and a hair design competition held by the cosmetology students.

Most of the students will be accepted from the Southeast Region, Arguello said. Transportation will be provided for those students, he said.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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