It was announced at the March 14 Gonzales city council meeting that Gonzales High School (GHS) will be home to a certified fire academy sciences program through Texas A&M University. GHS will be only the second in Texas with this designation.
The commission is held through Texas A&M who in turn contracts with the Texas A&M Extension Program (TEEX) for its classroom instruction. Teachers are funded completely by the program and can either be locally sourced or provided by Texas A&M.
Gonzales ISD Superintendent Dr. Kim Strozier was pleased with the outcome and eventual partnership.
“Many thanks to Mayor Connie Kacir for spearheading the initiation of new programming benefitting the students of GHS,” Strozier said. “Additional thanks to Chief Harvey Cheshire and Gonzales Fire Chief Keith Schmidt for co-endorsements, making possible the implementation of a fire academy to GHS. GISD is extremely happy to be named the second high school in the state of Texas offering a prestigious fire academy science program with coursework aligned toward a certification as a firefighter.”
GHS Principal Wanda Fryer will be heading up the effort at the campus. Students will begin the four-year program of studies as they enter the freshman year and will continue through their senior year at GHS. The students are only required to secure scholarship funding upon graduation in order to attend and complete a 21-day boot camp and become certified as a firefighter employable in not only Texas but throughout the nation.
This program also supports the future firefighter by offering college tuition to take course of study in any area of interest for the employed firefighter serving in Texas for at least two days per week.
“This opportunity leaves students with zero debt to gain certification for a job role that will result in a current year average salary of $45,000 plus benefits per year,” Strozier explained. “GISD is pleased to support this wonderful opportunity for our students and currently enrolled the first 14 students for the coming school year.”