TDT: 8,438 students start classes at TISD schools; THS opens new career, technical center

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Temple schools welcomed 8,428 students to the first day of the 2018-19 school year Wednesday.

District spokesman Christian Hernandez said that this number is 206 students more than the first day of school last year. The district will record official annual enrollment numbers to report to the state later in the fall, after late student sign-ups have been accounted for.

At Temple High School, students in career classes got their first look at the brand-new Career and Technical Education Center.

Students in a veterinary class said they would not miss their old room as they admired the building’s new grooming area, kennels and artificial turf dog-walking area. An instructor’s dog, Shiner, was already using one of the spacious kennels.

Joseph Ayres, 15, is starting his junior year. The vet tech area is a huge improvement, he said.

“It’s a lot better than what we used to have,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting all the new stuff, but I like that there’s a lot more room.”

Senior Jazelle Mejias, 18, was impressed with the new building, even though she is not thrilled about starting a new school year.

“It’s pretty nice,” Jazelle said. “It looks better than I thought it would.”

Jazelle was expecting the new building to be more similar to the old CTE center, which is 65 years old. The automotive section of the old building is being refurbished, but the rest of the structure will eventually be torn down.

Some of the space the old building occupies will be converted into parking, which will be available to customers coming to use the services of the cosmetology department or bringing their pets in for grooming in the veterinary department.

Senior Shelseanne Munoz, 17, said she was not expecting the 120,000-square-foot center to be quite so big.

“It looks nice — it looks really fancy,” Shelseanne said. “I was expecting something smaller.”

Shelseanne is taking multiple CTE classes this year, but she is most excited about her floral design class.

Hernandez said that a district administrator was sent to every campus in order to have someone available to respond to any problems as they arose. First-year Superintendent Bobby Ott visited all of the campuses throughout the day.

“Everything went well,” Ott said in a release. “It was a great first day.”

Hernandez said the only reported problem was a student taking a bus to the wrong campus, but the child was quickly transported to the correct campus.