On Feb. 25, Alvin ISD dedicated its newest facility, the JB Hensler College and Career Academy to a well-deserving role model within the community. Mr. JB Hensler graduated from Alvin High School in 1957 and moved on to attend University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with a degree in Pharmacy. After returning to Alvin, he opened up Medicine Man drug store located in the center of town. Mr. Hensler truly cared for each and every person that walked through the doors of his business. He ran for the school board in 1975 with the goal of furthering education in Alvin. Mr. Hensler served on the Board of Trustees for 33 years, 15 of which he was the Board President, where he worked tirelessly to serve the students of this community.
Over 100 guests attended the dedication where they listened to countless individuals praise Mr. Hensler’s efforts while on the board, as well as his commitment to the students of Alvin ISD.
“We are so proud to show off our beautiful campus,” said Elizabeth Garcia, principal of JB Hensler College and Career Academy. “The Culinary Arts department catered the entire event with multiple grazing stations, and passed hors d oeuvres. The students showed true professionalism handling all aspects from preparing, cooking, and serving,” Garcia added.
After the dedication concluded, students of JBH led guests on a tour of the building. Students from each program explained their courses, and what the future holds for them after graduation. Many students shared that their next goal is to find a job with the certification they earn through the JB Hensler College and Career Academy, and continue their education at a college or university.
The JB Hensler College and Career Academy is a 168,055 sq. ft. facility featuring specialized classrooms, such as a full cosmetology salon, a medical bay featuring 6 beds and an ambulance, A full culinary arts kitchen and bistro, an automotive center with paint booth, a full pet grooming salon and veterinary technician work space, and more.
“You really have to see it to believe it,” said Pat Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Environment. “Everything is realistic so that our students can get an inside look at the working world.”
“Today’s economy demands a better educated workforce than ever before, and jobs in this new economy require more complex knowledge and skills than the jobs of the past,” said Elizabeth Garcia, Principal of the JB Hensler College and Career Academy.
That’s why, over the past few years, a goal of Alvin ISD has been to expand the Career and Technical Education opportunities offered to students.
“There is a perception that all young people should be encouraged to obtain a four-year degree,” said Buck Gilcrease, Alvin ISD Superintendent. “That leaves a huge gap in the number of skilled workers. The JB Hensler College and Career Academy offers students the opportunity to obtain certifications that will allow them to be better prepared for postsecondary education or allow them to directly enter the workforce in high-paying careers.”
With the approval of the 2013 and 2015 Bonds, the District was able to build this comprehensive College and Career Academy that can accommodate 800-1,000 students from all of their high school campuses.
“You can enter Hensler and get your dog groomed, get your oil changed, get a haircut or manicure, get your blood pressure taken, and get a meal, all done by our students. It’s really an amazing opportunity for students to learn a trade free of charge, while still in high school,” Gilcrease stated.
JB Hensler College and Career Academy offers 36 unique certifications in high-skill, high-demand career fields including Cosmetology/Barbering, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair, Certified Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Culinary Arts, Information Technology, Graphic Design, Veterinary Technology, Construction, HVAC, Welding, and Criminal Justice.