Since the Willis High School Career & Technology Education Center (CTE) opened its doors three years ago next to Willis High School, it has revolutionized career/technical education for high school students in Montgomery County.

This school year, Willis Independent School District continues its commitment to develop well-rounded students who are ready for college or the workforce by bringing CTE course labs to all 8th grade students.

Over the summer, classrooms at both Brabham Middle School (which serves The Woodlands Hills) and Lucas Middle School were renovated into college and career-ready STEM labs for a new elective course being offered to all 8th grade students beginning this school year. The labs are complete learning systems developed and managed by Paxton/Patterson, a leading provider of classroom technology learning systems.

These labs provide students with hands-on learning in over 100 unique careers in STEM areas alongside extensive college and career research in each area. Students analyze job growth, regional and national employment trends, salary expectations, required levels of study and/or training, and local and regional options for training/education for the specific careers they are researching. 


Travis Utecht, Director of Career & Technology Education, said, “I am so excited for this new learning opportunity that has been brought to the students of Willis ISD. These work-based and problem-solving units give students an opportunity to hone in on their interests and skills prior to entering high school so that they know which CTE Courses and careers they are most interested in while also preparing them for the high school CTE curriculum. Our students will be highly employable after going through the CTE track in our secondary schools.” 

In the weeks before the start of the 2021-2022 school year, students and parents were able to select electives including this course (titled General Employability Skills) during course selection.

The units of study include: 

  • Computer Aided Drafting & Design
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Digital Audio Production
  • Video Production 
  • Energy & Power
  • Flight & Drone Technology
  • Forensic Science
  • Home Maintenance Fundamentals
  • Home Maintenance Systems
  • Intro to Computer Science
  • Intro to Health Science Careers
  • Intro to Culinary Arts
  • Pneumatics
  • Research & Development
  • Robotics
  • Veterinary Medicine

The Willis Independent School District proudly holds an overall rating of B on the Texas Education Agency 2019 accountability ratings (the 2020 ratings were not established due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the STAAR testing).

We are fortunate to have this career and technology exploration opportunity available for the young neighbors in The Woodlands Hills and beyond!