HUTTO, Texas – Teachers at Hutto Middle School have found a creative way to promote trades and alternative career paths among their students. Every Wednesday, they proudly don their college t-shirts, showcasing their support for higher education. However, one teacher at the school, Bill Rhoades, wanted to present different options and opportunities to his students this year.
Rhoades, who teaches Texas history, took to social media to request small businesses to contribute shirts representing their trades. Through a Facebook post addressed to the people of Round Rock, he expressed his desire to promote vocational trades within the school. The response was overwhelming, with over 100 companies reaching out to Rhoades, eager to support his cause by dropping off shirts.
“The first five minutes of my classes have become a platform to discuss the shirt that I’m wearing and highlight the potential and possibilities they represent,” Rhoades shared. His Facebook post had truly made an impact, creating conversations surrounding otherwise overlooked career paths.
In recent days, Rhoades excitedly showcased one of the shirts he received from AirCo, a company he holds a personal connection with. Both of his sons are employed there, one as a plumber and the other as an electrician. For Rhoades, these shirts serve as more than just fabric with a logo; they act as conversation starters for those students who may not be considering college or the military. The garments offer a gentle reminder that there are numerous alternative paths awaiting exploration.
“The outreach from these businesses has been astounding, and every week I look forward to introducing new companies and lines of work to my students,” Rhoades shared with enthusiasm. “I’m continually learning alongside them, discovering new possibilities that I can bring into the classroom.” The impactful initiative has not only broadened the students’ horizons but also expanded Rhoades’ own knowledge and understanding of various industries.
Recognizing the importance of vocational training and industry-based certifications, Hutto Independent School District (ISD) provides abundant opportunities for students to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications. It is through efforts like Rhoades’ that these possibilities become tangible and attainable goals for students embarking on their educational journeys.
If you would like to contribute to this inspiring initiative by donating a shirt to Mr. Rhoades, kindly drop it off at Hutto Middle School. Together, let us continue empowering our youth to explore all the diverse pathways that lie before them.