Student working on her "Bum Bag"

Step into Jessica Jones’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) Apparel II class at Erwin High School, and discover a world full of lavish designs created by the inspiring hands of future professionals. Students in her class are sewing "bum bags," also known as fanny packs.

Student's completed Bum Bag

Amid the brightly colored fabrics and sewing machines, Mrs. Jones moves between the workstations, assisting her students with their creations. It is impressive to see a former Erwin Warrior command attention in a classroom where she once was a student.

“My favorite part of being a Warrior is being able to give back to the same community that helped mold me into the person and educator I am today," she said. “I currently teach alongside the very teachers that made me want to be an educator and I want my students to have the same memorable experiences I did through high school. It's true what they say, once a Warrior, always a Warrior.”

Mrs. Jones helping student

CTE plays a vital role in the high school and middle school curriculum throughout Buncombe County Schools. 

“Career and Technical Education is important to our students' overall outcomes in career development and the education process,” said CTE Director Michele Smith. “It equips our students with practical skills, industry knowledge, industry recognized credentials and relevant training essential for success in high-demand professions. CTE plays a crucial role in preparing students for successful careers, meeting the needs of the labor market and promoting economic growth and prosperity.” 

The CTE program seeks the best educators in a variety of career fields to guide students for possible CTE jobs after graduation. Mrs. Jones happens to be one of the many amazing CTE educators at Buncombe County Schools (BCS).  

“Career and Technical Education is arguably one of the most important aspects of a student's high school career,” she said. “We offer the opportunity for students to explore careers they are interested in and careers they may never have heard of. By teaching 21st century learning skills, we help ensure our students are not only college ready, but career ready. We are the ones who get to bridge the gap between core classes and the real world.”

Student working on her bum bag

Mrs. Jones teaches four courses at Erwin High School: Apparel I and II, and Interior Design I and II. Her courses emphasize real-life application of learned knowledge.

“The opportunity for my students to explore and create is one of the major aspects that sets my classes apart,” she said. “My class content allows me to teach students how to draw house plans, engineer clothing and patterns, calculate flooring for a future house, research careers they have dreamed of, how to use a sewing machine, how to read an architectural scale and more. I love the content I teach- it really is SO fun!”

Mrs. Jones teaching students

February is National CTE Month. BCS takes pride in offering 89 diverse CTE courses across the county. While the majority of these courses are available at the high school level, efforts are underway to expand our current CTE offerings in the middle school curriculum. Check out our current 2023-2024 course offerings below. 

CTE Courses offeredCTE courses offered

In celebration of this month, BCS would like to thank our CTE teachers and support staff! We truly appreciate the impact they have on our students’ lives.