Welcome to the Future of Career Technical Education

On Future Groove, we explore high-wage, high-growth Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways and our collaborative efforts to design and build K-14 learning that serves all students. I’m John M. Harris, the Downey Unified School District Director of College and Career Readiness. Join me as our guests explore and detail the fantastic career opportunities for students and their experiences as educators and entrepreneurs.

Latest episodes

Graphic Design Careers – Andrea Diaz-Vaughn

It started with a love for doodling, an interest in art from a young age. Like any compelling narrative, Andrea Diaz-Vaughn’s life unfolded in the context of family, journeys, and discoveries. Andrea’s “career fit” emerged when she met a classmate in a college photography class who introduced her to theories of graphic design. From there, her...

Restaurant and Culinary Careers – Dina Samson

Before Dina Samson was a Los Angeles restaurateur, she built a career in finance, and held roles in marketing and branding supporting some of the most recognizable names in celebrity culture. Dina eventually followed her chef husband into the food and beverage industry. Along the way she’s opened acclaimed restaurants in Southern California and co...

Career Technical Education: Vision, Opportunity, and Leadership

Now in his 31st year as an educator, Downey Unified Superintendent John Garcia reflects on what ‘legacy mode’ means to him, and how public schools can stay relevant in preparing students to thrive in our digital economy. A Downey High graduate, he’s the first alum to take the helm of the district. Dr. Garcia’s scholarly background prepared him...

Government Careers – Jason Frye and Mary Jones

Entrepreneurs and tech up-and-comers bring fresh ideas to the fore that can benefit everyone. But gaining traction in the marketplace and buy-in from the government sector is a challenge. My guests on this episode of Future Groove are experts in brokering small business and government relations, and are here to share lessons learned from years...

Film and Media Careers – Barbarella Fokos

It could be a family trauma, or high fashion, or therapeutic gardening – whatever the theme, young filmmakers are tapping into their personal stories guided by my guest on this episode of Future Groove. Documentarian Barbarella Fokos nurtures aspiring creatives in high schools as they learn to create with confidence and consider careers in the...