Sanger High builds up obstacle to success

Sanger High School gets obstacle course on campus to train students enrolled in Military and Public Service pathway program

A tire obstacle sits on the new concrete pad, where the new Obstacle Course will be for Sanger High School's Military, Police, and Firefighting Pathway. (Kenny Goodman)
A tire obstacle sits on the new concrete pad, where the new Obstacle Course will be for Sanger High School's Military, Police, and Firefighting Pathway. (Kenny Goodman)
Darren Fraser
Published May 1, 2024  • 
10:00 am

SANGER – To help students prepare for the rigors of the military, police or firefighting, Sanger High School is getting a military-type obstacle course on its campus to further benefit its newest Pathway.

“We’re currently under construction. They just poured all the cement,”  Kirstin Coronado, principal at Sanger High School, said.

The Military and Public Service program is the latest addition to SHS’ Pathways curriculum. According to Coronado, students who enter the program can pursue a path to the military, to the police or to wildland/urban firefighting. She described the program as a community-based organization.

“Students have exposure to providing community service in multiple different aspects,” she said. “There is an honor guard. They are involved with things like Rotary in Sanger. They’re involved with the COC (Citizen’s Oversight Committee). They’ll do the flag at the parade. They’ll help decorate the cemetery for Memorial Day. At football games, they present the colors.”

Coronado said she expects the course to be finished by June. “You’ll have something similar to the course at Fresno City, the police course they have over there,” she said.

Sanger High School's current Military, Police and Firefighting Pathway Obstacle course found near the west side of the football field. (Kenny Goodman)

The mentioned police course has a wall and window to practice climbing through, different types of bars for pull ups, “different things that will provide police officers, or anyone who is entering the military/public service, that kind of practice. It’s a real life application,” Coronado said.

The pathways to success

According to Coronado, the Pathways programs began on campus 10 years ago.

“We started with Wonderful,” she said, referring to the Ag Mechanics Pathway program offered in partnership with The Wonderful Company.

Since then, the program has grown to nine Pathways – AP Capstone, Digital Arts and Media, Engineering Technology, Education (E3P), Health Sciences, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science, Wonderful Ag Mechanics, Wonderful Plan Science, and the most recent, Military and Public Service.

These are four-year programs offered at the high school level, grades nine through 12. In addition to their core curriculum classes, students take classes specific to their Pathways program. These include dual-credit courses offered through Reedley College.

Sanger High has partnered with Valley ROP. Many instructors are Career Tech Education (CTE) certified. Coronado said each Pathways program has its own benefits. She said through the Plant Science program, students can pursue a transferable Associate of Science for Transfer (AST) degree specializing in plant science, or an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in agricultural mechanics through the Wonderful Ag/Mech program.

She added that other programs offer a set of credits that give students an academic advantage upon college enrollment. Additionally, students who complete The Wonderful Company programs can enter college at a higher class level and are eligible to receive scholarships.

“We have students who have completed their masters in different levels because of the ability to have that extra jump into college,” Coronado said.

Roughly one-third – over 930 – of Sanger High students are enrolled in Pathways. Coronado said for the upcoming year, the school has seen an increase in program enrollment among incoming freshmen.

Sanger High School sidewalk approaching the Main Office. (Kenny Goodman)

Coronado said the layer of support students receive in high school is the reason why Pathways is successful.

“You see students who are able to get a big layer of support there at Sanger High,” she said. “Kids are taking IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) classes, which are sometimes very demanding. 

“We have ingrained levels of support in our system. We have a tutor. We have the ability to monitor. So, when you’re taking math 11, which is statistics and is a difficult class, you have different layers of support because you’re taking it in a high school setting versus at college, when you’re on your own.”

When students complete a Pathways program, they are given a cord in the color that represents the program. Students wear these cords when they walk for graduation.

“At our upcoming graduation, you’ll see a lot of students wearing different cords,” said Coronado.

Darren Fraser