We Are EVIT Family: A family's passion for career education
Posted on 11/09/2018
We Are EVIT Family: A family's passion for career educationCassi Perez practically grew up at the East Valley Institute of Technology where dad Eric Perez has taught graphic design and multimedia programs for nearly 20 years. As a child, she spent many summers in his classroom while he worked. Today as an adult, she has her own EVIT work space as a career coach in the counseling department.

“EVIT has been a huge part of my life. So many of my friends as well as family members have benefited from programs here,” she said. “Being able to lead students towards a successful future is something I am really passionate about. When I heard that EVIT was looking for someone to do just this, I knew I found my career.”

EVIT offers over 40 career training programs for high school students and adults. Many programs include opportunities to earn college credit and nearly every program prepares students to earn an industry certification. Within a year of completing their training, 92% of EVIT students are in college, jobs or the military.

We Are EVIT Family: A family's passion for career education

Cassi is part of a team of counselors and recruiters who visit East Valley high schools to present information about EVIT and help students find a pathway to their career passion.

“One day, I am presenting; the next, I am assisting with a tour at our Main Campus,” she said. “Working closely with the home high school counselors as well as the future EVIT students is incredibly rewarding.”

While Cassi was never an EVIT student, she has continued to use skills she learned in the Early Childhood Education CTE program at Tempe’s McClintock High School in her work as a youth coach, youth program coordinator, preschool teacher – and now as a career coach. She just earned her master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and plans to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology.

“Even once all my education has been completed, I know that I will rely heavily on the basics that I learned from my CTE training back in high school,” she said.

Cassie getting photo taken by dad Eric Perez

She’ll also rely on a passion and work ethic she learned from Dad. “I can never remember a day where my dad was not working at EVIT,” she said. 

Eric was named Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career Technical Education of Arizona in 2008, and was twice voted Best High School Teacher by East Valley Tribune readers. Other awards include the National Civic Star award, American Association of School Administrators; 2005 National Graduate of the Year, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges of Technology; 2007 Arizona Platinum Apple Teacher of the Month; and 2010 Meritorious Citizen of the Year, Mesa Police Department.

But the most heartfelt of honors is having a daughter following in his footsteps as an advocate for CTE, EVIT and students. “For her to walk a similar road as I did in my career, well it simply means the world to me as a father. It showed me she did notice the love, caring and hard work I put into being her father and balancing that with a career I loved.

“Working in career and technical education has been my career ambition and passion. I hope she gets the same satisfaction and enjoyment I have gained over the last 29 years of teaching.”

Learn more about EVIT:  www.evit.com

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We Are EVIT Family: A family’s passion for career education

EVIT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities. CTE program offerings include: Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications; Auto & Transportation Services; Construction Technologies; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Human Services; Information Technology; Manufacturing Trades; and Public Safety. For a full listing of programs, go to evit.com/programs. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in EVIT CTE programs. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Title IX/Title VII/EEOC Coordinator, EVIT Superintendent, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 or call (480) 461-4000, or by email at superintendent@evit.com; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tony Niccum, STEPS, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201, or call (480) 461-4154 or by email tniccum@evit.com

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