TxDOT visits students of New Deal High School

Jail-len Martin

On Monday, February 18th, the Texas Department of Transportation came to New Deal High to talk to the students not only about what they do and the importance of safe driving, but they told students of the many opportunities that come with employment through TxDot. Manuel Delacruz, the father of ND sophomore Derek Delacruz, works for the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, and he offered key information about his job.

The freshman and sophomore classes went to the gym as a group first to hear and learn. Then the juniors and seniors went next. The speakers really wanted the seniors to think about their plans after graduation and wanted them to realize that TxDOT is an amazing option for them. There were four speakers at the assembly. The first speaker, Manuel Delacruz, talked about the company, what it is like to work there and all the different things that are done at TxDOT.

“I didn’t know that they did so much more than just fixing the roads,” said junior Megan Victor.

The next two employees spoke about the benefits the job offers. They were speaking to high school students so they emphasized that you get weekends off. They also said that you get federal holidays off, as well. One of the men, Rex Murphy, also talked about how people want a career rather than a job. He also mentioned that by working for TxDOT you can get good retirement benefits.

“It was great to hear that you can be eligible for retirement after about 30 years like the speaker,” said freshman Jacob Gutierrez. He continued, “That is better than working for 50 plus years to me.”

The speakers wanted students to know that if girls, or guys too, did not want to go out and do road work they could work in an office setting. They had an employee with public relations come along and speak to the kids to tell them the different things that are done in the office. The last speaker of the group talked about the safety of driving. He really wanted us to realize that we need to make safe and conscious choices when getting behind the wheel. They wanted to show students an example of distracted driving and had two students going to the gym floor and drive a buggy. First, they drove normal and then each drove with goggles that impaired vision. There were cones set up to represent obstacles the students had to maneuver around.

“The buggies were fun to drive until I had to put on the goggles,” says junior Haden Caudill. He went on to say, “They made it hard to navigate no matter how hard I tried.”

They then had the student body walk into a single file line and pick up some pamphlets and gifts they brought out. As we walked in a single file line going outside, the students were directed to a mock accident where they were able to get a visual of what it is like when someone gets into an accident with a seat belt, and the damage that is done when not wearing a seat belt.

The assembly, speakers, and visuals were great for the student body, as well as giving students an example of something they can pursue as a career once they graduate.

February 25, 2019