Why Choose CTE?


• Madera Unified CTE programs provide a pathway for higher education and rewarding careers, where industry experts use applied academics to teach real world skills.

• By enrolling in CTE classes students connect academics to real world situations that can lead to employment in growing high demand fields.

• Students are given opportunities to learn through meaningful hands on labs and work based learning on real and simulated job sites.

• Students learn skills that are applicable in both career and college, such as problem solving, teamwork, clearly communicating, planning, meeting deadlines, and collaborating.

• Students enrolled in CTE are increasingly high performers with higher than average graduation rates, and impressive post-secondary enrollment rates.

• Opportunities to earn free college credit through high school coursework.

Laura has been with Madera Unified since 1989 when she was placed as a student teacher at Alpha Elementary School.  She spent twenty-one years in the elementary classroom before moving into the role of Curriculum and Instruction TSA for elementary schools for an additional 6 years, all within Madera Unified. 

Laura received her Bachelors of Arts Degree and TeachingCoordinator of College and Career Readiness for Madera Unified School District. Credential from Fresno State University.   She later earned her Administration Credential through Madera County Office of Education in 2017.

Laura has been married to her husband Lorin Toney for 34 years.  They have three sons; Brandon, Justin and Ryan who are all graduates of Madera High School.

Currently, Laura supports the CTE teachers in Madera Unified’s 25 career pathways, and helps build industry partnerships to strengthen and align with the 25 pathways. She manages the Career Exploration program currently being taught in all 6th grade classrooms across Madera Unified as well as overseeing Explorations of CTE elective courses in Madera’s 3 comprehensive middle schools. She also assists with coordinating & approving the Perkins, CTEIG and ROP funding that supports Madera’s growing programs. Just recently she was asked to add a STEM lab and a STEM teacher at all 18 elementary schools within Madera Unified. She meets with all STEM teachers weekly as this program is taking shape and moving forward.



Career Technical Education

Research supports the value of Career Technical Education (CTE) for high school students. CTE produces gains in academic achievement and earnings and represents a significant contribution to the education of America’s youth and adults in preparation of a skilled workforce.

Why CTE?
ACTE Research Paper (Research demonstrates the value of Career and Technical Education)

Did you know?

CTE graduates are 10-15% more likely to be in the labor force
CTE graduates earn 8-9% more than graduates of academic programs

Regional Occupational Center/Program (ROC/P) Facts:

ROC/P students improve their high school grade point averages at a greater rate than comparison students.
ROC/P students enroll in post-secondary education in larger numbers.
ROC/P students have more success in securing raises and promotions on the job.
ROC/P students question the value and relevance of many of their high school courses.

2006-07 Accountability Research Study, UC Riverside
Dr. Doug Mitchel

Kristin Mckenna

Laura Toney

Director of College and Career Readiness for Madera Unified School District.

Kristin has been with Madera Unified since 2009 when she was hired as an
Agriculture Teacher at Madera South High School.  She spent six years in the
classroom and served as the Agriculture Department Chairman.  

In 2015 Kristin became the Coordinator of College and Career Readiness and
move to the Director role in July 2018.

Kristin received her Bachelors of Science Degree and Teaching Credential at
Fresno State University, her Masters in Agriculture Education from Cal Poly,
San Luis Obispo and her Administration Credential through Madera County
Office of Education.

Kristin is married to Chris who is an Ag. Mechanics Teacher at Fresno State
and they have a daughter Madison, and son James.

Currently, Kristin supports the teachers in Madera Unified 25 career
pathways, and helps build industry partnerships to align with the pathways.

She manages all of the CTE specific funding and is responsible for writing
new grants as they become available.