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grad from CTE - Arlington ISD HVAC CTE grad works for the district
Posted in on February 27, 2024

Fire Academy instructor is Arlington ISD grad

Ready to start your career? In a sea of opportunities in Arlington ISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, there’s a path for every student.  

For some, it even leads right back to where it all started. 

Just ask Arlington ISD Fire Academy lead instructor and program coordinator Brandon Russ and filtration technician Jagger Coombes, both former CTE students and now members of the Arlington ISD job force. 

A decade ago, Russ stepped into the Fire Academy program as an ambitious 16-year-old eager to learn and serve his community.  

Four years later, his graduation from Arlington ISD and the Fire Academy marked the beginning of his 10-year journey with the Arlington Fire Department where he has achieved the rank of fire lieutenant.  

Coombes’ interest in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) started his sophomore year after being introduced by a friend’s parent working as a commercial technician.  

“I had learned that HVAC is almost like a jack of all trades,” Coombes said. “It sparked something in me to want to look more into HVAC.” 

That’s when he discovered the dual credit course Arlington High School offered for HVAC through the Architecture and Construction Program. He then started his first semester at Tarrant County College (TCC) his senior year.  

“The professors, the students and the courses themselves are all amazing,” Coombes said. “If there are any students who are curious or interested in HVAC or any field at that, dual credit is an amazing opportunity to get your foot in the door.” 

After graduating from Arlington High, Coombes joined the Arlington ISD maintenance team in 2023.  

In addition to working for the district, Coombes is currently in his last semester of residential HVAC courses at TCC and will finish his commercial courses next year. After graduation, he plans to get his technician license and continue his career in the district.  

“I would love to work and learn at Arlington ISD for as long as possible,” Coombes said. “I’d even like to become a supervisor or work in a leadership position one day.” 

For Russ, the deep desire to inspire the next generation of fire service professionals is what brought him full circle.  

CTSO - CTE MonthAs an instructor who’s been in the shoes of his students, he instills the values of leadership, commitment and community service while equipping them with the necessary skills to pursue a career in the fire service industry.  

With February marking CTE Month, there’s no better way to celebrate than highlighting the staff members who give back to where their careers all began!  

“Arlington ISD is great for exploring new options and picking what really stands out to you,” Coombes said. “I’m proud to call myself an Arlington ISD employee.” 

Learn more CTE opportunities here.