BMC & Teacher Externs – Developing High School Students for Successful Careers

Working in the BMC Brownsville office with Tax Manager,
Andrew Hartzler (right) are Los Fresnos CISD ExCel teachers
Angie Pena-Aguilar(left) and Ida Montes (center).

Burton McCumber & Cortez, LLP ("BMC") is pleased to be one of ten local businesses partnering with Rio Grande Valley LEAD ("RGV LEAD") in a pilot program designed to give teachers experience in how education relates to the workplace. As part of the program, named ExCel Educator ("Excellence through Classroom Experiential Learning"), a two member team of Los Fresnos CISD teachers will spend one day a month from October through April on-site at the businesses in a position with the firm termed an "externship" by RGV LEAD. Through this externship experience, the program aims to provide educators with a deeper understanding of employers' expectations and help them to identify the knowledge and skills students need to develop for career success. This experience will enable teachers to design a curriculum based on real-world experiences.

We have had the pleasure of hosting Los Fresnos High School teachers Ida Montes and Angie Peńa-Aguilar in our offices through this program. Both are uniquely qualified for an externship in the field of public accounting. Ida has been teaching Algebra and Pre-Calculus for 17 years, as well as serving as a coach. Angie has been teaching Accounting for 12 years and has prior work experience in the field of accounting. We have been so impressed by these teachers!

During the externship, the teachers have met with our professionals who have explained the types of projects we handle and how we go about best serving our clients. They have received training in a manner similar to that of a newly hired employee. We have given them case study projects and opportunities to work with CPAs and professionals in our audit, tax and internal accounting departments. The firm feels strongly that a better understanding of tomorrow's workers will help us plan for the future of BMC. It has been interesting for us to hear about the expectations and goals these teachers have for their students and has helped us gain a better understanding of the educational environment experienced by our future workforce.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with these great educators and engage in dialogue about how we can work together to help today's high school students become tomorrow's successful workers, and hopefully, CPAs.