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Former SVCTE Fire Science Students Graduate from Mission College Fire Academy

Mission College Fire Academy Graduates

Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) is laying foundations of success for the more than 1,500 students it educates within its 25 programs each year. Six former SVCTE Fire Science/First Responder students, who are all certified EMTs, graduated from the Mission College Fire Academy Class of 2023 on May 25. They were (pictured, from left to right): 

  • Gavin Zamora, 2022 Milpitas High School graduate, Milpitas Unified School District

  • Marcel Murgallis, 2022 Santa Clara High School graduate, Santa Clara Unified School District

  • Evan Anderson, 2020 Wilcox High School graduate, Santa Clara Unified School District

  • Alijah Diaz, 2022 Wilcox High School graduate, Santa Clara Unified School District

  • Jesse Hackleman, 2017 Wilcox High School graduate, Santa Clara Unified School District

  • Dat Truong, 2022 Piedmont Hills High School graduate, East Side Union High School District

Anderson is among the many throughout the years who credits SVCTE for giving him the necessary base skills to succeed in the fire academy and understand what is needed to make it into the fire service. 

“I wanted to be a firefighter my whole life and it (my journey) all started  with SVCTE actually,” he said, recalling his junior year when he was initially planning to join the Marines. It was his first day that year when a teacher at Wilcox High School told him about the program, which is what set him down a new path and established a strong base for him to become a firefighter. 

Anderson credits the program for forging a successful career path for him, and helping him achieve his dream of becoming a firefighter. Anderson is in his second season as a firefighter with CAL Fire’s Santa Clara Unit and started as an EMT at California’s Great America in March. 

“I will say the fire science program at SVCTE is the only reason I got the job at CAL Fire,” he said, noting the certifications he was able to obtain was the only experience he had on his application. 

Recently retired SVCTE Fire Science/First Responder teacher Phil Gonzalez shared his pride for Anderson and all of the former students who have gone through the academy. 

“We are proud of each and every one of them,” he said. “They have worked hard to get to this point in their career. We wish them success in attaining careers as professional firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics.” 

Shannon Carr