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Katy ISD Students Earn Class A Commercials Driver’s License through New Program


December 1, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Eight Katy ISD students at Martha Raines Academy have earned their Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) through an innovative program new to the 2023-2024 academic year.

Earning their CDL (l-r): Adrian Lopez, Felipe Rodriguez, Guadalupe Rosales, and Josh Sowunmi.

A New Opportunity for Katy Students

This school year, students at Martha Raines Academy have had the opportunity to earn a Class A CDL thanks to a partnership with RGV CDL Services LLC. The pioneering program delivers comprehensive training to students without any financial burden, ensuring accessibility and affordability for all participants.

Students have Family History in Trucking Industry

Two female students are among the first eight students to earn their CDL. Additionally, both young ladies have deep-rooted family ties to the trucking industry.

“I chose this career path to follow in my father’s footsteps,” says Melanie Martinez. “He owns his own trucking company and really enjoys what he does. Pursuing this career allows me to work for him one day.

Guadalupe Rosales also attributed her interest in the CDL license to her father's influence. “My father was a big influence on me. I observed how much he likes working in this industry and wanted to follow his lead.”

The curriculum encompasses hands-on training covering various aspects of operating an 18-wheeler, including essential skills like straight backing, offset and parallel parking maneuvers, alongside computer-based learning modules.

With this license, students will be allowed to drive the trucks within the state of Texas until they turn 21 years of age. Upon reaching that age, these students will be allowed to drive semi-trucks across state lines.

Eduardo Canales, the first student to earn his Class A CDL, expressed his long-standing goal of driving a truck. “I've been interested in this field since childhood. This course not only prepared me for a career but also enhanced my overall enjoyment of school.”

“Both of my parents have operated 18-wheelers for many years,” says Adrian Lopez, another recent CDL recipient through the program, shared his family connection to the industry. “I saw this as a new opportunity for me to develop skills that could valuable later in my life.”

Joel Guerrero driven by a lifelong passion for trucks and driving, emphasized the challenge of the course. “I have always loved driving and maneuvering these 18-wheelers was always appealing to me,” he says. “This course is a challenge but if you love something like this, it makes you work that much harder.”

Earning their CDLs include (l-r): Joel Guerrero, Melanie Martinez, and Eduardo Canales. Eric Macedo is not pictured.

Felipe Rodriguez, who also recently earned his CDL, has family ties to the industry. “Both my parents drive and I have admired their dedication to this profession and wanted to have the same career as they do,” he says. “Now that I have earned my CDL, I am ready to start driving a truck once I complete high school.”

All the students shared that they had to stop on top of the lessons the entire semester. “This course takes up a lot of your time. You must dedicate yourself to the lessons,” says Josh Sowunmi. “It is not just driving the 18-wheeler, there are so many scenarios you have to navigate through with the computer-based problems and exams.”

Thanks to this innovative program, these students will begin their professional journeys armed with their CDLs and a wealth of knowledge acquired in this program.

According to the employment website Indeed, the average salary for a truck driver is $81,999 per year. The District will host CDL informational programs across its high school campuses this month.


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