After a two-year absence due to Covid restrictions, the annual Shell Deer Park symposium with the Deer Park Independent School District is back and better than ever, expanding the traditional focus on engineering to include craft occupations.

Nearly 80 high school students participated in the first day of the symposium on March 22, when Shell Deer Park volunteers visited the school to provide a unique learning opportunity. The next day, nearly 20 seniors were given a tour of the Deer Park facility.

“We talked about Shell Deer Park in general, what the petrochemical industry is all about and how we interact with our community,” said Process Engineering & Quality Assurance Manager Ramón Ramos, who led the Shell team with Maintenance Manager Marcus Conch. “Then we held breakout sessions across engineering and craft fields, and the students were able to attend as many as possible.”

“This event was all about the students and being able to expose them to an industry that they may not have much awareness of,” Conch said. “We want them to introduce them to the opportunities in our industry and if they are interested, guide them to the next steps to reach their goals.”

Meet the team

Joining Ramos and Conch at Deer Park High School were:


  • Instrumentation – Johnny Reyes
  • Analyzer – Jeff Lewis
  • Mechanical – Don Newsome
  • Pipefitter – Arturo Gonzalez
  • Electrical – Sue MacGregor
  • Heavy Equipment Operator – Josh Telles


  • Civil – Javier Garza
  • Mechanical – Chris Drago, Adam Griffith, Patrick White, Michael Sitton
  • Chemical – Jeremy Hawkins, Bartek Mika
  • Electrical – Ricardo Trevino
  • Project – Cory Sipes

Based on feedback from both the school staff and students, the Shell Engineering and Craft Symposium was very well-received and the team is already looking to make the event even better for the next school year. Ramos reports the engineering sessions were highlighted by a strong level of engagement and lots of questions; while Conch described the craft program and the site tour as eye-openers for many students who have new alternatives for choosing a career path. “The Shell volunteers also experienced the value of this event and that it is time well-spent to support the school and the community,” he said.

“At some point we were all where these students are today, trying to decide what to do,” Ramos said. “We encouraged them to take the next step and know that the sky is the limit.”

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