Shawsheen Tech hosts Bedford 8th graders for a ‘Showcase Day’ Students visit campus to explore vocational-technical options
Students visit campus to explore vocational-technical options.
BILLERICA – The entire 8th grade class from Bedford’s John Glenn Middle School took a quick bus ride to Shawsheen Valley Technical High School on Wednesday to experience firsthand the unique educational opportunities the regional vocational-technical school has to offer.
A total of 217 JGMS students and 17 staff members toured all 20 career and technical shops with Shawsheen Tech students serving as tour guides for the “Showcase Day.” After providing the Bedford students with a brief overview of each shop, they then observed Shawsheen Tech students engaged in shop learning activities. Students also visited the Shawsheen Tech Food Truck for a dessert made by the Culinary Arts program before heading back to Bedford.
"Shawsheen Tech is committed to ensuring that student and families in all of our sending school districts understand the opportunities that a vocational-technical education can provide,” said Hallie Larocque, Shawsheen’s Director of Data, Assessment and Admissions. “Our staff and students were excited to meet the students and staff from Bedford, showcase what we do, and expose the Bedford students to new career choices.”
JGMS Principal Jonathan Hartunian described the visit a positive one for his students.
“The trip to Shawsheen for the entire 8th grade was a resounding success,” said Hartunian. “The students who were interested in attending SVTHS prior to the trip were able to see all the great opportunities. To have their classmates also be exposed to the same experiences validates SVTHS as an option that we present to all students. The tour exceeded many of our students’ expectations, and we will follow up with them to answer their questions.”
The timing of the visit coincides with Shawsheen’s annual Career Night next Wednesday, January 18th from 6-8 PM on the 100 Cook Street campus in Billerica.
“Career Night is a great chance for anyone from our five sending towns to see our school,” said Larocque, who added that individual or small group tours can be scheduled anytime through the Admissions Office.
The visit was the brainchild of Bedford’s representatives on the Shawsheen Tech School Committee – Nancy Asbedian and Brian O’Donnell, who are looking to ensure that Bedford students understand both their high school options.
"We appreciate the effort of Superintendent [Philip] Conrad, Principal [Jonathan] Hartunian, and the JGMS staff in providing Bedford's eighth graders with an opportunity to explore the features of Bedford's vocational high school option,” said O’Donnell. “As the Shawsheen staff said to the kids, Bedford students have two great public-school options for high school, and this year's eighth graders got a groundbreaking opportunity to see Shawsheen up close. We hope some students will return with their parents for the upcoming Career Night on January 18th and consider applying for the Shawsheen Class of 2027."
Early indications are that the event made an impact. In less than twenty-four hours after the event, Shawsheen Tech saw a twenty percent increase in applications from Bedford for next year’s incoming class.
“We hope to have several more ‘Showcase Days’ next year so that 8th graders from all our sending communities can see our school, see our students in action, and meet our staff,” added Larocque.
For more information regarding Shawsheen Tech’s Career Night and its Admissions Process, contact Hallie Larocque at 978-671-3641 or go to www.shawsheentech.org/data.
PHOTO CAPTION: The 8th grade class from Bedford’s John Glenn Middle School listens to presentations in the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School cafeteria during a “Showcase Day” (Photo credit: Holly Fell & Lauren Frontain)
About Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School District
Established in 1965, Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District (SVRVTSD) is a student-centered public institution serving the five member towns of Billerica, Bedford, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington. Shawsheen Valley Technical High School serves more than 1,300 students in grades 9-12 and is “Dedicated to Excellence in Education”, integrating academics with more than 20-vocational-technical career pathways.
Shawsheen is located in Billerica, MA on a sprawling 100-acre campus. The school building features state-of-the-art facilities and athletic fields, twenty-four varsity sports, and dozens of extra-curricular clubs and activities. All of Shawsheen’s faculty and staff are committed to the mission “to provide a positive learning experience in a safe educational environment that encourages all students to reach their full potential, emphasizes the value of a strong work ethic, and prepares them for adult life in a competitive world.”
Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District also provides high-quality educational programming for youths and adults through Adult Education, Afterschool Exploratory Programs, Community Events, and Summer Camps and Enrichment Programs. Shawsheen is consistently working to increase its rich and varied programming opportunities for the community, which supports its mission that education is a lifelong, continuous process with many paths to living a successful and fulfilling life.