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Seventy-Four BVT Students Awarded Adams Scholarship

"Chronicle" Highlights Blackstone Valley Tech

BVT Builds Benches for Bellingham South Elementary Garden

Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Baker Visits Blackstone Valley Tech

Valley Tech DECA Club Teams Up with Cradles to Crayons

BVT Students Assist With Uxbridge Ramp Replacement

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH UNITES BLACKSTONE VALLEY TECH
AND AREA SCHOOLS

LEGISLATORS TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT BVT MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

STATE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION CALLS BVT "ONE OF THE TOP" SCHOOLS IN MASSACHUSETTS

BVT BEAVERS CELEBRATE 2013 HOMECOMING

BVT GRAD MAKES BACON-POWDERED RETURN

BVT Students Selected For Senate Youth Advisory Council

BVT Establishes Design and Visual Communications Program

BVT LEO CLUB Lends The LIONS a Hand

Blackstone Valley Tech Welcomes New Students

Hanover Car Donation

Valley Tech Students Win National Gold Medals In Prestigious 2013 Skillsusa Championships

Valley Tech Named In Top 10 High Schools In Central Massachusetts

 

 

 

Seventy-Four BVT Students Awarded Adams Scholarship

Adams Scholars
The "A+" work of 74 Blackstone Valley Tech students recently resulted in eligibility for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which provides tuition waivers for eight semesters at a Massachusetts college or university. Seen here are the 74 scholarship recipients, along with Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal Anthony Steele, and several BVT teachers' assistants.

Academic excellence on the high school level brings a tuition-free higher education option for dozens of Valley Tech students.

As winners of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, a total of 74 BVT seniors will receive tuition waivers if they choose to enroll full-time in a Massachusetts public college or university. Each year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awards the scholarship to students who earned scores of Advanced and Proficient on grade 10 MCAS tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (with at least one score of Advanced) and earned a combined score within the top 25 percent of their school district.

The following members of the BVT Class of 2014 (listed alphabetically by town) were recently informed of their eligibility for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship:

BELLINGHAM -- Rachel Boisvert, Hunter Dynko, Samantha Giffen, Nicolette Haug.

BLACKSTONE -- Samuel Bissonnette, Timothy Chartier, Beau Hannan, Courtney Leonard, Shannon O'Toole, Samantha Sadwin, Samantha Salois, Kyle Tancrell, Samuel Taylor, Victoria Thanthavongsa.

DOUGLAS -- Philip Burch, Jennelle LeBeau, Mitchel Mazur.

GRAFTON -- Joshua Cederlund, Amber Washburn.

HOPEDALE -- Deanna Decoteau, Jared Talamini.

MENDON -- Samuel Baker, Jared Gardner, Jennifer Morin, Joanna Salvucci, Robert Silberberg, Alana Thirsk.

MILFORD -- Veronica Doyle, Hailee Gelinas, Breno Gomes, Philip McHenry, Cody McPhail, Lindsey O'Brien.

MILLVILLE -- Trevor Boelke, Joshua DeNoncour, Logan Kasper, Nicholas Primeaux, Lee Sgrosso, Christopher Smith, James Watson.

NORTHBRIDGE -- Nicholas Bedrosian, Kyle Buma, Matthew Goldstein, Thomas McGowan, Jacob Moon,
Jake Rivard, Sierra Schotanus.

SUTTON -- Kyle Faucher, Addison Hammond, Adam Intinarelli, Kinsale McGrath, Laura Mikelonis, Brandon Wickett.

UPTON -- Brandon Audette, Emily Boulter, Derek Cannistraro, Anthony Collari, Halle Coots, Gavin Humes, Samuel Linstead-Atkinson, Brady Neyland, Stephen Poirier, Theresa Rook.

UXBRIDGE -- Laurelyn Anderson, James Connors, Jack Coyne, Heather DeMers, Matthew Hamel, Kailee Kennedy, Daniel Lemire, Alyssa Rota, Molly Wallace, Katherine Wills, Amber Yaroshefski.

Students who accept the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship and enroll in a state university or college will receive a tuition-waiver for up to eight semesters, which must be completed within six years of the recipient's high school graduation. Recipients must also maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average.

“At Valley Tech, we stress students adopt an attitude of career readiness, including how to finance their post-secondary educational pursuits,” said Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal Anthony Steele. “By excelling on their MCAS assessments in the spring of their sophomore year, they put themselves in a position to receive an Adams scholarship. Even though the award only covers tuition, it is still an incentive to our students and those across the Commonwealth.”

According to data on current tuition rates from the Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education, recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship could benefit from an average four-year savings of nearly $3,000 at community colleges, nearly $4,000 at state universities, and nearly $6,500 at the University of Massachusetts campuses.

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"Chronicle" Highlights Blackstone Valley Tech

Chronicle
(left to right) Blackstone Valley Tech Manufacturing and Engineering Technology junior Daniel Burdick of Milford and Drafting and Engineering Technology junior Jacob O'Donnell of Northbridge recently spoke with WCVB-TV's "Chronicle" producers about the positive connection between their academic and vocational technical success at Valley Tech.

An upcoming episode of WCVB-TV's "Chronicle" will examine Blackstone Valley Tech's success in closing the achievement gap between boys and girls.

While researching solutions to the issue of girls outperforming boys in schools across the country, "Chronicle" producer Amy Masters said that she became interested in Valley Tech after learning that BVT male and female students are excelling on equally high levels. According to the highly regarded producer, "Chronicle's" interest in Valley Tech was fueled by the system's consistently high achievement, completion, and placement rates. Her advance research included review of an article in the September 2013 issue of "The Atlantic Journal" which claimed that BVT's "success with boys is astonishing."

During their recent visit, Masters and her production team toured Valley Tech's shops and classrooms, and spoke with several students about the connection between vocational technical and academic success. For Manufacturing & Engineering Technology junior Daniel Burdick of Milford, the integration of Valley Tech's vocational technical and academic curriculum keeps him engaged whether he is in his vocational shop or an academic classroom.

"The math I need to know in my manufacturing shop corresponds to what I'm learning in my actual math class," Burdick explained.

Sutton resident Adam Intinarelli told the "Chronicle" crew that Valley Tech's vocational technical programming helps students keep an eye on the future, while providing motivation to succeed in the present. As a senior in the Health Services program, Intinarelli views each day at Valley Tech as another step toward his goal of becoming an occupational therapist.

Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick was also recruited to speak with the producers of "Chronicle" and provided his view on Valley Tech's success with both male and female students.

"Our teachers and administrators are owed a great deal of credit and gratitude for establishing an educational environment where the potential to succeed is unlimited," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick noted that in nearly twenty years as BVT Superintendent-Director, "Chronicle" has visited the school three times to highlight various programs and initiatives. The latest appearance on the popular program is especially timely, according to Fitzpatrick, as Valley Tech embarks on a $6 million bond project to expand its facilities and establish additional vocational programming.

The "Chronicle" episode featuring Blackstone Valley Tech is tentatively scheduled to air in late January or early February. Details will be posted on the school's website (www.valleytech.k12.ma.us) once an air-date has been selected.

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills.

Watch Blackstone Valley Tech Featured on "Chronicle"

Blackstone Valley Tech was highlighted on WCVB-TV Channel 5 Boston's popular "Chronicle" program.

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BVT Builds Benches for Bellingham South Elementary Garden

BELLINGHAM – A garden at South Elementary School of Bellingham was recently transformed into an outdoor classroom as part of a collaborative project with Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) of Upton.

Students of the BVT Construction Technology program gained real-world experience by designing, constructing and installing the benches, which will allow South Elementary to use the garden as an educational tool and a place for teachers of any subject to hold class during the warm days of spring and fall. The garden project was financed by a grant from Whole Foods Marketplace and Kindergarten teacher Michelle Jewers said that the addition of three pressure-treated benches could have not have been done without the help from BVT.

"We could never have afforded to purchase such durable benches," Jewers said.

Two of Bellingham's own took part in the project, as BVT students Daniel Williamson and Olivia Zagame returned to their former elementary school to help create a new learning space for future generations of South Elementary students.

"The outdoor classroom is such a good idea," Zagame said. "I wish we had it when I went here."

With the benches now in place, BVT Construction Technology Team Leader Mark Fitzpatrick said that discussions are underway regarding the future construction of a fence around South Elementary's brand new outdoor classroom.

Bellingham Students
Bellingham residents Daniel Williamson (left) and Olivia Zagame (right) were all smiles as they installed benches in the outdoor garden of South Elementary School.
Bellingham Benches
Students from the Blackstone Valley Tech Construction Technology program recently gained valuable hands on experience by designing, constructing and installing three durable benches in the outdoor garden of South Elementary School in Bellingham. The benches will allow the garden to be utilized as an outdoor classroom. Seen here (left to right) are BVT Construction students: Destini Bemis of Blackstone; Steven Dunn of Milford; Robert Lizotte of Uxbridge; Daniel Brochu of Upton; Zachary Marcus of Blackstone; Olivia Zagame of Bellingham; Brianna Dubois of Blackstone; Rachelle Boudreau of Millbury; Daniel Williamson of Bellingham; and Julie Cavanaugh of Mendon. Not pictured are: BVT Carpentry Team Leader Mark Fitzpatrick; Instructor Burke Doherty; and Instructor Joseph Flynn.

 

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Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Baker Visits Blackstone Valley Tech

Baker Auto Tech
BVT Auto Tech juniors Bridget Kuria of Grafton (center) and Ashley Donnelly of Millbury (right) talked with gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker about the potential to use their skills in both the mechanical and business sides of the automotive industry.

Time is tight when you're running for governor of Massachusetts, but gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker recently made time to experience a tasty snack, impressive demonstrations, and informative discussions with students of Blackstone Valley Tech.

Following his keynote address at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting on November 21, 2013, Baker was accompanied by State Representative George N. Peterson Jr., R-Grafton, on a tour of Valley Tech, where Baker gained a firsthand look at the school's best practices in vocational and academic education. Along the way, Baker performed a taste test for students in the Culinary Arts program, climbed inside a vehicle for an up-close look at repairs being done by Automotive Technology students, and provided Business Technology students with some real world experience by purchasing an extra-large Valley Tech T-shirt in the student-run store.

Baker Taste Test
(left to right) State Representative George N. Peterson Jr., R-Grafton, BVT Culinary Arts Junior Zach Crosby of Upton, and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker were all smiles following a successful taste test of Crosby's sesame seed chicken

A visit with a group of freshman currently exploring enrollment in the BVT Health Services program struck especially close to home for the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Citing an aging population and continued changes in American healthcare, Baker offered the students an encouraging outlook as they consider a career in healthcare.

"There's going to be plenty of job opportunities out there for you," Baker said.

Throughout his visit, Baker took every opportunity to talk with students regarding their future career plans and why they chose to apply to Valley Tech. Students spoke of the appeal of a vocational and academic education as a means of increasing their career opportunities. According to Baker, many of the students said that their passion for their vocational education reinforces the need to also excel in academic areas like math, science, and English.

"So many students here believe they have a purpose and a place," Baker commented. "They have a good idea of where they're going and I think that's a great thing in today's world and today's economy."

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills.

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Valley Tech DECA Club Teams Up with Cradles to Crayons

DECA
Blackstone Valley Tech DECA Club members proudly display donated items that will be distributed to children in need through the Cradles to Crayons charity. Seen here (left to right) are: Treasurer Suzanne Wright of Bellingham; Vice President Brittany Gaulin of Mendon; Secretary Kathryn Hughes of Northbridge; President Mikayla Henault of Grafton; Historian Gabriella Melnick of Upton; and Ariana Fugoso of Bellingham.

Children of families in need will be receiving some much needed items this holiday season thanks to the recent efforts of the Blackstone Valley Tech DECA Club.

The BVT chapter of the international club dedicated to preparing future entrepreneurs and leaders spent several weeks in October and November collecting material goods in support of the Cradles to Crayons charity. Cradles to Crayons is a Boston and Philadelphia based non-profit that provides children of poor or low-income families with the basic materials needed to thrive at home, at school, and at play.

The idea to support Cradles to Crayons came from BVT DECA Club Treasurer Suzanne Wright of Bellingham, who first worked with the organization at a youth leadership seminar. After getting a firsthand look at the Cradles to Crayons mission and its impact on families, Wright thought the organization would make a good beneficiary of a BVT DECA Club community service project.

According to BVT DECA Club President Mikayla Henault of Grafton, the relatively new club was looking for a community service project that could bring the group closer together and was eager to support the mission of Cradles to Crayons.

"The fact that they help kids gave our club more of a connection to the organization," Henault said. "Kids shouldn't be held back because their families are in need."

Items raised by the BVT DECA Club and the school community ranged from clothing, to school supplies, to dolls and action figures. This spring, the BVT DECA Club hopes to spend time volunteering in the Cradles to Crayons distribution center in Boston.

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills.

Seen here (left to right) are BVT senior Brian Healey of Milford, Walter Jodrey of Uxbridge, BVT Construction Technology Team Leader Mark Fitzpatrick and BVT senior Dylan Rainey of Millbury. BVT student-participants also included Samuel Bissonnette of Blackstone, Brittnie Blackman-Rodrigues of Milford, Kyle Gorman of Upton, Amy Oleksyk of Uxbridge and Jessica Roberts of Mendon. BVT staff-participants also included Construction Technology instructor J. Burke Doherty, Construction Technology instructor Joseph Flynn and Drafting and Engineering instructor James Aukstikalnis.

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BVT Students Assist With Uxbridge Ramp Replacement


Students and instructors from the Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) Construction Technology program and the Drafting and Engineering Technology program recently assisted with the replacement of a wheelchair ramp at the home of Uxbridge resident Walter Jodrey. The project was performed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Koopman Lumber.

 

 

 

 

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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH UNITES BLACKSTONE VALLEY TECH
AND AREA SCHOOLS

This decorative car hood was one of many signs of support for Blackstone Valley Tech's Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities. Students and staff from the BVT Auto Body, Painting and Design Technology, and Manufacturing Technology departments collaborated on creating the hood. Seen here from left to right are: BVT Vocational Curriculum Coordinator Thomas Belland; Assistant Superintendent/Principal Anthony Steele; BVT girls volleyball head coach Barbara King; Auto Body junior Tony Arriaga; Auto Body junior Emerson Mulhern; Auto Body Teachers Assistant Kevin Pires; and BVT Auto Body junior Benjamin Orphin.

A record amount of fundraising took place through the month of October as students, staff and alumni of Blackstone Valley Tech and surrounding schools rallied around one of their own during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For the past five years, BVT girls volleyball head coach Barbara King of Millbury has led a "Dig Pink" fundraising campaign in October to raise funds for the Side-Out Foundation, which engages volleyball teams and programs in breast cancer awareness. This year, however, King's advocacy took a personal turn when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to the early detection of her cancer, King's prognosis of survival is 100% and she decided to go public with her diagnosis in order to raise awareness about the potentially lifesaving importance of early detection.

Students and staff of BVT immediately united in support of King and her fundraising efforts through t-shirt sales, pink hair extensions in the BVT salon, a "Pink Out" school spirit day, raffles, and the annual "Dig Pink" volleyball game with Douglas High School. For three weeks, members of the boys football team scrimped and saved in order to surprise King at their annual Homecoming game with a check for $750.

"I never expected such an outpouring of support," King said. "Everyone has rallied around me. It's been truly overwhelming."

And while rivalries might exist on the volleyball court and athletic fields, those sentiments were trumped when several local schools joined Valley Tech in supporting King and her breast cancer advocacy. The girls volleyball team of neighboring Nipmuc Regional High School made a sizable donation to Side-Out and presented King with a pink volleyball and poster signed by the team. Millbury Jr./Sr. High School made a $1300 donation to Side-Out in King's honor, Douglas High School competed in the BVT "Dig Pink" match, and items such as roses and Breast Cancer Awareness Month t-shirts were received from Joseph P. Keefe Regional Technical High School and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.

The united effort resulted in the best year of BVT's Breast Cancer Awareness Month fundraising, with a total of nearly $4500 donated to Side-Out, bringing the school's five year total to nearly $12,000.

 

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LEGISLATORS TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT BVT MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

From left to right - Blackstone Valley Tech Manufacturing Technology senior Maxwell Budnick of Sutton demonstrates the creation of brass and aluminum chess pieces using a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machine, with Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, state Representative John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, and state Senator Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, looking on. The legislators recently toured the school's Manufacturing Technology department as part of their ongoing efforts to assist the manufacturing industry of Massachusetts.

Although National Manufacturing Day was recognized on October 4, 2013, state Senator Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, and state

Representative John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, are setting no limits on their advocacy for the manufacturing industry of Massachusetts.

As chairs of the Massachusetts Legislature's manufacturing caucus, Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes took a tour of Blackstone Valley Tech on October 22, 2013, for an up close look at the manufacturing training being offered within the school.

"The biggest complaint we're hearing from over 7,000 manufacturers in our state is about the lack of a skilled workforce," said Rep. Fernandes. "We have to provide them with an educated and capable workforce. Valley Tech is helping us do that."

The tour highlighted the fact that a career in modern manufacturing requires knowledge and skills beyond machining, as BVT Manufacturing Technology students are also trained in drafting, engineering, architecture, and robotics. Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes stopped to speak with several Manufacturing Technology students, including Cole Antalek of Grafton, who informed the legislators that following his Valley Tech training, he plans on applying to the mechanical engineering program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

From left to right - Blackstone Valley Tech Drafting and Engineering Technology Team Leader Michael Faticanti provides state Representative John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, and state Senator Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, with an up-close look at some of the school's 3-D printers. The legislators recently toured the BVT Manufacturing Technology department as part of their ongoing efforts to assist the manufacturing industry of Massachusetts.

Both Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes said that access to the latest technology is the key to properly training students for a future in manufacturing and were pleased to see Valley Tech students gaining hands-on experience with the latest in machining, computer software and even 3-D printing. Helping the school continue providing students with access to cutting edge technology is a big challenge, but it's one that Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes said they will address as they continue working toward a brighter future for the state's manufacturing industry.

"We need to look into what state government can do to be supportive of the school's continued training," Sen. Moore said. "We also need to help our colleagues and the public understand that modern manufacturing is a high-skill, high-tech, and high-paying industry."

Following the recent tour, Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick expressed gratitude for the constant and continued support of the visiting legislators.

"The 1250 Valley Tech students and the Blackstone Valley citizenry are well represented by the diverse skills of Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes," Fitzpatrick said. "The senator's and the representative's voiced support of our modest fiscal year 2015 expansion plan are key steps in advancing our ability to serve our mutual constituencies."

 

 

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STATE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION CALLS BVT "ONE OF THE TOP" SCHOOLS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts Secretary of Education Dr. Matthew H. Malone met with a group of Culinary Arts students during his recent tour of Blackstone Valley Tech. Malone called BVT "one of the top vocational technical schools" in the state and praised its success in preparing students for career placement and post secondary education. Left to right- Before putting on a display of his own welding skills, Massachusetts Secretary of Education Dr. Matthew H. Malone traded notes on the craft with Blackstone Valley Tech Manufacturing Technology students Madison Gasco of Millbury and Allison Gay of Grafton. Sparks literally flew during a recent visit from Massachusetts Secretary of Education Dr. Matthew H. Malone (left).

Sparks literally flew during a recent visit to Blackstone Valley Tech from Massachusetts Secretary of Education Dr. Matthew H. Malone.

According to Malone, his hands-on tour of Valley Tech on October 21, 2013 came as part of ongoing efforts to identify the best practices in education throughout Massachusetts and use them as a model for replication of quality vocational schools across the commonwealth.

"Valley Tech is one of the top vocational technical schools in the state," Malone said, "and studying its best practices can help us build schools with the same kind of programming."

Led by Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick and several administrators, Malone's tour included a lesson from Culinary Arts students on the science of flavors, and a stop in the Manufacturing Technology department, where the Secretary of Education put on a display of his welding skills. In the Drafting and Engineering Technology department, Malone used the skills he earned as a high school drafting major to design a prototype keychain that was printed on one of Valley Tech's cutting edge 3-d printers.

Throughout the tour, Malone engaged with Valley Tech students, many of whom told the Secretary of Education that they began preparing as early as the fifth grade for the rigorous Valley Tech admission process. Malone said he was pleased with the number of students who informed him of their plans to pursue post secondary education.

"These students are being exposed to the challenges of technology, project-based learning, and practical application," Malone said. "Valley Tech students are excelling and leaving here prepared and ready for whatever it is they want to do next."

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BVT BEAVERS CELEBRATE 2013 HOMECOMING

"Hype men" Michael Harris McGee (left) of Millville and James Connor (right) of Uxbridge performed admirably and loudly as they led the Blackstone Valley Tech Beavers through a wild pep rally on Friday, October 18, 2013. The rally capped off School Spirit Week and was the official kickoff of the BVT Homecoming 2013 weekend, which included a cook out, bon-fire, pancake breakfast, sold-out Homecoming dance and victories in several athletic events.

The Blackstone Valley Tech Beavers wrapped up their School Spirit Week and kicked off their 2013 Homecoming weekend with a raucous pep rally held on Friday, October 18, 2013.

Nearly 1300 students and staff filled the BVT Competition Center for the rally, with seniors Michael Harris McGee of Millville and James Connor of Uxbridge performing as the event's "hype men" and whipping the crowd into a frenzy of school spirit. Assistant Superintendent/Principal Anthony Steele took the opportunity to remind the jubilant students that their school spirit plays an important role every day of the year.

"The key to Blackstone Valley Tech's success is not just our talent but our pride," said Steele.

Friday's pep rally was the official kickoff for the Homecoming 2013 festivities, including a cook out, bon-fire, pancake breakfast and sold-out Homecoming dance. Valley Tech's winning ways continued over the course of the Homecoming weekend's athletic events, with victories in football, boys soccer and girls volleyball, and tied games in field hockey and girls soccer.

With this year's festivities wrapped up, Athletic Director Michele Denise said she and other organizers are already looking ahead to Homecoming 2014, which will include a celebration of the school district's 50th anniversary.

"Just like our school and the caliber of our students, Valley Tech's Homecoming keeps on getting better and better," Denise said.

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BVT GRAD MAKES BACON-POWDERED RETURN

Life recently came full circle for Northbridge resident Douglas Ostroskey, as the 2011 graduate of Blackstone Valley Tech returned to his alma mater and demonstrated the very passion for cooking that once inspired him to pursue a higher education in Culinary Arts.

Ostroskey's return came as part of the Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) annual visit to BVT, which includes live cooking demonstrations aimed at educating students and possibly sparking their interest in attending the CIA. Such was the case for Ostroskey, who said that the CIA demonstrations inspired him to enroll in the school when he was a BVT Culinary Arts student. Ostroskey recently completed his Associate's Degree at the CIA and is working as a CIA Seasonal Demonstrator before returning to the school to pursue his Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Arts.

In his recent return to BVT, Ostroskey taught the students how to prepare truffled egg custard with candied bacon, red eye gravy and bacon-powdered donuts. The demonstration, according to Ostroskey, required the many skills that he gained at both BVT and the CIA.

"The education at Valley Tech really set me up for success at the CIA," Ostroskey said. "I didn't have to worry about the basics of Culinary Arts because I had already become familiar with them in high school. I was able to dive right into my higher education."

Culinary Arts Team Leader Chef Matthew Williams taught Ostroskey during his four years at Valley Tech and said that seeing a former student return as a CIA Seasonal Demonstrator was "awesome on a lot of levels."

"It's great to see Douglas's continued growth," Williams said. "And it's such a great connection for our existing students to see Douglas embark on one of the many career pathways in Culinary Arts."

As for Ostroskey's future, he plans on building a career in fine dining once he completes his undergraduate studies and hopes to someday teach in a high school Culinary Arts program, perhaps even at Blackstone Valley Tech.

"That's the ideal plan," Ostroskey said. "But, of course, we will have to see."

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BVT Students Selected For Senate Youth Advisory Council

Massachusetts Senate President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, has named four Blackstone Valley Tech students to his new newly formed Youth Advisory Council.

In an announcement made September 10, 2013, Senator Moore stated that the Youth Advisory Council will give youthful constituents from each town in the Worcester and Norfolk senatorial district the opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations regarding public policies and programs that affect their future.

"I believe it is important for me as a state legislator, and legislative leader, to understand their goals, their desires and their concerns and their hope for the future," Sen. Moore explained.

The BVT students named to Sen. Moore's Youth Advisory Council are sophmore Samantha Aicardi of Northbridge, sophomore Meghan Wills of Uxbridge, junior David Hachey of Milford and senior Luan Duong of Bellingham.

As members of the Youth Advisory Council, the students will meet regularly with Sen. Moore and provide a youthful perspective on topics including education, adolescent mental health and economonic development. The experience is expected to have a positive, life-long impact on the students, according to BVT Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick.

"Leadership and public service roles provide impressive and impactful learning experiences for our students," Fitzpatrick said. "We are grateful to Senator Moore for this opportunity."

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BVT Establishes Design and Visual Communications Program

In response to the ever-changing scope of the graphics industry, the Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) Graphic Communications program has officially been transformed into a Design and Visual Communications program.

New DVC Lab
As part of its transition to a Design and Visual Communications program, BVT retrofitted existing space to create a brand new, state-of-the-art computer lab.

The program's reclassification was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on September 4, 2013, and marked a major milestone in the transition from a Graphic Communications program focused on pre-press and print to a Design and Visual Communications program focused on digital design and multimedia communications.

The shift toward a Design and Visual Communications program has been years in the making, according to BVT Vocational Curriculum Coordinator Thomas Belland, who said that advancements in technology and the emergence of digital media have required a growing emphasis on digital design in the Graphic Communications curriculum.

"It's no longer enough for students to only know how to press and print thousands of wedding invitations," Belland said. "To capture the jobs of today and tomorrow, students need the skills to design and integrate data into those invitations, as well."

While print is expected to remain a viable section of the graphics industry, BVT argued in its application to the state that the majority of jobs in the immediate future will be found in areas of digital media such as web design, television and game development.

"Opportunities for jobs in print are shrinking, whereas design opportunities in a medium such as mobile device media are just beginning to emerge and will only continue to grow," said BVT Design and Visual Communications Instructor Adele Ellis.

To support its claim, BVT's application included corresponding data from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Developments for 2008-2018 and a letter of support from the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board.

With approval now in hand, Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick said that all of BVT's programs, including Design and Visual Communications, will continue being evaluated and adapted as needed.

"One of the most critical attributes of quality vocational technical education is program fluidity," Fitzpatrick said. "Transitioning career paths to ensure they reflect current practice ensures employability opportunity."

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BVT LEO CLUB LENDS THE LIONS A HAND

The Blackstone Valley Tech Leo Club President Jose Porter of Upton (left) and his fellow BVT Leo Melissa Mason of Sutton recently helped the Mendon Lions Club serve its "Famous Sausage and Pepper Subs" at The Imperial Car Show on August 16, 2013. The BVT Leo Club is sponsored by the Mendon Lions Club and has helped raise over $3,500 in support of the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. Eye Research has been the official project of the Massachusetts Lions since 1935.

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Blackstone Valley Tech Welcomes New Students

Plumbing instructor Joseph Corriveau, seen here serving chips and watermelon, was one of many BVT staff members to take part in the annual Freshmen Cookout on August 15
Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal Anthony Steele welcomed new students at the BVT full-day orientation on August 16.

Warm greetings, burgers and hotdogs were extended to the class of 2017 at Blackstone Valley Tech's (BVT) annual Freshmen Cookout, held on Thursday, August 15. Each year at the Freshmen Cookout, new students and their families meet BVT staff and access important information prior to the start of the new school year. Staff members, alumni and current students were on hand on August 15 to provide information on topics ranging from BVT athletics and extra-curricular activities, to bus schedules and special education.

Maria Brock of Milford was among those enjoying the complimentary Freshmen Cookout fare. She said that the event was a great way for her daughter, Kaitlyn, to settle some of the nerves that come with starting at a new school.

"It's very nice of Blackstone Valley Tech to get the freshmen into the school early and give them a head start before they step through the doors on the first day," she said. "The food is yummy, too."

New students arrived at BVT on Friday, August 16 for a full-day orientation. Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal Anthony Steele welcomed the new arrivals and congratulated them for embracing the challenge of an academic and vocational technical education.

"You will find that Blackstone Valley Tech is a competitive environment," Steele told the students. "That's a good thing. You will need to be prepared for that type of environment when it comes time for you to compete for jobs and college admissions."

With a start date of August 19 for all grades, BVT is the first public school in Massachusetts to begin the new school year. Since 1997, BVT has voluntarily operated under an extended school year calendar of 193 teaching-days.

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Hanover Car Donation

Representatives of Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) recently accepted the generous donation for instructional use of a 2008 Chevy Impala provided by the Wiersma Insurance Agency and The Hanover Insurance Group. The donation will yield significant cost savings for BVT and provide valuable hands-on experience for the school's Auto Body and Automotive Technology students. Pictured from left to right: BVT Automotive Technology instructors Derek Stienstra and Paul Perreault; Appraisal Unit Manager at The Hanover Paul Polito; Regional Claims Director at The Hanover Francis N. Delage; President of The Wiersma Insurance Agency Wayne Wiersma; BVT Vocational Curriculum Coordinator Thomas Belland; BVT Vocational Curriculum Coordinator Cyra Hathaway; BVT General Advisory Committee member Randy Bloem.

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Blackstone Valley Tech Students Win National Gold Medals In Prestigious 2013 Skillsusa Championships

UPTON -Several Valley Tech students were named the best in the nation at the 49th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference, held June 24-28, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education and hosts the National Leadership & Skills Conference as a showcase of outstanding students. The conference's keystone event is the SkillsUSA Championships, in which over 5,900 students compete over the course of three days in hands-on competition in 98 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

As gold medal winners in the 2013 SkillsUSA Massachusetts State Championships, a total of 15 Valley Tech students earned the right to travel to Kansas City to represent the region and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the national SkillsUSA Championships.

Following three days of intense competition, gold medals were awarded to five Valley Tech students, including: Jake Rivard of Northbridge in Technical Drafting; Anthony Collari of Upton in Plumbing; the team of Robert Silberberg of Mendon and Dillon Arnold of Northbridge in Urban Search and Rescue; and Andrew Desjardin of Uxbridge in Welding. According to SkillsUSA Massachusetts, Desjardin is the first student in the state's history to win the national title in Welding.

A bronze medal also was captured by Anthony Young of Milford in Commercial Baking.

Francis Petty, a licensed plumber and member of the Valley Tech Plumbing program's instructional staff, was one of 11 advisors to accompany the students to Kansas City. Petty helped many of the students prepare for the district, state and national SkillsUSA competitions and was impressed by the level of dedication the students possessed. According to Petty, the students were willing to come to school early, stay late and even come in on Saturdays in order to hone their skills.
"Some kids have that special drive," Petty said. "They really want to win so they put the time in."

Valley Tech students also placed in the Top 10 in several competitions. Brianna Shea of Milford took 4th place in Cosmetology, while Joshua DeNoncour of Millville and Cody McPhail of Milford finished 4th in Mobile Robotic Technology. Alexandra Delmore of Milford was awarded 8th place in Related Technical Math and Matthew Goldstein of Northbridge captured 10th place in Computer Maintenance Technology.

According to Petty, success is likely to breed more success when it comes to Valley Tech's showing at the SkillsUSA competitions and he expects many of the Top 10 finishers to someday earn medals of their own.

"The other kids see what the gold medalists accomplish and they want to win gold, too," Petty explained.

In addition to medals and Top 10 placements, five Valley Tech competitors were awarded a SkillsUSA Skill Point Certificate. As part of the Work Force Ready System, the Skill Point Certificate recognizes outstanding achievements and indicates to potential employers that the recipient has displayed industry proficiency in his or her respective field.

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills.

Valley Tech senior Anthony Collari of Upton (front row, center) was awarded a gold medal and named the nation's best student in Plumbing at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.

Recent Valley Tech graduate Andrew Desjardin of Uxbridge (front row, center) was named the nation's best student in Welding at the SkillsUSA 2013 Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Desjardin is the first student from Massachusetts to win the national gold medal in Welding.

 

Valley Tech student Jake Rivard of Northbridge (front row, center) was named the nation's best student in Technical Drafting at the 2013 SkillUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Valley Tech students Robert Silberberg of Mendon (front row, center) and Dillon Arnold of Northbridge (back row, center) earned a team gold medal in Urban Search and Rescue at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Recent Valley Tech graduate Anthony Young of (front row, 2nd from right) earned a national bronze medal in Commercial Baking at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City Missouri.

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Valley Tech Named In Top 10 High Schools In Central Massachusetts

Valley Tech was recently named Number Nine out of 60 other schools in the GoLocalWorcester's 2nd Annual Massachusetts' Top High Schools 2013. This proprietary ranking system is determined through the compilation and evaluation of data from 345 public, charter and technical schools throughout the Commonwealth to determine how community schools provide for their students.

Using a proprietary formula developed at Babson College, data is collected to assess and weight each school's latest MCAS and SAT scores, per pupil funding, student-teacher ratios and graduation rates. All data is the latest available from the Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education's databases as of April 2013. With school quality paramount in assessing real estate values and deemed a key element in community-based efforts, this quantitative analysis of each school provides a comprehensive view of the secondary school educational landscape in Massachusetts.
"We are pleased to be chosen as one of the Top 10 High Schools in Central Massachusetts," stated Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Superintendent-Director. "At Valley Tech, we remain diligent in our quest to ensure students are equipped with a set of skills that will allow them to quickly grasp today's demands and tomorrow's challenges."

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech works toward enhancing the economic, social, and historic strengths of the region by providing integrated academic and vocational technical skills, empowering students to achieve world-class educational excellence, diverse career opportunities, and individual success in an ever-changing global society all in a safe learning environment.

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