Submitted by Shawsheen Tech
The entire eighth grade class from Bedford’s John Glenn Middle School took a quick bus ride to Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica 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.”
The timing of the visit coincides with Shawsheen’s annual Career Night next Wednesday, Jan. 18th from 6-8 p.m. on the 100 Cook St. 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 event 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 24 hours after the event, Shawsheen Tech saw a 20 percent increase in applications from Bedford for next year’s incoming class.
“We hope to have several more ‘Showcase Days’ next year so that eighth 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 https://www.shawsheentech.org/data.