By Jackie Burke
Assistant Executive Director
An impromptu song to entertain a school visitor led to a special invitation for a group of Passaic County Technical Institute vocal arts students.
On Wednesday, March 1, as guests of State Board of Education President Mark Biedron, the students opened the State Board meeting with a rousing musical performance that led to two standing ovations from Board members and others in attendance.
Biedron toured PCTI earlier this year, and when he walked into the school’s performing arts program, the vocal students spontaneously broke into song. He said he was so impressed with their talent that he wanted his colleagues on the State Board to hear them, too.
During his introduction of the students, Biedron said that at a time when the state’s education focus is increasingly on struggling schools, it is heartening to witness first-hand the success and the obvious enjoyment the students at PCTI are gaining from their high school experience.
The students’ performance was followed by a presentation from PCTI principal Michael Parent, who gave a brief overview of the fifteen career and technical education schools and academies offered at PCTI, the largest public high school in New Jersey; most of the students come from Paterson and Passaic.
It is safe to say everyone in the room left with an increased appreciation of the talent at New Jersey county vocational-technical schools.
Congratulations to PCTI and the vocal arts students who showed the State Board and the audience what career and technical education is all about. Thank you for representing us so well.