NJCCVTS Blog: Senator Cory Booker Visits Bergen Tech Teterboro – David J. Tankard, Principal

April 11th, 2014

United States Senator Cory Booker visited Bergen Tech Teterboro on Friday, March 28, to learn more about the 2012 US Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award winner and 2013-2015 Apple Distinguished Program honoree.

Senator Booker toured some of the school’s rigorous 21st century career and technical education programs, heard about the strong collaborative partnerships with businesses, colleges and public sector agencies, and spoke with students involved in the school’s Senior Experience internship program.

The Senator’s first stop was a visit with students and faculty from the school’s Culinology® program.  Blending the science of food production and preservation research with cooking and culinary arts, Culinology® is the first high school program of its kind in the nation.  The state-of-the-art facility features a kitchen, as well as a separate science laboratory to conduct food chemistry and food microbiology experiments.  The program is enhanced by strong partnerships with PepsiCo, Rutgers University, and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Booker Teterboro 4Senator Booker then met with students and educators to learn about the strong alliance between BMW North America and the school’s Automotive Engineering and Design program.

For more than a decade, BMW has served on the school’s Advisory Board, offered on-site experiential learning and tours of the Woodcliff Lake headquarters for students and faculty, donated high-end vehicles with the latest technology, and provided professional development for faculty and internships for seniors in the company’s business, law, and automotive departments.

The Senator’s visit concluded with a roundtable discussion with students, teachers, staff and business partners about the value of work-based learning opportunities through internships.

Booker Teterboro 2Gerard Carroll, Senior Internship Coordinator and CTE Lead Teacher, explained that one of the graduation requirements at Teterbor is that during the course of their senior year, all students spend every Wednesday working at an internship in the public or private sector.  Students in the Class of 2014 are currently involved in 160 different work-based learning opportunities.

Jeanette Remington and Charles Klansman of BMW North America, and Andrew Musick of NJ Business and Industry Association talked about the value of these internships from a business perspective.

Three seniors — Adrian Lescynski, who is studying Automotive Engineering & Design and spends every Wednesday training alongside BMW technicians at the company’s headquarters in Woodcliff Lake;  Michael Haas, who is in the Pre-engineering program and interns at NJ Transit in Newark; Omonefe Itietie of the Computer Science program who interns at the Toy Museum of NY and developed the company’s website — described their school and work experiences.

Senator Booker’s visit gave him a brief glimpse into Bergen Tech/Teterboro’s formula for success: rigouous  academics combined with premiere career and technical education programs.   The opportunity for students to take part in experiential learning in different career pathways, and apply their intertwined academic and technical skills in a real-world setting outside of the classroom are a hallmark of the school.  More importantly, they are at the core of why our students are well beyond prepared for success in college and in the workplace.

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