School of Tech

School of Tech

Students practice skills at the School of TechSchool of Tech Puts Students "On the Floor and in the Conference Room"

Randolph Union High School's Director of Career and Workforce Pathways, Ken Cadow, was recognized by the New England Secondary School Consortium and the Vermont Agency of Education as the "2017 Champion of Education" for Vermont for his work with Bethel, Vermont's GW Plastics and its "School of Tech."

One year later, he was selected as the Vermont recipient of the "2018 New Medallion Award" presented by the Vermont Business Roundtable for his many outstanding – and creative – efforts toward helping students understand and pursue areas of work and study that are of interest to them and  to the State.

Cadow’s innovative "deployed classrooms" are not only putting students 'on the floor and in the conference room,' but they're helping them learn and apply math, science, and English concepts that they aren't necessarily learning in the traditional classroom. (For additional reading, check out this article in the June, 25 issue of the Herald on Cadow's work creating the new RU "Innovation Center.")

“And building on this success,” said RUHS Co-Principal Elijah Hawkes, “RU offered an additional deployed classroom called ‘Water Management,’ which included field work with experts in civil engineering, waste treatment, transportation, forestry and farming. The idea is to align learning in the field with learning in the classroom, embracing various topics and concepts in math, science and social studies. It’s also aligned to building habits of a strong work ethic.”

Bob Haynes of the Green Mountain Development Cooperation praised the work RUHS is doing for helping local teens develop the skills needed to transition from school to the workplace. Haynes noted that the "School of Tech" model benefits Vermont employers, too, as it is costly to recruit outside Vermont when they can't find skilled, young Vermonters.

Cathy Tempesta, the human resources director at GW Plastics, witnessed students benefiting from their time at the Bethel plant.

"I've worked with [Ken and RUHS] for the past four years developing and conducting our School of Tech program," said Tempesta. "Ken is a tireless advocate for the students who haven’t thrived in the traditional classroom setting. I think there are a significant number of kids that, without an alternative approach to learning could fall by the wayside, and each semester, I’ve witnessed the light bulbs go off in student’s eyes as they’ve discovered the practical applications of the math and science that they found boring in school. The School of Tech is definitely making a difference in kids’ lives!"