NTC Works to align curriculum

NASHUA – In efforts to continue the vertical alignment between the city’s middle schools and high schools, volunteers from the Nashua Technology Center’s Culinary program traveled with teacher David Quimby to each of the middle schools last week.

This isn’t the first time the Nashua Technology Center has worked to reach out to middle school students in the district. In October, South Director Mike McQuilkin traveled with four DECA/Marketing students, Elana Finkelstein, Samantha Meyer, Jecca Riley and Alexis St. Laurent, to Fairgrounds Middle School to visit Jean Godlewski’s DECA class at Fairgrounds Middle School to talk about the opportunities the students would have once they got to high school.

In November, center officials invited eighth grade girls, along with freshmen girls, to attend the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s Tech Women’s Ambassador visit to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

In December, McQuilkin and the four DECA/marketing students, along with four of their peers, traveled to Elm Street Middle School to meet with English Language Learner (ELL) students and show them different paths they could take once they get to high school.

In October, McQuilkin told The Telegraph he believes too often, kids are being told that attending a four-year college is their only option.

“We are in need of specialties,” McQuilkin said. “We also do know that there is a higher percentage of CTE students who do better in school because they have a vision of their future. Being able to take career and technical education (CTE) classes in high school allows them to explore various options.”

The visit to all three middle schools last week was a continuation of that alignment.

During their visits, the high school students interacted with the middle school students through playing games, cooking and sharing information on the high school courses offered and planning their careers.

Center North Director Amanda Bastoni said family and consumer science teacher Cynthia Bannon reached out to the high school in attempts invite the high schoolers down to speak with her students, as part of a career unit she teaches.

Bannon told Bastoni it was wonderful to have students teaching students.

Bastoni spoke on similar terms.

“I think it helps everyone,” Bastoni said. “The middle school teachers say it helps them because the middle school students hear another voice confirming what the teachers have been teaching. Students learn best from other students. They really like to hear from their alumni and it helps the teachers in the middle schools just increase engagement.”

In terms of benefiting high school students, Bastoni said, “It helps the high school students because it shows them what they are doing is really valuable. It gives them help with public speaking, as leaders.”

Moving forward, Bastoni and McQuilkin will be continuing in their efforts to create more alignment throughout the district.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.