June 24, 2008

Bristol Technical Students Celebrate Their Accomplishments

By Andrew Porter, The Hartford Courant, Conn.

Jun. 24--BRISTOL -- -- The rain ended just in time Monday morning for the students of the Bristol Technical Education Center to step outside and celebrate the school's end of the year ceremony.

The event was held to recognize the school's 110 students, who can spend their junior, senior or both years studying a chosen trade.

Richard Steel, the school's interim administrator, said the school accepts students from several regional high schools and then certifies their work so they can obtain a diploma from their original school.

As part of the ceremony, Richard Razza, the president and co-owner of the Torrington-based Altek Co., spoke to the students about his own experience attending a technical school. When his father wanted him to go to tech school to learn a trade he was disappointed, he said, but his father stressed the importance of always having a skill to fall back on, and he eventually saw his education as a powerful tool.

"So many things change with time," he said. "One thing that will never change is the need for a good education."

State Sen. Thomas Colapietro spoke, offering his congratulations to the students and emphasizing the importance of technical schools. He praised the school for offering a different experience from traditional high schools and allowing students to obtain hands-on experience to enhance learning.

Student of the year Shannon Castrogiovanni thanked her family, classmates and teachers for her time at the school.

"I was given opportunities I would never have had elsewhere," she said.

Allen Meyerhoff, the school's counseling coordinator, said the students were an exceptional group.

"They're eager to learn and interested in their programs," he said. "It's a good group of kids."

"It is always an exciting but bittersweet moment when teachers must say goodbye to graduating seniors," Steel wrote in a message to the class published in the event's program. "We hope that the knowledge and practice that we have provided for you will serve you well."

Contact Andrew Porter at [email protected]


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