Our Pre-engineering program will now have a Drone Technology component as part of the program. There will be various modules with different levels of mastery. It is our intent to position students to also be able to sit for the test to be FAA certified in flying drones, i.e. with Go Pro cameras. This represents an extraordinary opportunity for our students in this program. We are excited to introduce this cutting edge technology. The curriculum, prototypes and drone technology training are being reviewed and developed now.
This past week, I was very honored to provide a few words before a very proud crowd of parents, relatives and friends of the twenty new inductees to the National Honor Society. The ceremony captured the four pillars of the mission and purpose of NHS: Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character. Among the remarks noted that night, I offered the following words of Simon Sinek, author, inspirational speaker and one of the most widely viewed Tedtalk speakers in world: Truly effective and inspiring leaders aren’t actually driven to lead people; they are driven to serve them. We salute and congratulate our new inductees on this special milestone in their lives.
I had the privilege of meeting this past week with all art teachers in both the BCIT and BCS Districts to harness the energy, creativity and talent of our staff and students to collectively capture the various campus culture, programs and student life on murals to be displayed in the Board office. The murals would depict a modern day snapshot of respective buildings and programs across both the Burlington County Institute of Technology campuses inclusive of adult education and the Burlington County Special Services District campuses in Westampton, Lumberton and Mt. Laurel. I was truly honored to listen to the creative ideas, the involvement of students and the use of best practices to create a rendition of our “Why” behind what we do in both districts to prepare, challenge and promote the attainment of personal bests. The first part of the project is due to be completed by the end of May for BCIT and the end of July for BCSSSD after the Extended School Year program. This truly will be a Project for the Ages.
We are very proud of the ability to offer for the first time this year American Sign Language as an alternative to the State world language requirement. We offered the introductory class ASL 101 the first semester at the Westampton Campus and now, the teacher will go the Medford Campus to teach the introductory course for the second semester. The course has been well received. It is our intention to write the sequel curriculum ASL 102 during the summer and offer it again as we did with ASL 101 this year. ASL 101 would then be offered the following year and the two would alternate years, never being taught in the same year. It is important to note that for students who are pursuing a two-year or four-year college degree, ASL may not meet the respective institute of higher learning’s language requirement given the alternating years ASL will be offered. Students should check with their respective guidance counselors.
January is School Board Recognition Month. At last night’s BoE meeting, the administration recognized each Board of Education member with a certificate of appreciation for their dedication, service and passion to promote and support educational excellence and student opportunity. The combined service of our Board members to our Board and Burlington County is more than 100 years. The experience, wisdom and love of the students and County are invaluable and are appreciated. We are very fortunate to have a cadre of such dedicated Board members. Please join me in showing our appreciation for our unsung heroes:
President, Robert Silcox - 37 years
Vice President, Paula Lee - 27 years
Board Members: Jack Ferry - 21 years, Kathleen Burgess - 14 years, Leon Jones - 6 years, & Tyler Seville - 3 years
In a series of meetings with the Rowan College at Burlington County executives and key BCIT leaders, planning is taking place for the establishment of new partnerships between BCIT and RCBC for September 2017 inclusive of Entertainment Technology and Instrumental Music and Theatre. These will build upon the successful launch of the first partnership in Advanced Manufacturing and Fabrication in the Fall of 2016. In addition, based on the success of the Advanced Manufacturing, we will be pursuing for September 2017 the addition of Entertainment Technologies and Culinary Arts and Hospitality to the Early College Head Start initiative, which allows for duel credit and opportunity to earn college credits up to the equivalent of the first year of an Associate’s Degree while in high school. Additional discussions are taking place to cross promote and partner on various BCIT Adult Education Allied Health Programs, which would expand the footprint and reach of opportunities for those in Burlington County and beyond. BCIT values the partnership with RCBC and looks forward to building a better tomorrow together.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of recognizing the building level Teachers of the Year, Teacher Assistants of the Year, and Educational Services Professionals of the Year for both campuses. I look forward to this time of the year when colleagues are able to recognize the contributions made by their peers. I am reminded by Claudia Wallace that “We never forget our best Teachers (TA, ESP)-those who imbued us with a deeper understanding or an enduring passion, the ones we come back to visit years after graduating, the educators who opened doors and altered the course of our lives.” Please join me in congratulating our award winners listed on the attachment. It is an honor and privilege to present them to you.
Teacher of the Year: Mr. Terence Ward
Teacher Assistant of the Year: Ms. Ellen Dragish
Educational Services Professional of the Year: Lori Ilconich
Teacher of the Year: Joseph Rivera
Teacher Assistant of the Year: Lydia Lopez
Educational Services Professional of the Year: Kyle Lawrence
We have had a very productive first half of the the school year. As we approach the end of the calendar year and the half way point of our academic school year, this is a great time to look at rebalancing our personal and professional goals, and for students, the ability to make extra efforts to do a little more or better before the end of the semester later in January 2017. As we look back and give gratitude for our blessings and opportunities, we also look toward the future and plan for a better tomorrow. I found the tool below by Joyce Oddison to be helpful to rebalance our respective interpersonal wellness systems while assisting with new goal setting for the New Year.
On behalf of the Board of Education, administration and staff, I wish our staff, students and community members a Happy Holiday Season and New Year full of opportunities, flourishing and engagement.