HAVERHILL Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that Whittier Tech’s SkillsUSA Chapter has been named a National Model of Excellence, demonstrating the highest level of the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program.
For eight years, the SkillsUSA Classroom Excellence Program has honored classes for exemplary work in support of the SkillsUSA framework for academic-based development of soft, workplace, and technical skills. The framework supports the intentional learning of critical workplace skills sought by technology industries.
SkillsUSA identifies specific characteristics identified in each skill area to help ensure concrete standards of student achievement and classroom programming. Achievement is measured by the effectiveness of students’ efforts in implementing core workplace skills, including personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic, and organization in classroom activities, through hands-on activities.
“Congratulations to our students and SkillsUSA advisors. Their hard work and dedication are the reasons why POETTER is recognized.” “We are committed to continuing to pursue projects and initiatives that enable students to become world-class employees, leaders and responsible citizens through SkillsUSA.”
The Whittier class has been recognized as a model of excellence in technical skills for the many projects that honored Haverhill First Responders on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
SkillsUSA student officers attended the 9/11 Memorial Service at the Haverhill Firefighting Museum along with Whittier Tech management, first responders, and community sponsors.
“I thought the project was a really good tribute. It was respectful, well thought out and meant something to the community. Remembering lost lives still carries a lot of weight in our lives and was evident in the way the community rallied around the memorial. It was really touching to have the class and school in attendance. “What I really like about SkillsUSA and Whittier Tech is that we go into the communities to show off our technical skills and make a lasting impression,” said Marisa Behl, Branch Secretary of SkillsUSA, a junior health assistant student from Georgetown University.
Prior to the event, students from various professional fields worked with branch officers to plan, communicate extensively, make decisions and work as a team to support the event.
Staff and students collaborated on the following projects in support of the Memorial Service:
- The Department of Freemasonry added custom donor bricks to the memorial located at the Haverhill Fire Museum.
- Advanced Manufacturing has made custom key tags for all members of the Haverhill Fire Department and Haverhill Police Department.
- The Culinary Arts Department prepared pastries for guests attending the September 11 memorial service at the Haverhill Fire Museum.
- Haverhill Police Chief Robert Peston and Haverhill Fire Chief Robert O’Brien have been gifted by the Woodworking Department with high quality, handcrafted wooden American flags.
“It’s interesting because the students we have now weren’t alive at the time of September 11, 2001. They were stunned hearing the names and ages of the Americans who lost their lives. The students poured their sweat and skills into the event and didn’t really realize the impact of this memorial until during the ceremony. ‘,” said Jane Moskowitz, a SkillsUSA chapter advisor.
In addition, students have networked with community leaders, including Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, to get projects done.
“I loved that we would go to a community site and show off our artistic skills while in school. Going to the Haverhill Firefighter Museum and creating a memorial for the 9/11 twentieth anniversary was a special occasion. I know that years from now, many members of the community and future generations of students will see my work “In construction. We removed the traditional red brick and replaced it with patterned bricks that had been donated to the museum. The project manager was able to place the model, but it was a skill I would need to practice as a builder to replace worn and torn pavers from other spaces.” said Silas Smith, a sophomore at Freemasonry of Haverhill, “It was apparent during the ceremony how much our community appreciated the presence of Whittier Tech students there to bring the project to life.”
Whittier’s SkillsUSA Chapter will be honored at the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in June.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit education and industry partnership established in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. At the request of the employer, SkillsUSA helps students develop soft skills and workplace skills along with academic-based technical skills. This SkillsUSA framework empowers every student to succeed in work and life, while helping to bridge the skills gap where millions of jobs are not filled.
Through the SkillsUSA Program of Championships and Curriculum, employers have long ensured that schools teach relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new accreditation process, they can now assess the preparedness of potential employees for the job. SkillsUSA has over 366,000 paid members annually nationwide in high schools, colleges, and middle schools, covering more than 130 business, technical, and professional occupations, and is recognized by the US Departments of Education and Labor as an integral part of vocational and technical education. With the addition of its alumni, membership last year was 427,432. The nonprofit organization has served nearly 14 million members since 1965.