U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan tours technology center at ConVal

  • U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan meets with ConVal CTE students AJ Reagan, Alicia Connolly and Jessica Henrickson for a tour of the Region 14 Applied Technology Center. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 
Published: 3/13/2023 11:44:37 AM
Modified: 3/13/2023 11:44:21 AM

A fire drill did not stop New Hampshire Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan from touring ConVal’s Region 14 Applied Technology Center. 

On Friday, Hassan visited the center in commemoration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in New Hampshire. According to Hassan, the purpose of the tour was to meet with CTE students and faculty to discuss the importance of funding career-focused programs in New Hampshire public schools. 

Hassan serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, where she focuses on passing bills that support the funding and implementation of career pathway programs across the United States. According to her press secretary, Sydney Petersen, Hassan helped to secure a $75 million increase in the Perkins Program last year, which focuses on funding career and technical education programs at ConVal and schools across New Hampshire.

During the tour, ConVal students, including junior AJ Reagan and seniors Alicia Connolly and Jessica Henrickson, led Hassan into various classrooms within the Applied Technology Center, including the digital photography room, the business center and the woodworking shop. However, the tour was abruptly interrupted by a routine fire drill. Despite the unexpected turn of events, Hassan was embraced with hugs, kind words and group photos by dozens of ConVal students in the parking lot during the fire drill. 

According to CTE Director Jennifer Kiley, approximately 500 students in grades 10 to 12 from the ConVal School District, Jaffrey-Rindge School District and Mascenic Regional School District are enrolled in the CTE program. Students have the opportunity to explore 10 different career-focused programs, including digital photo and video, engineering and manufacturing with a welding component. ConVal’s program of studies states that the purpose of the CTE program is to “provide students with a college and career readiness curriculum that encompasses knowledge, skills, and competencies for success.”

After a couple of years of involvement with the program, Connolly, a senior said CTE programs offer students a more hands-on learning experience then traditional core classes.

[CTE programs] are way more interactive,” said Connolly. “All the CTE teachers are rockstars; they are so helpful and kind.”

For Reagan, a junior, the CTE program opened his eyes to a career he was naturally good at.

“It gives me an opportunity to work with my hands. I know I want to pursue a career in welding,” said Reagan. 

Following the Applied Technology Center tour, Hassan said she will continue to fight for CTE funding in New Hampshire based on student success.

“The purpose of education is for people to discover what they love and what they’re good at. [CTE programs] are really important and this kind of visit wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the country. Here in New Hampshire, we really try to solve things.”

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