When Blackstone Valley Tech students walked into the building for the first time after a summer spent relaxing with friends by the beach, working summer jobs to improve their skills, and getting some much needed rest and relaxation, they were greeted by a swarm of familiar faces and a variety of improvements to both the school building itself and the staff inhabiting it.
Blackstone Valley Tech is never idle in the summer, and these past three months were no exception. The facilities staff completed a renovation of the Auto Collision program, replaced a portion of the roof, and configured a new Engineering Lab and Robotics Lab. There were also a variety of maintenance and improvement projects completed including wiring upgrades, cafeteria renovations and flooring maintenance. This year, the facilities staff had the added project of repairing damage done by a summer lightning strike to the entire phone system, portions of energy management, football irrigation control and the roof solar system.
It was a busy summer for the facilities staff, who worked up to the last minute to ensure everything was perfect for the student’s return, and the student’s excitement upon seeing the improvements made every hot, busy summer day worth it.
In addition to the improvements to the building, the BVT human resource department, administrators and staff recruited, interviewed, and arranged more than 30 promotions and reconfiguration style staff transitions. The new hires include vocational staff, academic teachers and support staff.
The new staff were eager to get started sharing their expertise and educational tools to the students, and look forward to being a part of the BVT community while leaving their mark on the school and its students.
“I am so excited to be a part of the BVT family. Everyone is so positive, team based and supportive. I am in awe of the professionalism of everyone in the building – the students especially,” said Elizabeth Grimes, who will be a teacher in the Biology department.
Among the new staff are people who have grown in the system and are beginning new roles this year. Katie Checca came to BVT as a teaching assistant five years ago and will begin her first year as a history teacher after spending the spring as a long-term substitute in the department.
“I felt like an incoming freshman. I was nervous and excited. I love the people here, so it’s exciting to be back with the friends and colleagues I’ve met over the last five years,” Checca said. “I wanted to teach here because it is easy to get involved with the students’ extracurricular activities and you’re constantly encouraged to improve by the surrounding staff.”
The improvements are never ending at BVT. As the school year kicks off, the academic teachers, vocational instructors and support staff are ready to help students improve academically, professionally and personally.