This past weekend, I had the chance to meet a young man named Edwin. He’s a student at Somerville High School, where he’s earned membership in the National Honor Society, a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, and Vocational Student of the Year honors in SHS’s Career and Technical Education program. Edwin was my guide on a Saturday morning tour of his school, and I was impressed by what I saw. We took a look at SHS’s carpentry and welding shops where students receive the wisdom of the working trades, the kitchens where Culinary Arts students create sumptuous cuisine, the Health Careers and Child Development departments where the next generation of doctors, nurses, and child care professionals learn their craft. Along the way, Edwin’s poise and soft-spoken optimism showed me the best of what vocational education has to offer. When Edwin graduates from SHS, he’ll not only have real-world skills that will allow him to stake out a future on his own terms, but he’ll also enjoy a self-confidence born of hands-on experience.
I’d like to say thank you to Edwin (and good luck with your plan to earn two degrees!) and to the whole team at SHS-CTE. You’ve inspired me to dust off my old tool box, and you continue to prove that the partnership of parents, teachers, and students is unstoppable.