Photo caption: Pictured with Mr. Bryndza (second from right) are Mr. Richard Panicucci, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Howard Lerner, Superintendent, Bergen County Technical Schools and Special Services; Ms. Norah Peck, Interim Executive County Superintendent; Mr. Jason Kim, Board of Education member; Ms. Andrea Sheridan, Assistant Superintendent, Bergen County Technical Schools and Principal, Applied Technology High School; and William J. Meisner, Ed.D., President, BCTS Board of Education.
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The Bergen County Technical Schools District was founded in 1951 to oversee the County's growing need for vocational education. The following year, Bergen County Vocational-Technical High School, the first full-time facility of its kind in the state, opened at 200 Hackensack Avenue. At that time, students studied the union trades of plumbing, carpentry, masonry, and electrical work.Museum building photo
Because technical and vocational schooling is always closely tied to the job market, the cornerstone of the district’s success has been its ability to adapt to the changing needs of local industry. When industry’s needs later changed from hand tools to computers, technical education had to adapt as well.
The district believed students needed strong academic and technical skills to meet the challenges of the future. In the late 1980s, the district began offering before- and after-school enrichment classes for students interested in high-tech areas such as computers, physics, and electronics. The program opened the world of modern vocational education to gifted and talented students. With the aid of a $6 million county bond, the district began to bring unparalleled technology to the county. Secondary students from throughout Bergen County used the campus’s computer and science labs in cooperative and exploratory programs. Middle school students—and their teachers—were exposed to new technologies through a program called ECEMS (Enrichment and Career Exploration in Math and Science). In-service workshops and a professional development school, Apple Academy East, one of the most successful test sites for Apple Computer, followed. These innovative offerings helped initiate full-time programs in technical, career-driven areas for talented students who wished to study in an exciting, non-traditional learning environment.
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
Spring has arrived, and as we return from celebrating the Passover and Easter holidays, we know that the graduation season will soon be upon us. Many of our students are attending Accepted Student Days at their chosen colleges and weighing choices in preparation for the May 1 National College Decision Day. Other students are preparing to enter the military or become part of New Jersey’s workforce. It is a time to look forward to new adventures and experiences even as there is sadness in saying good-bye to old friends. For parents, it is another step in their child’s journey to adulthood. I look forward to attending as many of the upcoming student award assemblies and graduation ceremonies as I possibly can to celebrate with graduating students and their families and to wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavors.
We are looking ahead to another busy summer here at Bergen Tech. The After Hours Academy at BCA will be offering an exciting array of classes for middle school students, as well as introducing a junior program for elementary students. At Applied Tech High School on the Bergen Community College Paramus campus, we will be expanding our classroom and office space to accommodate the growing student population in our Mechatronics program. We will also be introducing a Health Professions program at Applied Tech that will welcome its inaugural class in September 2018. This program will offer students the opportunity to earn college credit and receive practical healthcare skills, while keeping their options open for multiple healthcare careers and degree programs. Graduates will be prepared to enter degree programs in areas such as health science, nursing, paramedic science, dental hygiene, sonography, and respiratory care. It promises to be an exciting opportunity for students interested in pursuing careers in the healthcare industry. Eighth-grade students attending Open Houses at ATHS will have the chance to learn about the program and see the state-of-the-art facilities available to our high school students.
On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff of Bergen County Technical Schools, I wish everyone a relaxing summer spent with family and friends. It will be here before we know it!
Howard Lerner, Ed.D. Superintendent