The Cazenovia Central School District's Technology Department hosted an open house on March 23, showcasing their programs and equipment to a dozen tech teachers from surrounding areas. This year, Cazenovia's department was recognized as the Central New York Technology Department of the Year and department leader Chris Hurd was named the Central New York Technology Teacher of the Year.
"When I first started teaching here 20 years ago, there was a metal shop and a wood shop; I taught the wood shop," Hurd said. "Now we have 27 percent of graduating students pursuing technical careers. These kids are extremely motivated; they come to us with the energy, we just try to channel it in the right direction."
The Cazenovia Technology Department has maintained a respected reputation for the past decade; being the first in the area and in some cases the state, to partake in such programs as the Electrathon and Project Lead The Way, as well as developing sophisticated podcasting and television production studios.
The department's open house began in Hurd's room with the presentation of a commemorative plaque to the tech teachers by Mo Lepine, President of the Central New York Technology Education Association and Cazenovia High School alumnus.
"Cazenovia has always had a strong tradition of career development in the areas of agriculture and technology. These areas are still very strong, and are very well known," Lepine said. "When students graduate from Cazenovia they have a very strong academic base, but they have also been exposed to advanced programs and sophisticated equipment."
Students first encounter technology courses while in middle school, during their seventh-grade year. Instructors introduce the students to the elementary principles of the subject; combining math and science with problem-solving units, having the students construct their own rockets, airplanes and air cars.
As the children enter the high school they are given the opportunity to experience more involved courses. The technology department features such classes as web page design, programming, principals in engineering, architecture, video editing and radio broadcasting.