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From the Executive Director

Michael-Annanis.jpg

The Faculty of RSTA and I welcome our students and their families, and all the community supporters who are a part of RSTA, to our program’s website for the 2017-2018 school year.

Last year, RSTA said farewell to and thanked five great educators who had made significant contributions to the program as they began the retirement leg of their life’s journey. We were exceptionally fortunate to hire five outstanding educators who are ready, willing, and able to pick up where their predecessors have left off. I am delighted to welcome the following to the RSTA faculty:
  • Michelle E. Walsh, Culinary Arts, replaced Chef Joel Legault and began in January 2017
  • Sara Reese-Monestime, Career Counselor, replaced Clare Garman and began in January 2017
  • Mechille Venus, Health Assisting, replaced Anne Marie Ciccarelli and began in February 2017
  • Jarrod Horne, Carpentry, replaced Bruce Aldrich and begins September 2017
  • Steven Rivera, Automotive Technology, replaced Rob Cooper and begins September 2017
RSTA faculty will continue their efforts to engage parents, guardians, and other family members in their ongoing support for student growth and achievement. RSTA teachers will be seeking to develop meaningful connections with families of our students to identify and use ways to “spark” our students’ passion and helps motivate them to success.

RSTA teachers will be devoting much of their Professional Development work this year on expanding and refining their instructional knowledge in the area of “Safety & Health” in their labs, shops, and classes. Additionally, RSTA teachers will be working collaboratively with each other to learn more effective instructional strategies by sharing best practices and applying them in effective ways.

Starting this year, our Engineering and our Biotechnology programs will be implementing major initiatives (both very generously funded by grants) that will expand learning and open the doors to students who might not have considered enrolling in them in the past.
  • Engineering, with a $463,000 Mass Capital Skills Grant, will implement an Advanced Manufacturing component to the Engineering sequence. Students will learn the valuable skills of operating computer driven manufacturing machinery, and will acquire the skills to enter this rapidly growing field. Engineering teacher Barry Jackson wrote the grant and will deliver the new curriculum.
  • Students in Biotechnology, aided by a $105,000 grant from Mass Life Skills Center, will begin learning in a new Biomanufacturing lab where they can develop many highly sought after skills related to this important aspect of the field. Dr. Joan Abrams, who will be building the lab this fall while on a sabbatical leave to hone her own knowledge & skills, wrote the grant in order to support even more student interest in Biotechnology as a career.
We look forward to another exciting and interesting year for the students and faculty of RSTA. Please come and visit – I’d love to share with you the great things that are being done here to help prepare our students for success in life beyond high school.

Dr. Mike Ananis