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PHS Tech Ed Program Named Best in Pennsylvania

posted Nov 13, 2017, 7:51 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 7:51 AM ]
Tech Ed Teachers with Award
The Pennridge High School Technology Education program has been awarded “Program of Excellence” in Pennsylvania by the Technology Education and Engineering Association of Pennsylvania. Pennridge will now represent Pennsylvania for the International award at the ITEEA’s (International Technology Education and Engineering Association) conference this April.

The department has undergone a radical change over the last few years. With support from the School Board and administration, teachers have incorporated STEM tools and concepts into their traditional woodworking and metalworking classes without sacrificing hands-on craftsmanship. They still have plenty of table saws, planers and routers in the shop but have supplemented them with 3D printers, plasma cutters, CNC routers, laser engravers and other hi-tech tools.

The result is stunning creations such as tables, cabinets and chairs, as wells as guitars and ukuleles in a new program that has generated massive student interest.

The other interesting angle is that all five teachers in the Technology Education Department are graduates of Millersville University’s Technology and Engineering Education Program. Department Coordinator Allen Androkites (1979 and 1981), Hank Ward (1985), Jim Rutkowski (1985), Bob Miller (1988) and Matt Peitzman (2002) have formed a tight-knit group dedicated to providing students with a positive experience while emphasizing quality projects and safe, productive work habits. They have high expectations for their students and willingly provide extra time for students during the day, after school and on weekends to hone their skills.

Since Androkites joined the Pennridge staff in 1981, some 27 PHS graduates, including Peitzman, have gone on to attend Millersville. The connection also extends to PSD’s Middle School Technology Education - STEM Program, where all four teachers are Millersville grads.