WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/674848

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As our nation experiences high secondary school dropout rates, soaring college loan debt, and under-employment and unemployment for young adults, students and families are taking a fresh look at voca- tional technical education. A broader concept of what is acceptable schooling could encourage more teens, including some struggling at Weston High, to seek work-based learning. Minuteman is one of 26 vocational technical high schools in Massachusetts and enjoys a reputation for being one of the best in the Commonwealth and the nation. Chapter 74 of Massachusetts General Laws requires towns to offer vocational and technical education. Since Weston does not have a program to meet state standards in those areas, Minuteman plays a critical role. In recent years, Weston's enroll- ment numbers have been very small, totaling three to four students in grades nine through twelve. The low numbers occur in part because Weston's student population is small. Equally significant, some would argue, is the high value placed in Weston schools on admission to elite four-year colleges. Chris Symonds, a 2014 graduate of Minuteman and former Weston resident, made the decision to apply to Minuteman when he was in 8th grade at Weston Middle School. Like celebrity chef Todd English, Symonds knew by age 12 that he wanted to pursue culinary arts. Weston High School offerings did not support his career goals. When Minuteman students visited Weston Middle School, Chris saw an opportunity to go from being average to possibly achieving something extraordinary. 160 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6 Minuteman Futures Foundation (left to right): David Horton, Carrie Flood, Christopher Bateman, Dr. Edward Bouquillon, and Jeffrey Stulin C O U R T E S Y O F M I N U T E M A N H I G H S C H O O L

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