WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — In this week’s What’s Right with Schools, we head to Waterbury Career Academy. The high school is getting some national recognition by the U.S. News and World Report. It has ranked them as one of the best high schools in the state of Connecticut. It also ranked them second in the state for math and reading.
The school opened its doors in 2013. It’s a unique model because it doesn’t follow traditional high school and is different from technical school.
Linda Richards is the health science instructor but has been with the school since it opened its doors in 2013. Richards says, “We’ve combined traditional high school experience with the career experience.”
Principal Jade Gopie had her own children graduate from the school. This is her first year as the principal but she says the school sets her students up for success, “Our students are graduating and going out into job field but a lot of our students are going on to colleges, universities.”
The school offers four different career strands; health, IT, manufacturing and human services. The students are able to find the right fit and study the strand through college with internship and apprenticeship opportunities available through the four years.
Allan Riedel is a senior and, out of the strands, he tried two before landing at human services. He tells News 8, “I definitely feel like it gave me a jumpstart because I didn’t want to go into college as an undecided major.”
Saving the time of searching for a career path, instead expediting it through high school. “I realized that’s what I want to become growing up. I want to be a lawyer so I definitely feel it gave me a step ahead of the game,” Reidel says.
Another teacher whose been with the school since it opened, English teacher Richard Pastore. He tells News 8, “All of us, the whole school, is on the same page which is getting these kids ready for a successful life and I’m very proud of it.”