TAUNTON — Superintendent John Cabral is pleased to share that Taunton High School’s Career Technical Education program offers high-quality vocational education and numerous club opportunities for students.
Taunton High School’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program offers a four-year, sequential course of study in a variety of technical areas for college-bound and career-bound students. Taunton High School’s outstanding CTE program includes courses in Marketing, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Culinary Arts, Early Education and Care, Radio and TV Broadcasting and much more. To view all of Taunton High School’s CTE programs, click here.
“Our CTE programs, just like our surrounding vocational schools, feature an active, project-based approach to learning that is demanding yet fun,” Superintendent Cabral said. “Oftentimes, our vocational students were unable to be admitted into local vocational high schools, but have gone on to thrive within our programs. Our programs, coupled with our clubs, allow our students to experience different vocational careers/trades which in turn assists them in making informed decisions for their futures.”
Students in Taunton High School’s CTE programs have the opportunity to receive articulated credits, or college credits while they are earning their high school diploma. These credits provide students with the opportunity to get a jump start on their associate’s degree at Bristol Community College, or transfer them to another college for class credit. Other colleges include Bay State College, Johnson and Wales University, Katharine Gibbs School, Massasoit Community College, New England Institute of Technology and more.
To supplement the CTE curriculum, students in the marketing and culinary art programs receive hands-on experience at the school store, Tiger Shack, and the school restaurant, Tiger Den. Tiger Shack opened in the early 1980s and provides marketing students with experiences in marketing and promotion, as well as business operation. Tiger Den opened about three years ago and is staffed by culinary arts students who work in both the front-end and back-end of the restaurant.
In addition to the many CTE programs offered at Taunton High School, students also have the opportunity to join clubs and organizations, such as SkillsUSA and DECA, that build upon their CTE curriculum and give them additional hands-on experience outside of their shop.
SkillsUSA, which was established at Taunton High School by advisor Sarah Gibson, is open to any students in a CTE program. SkillsUSA helps to prepare students for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations through competitions and leadership conferences.
Last month, nine Taunton High School students competed at the SkillsUSA’s 47th Annual State Leadership and Skills Conference after qualifying at the district level. The conference was hosted in a hybrid setting with some events in person and others virtual.
At the 47th Annual State Leadership and Skills Conference, the following students received awards:
- Audio Radio Production: Senior Trevor Emma and Junior Emily Gannon won first place and will move onto nationals for their podcast-style public service announcement.
- Job Interview: Senior Isabella Nealy won second place for her interview for restaurant management.
- Computer Programming: Junior Jared Windle won third place for his computer program.
For each competition category, students were judged by industry professionals. Emma and Gannon will go on to compete in the National Leadership & Skills Conference which will be held in a remote/hybrid format later this year.
“When I first established Taunton High School’s SkillsUSA team we showed up to districts with just nine students,” Gibson said. “Six years later, our chapter has been to Nationals three times, which is a huge accomplishment when competing against larger vocational schools in our area. It makes me so proud to see our students thrive even without the traditional vocational school background or setting.”
Along with SkillsUSA, Taunton High School has had a long-standing DECA chapter integrated into the district’s CTE program. The chapter, which began in 1979, works to provide real-world experience and opportunities through community service, training and competition.
Taunton High School’s DECA chapter grew to be the third-largest chapter in Massachusetts with 283 members last year. Due to COVID-19, there was a slight decline in membership this year but the club still boasts 190 active members.
“In DECA, our career technical students benefit by learning realistic techniques and having the opportunity to apply them in a competitive and realistic setting,” DECA advisor Jesse MacPhail said. “Students who graduate with the DECA experience tend to have an easier time transitioning into the workplace as well as have improved confidence, social skills, networking abilities and technical knowledge.”
Taunton High School’s DECA team normally participates in three competitions a year including Districts, State and Internationals, if they qualify. This year, 15 Taunton High School students qualified to compete at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC) last month. Of those students, four advanced to the second round of the conference and earned themselves a spot in the Top 20, and THS DECA 2021-2022 President Nicole Fiske placed third and received a glass award. This was the highest award Taunton has ever won.
Other notable THS competitors at this year’s ICDC include: senior Camden Mullen, junior Peter Ye, senior Olivia Weber, junior Nicole Fiske (second round and third place winner), junior Nicole Drake (second round), senior Cloee Cambra, junior Allyson Amaral, sophomore Quincy-Jones Sylvia, freshman Zachary Gay, freshman Gabriel Leskoski, freshman Khonnor Pasquale, senior Ty Cali (second round), sophomore Joey Kazlauskas (second round), senior Spencer Andrews and junior Colby DeCouta.
At these conferences, both Tiger Shack and Tiger Den compete in DECA’s school-based enterprise competition events. Both of Taunton High School’s enterprises are gold level certified which is a national DECA recognition for entrepreneurial operations in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market.
Outside of conferences, Taunton High School’s DECA chapter has also done well with campaigning for and winning DECA state officer positions. Since 2012, Taunton’s DECA chapter has successfully produced 12 state officers who have served on the MA DECA State Action Team.
The chapter has also earned Diamond Level for three years in a row, which is awarded to a DECA chapter that meets the rigorous requirements of a Chapter of Excellence. The achievement was made possible due to the efforts of current DECA State Officer Meaghan DeCouta and President Camden Mullen.
Additionally, Taunton High School DECA also has a cable access TV show aired on TCAM. It is titled “A Student’s Perspective” and is run by junior Hector Aponte who was just elected as a Massachusetts DECA State Officer.
Those interested in being a part of Taunton High School’s robust CTE program and clubs are encouraged to apply. All Taunton high school-aged residents are eligible to enroll in THS’s CTE program. Current TPS students, private or parochial school students and homeschooled students may apply for admission to the program.
Students not residing in Taunton may also be accepted on a space-available basis as part of the district’s school choice program which allows parents to send their children to schools in communities other than the city or town in which they reside.