CHS Principal Laura Tarlo shadows student at CTE

Laura Tarlo is a principal who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.

When she was invited to participate in the first-ever ‘Shadow a CTE Scholar Principals Challenge,’ on Feb. 6, she jumped at the opportunity. The event is part of the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month initiative.

With many of her students in various programs – such as Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, Game Design, Network Cabling, and Welding –  Mrs. Tarlo decided to spend the morning with junior Richard Shumway, who is a first-year Automotive Trades Technology student.

“I chose auto trades because I don’t know anything about car repair and I have a lot of respect for Richie and wanted to learn more about what he does at BOCES,” said Mrs. Tarlo.

Richie, who spends half of every school day learning how to be a mechanic, was excited to have his principal around for the morning, showing her the ropes of automotive repair.

After going on a tour of the new building, located on Watervliet Shaker Rd., they got down to business. Together, they worked on a Subaru sedan, where Mrs. Tarlo learned how to rotate tires, change the oil and air filters, and learned about the lift system, under Richie’s tutelage. 

“It’s fun to show what I like about car repair,” said Richie, who felt a tad bit of pressure having his high school principal work alongside him, but was nonetheless excited to share his passion with her. 

Mrs. Tarlo was impressed not only by the state-of-the-art facility, but by the program. “Richie’s learning things at BOCES that will prepare him immediately for the field,” she said.

Richie, whose end goal is to open his own automotive repair business, plans to go to either Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) or Penn State. If he chooses to stay local, he will be able to transfer 13 college credits from BOCES to HVCC’s auto trades program.

After a busy couple of hours, Mrs. Tarlo came away with a newfound respect for her CTE students.

“These kids are taking the opportunity to enroll in these hands-on trade programs and are coming out ready to work,” she said. “And this event is such a great way to highlight CTE in a positive way.”

February is National Career and Technical Education Month and the ‘Shadow a CTE Scholar Principals Challenge’ event is one of several initiatives taking place at Capital Region BOCES this month, where 97% of graduates enter the workforce and/or pursue college or technical school degrees.



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