Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tid bits of Classroom News

Culinary Arts
Post by: Chef Bob Mcintosh

In an exciting kickoff to our year, CRTC culinary classes hosted the “Cooking with the Culinary Institute of America” event on Monday, September 24. Along with all CRTC Culinary Arts students (and some parents) we were joined by students, parents, and staff connected to Culinary Arts Programs at Salem High and Portsmouth High Schools. Everyone was treated to an admissions video, a demonstration on vegan knockwurst by seasoned demonstrator Aaron Baddely, and a lesson on white and dark chocolate mousse by Chef Instructor Paul Prosperi. Lots of information and some great tastings made the day very memorable.

Student teams are also making plans to enter the NH Healthy Meals competition in October and November. The contest requires culinary arts students to design a healthy recipe that has student appeal and fits the USDA guidelines for the school lunch program. Finalists will be chosen from the recipes submitted and those teams will compete in November at Southern New Hampshire University for the bronze, silver and gold medals. All recipes will be available for use by school lunch programs across the country.

Teacher Preparation
Post by: Val Flanders

Talk about an unexpected and interesting start to the school year! During the second week of school, we discovered that the Teacher Preparation building needed major construction and we had to move to another building. Elementary Principal Deb McNeish graciously offered us available space in their newly-built elementary school. In September, we moved both the Teacher Preparation classroom and our lab classroom, Crimson Tide Preschool, to the Abbot-Downing School. The high school students are housed in an upper elementary classroom and the preschool is in a kindergarten classroom. All of our students, high school and preschool, have quickly adjusted to our new environments.

We feel very fortunate to be located in this state of the art building. The high school students are amazed by the design and structure of this school. It has also been a wonderful experience for the high school students to be exposed to the reality of what life in a running elementary school is like. They are seeing all aspects of the school throughout the day. The staff of the Abbot-Downing School has warmly welcomed our students and are sharing teaching materials with us. In the coming months, the high school students will be able to work with some of the elementary students on special projects. We hope to build a strong relationship with the staff and students this year.

Construction Technology
Post by: John Hubbard

Exciting time in Construction Technology! Construction Technology I students are busy working towards completion of their first project. Each student is cutting and assembling pieces for their individual sawhorses. The project involves the use of power tools such as circular saws, table saws, electric drills, and orbital sanders. Math skills and safety are heavily stressed throughout the project.

Construction Technology II students have begun construction of a two story building in the shop area. Upon completion, the building will be used by the students in refining their hard skills like roofing, siding, drywall, stairs, plumbing, electrical, windows, doors, and kitchen cabinets.

On September 21, all Construction Technology students attended Construction Career Days at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds. Over 1,200 students from high school construction programs attended the two day event. Students were exposed to over 50 different careers, many with hands on activities. Some of the careers included architecture, heavy equipment operation, surveying, and welding.

The Construction Tech Program also does work in the community.  This month we are working on the stairs at the Friends Program Homeless Shelter on Thompson Street.

Health Science & Technology
Post by: Sharon Bean 

This year's enrollment is exciting for several reasons. Number one, the students are a great group of kids that are eager to learn. Number two, according to the US Department of Labor Statistics, “in health care and social assistance are expected to have the fastest rate of growth over the next 10 years, adding a projected 4.0 million new wage and salary jobs, or 27 percent percent of all new nonagricultural wage and salary jobs” (

To start off the year, the Health Science students were invited to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital (HSRH) at 254 Pleasant Street in Concord for “Career Day” in honor of Rehabilitation Week. While at HSRH, students were introduced to several health care professionals who are currently active in their professions including the CEO of HSRH, the Chief of Nursing, a Speech Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist. Students were also given a tour of the state of the art rehabilitation facility. Throughout the year guest speakers of various disciplines will come to class to share their expertise and pathway to their profession. This month we have a Respiratory Therapist from Concord Hospital, the CEO, Mike Green of Concord Hospital and a Cystic Fibrosis patient from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center coming into class.

Students are also invited to and attending a six week educational series sponsored by Dartmouth Community Medical School titled, “It’s Personal: Medicine’s evolution away from one size fits all”. This program is voluntary and takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7pm-9pm in Manchester or Nashua. Lastly, we had our semi-annual Blood Drive on October 31, 2012 from 8am- 2pm in the Concord High School Gymnasium.

Automotive Technology
Post by: Scott Mayott & Phil Bill

On September 20th, Automotive Technology had their annual Engine Night. Trucks, trailers, and even one minivan lined the street as students waited in anxious anticipation of dropping off their engine. You could feel the excitement as the engines were unloaded by the Auto I students and their parents. Four Auto II students were invited to help, so that number swelled as some of the students and parents stayed to help others with the unloading of their engines.

On Friday, October 12, all of the CRTC Auto Tech students attended NHASA Automotive Day at New Hampshire International Speedway. The event included: exhibitions and demonstrations of new technologies and a chance to meet college representatives. Our students enjoyed the day and made a number of great connections.

Fire Science
Post by: Steve Rothenberg

We continue to finalize plans for a Fire Science Program starting in 2013/2014. The actual offerings will be finalized in the next two months, but the expected plan is to offer Fire Science I, in the spring semester of 2014 and EMT the following year. Fire Science I will run from 7:45 am to 10:45 am daily. We continue to work with the Concord Fire Department as well as the State Fire Academy to create the best configuration. This will be a unique offering in any case and unprecedented for us. There will not be one teacher - instead a mix of Certified Fire Science trainers will be teaching it. It is also very possible that much of the programming will take place at the Fire Academy at Smokey Bear Drive off Route 106 including on weekends to do hands-on activities. This raises transportation issues and other challenges, but on the other hand provides us the most authentic setting. We are definitely blazing (bad pun) a new trail with this program. More news coming.

Information Technology
Post by: Joseph Messineo

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We have a very exciting semester in Info Tech as we begin the year with Robotics. Students will be learning the fundamentals of science & engineering through the hands-on activity of building and programming robots.

Students are challenged to use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to solve problems and complete individual challenges using both physical robots and robots in Virtual Worlds.

SPUR Conferences and Performance Reviews

Post by: Will Brunkhorst

At CRTC our motto is “Students Own their Education”.  With ownership comes personal responsibility, and daily attention.

In a traditional classroom setting students perform their work, instructors talley scores, and assign a grade. At CRTC rather than “grading” students, we prefer to think of the process as a “performance review”, much like a performance review at work.

This is the fourth year of our SPUR (Student Performance upon Understanding Review) process.  Our staff invented the SPUR in response to their dissatisfaction with the traditional review process.  We believe the SPUR process has evolved into a genuine process that prepares students to be college and career ready.

Our website has extensive information about the SPUR process (under the assessment tab) and we urge all readers to check it out.  A few highlights of the process include:

  • Four times a year students formally meet with their instructor for a 15 minute, one to one, “SPUR Conference”. During these private sessions, performance is discussed, feedback provided, and goals for future accomplishments are set or modified. Moreover, instructors and students really get to know one another.
  • Students are not handed a grade by instructors. At CRTC students actively participate with the establishment of a grade, and also with the content and direction of their education. Personal responsibility and daily attention to education is expected of students.
  • Students must gather data and present their performance against clearly defined competency rubrics.
  • Students assess themselves against hard and soft skills.  Our Soft Skills Rubric parallels industry expectations.

Our staff has completed extensive professional development to refine the SPUR Process.  This year we will be adding a peer review element.

Please click here to check out our assessment website for much more information.  Feel free to contact program coordinator Will Brunkhorst ( to learn more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Teacher Spotlight: Tom Mungovan

Quick Stats - Graphic Arts Tom Mungovan:

Lives in Merrimack with his wife, three young children.
Owner: Van-Mungo Graphics
Finishing Master’s in Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College
Bachelor’s Degree in  BS in Management, from Franklin Pierce College.

Business Specialty's:
- Graphic Artist for over 20 years
 - Published twice for books on screenwriting and on heavy metal music
- Wrote 29 surrealistic style poetry books
- Founded a non-profit organization called NH Drum Festival

Spotlight on: Graphic Arts & Digital Communication

Post by: Tom Mungovan

In the CRTC’s Graphic Arts and Digital Communications Program, students learn all about becoming a successful graphic designer, from understanding the codes and principles of graphic design to learning typography, color theory and composition. Students learn and gain proficiency at software programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to become well versed and knowledgeable in making the journey from interested novice to budding expert to the industry.

Projects are crafted to represent a real graphic design job in the industry today, while maintaining connections and satisfying State competencies. Students are trained to focus on technical abilities in their designs that promote a professional edge. A little known secret about the Graphic Arts computer lab classroom is one of the best around. It has the most up-to-date software, the fastest computers, 22" wide monitors for optimal graphic workspace, and each computer has a pen tablet for student use. Each student has access to three different printers as well. Being that this industry is presentation and critique heavy, students constantly hone their skills on the same tools used throughout the industry.

A variety of outside speakers come in and "talk shop" with the students; it’s a no-holds barred kind of conversation that opens a lot of eyes. As there are many paths for success, multiple colleges come in to speak directly to the students. The purpose is to entice students to think about college as another avenue to get where they want to go.

Graphic Arts is also aligned with Running Start, a great opportunity for students to be dually enrolled in high school and college at the same time. Simply by signing up, paying a very small fee and taking this class, students can earn up to 12 credits of college without ever having to set foot on an actual college campus! The Seniors or Level 2 students are required to go on internships to a variety of local businesses, including Say It In Stitches and NH Bindery which further enhances their understanding and experiences of being a successful graphic designer.  

In the coming year, the program looks to replace all computers and monitors, upgrades to CS6 from CS5, and explore Adobe Photoshop ACA Certification for students.

This environment of teaching students for 2 years 5 days a week builds up trust and solid relationships. A few of past GA students who are currently enrolled in graphic studies at college, have been e-mailing me their updates. Carl Heath tells me, "thanks Mr. Mungovan for making me so bored in college", and Louise Murphy tells me that, "I feel like I can teach this Photoshop class with everything you taught me already!" I think its fair and honest to admit that I love what I do and take great pride in providing the best education and positive experience I can for my students. Feel free to get in touch with me for any reason, e-mail: or 603-225-0800 x6264.