Thursday, November 6, 2014

Customer Driven Experiences Come to The CRTC

I am incredibly proud of what we offer at the CRTC, but I also know we can do better.  An area of great frustration for us is the school’s ability to offer students quality internships and job shadows which we categorize as customer driven experiences (CDE’s).  We offer many of these type opportunities presently, but in almost every case they are a significant logistical challenge.  It is a complicated dance to bus students out of the building so they can engage in a 60 minute workplace experience (90 minute period less travel time) when many of those same students just rode a bus to get to the CRTC in the first place.  Regardless, these experiences do wonders for our students and in many cases expand their horizons like no other learning experience they’ve ever had the opportunity to participate in.

Starting last year, we focused energies (and grant funds) on providing new, in-house CDE opportunities.  To do so we hired, or converted previous positions, to a new job title called WESS (workplace employment skills specialist).  WESS staff members are highly skilled industry experts who have been hired to oversee particular in-house businesses operated by students.  

This year we hired April Hall to be our restaurant manager.  Chef Hall has been in the culinary and restaurant business for years; in addition, she is an adjunct professor at Lakes Region Community College.  April is working hand-in-hand with our students to build up the Crimson Corner Restaurant and related catering business.  The goal is to offer students the opportunity to engage in more authentic industry experiences.  Likewise, we continue to employ Mr. Phillip Bill as our auto shop manager.  His focus is to bring in and support “live” cars, and to coordinate students to work on these actual vehicles.  We have other examples in place, or soon to be in place, with Teacher Preparation, Health Science (LNA clinicals) and Graphics Arts (around silkscreening and printing).

Our culinary students are beginning to benefit from new WESS supported experiences.  Starting in November, we will be opening our restaurant for lunch every Thursday and Friday.  We also have a number of other opportunities available.  When a customer calls in with a catering need, we are working to discipline ourselves to pause the conversation and have a student follow with the customer to assess and record their needs.  This approach is all new for us and we continue to refine it.

Our auto students only have an hour and a half with us on a regular day.  An example is when a customer brings in a car - presently Mr. Bill receives the car and takes notes.  We aspire, through WESS, to have students meet the customer at drop off to record the concerns and prepare the car for service.  If that is not possible, then it is to have the driver record a short video describing his/her issue as well as its’ symptoms.  After watching the video, the student will create a plan of attack to resolve the issue.  Upon completion, the student will record a video to report back to the customer.

In both Culinary Arts and Auto Tech, our two biggest WESS sites, we continue to work to develop a wealth of opportunities based on how far individual students want to go.  Ideally, as the WESS model matures, we develop more student run businesses supported by experts we hire.  We urge all students to get involved as well as propose new approaches.

Steve Rothenberg

CRTC October Students of the Month

Michael Kistner
Automotive Technology
Grade: 12
School: Merrimack Valley

Michael Kistner has a strong focus and desire to move into the automotive industry as well as a passion for restoring antique automobiles. He puts forth his best efforts in class to gain a thorough understanding and then spends much of his free time in the garage. Michael not only excels in his studies, he also brings quality leadership and positive energy to the classroom. Recently while on an internship at Banks Chevrolet he was showing such Grit and determination he was offered a position there. Michael is an ongoing representation of what CRTC stands for.

Joe Sliva
Construction Technology
Grade: 12
School: Pittsfield

Joe is very motivated to do his best work everyday. Joe listens to feedback, sets a goal for himself and follows through. Even when Joe encounters a setback, he tries to learn from it and proceed with his plan.

Fun Fact: Joe makes intricate paper models of cars and trucks.

Katelyn LaCombe
Grade: 11
School: Hopkinton

Katelyn has demonstrated a true dedication to this program since day one. She takes on a leadership role in our classroom group discussions. She takes pride in her work and has demonstrated this is in several ways. At the start of class, she is focused on the task at hand. When working on the floor, she continually seeks feedback to improve the quality of work in her hair designs and continues to practice her techniques at home. Katelyn has a natural ability to work with others in any given situation. She was able to assist her fellow classmates in our class when we switched over to a different form of technology on the day of our first lab test. Katelyn has a wonderful way of explaining hair techniques to other girls when we are working in the lab. In addition Katelyn has a desire to learn more about our industry. Katelyn scheduled time with me after school to assist her in choosing the right salon to set up a job shadow that would give her a great experience.

Where is the student thinking of going to school: Katelyn will be going to cosmetology school upon graduation from high school

Nate Hollins
Program: Culinary Arts
Grade: 12
School:Concord High School

During this month, culinary kicked off a new initiative, The Loaf and Ladle Club, based on hands-on culinary events being run by students. Since the start, Nate has volunteered to work on every event we have done. He is always the first to volunteer for any position, including skills that he may not be comfortable with.

This attitude carries through to his everyday work, both with in classroom and in the lab. He uses the events to both practice skills he is comfortable with and things that are out of his comfort zone. Adding this into his work schedule is certainly difficult but, in Nate’s eyes very beneficial.

Fun Fact: Gold Medal Winner of 2013 NH Healthy meals contest

Where is the student thinking of going to school: Lakes Region Community College

Hillary McMullen
Program: Graphic Arts

Grade: 11
School: Concord High School

I have picked Hillary McMullen for October's "Student of the Month in Graphic Arts" at the CRTC because she attacks every project with determination and desire to know the process and to get better. She understands the outcomes expected and is resourceful by efficiently researching and choosing the harder, more complex designs to complete. She listens attentively and responds well to feedback from me and her peers; accepting it as professional criticism to improve. She effortlessly demonstrates a good sense of organization skills, ready to work at all times and uses class time with purpose and drive. As this is her first quarter as a junior, and if this is an indication of her growth mindset in Graphic Arts, Hillary is on track to accomplish many great things during her time here at the CRTC.

Fun Fact: Hillary has been playing guitar for 8 years and created her first song when she was only 9 years old.

Where is this student thinking of going to school: Manchester Community College or the NH Institute of Art

Celine Burrows
Program: Health Science
School: Merrimack Valley High School

Celine was chosen for student of the month because of her commitment to learning beyond the classroom.
One example is being elected by her peers to be Co- President of the Elliot Hospital Medical Explorers Program. The Medical Explorer Program is an out of class opportunity for students from all over the state of New Hampshire to explore health careers. The Medical Explorer Program assists students to make informed decisions about their career choice. The students attend an average of two evening meetings a month during which speakers from various fields of medicine and healthcare share their knowledge and answer questions. The speakers provide information about educational resources, job opportunities, and take students on tours of specific departments with the explanation of the latest in healthcare technology.

Celine’s role as Co-President will require her to take on a leadership role by making sure that the program meets the goals and objectives of her peers. She will work with the other officers to plan meetings, interview professionals, and ensure that the programs presented are of high quality. Celine will spend several hours out of class each month going above and beyond to contribute to creating professional opportunities for her peers as well as her own personal career goals Taking opportunities like this to venture out of your comfort zone to reach your personal and career goals is what it takes to be successful. Celine is also recognized for taking pride in her work by always performing at a quality level that is beyond the expectation.

Lastly, her professionalism exudes pride and respect. Celine is enthusiastic and positive each day she comes into the classroom and takes ownership of her learning in and out of the classroom on a regular basis.

Arthur Aznive
Program: Info Tech
School: Concord High School
Why was this student nominated?
Arthur excels in academics and perseverance, Consistently performs at a high caliber and shows grit determination in everything he does. He is a motivated class participant and leader. He shows great enthusiasm, completes the most difficult challenges with a positive attitude.

Fun Fact: Loves Archery

Hannah Linquata
Program:Teacher Preparation
Grade: 12
School: Concord High School

Hannah has demonstrated both the hard and soft skills necessary to be an excellent teacher. Hannah has demonstrated a high level of Grit and Ambition during her first internship cycle. Not only did Hannah find a classroom at Beaver Meadow School in which to intern, she began student teaching there even before it was required. Hannah uses her open period in the morning every day to go to her internship early so she may spend extra time teaching her first graders. She is able to set goals for herself and has the tenacity to follow through. She gave herself the goal of teaching lessons during her internship. She took the initiative to make arrangements with her teacher to do this multiple times during her first internship cycle. Her supervisor, Mrs. Beane, shared that, "Hannah has already planned two small group lessons. These lessons both included a V.I.P and all materials students needed to complete the activities. Hannah asked what Math concepts I was teaching and planned her lessons accordingly. Both lessons were well planned. Hannah made all activities including sheets and posters for the children. She also made a pattern game on the ipad for an extra practice activity and she made practice sheets for children that were having trouble learning patterns. Very Impressive!" Hannah also demonstrates a high level of ambition on a regular basis as well. She strives to improve her understanding of theory and her practice of teaching and asks for feedback. She expresses gratitude for feedback and works to immediately implement suggestions made by teachers.

Fun Fact: Hannah is captain of the CHS Varsity cheerleading team. She works as a teacher at East Side Learning Center.

Where is the student thinking of going to school: SNHU, Elon, St. Anslem, NHTI, Guilford

Meet Our Future Chefs & Published Authurs

Two of our CRTC Culinary Arts students, Daiquiri Przybyla (2013 completer) and Alyssa Pepin (currently a Junior), were given the opportunity to show the world a glimpse of their talent. Each had their own recipe published to the all-new cookbook, Future Chefs by Ramin Ganeshram. The book features 150 recipes from students all over America and the world. Every recipe is accompanied by a personal story reflecting each individual’s passion for food and cooking.
Daiquiri shares her intimate story about the struggles she faced at 16 and how culinary became a safe haven. Her signature dish is the Mushroom and Onion Pierogies drizzled with beet sauce. This is a recipe she originally learned from her grandmother.

Alyssa Pepin has been making her signature dish since she was only a toddler standing on a kitchen chair! Alyssa has aspirations of going to a culinary college and then to France to perfect her baking skills. Her recipe is for her family’s Zucchini Bread, which they call, Zuchi Bread. 

Both recipes sound absolutely delicious! Also recognized in the book is Chef Bob McIntosh and some CRTC students who were able to help test recipes for the book: Michael Filides, Henry Hochberg, Daiquiri Przybyla, Randi Houle, Jeremy Kelly, Damian Woodard and Samantha Bruce. If you would like to try Alyssa and Daiquiri’s recipes along with all the other great dishes, Future Chefs can currently be purchased online at

Monday, November 3, 2014

Crimson Cafe Opens for Business!

We are pleased to announce the opening of
CRTC’s Crimson Cafe on Thursday, November 6th!  
This year’s highlight, aside from our delicious homemade meals, is that we will be open from 11-1 on most every Thursday & Friday.

Our menu will vary on a weekly basis to include creative luncheon items as well as fresh baked desserts at reasonable prices. To start we will offer grab n’ go service; in the future we will provide full service dining (when it aligns to the curriculum).  In the coming weeks, we will have an online form so you can order your lunch with just one click of a button!

We will be accepting credit cards in December. Until then, cash only and no house credits please.  A special thank you to teacher Megan Wyatt for helping us staff the Cafe during Lunch hours, we couldn't do it without her and her team of outstanding students and educational assistants!

Be on the lookout for a survey in the coming weeks, we want to hear your thoughts, suggestions and opinions.  The weeks menu as well as daily specials will be posted online every Tuesday to tease your taste buds.   We look forward to seeing you in the cafe!

Chef Bob McIntosh, Chef April Hall and the CRTC’s Proud Culinary Students

November 6-7 Menu:

Cranberry Walnut Salad $4
MIxed greens with caramelized walnuts, dried cranberries,
goat cheese crumbles and a cranberry Vinaigrette

Autumn Chicken Salad Roll-Up $4.50
Seasoned chicken salad, apples, bacon, Cheddar cheese,
mixed greens and scallion in a tortilla wrap

Tortellini Pasta Salad $1.50
Tri colored cheese tortellini tossed with roasted pumpkin seeds,
scallions and a maple vinaigrette

Apple Turnovers

Pumpkin Cheesecake