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Local Leaders In Education Lauded By Clarkson University
When it comes to being creative, innovative, and committed to providing the best education possible, four people come to mind: Lee Baines, William Keener, Ron Reid and Pat McKeown.
The four were honored recently at this year's Tech Prep Banquet at Clarkson University for their exceptional contributions to the field of education. Professor Mark Cornett, director of Clarkson's Engineering and Management Program, and Sandra Zuhlsdorf, coordinator of the School of Business Educational Partnership Program, presented the awards.
Baines, Keener and Reid are teachers at Massena High School and are affectionately known as "the Geezers." McKeown is the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES coordinator of Educational Partnerships. Together, they created, established and facilitated one of New York State's finest Tech Prep programs at Massena High School. The program was established out of a need to provide high school students with the skills necessary to be successful and compete in today's global workforce.
Students who have elected to enroll in Tech Prep participate for two years during the 11th and 12th grades. They partake in several experiential learning activities with the support of Massena High School, Clarkson University, SUNY Canton and local industries such as Alcoa, Reynolds Metals, GM Powertrain, New York Power Authority, St. Lawrence Gas and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Many of the students who enter the program have few aspirations to attend college. By the time they complete Tech Prep, almost all go on to pursue a college education.
One of the highlights of Tech Prep is the Spring Banquet where the 11th grade students present their case resolutions to the industry leaders, parents, teachers and community leaders. This year, six teams of 11th grade Massena High School students presented industry cases using PowerPoint.
At that same awards ceremony, Baines and Keener -who will retire at the conclusion of the school year-and Reid and McKeown received plaques, which were inscribed with the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "…To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Many lives in the Tech Prep program have breathed easier because of their hard work and dedication.