Six years ago, the Greater Lawrence Technical School implemented new standards in career and technical education. At that time, Heidi Riccio, Director of Career and Technical Education, turned to The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to implement their programs, since teaching entrepreneurship had become required curriculum.
She wrote a grant which launched NFTE at the school and to date, their year- long programs remain strong and active. The lessons include concepts of competitive advantage, ownership, marketing, finance, and product development and all tie back to core math and literacy skills.
This year, NFTE celebrated its 25th anniversary and Riccio received a call four weeks ago that she was named their Educator of the Year. She went to New York City on April 23 to receive this honor at the NFTE 25th Anniversary Gala. By getting this award, Riccio feels the commitment and many efforts to include this important program at GLTS were recognized.
“It was a great honor because the hard work to keep this program intact has paid off,” said Riccio.
Riccio, who came with a strong business background from the Marriott Corp., began teaching at Greater Lawrence 17 years ago as a Culinary Arts instructor. From there, she was the Department Chairperson and a Supervisor before becoming the Career and Technical Education Director four years ago.
As Director, Riccio oversees all 18 vocational programs, managing every aspect which includes curriculum, safety, budgets, grant writing, and workforce development.
NFTE programs use entrepreneurship education as a tool to equip young people to start businesses or become focused employees for existing jobs.
Events this week at Harold Parker State Forest
All programs are free and open to the public. Bring water, wear sunscreen/bug spray, dress in layers, and wear good footwear. An adult must accompany children. Rain cancels. For more information call 978-475-7972 or visit: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/harp.htm. Harold Parker State Forest campground is located at 133 Jenkins Rd., Andover.