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.
Wednesday, May 8, 10 a.m. to noon. We Walk the Woods:
Meet at Campground Nature Center-Join the Park Interpreter for a slow paced walk through the forest while enjoying nature at its finest. Each week we hike to a different part of the forest for a series of 12 hikes. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen, binoculars and camera. Appropriate for children over 6 years old.
Wednesday, May 8 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Let’s Explore the Pond:
Meet at Campground Nature Center-Let’s discover what lives in our tranquil New England ponds. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen, binoculars and camera.
All ages are welcome and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Thursday, May 9, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Vernal Pond Visit:
Vernal Ponds are one of the most important ecological features in our forest. Harold Parker has 56 certified vernal ponds. Come and find out how important these features are and get to know the creatures that depend on them. Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, May 9, 3-5 p.m.
Meet at Campground Nature Center-This is a casual paced bike ride through forest trails. Great for families and also those new to trail riding. Helmets are required and you should bring water and insect repellent and sun screen. Appropriate for children over 10 years old.
Friday, May 10 10 a.m to noon
Soapstone Quarry Ramble:
Meet at Campground Nature Center-Join the Park Interpreter for a walk back in time as you tour the site of the old Jenkins blue soapstone quarry, The Skug river mill site and a glacial erratic. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen and camera. Appropriate for all ages.
Friday, May 10, 2-3 p.m.
This program is for pre-K level. This is a basic introduction to the forest and a short hike to acclimate children to the outdoors. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen, binoculars and camera.
Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to noon. Gone Fishin’:
Meet at Campground Nature Center-Great family fun for everyone interested in learning the basics of pond fishing in New England. All fishing tackle and bait is provided. Recommend bringing insect repellent, water, sun screen and a camera. Appropriate for children over 6 years old.
Saturday, May 11 2-3:30 p.m.
Thank the CCC
Meet at Campground Nature Center-Join the Park Interpreter to discover the one-time builders of this forest – The Civilian Conservation Corps. Visit a few key sites and learn about this program which took place in the 1930s. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen and camera. Appropriate for all ages.