Cazenovia, New York, is in Central New York, about 20 miles from Syracuse. The picturesque lakeside community is home to professionals working in Syracuse, a strong agricultural base and a renewed manufacturing community. Established in 1794, the community itself may be among the oldest of an SME PRIME school – but the career and technical education opportunities available at Cazenovia High School are forward-thinking and very current.
Cazenovia High School, part of the Cazenovia Central School District, is a longtime SME PRIME school, with a strong manufacturing training program built upon engineering principles with a mission to inspire young people early in their lives. Summer camps and introductory technology programs are available to even elementary school-age students in the district, and those foundations are built upon once students enter high school.
“My seventh and eighth-grade technology classes taught us the basics of using tools; I really liked making things,” says Riley Lordon. “And in high school, we’ve expanded that into computer training, design and manufacturing."
Lordon, noting that projects must be functional but marketable, enjoys the challenges and the opportunities for creativity. Riley, who will be a senior in the coming school year, is reviewing her college options now, with an eye on engineering programs at the Rochester Institute of Technology or the University of Connecticut: “I want to have an impact; leave a positive mark on the world.”
Classmate Savannah Johnson is also preparing, through Cazenovia Career and Technical Education classes, to make her mark. “I’m going to explore software development. I’m fascinated by how quickly that technology changes – you can see it on your own phone. I’m fascinated at the level of change, too,” says Savannah. “I think it would be interesting and important to figure out how to make technologies and capabilities enabled by software attainable and affordable for everyone.”
Chris Hurd, director of Career and Technical Education programs at Cazenovia, says that 96% of Cazenovia students go on to two or four-year programs after high school. “But we’re also working with area manufacturers to include more internship opportunities for students – as well as apprenticeships.”