Posted Mar 17, 2021
Dear EASTERN Family,
We are very pleased to inform you that we will be offering four days of in-person instruction for all our students starting April 6th. Having our students in our classrooms for the remainder of the school year allows us to focus on teaching and assessing critical hands-on skills and providing opportunities for our students to acquire licenses and certifications that require in-person learning. We will also be making a concerted effort to help transition our students into the next steps of their career paths. This includes assisting with job placement for students who wish to enter directly into their career field. It also includes assisting students continuing to post-secondary education navigate and take advantage of any articulation agreements we have.
We are offering families the choice between in-person instruction, four days per week, with Wednesday being a virtual day or participating in 100% virtual option. We respect a family’s right to choose what they feel is best for their child during these difficult times and understand that some families may be uncomfortable with their child returning to school. We want you to be aware of the following before committing to any decision:
- Our teachers will be in their classroom/lab area working with our students who are in person assisting them with hands-on skill development. With most of our students coming back, our teachers need to focus on occupational safety and health safety and skill development of our students who are in person. Our teachers creatively “front-loaded” the theory part of the curriculum, but now must focus on critical hands-on skills so our students are prepared to continue in their career field. Students who continue in a virtual model will be unable to gain these hands-on skills, will not be able to obtain certifications that are performance-based, and will be unable to complete all the tasks in our curriculum.
- Students who choose to continue virtually will be in an asynchronous environment, meaning assignments will be posted for them to complete. Learning will be much more independent than it has been. Students will still get exposure to their career field but will be missing the critical hands-on component of our programs.
- On Wednesdays, synchronous (live) instruction will be offered to the AM class from 7:45-8:30 and the PM class from 12:00-12:45. This is the only opportunity our teachers will have to provide whole-group instruction.
If you completed the survey already and wish to change your child’s instructional model, please email email@example.com. If you have not completed the survey, our staff has been and will continue to reach out to you. We need to send this information back to our districts so they can plan for transportation.
Continue Reading EASTERN Change in Instructional Model
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) announces a new award honoring the memory of Jamie Brett, a 1982 Collision Repair Technology and Upper Moreland High School graduate. Mr. Brett passed away peacefully on Friday morning, March 12, 2021 at his home in Abington, with his family by his side, after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. His family has chosen to honor his memory with an annual award to be granted to a Collision Repair Technology graduate at EASTERN’s Awards Night each May. This award will be presented by members of the Brett family to a student chosen by Collision Repair Technology Instructor who will use the funds toward continued education or tools of the trade.
Always an auto enthusiast, Mr. Brett spent many years in the collision repair field and the last 16 years as manager and owner/operator of O’Neil Collision Center in Hatboro, PA. He built a thriving and well- respected business, where both his children and brother plan to continue the family business. Over the years he repaired and “flipped” many cars, motorcycles, and a boat, but was especially fond of old muscle cars and classics. He owned a car from every Pontiac Trans Am Series, his favorites; a 1972 Plymouth Road Runner (his first), a 1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible, and his current, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. When Mr. Brett wasn’t working, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends, especially on sunny summer days by the pool.
Donations may be made in his honor, to the Jamie Brett Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a graduate of Eastern Center for Arts and Technology Collision Repair Program. Contributions can be made payable to the EASTERN Foundation, with Jamie Brett Memorial Award in the notes section, or use the drop down menu to select the Jamie Brett Memorial Award here – https://www.eastech.org/foundation/donate/.
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology’s (EASTERN) Culinary Arts program was recently re-certified by the Secondary Certification Committee of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) Accrediting Commission. The Secondary Certification Committee has given EASTERN certification through December 31, 2025. This certification was first granted in 2008 after an in-depth review of the facility, and the program’s processes and procedures. ACFEF certification is a symbol of professionalism, testifying that EASTERN’s Culinary Arts program meets the highest industry standards,
and a guide by which any culinarian can shape their career.
EASTERN’s Culinary Arts is a two-year half-day program where students build culinary skills and techniques so they can compete in this field. Culinary Arts enables students to acquire a variety of skills including soup and sauce preparation, preparation of meat, fish and poultry entrees, baking, kitchen sanitation, purchasing and inventory controls.
Continue Reading Culinary Arts Program Receives ACFEF Secondary Re-certification
Thirty-five students from the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) won medals in skill areas or leadership at the SkillsUSA District Competitions held virtually throughout the month of February. First-place winners will represent EASTERN at the state-level competitions to be held in April 2021. SkillsUSA is a national student leadership organization that encourages career and technical students to be productive individuals in our democratic society. Since this event was held virtually, Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, EASTERN’s Executive Director, went to each classroom throughout the week of March 15 to congratulate each medalist, and present them with their medal.
Read more about our winners here.
Ms. Marie Festa has been selected as the second Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Allied Health Instructor, starting in January 2021. In 2021-2022, the program will expand to provide more opportunities for students in Eastern Montgomery County to explore and prepare for careers in healthcare.
Ms. Festa has 24 years of experience at Fox Chase Cancer Center in various nursing positions. Ms. Festa holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and is currently working on her master’s degree in Nursing at Chamberlain University. She also holds professional certifications in Oncology and ambulatory care nursing. Prior to her teaching position at EASTERN, Ms.Festa was the Patient Flow Coordinator, and Staff RN Ambulatory Care, and Relief Nursing Supervisor at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Prior to these positions, she was the ICU Unit Team Leader at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
In high school, Ms. Festa participated in the Medical Records Technology program at Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical School. She then pursued her nursing degree at Community College of Philadelphia before completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Chamberlain University.
Continue Reading EASTERN Appoints New Allied Health Instructor
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Automotive Technology, Electrical Technology, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning students can benefit from a new partnership with Pennco Technical Institute (Pennco Tech). This agreement creates a systematic and seamless process in which students can move from high school to Pennco Tech without having to duplicate efforts or repeat courses in their degreed programs.
EASTERN students in all three programs are able to apply for Pennco Tech’s Imagine America Scholarship of $1,000.00 above and beyond the tuition reductions for their program. With this agreement, EASTERN students will have their first term of Pennco Tech’s Auto Tech Degree (AST) program awarded as advance standing, which is 10 weeks of the 60-week program, which is a tuition reduction of just over $5,000. For the HVAC&R program, which is 40 weeks, 4 Terms, at 10 weeks each, EASTERN students will get advance standing for the first 10 weeks, which is approximately $5,500 in tuition savings. In the Electrician Program, which is 30 weeks, 3 terms, at 10 weeks each, EASTERN students will receive advance standing for the first 10 weeks and $5,900 in tuition savings.
Continue Reading College Credit Agreement with Pennco Technical Institute
Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Computer Network Administration / Cheltenham High School graduate, Jacob Neulight, has been selected for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Defense Scholarship Program. This program is for qualified and high-achieving students enrolled in IUP’s Cybersecurity program. Through this scholarship, Neulight will receive an annual stipend, a full scholarship, books, and laptop.
During his tenure at EASTERN, Neulight was a leader in the class. He was selected as EASTERN’s Technology Management Systems (TMS) summer intern, a full-time summer position consisting of the updating and reformatting school computers, Chromebooks and technology set-up. He was also the November 2017 EASTERN Student of the Month.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but the opportunities I received at EASTERN set me up perfectly to get a Help Desk job in college,” said Neulight. “These opportunities helped to fill my resume with experience, which eventually led to me receiving the Department of Defense Cybersecurity scholarship. My advice to students considering a career and technical program at EASTERN is to take advantage of the opportunities offered such as internships and SkillsUSA competitions. Fill your resume with relevant experience and you will achieve the goals you set for yourself.”
Continue Reading Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Neulight, Computer Network Administration
February is Black History Month. EASTERN is extremely proud of our Black Alum and we are celebrating by focusing on our successful grads throughout the month. Maurice Massey, a 2004 EASTERN Electronics Engineering Technology/Springfield Township High School graduate, is enjoying a successful career as Vice President of the Implementation Services division at CenTrak, a wireless automated location monitoring and environmental monitoring solution for the healthcare industry. The CenTrak system works using various IR/Wi-Fi devices, and records data to build a real-time interface for medical staff and patient workflow. Currently, they are supporting many hospitals across the US with COVID-19 vaccination monitoring. Massey credits his career training at EASTERN for providing him with the skills to succeed in this exciting field.
Growing up, Massey was always opening his gaming systems to see how they worked. He knew he learned best working in a hands-on environment. When he was in 10th grade, he learned about the half-day career and technical programs at EASTERN. He chose Electronics Engineering Technology. He excelled immediately in the class and knew he found his niche. During his time at EASTERN, he also discovered his leadership qualities and served as Class President for SkillsUSA, EASTERN’s student leadership organization, for two years.
Continue Reading Black History Month Alumni Spotlight: Maurice Massey, Electronics Engineering