News & Events EASTERN on Facebook EASTERN on Twitter EASTERN on YouTube EASTERN on Instagram

New EASTERN Award Honors Graduate: Jamie Brett Memorial Scholarship

Jamie Brett looking under the hood of a car.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.

Jamie Brett sitting in the window of a race car.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/.

Posted in Education News | Comments Off on New EASTERN Award Honors Graduate: Jamie Brett Memorial Scholarship

Alumni Spotlight: Dawn Burke Sena, Cosmetology

Dawn Burke Sena seated at restaurant dining table.Dawn Burke Sena, a 1978 EASTERN Cosmetology/Cheltenham High School graduate, took the communication, time management, and people skills from her education at EASTERN, and parlayed them into helping her family business, Burke Brothers Landscaping, and into a very successful career in the hospitality industry as co-owner of the Penn’s View Hotel and Panorama Wine Bar.

Sena selected the Cosmetology program in high school because she was always interested in fashion and enjoyed the glamour of dressing up and styling her hair. Her aunt was a hairdresser, and while growing up, she often went to the salon with her grandmother, and was fascinated with the process. While in high school, she knew a few other students who had attended the program and encouraged her to pursue it as well.Dawn Burke Sena standing at restaurant dining table.

Since graduating from EASTERN, Sena’s journey from cosmetology to hospitality has taken her from salon apprentice, junior stylist, stylist, receptionist, salon manager, to salon manager for a major hotel and casino, which she credits for piquing her interest in the hotel and restaurant industry. She went on to work for the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in the V.I.P. Services department, which then led her to working for the Four Seasons Hotel, until becoming her own boss. For the past 30 years she has enjoyed a career as co-owner of the Penn’s View Hotel & Panorama Wine Bar. Coming from a family in the skilled trades, she took a three-year hiatus from the hotel to work for her brothers who founded Burke Brothers Landscape Design in 1990. Sena’s youngest brother, Sean, was a 1985 graduate of EASTERN’s Automotive Technology program sadly passed away in 2016, however, the Burke family decided to honor his memory by sponsoring an annual award to an EASTERN Automotive Technology senior who will be continuing their education.

…continue reading the story called Alumni Spotlight: Dawn Burke Sena, Cosmetology

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Alumni Spotlight: Dawn Burke Sena, Cosmetology

Student Spotlight: Nicole Klaski, Commercial Art

Nikki Klaski, Commercial Art studentEastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Commercial Art and Abington Senior High School junior, Nicole (Nikki) Klaski, comes from a long line of EASTERN graduates. Understanding the value of career and technical education, she knew that many of her interests were related to the commercial art industry. Inspired by her sister, Kelly, who is a graduate of Commercial Art, she decided to enroll. Now, she is completing her first year with a first-place Customer Service win in the SkillsUSA District and State competitions, which earned her a spot to participate in the virtual National SkillsUSA competition in June.

Nikki’s father, Phil, attended the Construction Technology program. Her mother, Michelle, attended the Computer Networking program. Her sister, Brittany, attended the Cosmetology program. And finally, her sister, Kelly, attended Commercial Art. Encouraged by her family to attend EASTERN, Nikki decided to further explore her interests in photography and illustration. She found that her experiences in Commercial Art have helped her develop an interest in the graphic design field.

…continue reading the story called Student Spotlight: Nicole Klaski, Commercial Art

Posted in Student Spotlight | Comments Off on Student Spotlight: Nicole Klaski, Commercial Art

Culinary Arts Program Receives ACFEF Secondary Re-certification

 Certificate of Accreditation

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 the story called Culinary Arts Program Receives ACFEF Secondary Re-certification

Posted in Education News | Comments Off on Culinary Arts Program Receives ACFEF Secondary Re-certification

EASTERN Students Win Big at SkillsUSA District Competition

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.

Jeff Pakula, Construction Instructor, Jacob Boscola, and Dr. Plesnarski
Dr. Plesnarski, Ben Hoffman, and Charlie Zachmann, Culinary Instructor

Mark Zaslavsky, Protective Services Instructor, Dylan Logue, and Dr. Plesnarski

Karen McGeehan, Veterinary Science Instructor, Joseph DiPrimeo Jr., and Dr. Plesnarski

Posted in Education News | Comments Off on EASTERN Students Win Big at SkillsUSA District Competition

EASTERN Appoints New Allied Health Instructor

Ms. Maria Festa, Allied Health InstructorMs. 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 the story called EASTERN Appoints New Allied Health Instructor

Posted in Education News | Comments Off on EASTERN Appoints New Allied Health Instructor

College Credit Agreement with Pennco Technical Institute

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 the story called College Credit Agreement with Pennco Technical Institute

Posted in Education News | Comments Off on College Credit Agreement with Pennco Technical Institute

Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Neulight, Computer Network Administration

Jacob Neulight, Computer Network Administration graduateEastern 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 the story called Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Neulight, Computer Network Administration

Posted in Alumnus Spotlight | Comments Off on Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Neulight, Computer Network Administration