Trade Tech High School of Vista, open just four years, will hold its first commencement Tuesday with one graduate from Carlsbad—Lloyd Beasley, 18.
Beasley is one of 20 set to receive a diploma, entering adulthood with confidence he didn’t have while attending a nonvocational public school.
“It’s a lot smaller than other schools and if I wanted to ask a question I could ask a question,” Beasley said. “It’s been really fun and I like that I have the one-on-one time with the teachers.”
And Beasley’s experience is exactly what founder Doreen Quinn envisioned.
Quinn, the CEO of the school and nonprofit New Haven Youth & Family Services that founded the school, said those in the industry and community wanted to fill a void in the San Diego region.
“We saw a need in our local school district and a high dropout rate because of the lack of engagement,” she said.
“Our goal is to engage students in a new way to ensure graduates have both the academic skills to succeed in college but also the workforce competencies that give them an edge in college and skilled-trade apprenticeships.”
She said her students won’t have to choose between college and work, “because we’re preparing them for both thanks to a high-tech, high-touch project-driven learning environment.”
For principal Bryan O’Donnell, Trade Tech High is doing exactly that.
With just 10 staff members, the school caters to 120 students who take six classes. Four classes are general education courses while two specialize in construction or engineering.
Students graduate after earning 220 credits.
“It’s an extremely fluid school,” O’Donnell said. “Everyone is highly involved in the educational process and students receive that individual attention.”
O’Donnell said of the 20 who are graduating—five have guaranteed jobs in the industry and 13 are going to local colleges.
“I’m proud of every single one of these graduating seniors,” O’Donnell said. “Many of these kids will be the first to graduate in their families.”
For more information about Trade Tech High School visit tradetechhigh.org