Sense Column – March 2009:
fact that this column is named Commons Sense is quite
apropos for those of us at the Seacoast School of Technology
(SST). Building a new regional community center next door
to the regional Career & Technical Center makes good,
common sense. The SST serves students from Epping, Exeter,
Newmarket, Raymond, Sanborn Regional and Winnacunnet High
Schools. Twelve Career and Technical programs are offered
at SST and most of them have potential connections to
the many services that will be offered at The Commons.
has been partnering with The Commons for three years now.
One of the purposes of the partnership has been to avoid
duplication of spaces. The perfect example of the potential
for future collaboration is in the area of food service.
SST has just completed an $8.5 million renovation, including
a state-of-the-art Culinary Arts kitchen and 140-seat
dining room. This dining room will be the perfect place
for The Commons to host luncheons, prepared and served
by SST Culinary Arts students, or to simply hold a large
meeting. Since the SST dining facility is right next door
to The Commons, there is no need to build another one.
students at SST are provided with at least one work-based
learning experience and most students have to leave the
SST campus for such an experience. Once The Commons is
constructed, many SST students will be able to gain work-based
experiences simply by walking next door. Health Sciences
& Technologies students who want to become exercise
therapists will be able to do job shadows or intern with
the staff at the YMCA. Early Childhood Education students
will be able to do job shadows or intern with the staff
of Richie McFarland Children’s Center of Great Bay
Kids’ Company. These are just two examples of the
countless ways we will work together.
service plays a large role in an SST education. The opportunities
for SST students to provide community service to organizations
at The Commons seem boundless. Computer Programming students
might help with technological problems or help to set
up databases for Commons’ organizations. Welding
and Building Construction students may help out with the
occasional repair project. Students in the Digital Communications
program are already working on a brochure about the Tuck
Learning Campus and its occupants. It will be used to
complement the work The Commons is currently doing to
make its vision a reality. Marketing Education students
will be able to help spread the word about all The Commons
has to offer. Animal & Plant Science students might
use their new greenhouse to grow plants and flowers that
will beautify the interior of The Commons. I anticipate
that once The Commons is up-and-running, some SST teachers
will incorporate service learning into their curricula
via collaboration with appropriate Commons organizations.
say that having The Commons on Linden Street will be mutually
beneficial to both SST and The Commons is an understatement.
Commons employees will be able to schedule their car inspections
with the Automotive Technologies students. SST staff will
be able to work out at the YMCA in the late afternoon
prior to a night event at SST.
the SST and The Commons will have the capacity to serve
many more people in the region than if either were working
independently. Everyone at SST is looking forward to the
great things we will accomplish in partnership with The
Margaret Callahan is the Principal at Seacoast School