Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 24, 2013

HIGGS: Trott Vocational lesson continues

Niagara Gazette — Another historical fact has sprouted up from one of my friends, Joel Paradise, who found out that James Trott served as treasurer of the Board of Directors at the Oakwood Cemetery Association in 1892. Busy guy!

At the June 27, 1958, Trott Vocational graduation, Dr. William J. Small who was retiring as the superintendent of schools, told the 94 graduating students: “The vocational school is more sensitive to the economic and social conditions of the country.” Other courses offered during this time were labor relations, automotive mechanics, blueprint reading, machine shop, engine repair, industrial mathematics, electronics and cable splicing. In 1958, a contract was let to the V. J. Licata Construction Co. for a shop addition. In 1961, the Vocational Advisory Committee recommended a change in the curriculum that would “give the technical students “every academic and scholastic advantage” and recommended “adhering to reasonably high entrance requirements” for the first two levels. They also suggested adding more academic mathematics and science courses and the offering of electives such as foreign language and other humanities. Trott Vocational was to become a “full service” school.

In 1966 a new three-year food service program was added. Anthony Gugino of the “Round The Clock Restaurant” family was the instructor and it was noted by Paul Brucato, school guidance counselor, that at least 15 to 20 percent of the students taking pre-training courses for work in industry decided not to go on to college. In the late 1960s a proposal to turn the program over to BOCES was rejected by the board.

During 1970 the first student newspaper was born. A contest was held to find a name and “The Informer” was born. Today it might be called “The Whistleblower.” Floyd Freeman submitted the winning name from 200 entries. A contest was held each year to name the Penny King and Queen to raise money for the Red Cross. Students voted with pennies and could vote for their choice as many times as they contributed. James Zawadski and Angela Monaco were chosen in 1970.

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