Niagara Gazette


June 24, 2013

HIGGS: Trott Vocational lesson continues


Niagara Gazette — Roger Spurback attended Trott as a full-time student and served as correspondent. He wrote in 1970: “This year we discovered that Trott Vocational High School is becoming quite popular in this area. This is evidenced by the overflow of enrollment into vocational programs at Trott.” Roger studied the mandatory curriculum plus three hours of Welding Shop. Welding students competed in national competitions, submitting their projects for evaluation and judging. Since he lived on Linwood and 15th at the time, walking to school each day was not as far for him as some of the others. He found employment in the welding field and later joined the Marine Corps. The following year, a Gazette reporter Cecil Farrell stated that “Most students here sum up their reasons for attending the school in a few words “I’d rather have a job than a college degree.” By 1964, gender differences were no longer apparent as Sam Dexter was in the practical nursing program and Lori Porter was in auto mechanics. By 1977 Trott’s 65 industrial apprentices received journeyman papers, making this the largest graduating class in this field in its 50 year history. Carl Chapman was the first male to enroll in the cosmetology course in 1978.

I saw James Marasco at a Community Development meeting recently and afterward we talked a little about Trott. He attended the evening shop classes during 1973-74 while he was a full-time student at Niagara Falls High School where he studied the regular mandatory school curriculum. He also went two nights a week to the Electrical Shop under the tutelage of a Mr. Meyer and two nights a week in the carpenter Shop with Mr. Korsch. That did not leave much time for Facebook (I know it wasn’t around then — just generalizing) and hanging out, but he feels today it was time well spent as he has used the knowledge he gained many, many times over the years in his job capacity at Community Development and certainly in his own home maintenance. MaryAnn Colangelo, another staffer said her husband Greg and his brother David also attended Trott and are grateful for the learning experience they had, especially with household repairs. David has made maintenance a career with his employment at the Niagara Falls Housing Authority. Although Greg serves with the Niagara Falls Fire Department, MaryAnn sounded happy he was able to be Mr. Fix It around the house.

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