Marcia introduced the program for the day. She said that the Galazzi’s have been investing in Cape Cod Tech volunteering since moving here in 1974. She added “It has been a pleasure to watch the school flourish.” Stephan Galazzi has been on the school committee and invited Superintendent Bob Sanborn, and Director of Technical Education Lou Colombo to speak to the Club.

Bob Sanborn asked “What do you think of when I say “tech school”?” A few responses included “good jobs after graduation” and “a hidden resource.” He said that the education market place is very competitive – and it’s most competitive here on Cape Cod. School choice has made this possible. Cape Cod Tech offers shop including auto, carpentry, cosmetology, culinary, dental assistant, early childhood development, electrical, engineering technology, graphic arts, horticulture, health technology, plumbing and HVAC, and more. The school also delivers a top rated academic program. But academics take away from technical, so there’s a constant battle. He added “We worry that the service mentality is beginning to dwindle.” They need volunteers from the public to come in and help, and to serve on the school sub-committees.
Lou Colombo is a plumber by trade as well as a teacher. He said that “People see tech schools as a place for students that struggle with academics. But that’s not the case any longer.” He’s been with the Tech School for 11 years as a plumbing instructor, and has now taken over as Director of Technical Education. He said “It never ceases to amaze me how good the kids are – how passionate they are.” He mentioned the co-op program where kids go out into the community in their junior and senior year. For 2 weeks each month the student goes to work rather than to the classroom. The advantage to employers is great: many of these students become paid, full time employees. He called this a “feeder program” for businesses on the Cape and added “A lot of these kids want to go to school here (on the Cape) and raise a family here.”  The public is invited to attend “Tech Night” on November 4 to come in a see the shops.
Stephan Galazzi represents Orleans on the School Committee where he has been a member for 14 years.  He said he is impressed with the tenacity of Cape Tech students. He told the story of having his hair cut and asking the stylist where she got her training. Turns out it was Cape Tech! He then asked her “What else are you doing?” She replied “Going to 4C’s to become a nurse.” Steph asked her how she was paying for this and she said “That’s why I’m a hairstylist – it’s a good paying job.”
Steph explained that Cape Tech students are subject to MCAS and are really up there with their scores. The shop teachers don’t just teach shop: they are required to integrate the math and English students would get in a regular school into the shop work. The tech schools are no longer dumping grounds for underperforming students. Now there is a waiting list of students that want to attend.
Steph said he is committed to this kind of education that gives students the ability to step into any situation. Students at Cape Tech learn how to speak to people and how to solve problems. He urged everyone to consider volunteering – each shop at the school needs a subcommittee.
Bob concluded by noting that the school is constantly evolving – shops that are no longer valid go away. Now the need is to improve the building and the good news is that Cape Tech is finally included in the state’s program for this. They will be reviewing all of the technical programs to determine what will be kept and what will be eliminated. They do reach out to recent graduates to find out what they are doing now as part of this. In 5 years, there will be a renovated building and there will be different shops.