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Three Career and Technical Education programs receive state approval

Three Career and Technical Education programs receive state approval

Administrators, trustees, staff and students assembled at the Mount Vernon Board of Education on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, for the announcement of three more Career and Technical Education (CTE) program approvals at Mount Vernon High School. The school will now offer students a total of seven approved CTE graduation pathways.  

Mr. Simmons speaking at podium.

CTE programs at MVHS that have been recently approved by New York State include computer systems networking and troubleshooting, barbering and cosmetology. While barbering and cosmetology courses were already available at MVHS, giving students the ability to receive certain apprenticeship licenses and certifications, they are now state certified as CTE graduation pathways. Previously approved programs include culinary arts, automotive technology, graphic arts design and nursing assistant programs.  

Students who complete one of the newly approved CTE programs will receive six college credits, with the ability to forgo one of the two New York State Education Department required Social Studies Regents exams – a major obstacle for many students, and in particular, students with disabilities, Director of CTE Brian Simmons said. Not only this, but students are now given the opportunity to explore various career paths and earn hands-on experience in the industry they would like to pursue before they even graduate.  

Troy Newbey and Terrence Barnes (RTA).

CTE is an education pathway that provides students with the academic, technical and real-world knowledge, skills and experience they need to be prepared for various career options. CTE gives students training and skills in many different types of careers in high growth industries such as science and technology, healthcare and business management. 

“CTE is rigorously academic, and it prepares you not just for a job, but for a variety of options in life,” said Mr. Simmons. “Post secondary options, career options in building upon a lifestyle that is going to support yourself, your family and your community.”  

Most school districts in New York, especially Westchester, do not have the facilities and program approval to run these various courses. Mr. Simmons explained that it is rare for districts to have the capacity to provide these CTE classes, but Mount Vernon does. As CTE expands, the District is also working to expand its programs to Rebecca Turner Academy students who will be transported to MVHS. Two students from RTA enrolled in CTE classes were present for the announcement of the new programs, which bring more opportunities to RTA students.  

CTE nursing assistant students.

“I own a barbershop, I teach barbering for other schools as well,” said Ricardo Boreland, barbering teacher at MVHS. “So, what I’m doing with my students is just getting them practical experience. We're taking everything New York State wants as a barber and we're putting it in our classrooms, everything they need to know to pass the test.”  

Due to articulation agreements from 2024-2029 with the State University of New York Westchester Community College and The College of Westchester, the school is able to provide six college credits for program completion. 

“Being in the barbering class helped me with my job working in a barber shop by giving me the skills and a lot of practice cutting, either a mannequin or an actual person.” said Mekhi Torres, a senior at MVHS. “I mostly cut people’s hair. I feel like that skill helps me and the fact that I go home and cut my family members’ hair, now my family doesn’t even go to the barbershop. Also, I plan on going to college, and cutting hair will be really good there too. It also helps because it does give me credit towards college.” 


Basketball team, cheerleaders, administrators all smiling at the camera.

Mount Vernon High School boys' basketball team beat New Rochelle in the Section 1 Class AAA basketball championship on Sunday, March 3, 2024, during an intense and dynamic game at the Westchester County Center. Mount Vernon came back to win the championship with a 41-37 win. Junior Tavien Tyler scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading the comeback against New Rochelle.  

Mr. Raimondi speaking at Public safety summit

Students and young people up to 25 years old partook in discussions about public safety in Mount Vernon on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the City of Mount Vernon’s Youth Public Safety Summit. The event was hosted by the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Cities United, an organization committed to helping cities improve across America. 

Dr. Smith and Betty Rosa

Mount Vernon City School District representatives, including Lorna Kirwan, Board President; Dr. K. Veronica Smith, Acting Superintendent; Sandra Myke, Assistant Superintendent of Business; and Mark Raimondi, Associate Superintendent of Operations and Accountability, went to Albany to lobby legislators for additional resources on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. They had a productive meeting with New York State Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa to request assistance in retaining Foundation Aid.

Black History Month

The Mount Vernon City School District celebrated Black History Month with enthusiasm and reflected on its cultural significance. Throughout the month, students learned about important figures in history, the accomplishments throughout Black history and why it is so important today. Read more about what students, staff and administrators said about what Black History Month means to them here. To hear more about what Black History Month means to the Mount Vernon City School District, view the video below.

Click here to view the video!

MVHS Paris students

At the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2024, the Mount Vernon City School District said ‘Bon Voyage!’ to 18 Mount Vernon High School students who are going to Paris. Students departed on their plane to France on Friday, February 16.