FARMINGTON – Students at Foster Career and Technical Education Center are taking advantage of travel opportunities to check out post-secondary options next month.

The center received a $30,000 grant from the MELMAC Education Foundation as part of a program to raise student aspirations, center Director Glenn Kapiloff told Regional School Unit 9 directors Feb. 23.

The foundation grant will pay for the majority of trips and the district’s Gear Up grant will also be used in some cases.

Culinary arts instructor Sean Minear plans to take 20 students to Natalie’s, a restaurant in the Harbor Inn in Camden. Farmington’s Shelby Stevens, a former culinary arts student at Foster Career and Technical Education Center, is co-executive chef with her partner, Chris Long.

Sadie Knight, a student in the automotive technology program, developed a pamphlet for a trip in April. She organized it for four students in the automotive program and six students in the metal fabrication program, Scott Vining, automotive instructor, said.

Students will visit the Universal Technical Institute in Boston, Mass., and the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. They depart April 14 and return April 20.


Knight said adults accompanying the students are Vining, Rob Olsen, metal fabrication instructor, and Melissa Williams, student services coordinator.

Students will visit automotive and chassis fabrication shops and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

They will rent two minivans to accommodate people and luggage. One night’s stay will be at college-provided lodging with the other two nights at hotels.

“It’s not going to be big star hotels, but we’re not going to be sleeping in bed bugs,” Knight said.

Digital media instructor, Chris Davis, and commercial arts instructor, Charlie Fontaine, will take about 25 students and four adults to Boston and New York. The foundation grant will pay for a majority of the trip with students coming up with $100 each and raising money to help others. They will travel in two 15-passenger vans, leaving Farmington April 25 and returning April 28.

Two college/university visits will be arranged for each class in Massachusetts. As of Feb. 23, the plan was for digital media students to tour Suffolk University and Emerson College where two of Foster’s digital media alumni are enrolled, Davis said.


Commercial arts students will visit The Arts & Design College at Suffolk University. During free time they will go to Quincy Market.

Then it’s on to New York where digital media students will be guests of ABC Studios. They will visit the sets for “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America.” They will also have access to the control room during “World News Tonight” and visit the digital control room to experience live operation and meet the team and producers. A visit to Times Square is planned.

The commercial arts group will meet with former Foster tech center student Kaleigh Morin to tour the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Fontaine said. Or she will give them a “day in the life” presentation, according to trip paperwork.

Digital media students will tour the New York University School of Film and attend a live taping of a television show. Commercial arts students plan to visit the Museum of Modern Art and possibly the International Center for photography.

RSU 9 directors approved both trips.

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