Posted by: Tom Ross | March 21, 2014

Obama to Give Commencement Speech at Worcester Technical High School

Click on the title above to view on the CTE Central Blog website.

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In President Obama’s last State of the Union address, he stressed the importance of redesigning high schools and partnering them with colleges and employers “that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead to a job and career.”


Sheila M. Harrity, who was named National High School Principal of the Year for 2014, is the principal at Worcester Technical High School (Worcester, MA) where 24 career and technical programs partner with businesses, industries, and universities to create hands-on learning experiences for its students.

President Obama has just announced that he will give the Commencement Speech at Worcester Technical High School on June 11. It’s the only high school speech he will be giving this year.

“We are honored that President Obama has chosen to address the graduates of Worcester Technical High School,” said Harrity. “As a preeminent leader and advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE), the President’s work and commitment to promoting equality of opportunity for all, will inspire the class of 2014.”

SheilaHarrityPrincipal Sheila Harrity

(Photo: Ashley McCabe/Providence College)

Principal Harrity turned the low-performing school around by implementing the Early Career and College STEM Innovation Plan and working with 350 industry advisors. “The result is a saturation of project-based learning, real-world application, and authentic assessment” to help their students thrive in the 21st Century. With this program, Principal Harrity implemented small learning communities, improved the school culture, and empowered her teachers.

Worcester Tech was also named a 2014 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

For more background on Worcester Technical High School, see the President’s Press Release on the upcoming Commencement Speech. (I will add a link to the speech itself when it happens.) And check out this great video to hear Principal Harrity tell her story in her own words.


  1. This is very exciting! My father (now deceased) went to this high school. Massachusetts has a long and proud history of technical (and vocational) education.

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