Skip to content
main content starts here

Second class of PTECH students commits to program

August 17, 2015 | Filed in HFM PTECH, HFM Top Stories
PTECH commitment

Teacher Cayla Gaworecki ties a red string around the wrist of incoming student Damieon Johnson of Gloversville as part of PTECH’s Commitment Ceremony on Aug. 7.

AUG. 17, 2015 – The students in the second class of the HFM BOCES Pathways in Technology Early College High School gathered Friday, Aug. 7, for a Commitment Ceremony to their new academic journey and look ahead to the start of the school year.

This is the second annual event at Jansen Avenue School for ninth graders beginning the PTECH program. Part of the ceremony is each incoming student submitting a slip of paper stating their personal goals for their time at PTECH, as well as a red string being tied around their wrist as a symbol of good fortune as they move forward in their new academic adventure.

First year student Damieon Johnson of Gloversville, who comes from a family with 10 brothers and sisters, told the audience he was overwhelmed and proud to be selected for the program from more than 120 applicants.

“I never dared to dream of college, but with PTECH, we are being presented with this opportunity,” Johnson said in his address to the audience.

The first year students are considered high school and college freshmen this year, as they will be completing coursework in both levels.

PTECH Principal Mike Dardaris thanked the parents for their support as their students begin the journey at PTECH.

“All of your students are very special. They all bring something different and special to this school,” he said.

The ceremony, which was attended by many of the 55 new students’ family members, culminated the school’s Summer Bridge Program. The students spent the previous three weeks on the campus at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and at the Jansen Avenue School in classes and doing team-building activities.

Courses for the summer program include geo-caching, aquaculture, bio-fuel production, solar heating, wind turbines, hydroelectric site analysis, alternative energy, green building, advanced auto efficiency, video production fundamentals, forensic science, hydroponics, mechatronics/robotics and digital electronics.

PTECH students will return to their classrooms to officially begin their academic year on Sept. 8.


The HFM Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or PTECH, is a new model for high school education that includes college-level, credit-bearing coursework in the curriculum and allows students to choose their own “pathways” to high-skill jobs.

A consortium of HFM BOCES, its component school districts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and regional business partners was one of 16 winners in a statewide competition in 2013 for funding a PTECH program that targets students who might not otherwise consider a college pathway, using a variety of demographic, academic and social indicators. The new school launched at the Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown for the 2014-15 school year with 50 ninth-grade students from the component school districts. This year, 55 freshmen will begin their PTECH experience.

PTECH seeks to redefine secondary education with a curriculum that centers on project-based learning that focuses on skills in four career clusters — business management and administration, advanced manufacturing and clean technology, information and technology and health sciences. During their time at PTECH, each student will be mentored by a partner from a regional business.

Through the program, selected students can earn one of 10 different associate’s degrees at no cost to their families and will be considered for jobs with participating companies when they graduate.

For more information about becoming a business partner or mentor at PTECH, please contact Business and Education Partnership Coordinator Nicole Walrath at 725-0641 or