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Two FHS Seniors Named Career and Technical Education Scholars

Zachary BergerTwo seniors from Freehold High School were recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education with the first-ever Career and Technical Education (CTE) Scholar Awards. Zachary Berger and Tina Schinina, both Class of 2024 graduates of the Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Magnet Program, were selected for this honor.

The CTE Scholar Awards recognized 111 high-school CTE students for the 2023-2024 school year. The award program, established through a 2023 State statute that calls for a program to recognize outstanding CTE students, requires students to meet specific criteria.

“New Jersey is home to a dynamic group of high schools and county vocational schools that are providing students with groundbreaking CTE programs that offer students a pathway to success high demand, high-paying careers,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer. “It’s fitting that we should annually recognize some of the most exemplary students who attend these programs. Congratulations to the inaugural group of CTE Scholar Award recipients!”

"Congratulations to each winner of the inaugural CTE Scholars Award," said Senator Shirley K. Turner, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate. “Education is your greatest tool, and you have demonstrated remarkable excellence in your field of study and future career at a young age. Our state needs more highly skilled workers, and you are boldly and successfully answering the call. With hard work and dedication, I have no doubt you will continue to achieve immense fulfillment and success.”

“It’s important to recognize that not everyone succeeds at academics with a college degree ahead of them,” said Assemblyman WayneTina Schinina DeAngelo, who sponsored the legislation in the Assembly. “Like myself, some students find their success in technical education and applying themselves to a trade. With New Jersey’s first Career and Technical Education Scholar Awards, I hope to show the next generation that other kinds of accomplishments and excellence are just as rewarding.”

The student awardees, all high-school seniors, were nominated by their districts, which submitted nomination forms to the NJDOE for review.

The law establishing the awards program sets forth specific criteria for awardees. Students must:

  1. Demonstrate a high level of achievement in a CTE program as exemplified by course grades, industry-recognized technical assessments, and teacher recommendations;
  2. Demonstrate a high level of achievement in at least three academic classes, as exemplified by course grades, end-of-course assessments, and teacher recommendations;
  3. Complete a college-level course or a work-based learning experience, including, but not limited to, employment under a cooperative education agreement, an internship, or a work-based structured learning experience; and
  4. Participate in a career and technical student organization or a community service project that demonstrates the application of career and technical skills.

CTE programs in New Jersey serve more than 75,000 students in grades 9-12, preparing them for college and careers. These programs integrate a rigorous academic core with an advanced technical curriculum, offering opportunities for students to earn college credit, industry-recognized credentials, work-based learning, and participate in a career and technical student organization across 16 Career Clusters such as Computer Science, Engineering, Law and Public Safety, Health Science, Finance, Biomedical Science, Cosmetology, and Automotive Repair and Technology, Culinary Arts, and Electrical Engineering.