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A Project SPEAR-IT student works within the project's newly renovated space at High School South.

March 6, 2020-- At the beginning of the school year, High School South learned that its application for the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Youth Career Pathways grant was a winner, and that's its vision for Project SPEAR-IT (South’s Pre-Vocational Educational Alternatives Resource Institute) would be realized. 

Part of that project was the identification and renovation of a new space to host the CTE program long-term, which the students themselves would lead. Well, the students were successful in this effort, and the space is nearly complete. So much so that new woodworking projects are already being hosted in the model classroom.

"Nice to finally see some wood chips on the floor!" exclaimed lead teacher Timothy O'Leary.

The program, which boasts partners like Ocean County Vocational Technical School and local trade organizations, will serve as a pre-apprenticeship opportunity for freshmen and sophomores interested in a vocational and CTE pathway. Principal Mike Citta and O'Leary-- a licensed contractor himself-- have already noted that Project SPEAR-IT has welcomed more students than originally anticipated, and that student engagement and attendance has exceeded expectations.

Representatives from UWMOC are planning to visit the new room later this month, which will be organized as a celebratory grand opening. Stay tuned for more details.