UCTech High School in Scotch Plains has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Secretary of Education, placing it in the company of only six New Jersey schools in its category to receive the distinction.
The Blue Ribbon award is a prestigious national honor. The award is bestowed on an elementary, middle or high schools. With this award, UCTech joins a national roster of 269 Blue Ribbon schools.
“This is a great day for UCTech and all of Union County,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella in a release. “UCTech has played a vital role in the future of our communities by helping to provide thousands of our young citizens with a path to a rewarding and productive life.”
The County explained that the Blue Ribbon award program is "designed to help improve education nationwide by identifying best practices that can serve as models for other schools to follow." UCTech won its Blue Ribbon award for consistently high student performance.
“The teachers, staff, students and their families all pulled together to make this happen,” said Dr. Thomas J. Bistocchi, Superintendent of Union County Vocational-Technical Schools. “It is very gratifying to see their efforts recognized on a national level, and we are all very proud of them”
UCTech serves approximately 1,000 students from throughout Union County. The school offers programs in automotive sciences, service industries, communications, health careers and building trades, along with small group programs for special education students.
This year, UCTech has added a new four-year School of Design program in conjunction with Kean University. The new program will provide Union County students with more opportunities in the growing field of technology and design.
UCTech has also been recognized with a Bronze Award in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey of top high schools.
In 2011-12, full-time UCTech students scored 100% proficient or advanced proficient in both sections of the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment.
UCTech shares a campus at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains with four other Union County high schools, of which three -- Magnet High School, the Academy for Information Technology and the Academy of Allied Health Sciences -- have also received national recognition for student achievement.
A fifth school, the Academy for Performing Arts, was recently added to the campus. It will be eligible for consideration in awards and surveys now that it has graduated its initial class in June 2012.