Sussex Technical School District nominated two of the five winners who were honored by the Delaware Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education for their outstanding contributions to career and technical education in Delaware. Sussex Tech senior Priyen Patel was the co-recipient of the Paige M. Henry Outstanding Career and Technical Education Student award, and i.g. Burton & Company was honored for Outstanding Contribution by a Business, Industry, Agency, Labor Union or Trade Association.
Priyen is the valedictorian of the class of 2013. He was dual-enrolled in the highly effective health professions program, plus the demanding electronics technical area. He has won state competitions and placed nationally in Skills USA and Health Occupations Students of America Nursing Assisting Competition events. Priyen met President Barack Obama through his award-winning Pharmaceutical Filtration presentation in the National BioGENEius Challenge.
This exceptional young man participated in the nationally-known Drum Line of the Raven Nation Marching Band and served as vice president of the National Honor Society. He was a runner on the Ravens’ cross country and track teams. Priyen also found time to volunteer for several community organizations through which he twice received the Presidential Volunteer Award.
Sussex Tech was honored to nominate Priyen because of his accomplishments and character. He will continue his education at the University of Miami.
I.g. Burton & Company is no stranger to Sussex Tech. It has partnered with the school since its beginning in 1961, and its input has helped to make Sussex Tech’s automotive cluster a state-of-the-art program. Burton employees, from the director of operations to the chief service technician, are always willing to come and talk to students about opportunities and give them guidance on how to achieve a productive career. The president and owner of i.g. Burton eagerly agreed to do a promotional video commenting on the attributes and strengths of Sussex Tech’s automotive program.
A family-run dealership for five generations, i.g. Burton contributes scholarship money toward continuing education opportunities that enable students to graduate and seek higher education to sharpen and professionalize their skills. The company donates a dollar an hour that a student works to help with the mounting task of funding college tuition. It also provided a facility to teach installation and repairs that included a built class room to be on site.
Sussex Tech greatly appreciates this company enhancing CTE education by employing Sussex Tech students in which they have invested so much. I.g. Burton employees who have always been willing to assist Sussex Tech include owner Charlie Burton, M.J. Lofland, Pete Renzi, George Schifferer and Keith McDonald.
Other winners named by DACCTE were Outstanding Contribution by an Individual - John F. Sobieski III, owner of Sobieski Inc.; Nicholas A. Buono, CTE specialist at Hodgson Vo-Tech High School; and Paige M. Henry Outstanding CTE Student Award; co-recipient - Ryan M. Upchurch, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School.
The goal of the DACCTE is to advise policymakers on initiatives that should be pursued to strengthen and enhance the career and technical education delivery system and to assist the state in providing quality programs and expanded opportunities for all citizens.