Project Lead the Way Honors UHS Program - Engineering Teacher

Project Lead the Way Honors Uxbridge High School Program, Engineering Teacher

At the 2019 Project Lead the Way State Networking Conference, held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on October 21, 2019, Uxbridge High School was recognized for having more than 25 students earn qualifying scores on PLTW End-of-Course assessments. UHS was one of only ten schools recognized and was the smallest school in the cohort. More than 70 total students at Uxbridge HIgh School earned “Distinguished” or “Accomplished” scholar records based on their EOC assessment, which likewise describes “skill clusters” and student competence based on their snapshot performance on the assessment.

"This success is a credit to the hard work of many people," said Uxbridge Superintendent Dr. Frank Tiano. "When we think of the aspirational goals of our strategic plan, programs like this help anchor learning and provide us with remarkable outcomes and opportunities for many Uxbridge students."

“We speak often of the intersection between curriculum, instruction, and assessment,” said UHS Principal Michael Rubin. “Project Lead the Way courses, the training for our teachers, the instructional practices, and the research-based instruction prepare our students for life beyond high school, embed many critical skills, and offer our students connections to industry and higher education. These successes can be attributed to the excellent curriculum, instruction that challenges students, and commitment to authentic learning that engages students every day.”

Additionally, as a surprise award, engineering teacher and PLTW lead Michael Smutok was recognized for continuously adjusting his instruction and curriculum to meet the changing needs of his students, while supporting the endeavors of PLTW across the state. Mr. Smutok is a Community Lead for PLTW who serves on the Networking Conference Planning event, while working on continuous opportunities for growth of the PLTW program in Uxbridge and the Commonwealth as a whole.

“Mr. Smutok is humble, hard-working, and dedicated,” Mr. Rubin said. “We are grateful to have an educator of his commitment and ability on our staff, but, more importantly, anyone who knows him knows that he does not do this work for awards or accolades. He shows up every day and puts an incredible effort to become a better teacher, not only for his students, but all students and his colleagues.”

The students who earned college credit were enrolled in any one of four PLTW courses at UHS offered in 2018-19, which included Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing in the engineering pathway, and Principles of Biomedical Science in the biomedical science pathway. More than 25% of UHS students participated in PLTW courses, nearly four times the state average. Students from all five UHS grades, including grade 8, earned college credit.

In addition to Mr. Smutok’s recognition, Biomedical Science teacher Tracy Larkin was nominated for Rookie PLTW Teacher of the Year, and UHS Principal Michael Rubin was nominated as a school/district Leader of the Year.

"The depth of these classes and the commitment of these educators is something that we can trace to programs at all our schools," Dr. Tiano said. "As we move forward, we anticipate using these successes to bolster learning across the district."