Learn more about how this eSN K-12 Hero Awards Winner emphasizes workforce readiness through hands-on learning and industry experiences.

How one hero educator gives students workforce skills and experience


Learn how this eSN K-12 Hero Awards Winner emphasizes workforce readiness through hands-on learning and industry experiences

The 2023 eSchool News K-12 Hero Awards honors educators for their exemplary use of innovative edtech to support student learning. Profiled and interviewed here is winner Tom Lamont, a painting and design technology instructor at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School nominated by TechEdConcepts Inc. Stay tuned for one more winner profile to come.

Tom Lamont is the painting and design technology instructor at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT), in Upton, Massachusetts.

Mr. Lamont offers his vocational high school students a unique hands-on opportunity to learn about the design industry and to prepare for jobs in the workforce. He integrates today’s high-tech training into a visually engaging curriculum using a variety of techniques and creative tools.

Some of the skills Mr. Lamont covers with his students include: the benefits of digital printing, effective design principles, the sign trade (including printing banners, car wraps, floor graphics and safety signs), all aspects of project production, lamination and installation for signs, banners, t-shirt transfers, and wall and floor graphics.

The Painting and Design Technology program at BVT uses Roland TrueVIS printer/cutters purchased from Tech Ed Concepts, Inc. (TEC). “Rolands are the best – you can’t beat the quality,” Mr. Lamont said. “The TrueVIS has amazing speed and accuracy, and the print/cut feature streamlines our workflow.” TEC is the Roland DGA Academic Representative in New England and is recognized for superior service, support, and training.

“We have an opportunity to do some amazing things every day at BVT,” said Mr. Lamont. “We’ve had students compete at SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, KY and win gold. As the Environmental Club Advisor, we collected and recycled 650 pounds of single-use plastic bags, which earned our students an invitation and recognition at the State House. Multiple national trade magazines have published articles highlighting the efforts and technological advancements of our shop. Through our co-op program, we have placed students in full-time jobs within our trade area. Our students serve our district communities through their work on Eagle Scout projects, Gold Awards, sign production for churches and nonprofit organizations, as well as continuing to support our veteran groups with painting and sign projects.”

Mr. Lamont’s program has earned him the Massachusetts Vocation Association (MVA) New Teacher Award in 2020 and many other industry recognitions, including an article in the January 2021 issue, Sign Builder Illustrated, a national publication. Several of his students were also awarded the prestigious John H. Chafee Student Award by the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for their participation in an interpretive map restoration project in the town of Whitinsville, a project lead by Mr. Lamont that involved the restoration, printing, and installation of a 4’ x 3’ map of the Whitinsville Historic District.

Mr. Lamont continues to raise awareness to the BVT and local community regarding what his program can provide and offer, making new connections with area businesses, and fostering new excitement in his school for his students and their success.

Mr. Lamont says that he appreciates that TEC is always there to help, and he is thankful for the support. In his words, “I really want to support my students, class, school, and industry as much as I can. I want our program to grow and inspire others to follow, and I would love to help them get there.” He has clearly had much success using “innovative education technologies” in his program.

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Laura Ascione

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