Press-Republican

April 27, 2013

CV-TEC director to retire

By DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — CV-TEC Director Dr. Barry Mack will retire after nearly two decades on the job.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be here for 19 years,” he said.

His letter of resignation was accepted by the Champlain Valley Educational Services Board on April 17; his last day will be July 31.

During his time at CV-TEC, Mack said, the percentage of high-school juniors and seniors from the school districts that participate in the school’s Career and Technical Education programs has increased from 17 to 27 percent.

The school has grown to include 23 career-path programs at its three main campuses and two off-site locations.

In looking back at his 19 years at CV-TEC, Mack discovered that more than 13,000 high-school and adult students have attended its daytime programs.

“I was surprised by that,” he said.

NAME CHANGE

In the last five years, 93 percent of CV-TEC graduates were either employed or in post-secondary education. For the class of 2012, 59 percent went on for further education.

“I don’t think our public knows that,” Mack said.

He’s proud that 98 percent of last year’s CV-TEC graduates also passed the English language arts and math Regents exams. That compares with New York state targets of 72 percent and 73 percent, respectively.

Mack was instrumental in creation of the CV-TEC name and marketing campaign in 1995, as well as the change to Champlain Valley Educational Services from Clinton-Essex-Warren-Washington BOCES.

PARTNERSHIPS

CV-TEC recently released a DVD that highlights the career-training programs it offers.

The school has also unveiled a new marketing slogan, Launch Your Career, that is starting to appear on its brochures.

Mack was at the helm as CV-TEC partnered with Clinton Community College to create Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute on the satellite campus at the former Clinton County Airport.

Development of a positive working relationship has been a real plus for both schools, Mack said.

A Marine Tech Academy was created in cooperation with Ticonderoga High School and is offered there. The goal is provide technical training for employment in the marine industry, from marina operations to repairs and boat building.

The school is pursuing national accreditation through the Council on Occupational Education, a multi-year process that documents how it meets national standards.

“This will allow adult students to acquire federal financial aid while taking CV-TEC courses,” Mack said.

‘HIGHLY PROFICIENT’

CV-TEC has 146 regional business partners that help guide its curriculum development to meet employers’ needs, Mack said.

The school was instrumental in development of the Work Readiness Credential Certificate Program, in response to a call from area businesses to find a way to give students more of the soft skills needed for a successful career.

The school’s adult literacy and training programs at OneWorkSource were recently recognized as “highly proficient” by the New York State Education Department.

LEADERSHIP AWARD

Mack was named CV-TEC director in 1994. 

“The board wanted someone to help it (CV-TEC) grow. I think we accomplished that,” he said.

He was the TEC Center principal at Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services’ Chenango TEC Center from 1981 to 1994.

Mack started his career as a teacher at Skaneateles High School in 1973, followed by a stint at Marcellus High School. His first BOCES jobs were at the Cayuga-Onondaga system in Auburn, followed by positions in the Delaware-Chenango system from 1979-1981. 

Mack received the 2012 Leadership and Support Award from the School Administrators Association of New York.

CUTTING EDGE

“Dr. Mack’s strong visionary leadership has assisted the CV-TEC division to provide a high level of quality while also growing new programs and increasing career-path options for students in our region,” Champlain Valley Educational Services District Superintendent Craig King said by email. 

“CV-TEC has been the recipient of both state and national recognition for its cutting-edge approaches for providing high-quality career- and technical-education programs under Dr. Mack’s leadership. 

“Dr. Mack has truly been an asset to the organization.”

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said that while BOCES operations everywhere play an important role in vocational education and job training, CV-TEC has gone well beyond the norm under Mack’s leadership. It has become a full strategic partner with the chamber and others in meeting the changing needs of the area’s employers and economy, he said by email. 

“He has been a key part of our economic-development team and can be immensely proud of his role in enhancing the lives of thousands of students through the years and enabling the attraction and creation of new jobs,” he said.

Mack said the school is accepting applications for his job until May 15. Applicants will then be screened by a committee that will also include people from the local business community.

He plans to remain in the area, he said, spending more time with his wife, Andrea, their children and four grandchildren and also working as a consultant. 

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com