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VIDEO: DeLauro Tours North Branford High School

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro checked out programs at NBHS including the greenhouse, the automotive program, the TV studio and more.

Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) visited on March 12 to tour the and other facilities for electives the school offers, including the and the TV studio.

Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker, , paraprofessional , who works in the greenhouse, and student representative Isabella DeMatteo accompanied DeLauro on her tour. 

DeLauro stressed the importance of diversity in a school’s classes and was impressed with the opportunities that NBHS presents to its students (see video).

In the greenhouse, which is in its second year at the school, members of the Interact Club showed DeLauro their plantings and explained how the greenhouse and plants were maintained. DeLauro stressed the importance of agriculture.

“There’s a whole new effort about farm to school and efforts to be engaged in to deal with obesity issues and create new business for farming, for agriculture, for nutrition and to engage kids in this,” said DeLauro.

There are several grants that will become available to further agricultural efforts in schools, according to DeLauro, which she encouraged schools administrators to look into.

The tour moved on to the Coffee Coop, which is a coffee shop run by students that sells coffee, cookies and muffins to teachers and staff. The Coffee Coop also offers cookie-grams that can be sent to teachers on special occasions.

After stopping to greet some students in the hall, including political hopeful Greg Marak, the Student Council vice president, the tour moved on to the courtyard where DeLauro saw the walkways, planters and benches built by students.

“This is not traditional, it’s out of the box,” said DeLauro.

Schoonmaker explained the work was done by taking eight-hour in-school field trips where students did the work as they would during a construction job, complete with “union breaks.”

The group then headed across the street to ’s automotive workshop where he showed off the garage’s two lifts and other diagnostic equipment. Carlone explained that the students are learning about cars and motors in a hands-on way.

Upstairs, the tour finished at the TV studio, complete with professional equipment, much of it donated from Quinnipiac University. Students use studio time to produce weekly video news segments, which are broadcast on the morning announcements.

“We have competing interests now,” said Stoeffler about the school’s different elective choices.

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