BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Frank Caccavale, a technology and engineering education teacher for the last three years in the Bernards Township School District, has recently been the recipient of two prestigious honors and some high-profile visits to his classroom.
Earlier this month, he was presented High School Technology and Engineering Teacher of the year by the New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association (NJTEEA). State Senator Tom Kean came to visit Caccavale's classroom at Ridge High School for an hour and a half on June 13.
During Senator Kean's visit, he observed Caccavale's Robotics students test their Mario Kart-inspired design challenge, and then visited lab facilities at Ridge.
Caccavale's engineering education program received the 2018 program excellence award from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association and the 2018 High School Program Excellence Award from NJTEEA.
Earlier this week, radio station Nash FM 94.7 came to Ridge after school to present Caccavale with an award for which his own students nominated him.
Caccavale's additions to the curriculum have, according to the nomination pitch his own students presented to Nash FM, "created a creative atmosphere that encourages many students to come in any time of the day, including his off periods, to work on projects, or just hang out (while playing plenty of country music!). Many students owe their continuation of Technology Education in college to his genuine interest in helping students and a unique teaching style that has built a magnetic culture around STEM. He always gives maximum effort, no matter how small the job and creates classes students love to go to. Mr. Caccavale continues to surpasses all expectations, in the classroom and beyond."
At the recent annual conference for the International Technology and Engineering Educator Association (ITEEA), Caccavale’s Technology and Engineering Education program at Ridge High School was recognized as one of only 39 programs worldwide to earn the Program Excellence Award in 2018.
Sponsored by the ITEEA and Paxton/Patterson, the Program Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to Technology and Engineering classroom programs on the elementary, middle or high school levels. It is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession and students. Schools nationwide and around the world compete for the honor.
Each year, the Program Excellence winners are recognized at the largest conference for Technology & Engineering Educators in the world. This year the program at Ridge High School was recognized at the first general session of the conference where the award plaques and pins were presented.