Goodwin Welcomes Pathways Academy of Technology and Design to the Family
On Wednesday, April 9, Goodwin College and Hartford Public Schools held a ceremonial ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the Pathways Academy of Technology and Design in its new, permanent home on the Goodwin campus, following 11 years in a temporary space in Windsor, Connecticut. Students, faculty, parents, local and state dignitaries, and members of the media gathered in the Academy’s brightly colored auditorium and cafeteria for the celebration.
The Academy is operated by Hartford Public Schools in a unique partnership with Goodwin College. The building is now serving more than 320 students and features state-of-the-art learning spaces including science labs, a robotics lab, design studios, a virtual reality simulator, and a recording studio.
At the ceremony, Mark Scheinberg, president of Goodwin College, commented on Pathway’s unique journey. “We have a Hartford public high school, sitting on East Hartford property, on a private college’s campus, where a private employer — Pratt and Whitney — used to have their engine testing facilities. The reason why it all came together is that all the people involved decided that this school is more important than anyone’s individual piece of the pie.”
Scheinberg noted that he is looking forward to integrating the students into the fabric of the Goodwin community. “This is only a small step in what we hope will become a magical place. If there is an example of what regionalization means in Connecticut, it’s right here.”
Alan Kramer, dean of magnet schools for Goodwin, noted that this permanent home for Pathways would never have become a reality without all parties working together. “Everyone involved wants to support the students and their education,” Kramer stated.
Mayor Marcia Leclerc welcomed the Pathways students to East Hartford with open arms, triggering one of the day’s loudest rounds of applause. “This part of East Hartford is changing drastically thanks to the good work of Goodwin College. I am delighted to have such a beautiful building gracing our land. I have no doubt the students will continue to excel in this environment.”
Connecticut state senator Gary LeBeau noted that the collaboration to make Pathways’ new home a reality serves as a message to the students: “The goal of having a school that meets the needs of the future of the state and, more importantly, the students’ personal futures, overrode all barriers and brought us here today.” Connecticut state representative Henry Genga echoed the incredible teamwork between Hartford and Goodwin College, adding, “This school shows that there are no boundaries in education.”
David Goldblum, principal of Pathways Academy, gave thanks to all involved in the process. “I can’t imagine a better partnership than with Goodwin. We owe a great debt of thanks to the College, the city of East Hartford, and Amenta Emma Architects, who designed the school, which was built by FIP Construction. You don’t often get a building that reflects so well the mission of the school.”
Pathways has been recognized in the past for its excellence as a magnet school in and is currently in competition to be named top magnet school in the country — a cite visit scheduled for a few days after the opening. Goldblum noted that the biggest reason for Pathways’ success is its students.
Pathways student Darin Herrera spoke of his school with great pride. “Moving from the old school, which was one story and lacked space, to this new building has been phenomenal.” In thinking of the upcoming competition, he urged his fellow students: “Let’s show them we’re the best!” This kicked off yet another ovation from the students and guests.
Glen Peterson, division director of the Regional School Choice Office, stated that while magnet schools’ main focus is education, their importance to society goes even further. “Magnet schools were created to remove racial, ethnic, and cultural discrimination and to blend students together,” he said, asking everyone to look around the room and appreciate the diverse makeup of the Pathways students.
A building does not define a school or its students, but it is certainly fitting that the Pathways scholars now have a building that reflects their hard work, energy, and creativity. Welcome to the Goodwin family!
By: Hannah Stacy