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Colonie Central High School News

Project Lead The Way Recognizes Colonie High as One of 10 Original Schools

Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization that delivers a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the United States, recognized Colonie Central High School as one of only 10 schools to offer PLTW programs since the organization began in 1997.

PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram presented Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner, High School Principal Christopher Robilotti, PLTW Teacher Charles Spangler, and School Counselor Jason Blind with a banner to hang in the school in celebration of its upcoming 20th year with PLTW.

The ceremony took place at the New York State PLTW Conference in Binghamton, in front of more than 200 New York educators, administrators, post-secondary leaders, and employers.


In addition to Colonie Central High School, the other longest-running PLTW high schools are Ballston Spa, Mohonasen, Shenendehowa, South Glens Falls, Irondequoit (Rochester), LaFayette, Susquehanna Valley (Conklin), and Westhill (Syracuse).

“Project Lead the Way has had a profound impact on a segment of the student body at Colonie Central High School,” said Spangler, a PLTW Master Teacher. “Colonie was the pioneer site for EDD, and our graduating class of 1999 was the first in the nation that had the opportunity to take all five original Pathways to Engineering courses.”

“Colonie Central High School became an example of what was possible for high school students who wished to explore the area of pre-engineering,” added PLTW Master Teacher Barry Witte. “Since then approximately 25 percent of each graduating class has taken at least one PLTW course, and the list of colleges accepting our students has grown to include many prestigious STEM-centric institutions. The anecdotal evidence that we have from our graduated students points to PLTW as making a significant impact on their success in college as they pursue an engineering degree.”

PLTW, now headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, originally started in Upstate New York at 12 high schools. Today, 10 of the original 12 are still actively offering PLTW’s programs in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science to their students, and are now joined by more than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. A total of 372 schools offer PLTW in New York. Rochester Institute of Technology was the first PLTW affiliate university, and today still trains PLTW teachers, hosts PLTW conferences for teachers and administrators in the state, and offers transcripted college credit to PLTW students.