Award Year: 2013

Worcester Technical High School

1 Skyline Drive
Worcester, MA, 01605-2885

(508) 799-1940

Sheila Harrity, Principal at time of Nomination

Worcester Public Schools

School Website

Bell Award Winner


The mission of WTHS is to educate and prepare our students, both academically and technically, to meet the challenges of a global society.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 13%
  • White: 47%
  • Hispanic: 34%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Native American: 1%
  • ELL: 7%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

WTHS is one of seven high schools in Worcester, MA, the second largest city in New England. WTHS’s student population reflects the diverse nationalities and cultures of the city. It has 1,400 students in 24 technical programs within four small learning communities. Over 63% of WTHS’s students qualify for subsidized meals.

In existence since 1910, facilities and equipment became so antiquated the accrediting agency put the school on probation and the school ranked as one of the lowest performing vocational/technical schools in the state. The local community and leaders came together to build a new state-of-the-art facility. The transformation didn’t end there; today over 350 business/industry advisors contribute to the development of program curricula ensuring that the education and training are cutting edge.

In 2011 WTHS became a STEM Early Career and College Innovation School offering each student increased rigor and relevance in all academic and technical programs and added more Advanced Placement classes. Dubbed, ‘The School That Works’, students learn 21st century skills in shops open to the public: 16 bay automotive department, 125 seat restaurant, full-service day spa, state approved preschool, full-service bank, and Tufts@Tech veterinary clinic for low-income families. Many programs provide industry recognized credentials and college credits to expand student opportunities for post-secondary placement.

Student success is not only measured by standardized testing (up 65% in ELA and 49% in Math) but by the difference they make in the community. Student projects include: construction of LEED certified low-income housing, land maintenance and water testing of public parks, and the design/fabrication of over 250 holiday wreaths that adorn downtown during the holidays – bringing great pride to students and citizens alike.