SVCDC to be known as Southwest Tech

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BENNINGTON — The Southwest Vermont Career Development Center has a new name and a new logo.

The CDC name has been dropped, and the school will be known as Southwest Tech — an abbreviation of the school district's name, the Southwest Vermont Regional Technical School District.

The district name will not change.

The Regional Governing Board of the district unanimously approved the change at a meeting on Monday.

The proposed change was presented to the Education and Facilities Committee at a meeting about a possible school name change, Michael Lawler, superintendent/director of the school district, said at Monday's meeting, which was held online.

"...We discussed it for a bit of time, and there were a number of suggestions, but primarily it was accepted by the committee as presented," said John MacDonald, a member of the committee who was elected chairman of the board at Monday's meeting with seven votes. Edward Letourneau received three.

MacDonald was most recently vice chairman, a position that Michael Munson was elected to with six votes. Jackie Kelly received four votes.

Kelly added that students involved in the change did a "fantastic," job, as did professional staff at the school.

"We only have accolades for what they did, and how they simplified the process," said Kelly, who was unanimously re-elected clerk of the board at that meeting.

The name change has been in the works for over a year, said Nicole Sauer, educational and community outreach coordinator for the district, in an informal presentation to the board at the meeting.

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It started with a survey to faculty and staff, asking for suggestions regarding a possible name change — "kind of like a brainstorming period," she said.

In the end, she said, it boiled down to less words.

"Our district is Southwest Vermont Regional Technical School District, and also we're referred to as the Career Development Center — that's nine words," she said. "That's a lot. What it came down to is trying not to add anything to it, but to simplify it."

Graphic arts program students also were involved in designing ideas for the new logo. Officials ultimately decided on a simple design by Kylee Hall, a senior, which features gray and green overlapping triangles.

"It's very simple, but it's also — we want to be recognized when someone sees this," Sauer said.

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There's been good feedback "in-house" and in committee on the design, she said. "I think we have something really nice to move forward with," she added.

The most recent logo consists of CDC written in white or gray with a maroon, curved half-circle around the letters.

When reached Tuesday, Sauer said officials are in the process of notifying the Agency of Education about the change.

It's not just about a name change — it's also about a message, Sauer said at the meeting.

She read a proposed mission statement to the board, which identifies Southwest Tech as a technical school that specializes in "high-quality education and advanced technical training" that prepares students for college, career and community.

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The board's motion to approve the name change and logo included acceptance of the mission statement.

The Career Development Center's 2019-20 student handbook identifies the mission as "preparing secondary & post-secondary students for career & lifelong learning in a rapidly changing world."

"We've been operating as the Career Development Center for 50 years," Lawler told the board at the meeting. "We've changed what we offer at the center, how we offer it, and the quality of our programs has continued to increase over the years, and so we want to be known as something new."

But it's not about getting rid of the past, he said.

"Moving forward, we just think that Southwest Tech has a nice ring to it," he said. "It's easy to remember."

The goal is to roll out the change for July 1, he said.

"We've got vehicles to letter up, we have trucks and we have trailers and we have signs in the building that need to come down," he said. "A lot of things that are going to go into this."

Officials have also identified grant money that was approved last week to allow them to do this — a "really nice bonus," he said.

"We're kind of ready to go," he said. "And now that the school doors are shuttered for a while, we can actually get this rolled out a lot sooner probably than July 1."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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