WESTFORD -- Hundreds of prospective students and their parents, as well as interested residents, visited the recent Career Night and Open House at Nashoba Valley Technical High School.
The evening, which featured tours of all 18 of Nashoba Tech's technical programs as well as a concert by the band and chorus, also included visits by special guests Sal Lupoli, owner of the Sal's Pizza and Salvatore's Restaurant chains, and Steve D'Onofrio, director of photography for the popular PBS show "This Old House."
D'Onofrio spoke to students and prospective students in Nashoba Tech's TV & Media Production/Theatre Arts program, as well as other interested people, while Lupoli spoke to folks in the in-school restaurant, The Elegant Chef, about his path to culinary success -- and he judged a pizza contest for budding chefs in the school's Culinary Arts program.
After telling those assembled in the restaurant how he went from a single pizza restaurant in Salem, N.H., to a culinary craze, with more than 40 Sal's Pizza locations and five Salvatore's Italian Restaurants, Lupoli, a lifelong Chelmsford resident, dug into six pizzas made by students.
After providing invaluable critiques of each of the pizzas and grading them on taste, appearance and creativity, he selected the pie made by Ian Henry, a junior from Chelmsford, as the best of the bunch -- but not before telling all six student-chefs, "Any one of you could walk into one of my stores and make pizza."
During the Open House portion of the evening, prospective students and their parents could tour the school, talk with teachers, and see what the school has to offer.
One such prospective student is John Schottler, who visited the school with his parents, Paul and Deb Schottler of Acton.
John is a freshman at Parker Charter Essential School at Devens who is thinking about transferring to Nashoba Tech, and liked what he saw in the automotive collision repair & refinishing and the carpentry & cabinetmaking programs.
"I'm just checking it out," he said. "It's more hands-on, and I like that."
Also visiting were Derek Pinkerton, a seventh-grader at Nissitissit Middle School in Pepperell, along with his mother, Michelle, and sister, Sabrina, who is a junior at Nashoba Tech.
Though he has a year left in middle school, Derek is already weighing his options for high school, and is particularly interested in the electronics/robotics and engineering technology programs.
In addition to automotive collision repair & refinishing, carpentry & cabinetmaking, culinary arts, electronics/robotics, engineering technology, and TV & media production/theatre arts programs, Nashoba Tech offers automotive technology; banking, marketing & retail; cosmetology; dental assisting; design & visual communications; early childhood education; electrical technology; health assisting; hotel & restaurant management; machine tool technology; plumbing & heating; and programming & web development.
For information about Nashoba Tech, call 978-692-4711 or visit nashoba.tech.net.