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New Jersey Charter School Funded By USDA Educates the Leaders of Tomorrow

Recently I attended a dedication ceremony along with members of my staff held at the Sussex County Charter School for Technology in the New Jersey community of Sparta.  Also in attendance for the dedication were local and school officials as well as Real Estate Advisory Development Services (READS).

This Charter School received funding through USDA’s Community Facilities Program and the result was 20,000 square feet of educational space consisting of three separate buildings.  Two of the three buildings were built using modular units helping to keep the costs down.  The Charter School had shared space with the County Vocational School since 1997.

Following the dedication ceremony, members of the student council gave a tour of the new facilities for my staff and me.  Their excitement for the long awaited school was contagious.

Pictured from left to right are students Annmarie May, Courtney Savarese, Vito VanDunk, Jr. and Howard Henderson, USDA Rural Development New Jersey State Director back row are:  USDA Rural Development New Jersey employees Janis Rega, Business Programs Director, Barry Gruber, Area Director, Kenneth Drewes, Community Facilities Director and Robert Fry, Senior Area Specialist

Pictured from left to right are students Annmarie May, Courtney Savarese, Vito VanDunk, Jr. and Howard Henderson, USDA Rural Development New Jersey State Director back row are: USDA Rural Development New Jersey employees Janis Rega, Business Programs Director, Barry Gruber, Area Director, Kenneth Drewes, Community Facilities Director and Robert Fry, Senior Area Specialist

The Sussex County Charter School for Technology is a great example of President Obama’s challenge to win the future by three means: Out-Innovate, Out-Educate, and Out-Build.  I know that with the support provided by the local community, the parents, the teachers, the staff, and USDA the future of these remarkable students is secure.  With these student leaders, our future is in good hands.

Before the ceremony started, I spoke with some of teachers just to learn how happy they were to celebrate the dedication of the free standing building which is used as a cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium.  The schools’ staff and students already have nicknamed this building cafegymatorium.

Charter schools like this one are public schools without the glitz and generally are smaller and modestly built having very few amenities.  There are just 14 classrooms serving 200 students in grades 6-8, with a very low student-teacher ratio.

The Charter Schools mission is to provide an innovative public school of choice, servicing middle school students in Sussex County and surrounding areas.  A distinctive and dynamic technology-based program promotes active learning and embraces multiple learning needs and styles in a challenging environment.

To learn more about USDA Rural Development programs in New Jersey, click here.

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