Ellis Tech grads heading to jobs, college, armed forces

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Wed., Jun. 22, 2011
(L-r) Joel Panteleakos, Jessica Chase and Zachary Glennon before their graduation on June 21. Jessica Chase has a job lined up at Skylights Hair Salon in Ashford. Photos by Denise Coffey.
(L-r) Joel Panteleakos, Jessica Chase and Zachary Glennon before their graduation on June 21. Jessica Chase has a job lined up at Skylights Hair Salon in Ashford. Photos by Denise Coffey.

For Jim Gallows, advisor to the H.H. Ellis Technical High School Class of 2011, the number of graduates going into their fields as opposed to college might signal an upturn in the economy.

“For the past couple of years, more students have gone away from trades and into college,” said Gallows. “This year’s class has more students going on to jobs in their fields.”

Take valedictorian Stephanie Ann LaPorte, who turned down a four-year scholarship to the University of Connecticut in order to go into her family’s business, LaPorte & Sons Plumbing and Heating in Plainfield.

“School is okay,” LaPorte said, “but I want to be more hands-on.”

She intends to go into the business to learn the details from the inside out. In a couple of years, she wants to be licensed.

Salutatorian Ryan Eck is going to the University of Connecticut on a four-year scholarship as reward for his academic achievement. Eck thinks his class is split about evenly between those going to college and those choosing to pursue jobs in their fields. Eck was in the hairdressing/barbering program at Ellis, but will study manufacturing engineering at the undergraduate level. His strong math and science skills made him decide on choosing college over trade.

David Lurie intends to move to Storrs and look for a job working with masonry or concrete. The 2011 graduate completed his coursework in the masonry department.  

Jessica Chase already has a job lined up. She’ll graduate from hairdressing/barbering and move into a position with Skylights Hair Salon in Ashford.

Zachary Glennon plans to sign up with either the Air Force or the Air National Guard in a few months. He plans to pursue his education eventually from a position in the military. He will be joined by five other classmates who will enter the U.S. armed forces. Three graduates intend to join the Air Force and two others plan to join the Army. 


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