Work is being completed on Catholic Central High School’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Business excellence. (Emily Benson photo)
Work is being completed on Catholic Central High School’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Business excellence. (Emily Benson photo)

CCHS has undergone a renovation project to build the Troy Savings Bank Foundation Center for Business Excellence, which will expand the business program and give students college-level facilities while in high school.

Funded by a grant from the Troy Savings Bank Foundation and an anonymous donor, the Center features two learning spaces; one large Teaching and Learning Center, and a second board-room Teaching Center.

“We are the only diocesan high school with a business program and we have two dedicated faculties to those classes,” said Ridge Harris, Catholic Central board president. “A lot of our kids are choosing these electives, so we had an opportunity through the Troy Savings Bank Foundation and through an anonymous alumni donor to enhance their experience.”

Joe Trapasso and George Hannah are the business teachers at the school. Trapasso said students must take one full-year business course to graduate and can start when they are freshman. Some of the offerings include courses in entrepreneurship, accounting, internships affiliated with Siena college, personal finance, sports and entertainment marketing and a business course affiliated with Hudson Valley Community College.

“We’ve had one-year students come back for another year,” Trapasso said. “We are very proud of the variety of the business courses that we offer.”
Harris said the rooms, filled with state-of-the-art equipment and large displays, can be arranged in different configurations for group settings and lectures and used by any department. 

“It’s set up in a way where there are windows where students, as well as parents, can see in,” Trapasso added. “It’s a state-of-the-art center and if an English teacher wants to show Shakespeare (on one of the large screens) or a Social Studies teacher wanted to do something, it’s open to all departments.”

“For any family looking for a strong education, we have all the right things at Catholic High, including a state-of-the-art business center, state-of-the-art science lab, in addition to all the faith-based education that we have as well,” Harris said. “This is adding to the experience of students currently at Catholic Central and well into the future.”

For more information, visit


American Sign Language

Bishop Maginn High School has added American Sign Language (ASL) to its curriculum. The class will be taught by Elizabeth Burnette, a Deaf American Sign Language teacher, who has experience teaching children and adults. 

Burnette earned her Bachelor of Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a Master of Public Health from the University at Albany. Burnette, who has attended many workshops and learned different methods and concepts to apply in ASL, is an active member of the Deaf community in the Capital District.

“We are excited to have Ms. Burnette as a teacher this year,” Bishop Maginn principal Michael Tolan said. “This is a great opportunity for our students to learn a new language and become culturally aware of the Deaf community.” 

Students, in an interactive setting, will learn communication basics and an understanding of Deaf culture. For more information, visit https://


Exploratory Engineering

Paula Thibault, part of NDBG’s math department and a former mechanical engineer, will be teaching a first-of-its-kind, one semester class in Exploratory Engineering. The class will examine the various types of engineering careers available and look at the ethics involved. 

Another academic innovation being offered for the first time is a class in Astronomy, which will be available for both semesters during the 2019-20 school year. Michele Albertine will lead the class and delve into specific scientists, the solar system and how astronomy relates to the great pyramids, Stonehenge and the ancient Aztecs. For more information, visit