Teachers spot the difference among MCVSD students


Catherine Escueta

Math teacher, Deborah Maher taught at Allied Academy of Health and Science prior to teaching at CHS.

Phoebe Drummond

CHS’s faculty consists of 30 teachers. Six of these teachers have worked at other Monmouth County Vocational Schools (MCVSD).

History teacher Tom Ross is one of them. He moved to CHS from Biotechnology High School (BTHS) last year. He said the main reason he made the switch was because CHS is significantly closer to his house than BTHS. Aside from the quicker commute, Ross has noticed several other differences between BTHS and CHS.

At BTHS, Ross said he taught international baccalaureate (IB) history. Ross said that students that earn an International Baccalaureate diploma can skip certain college courses. The program is not offered at CHS.

“Everything in Biotech is structured for the IB class,” Ross said. “There is definitely a different personality. Over there people are really really into science. They were much more rigid.”

Regarding academics, Ross has observed the biggest difference between a CHS and BTHS student is the writing.

“The writing here is less mechanical. It’s just a different style. Here, you’ve got a school that’s more artistically oriented, more about creativity, and so you get a different style. Neither style is better than the other. It’s just different,” Ross said.

History teacher Sharyn O’Keefe, who was been at CHS since it opened in 2000, was a teacher at High Technology High School (HTHS) in Lincroft beforehand. She too, was able to further explain the uniqueness of CHS compared to other MCVSD schools.

“The biggest difference is the schedule… They have a five period day,” O’Keefe said.

Unlike CHS, where students take classes based on semester, when O’Keefe worked at HTHS, classes only met three times a week and many times, not during the same period, O’Keefe said. And like Ross, O’Keefe made a point to mention the differences in student creativity.

“I have a lot more creativity in my classroom here, a very different type of student energy,” O’Keefe said.

Regardless of their motives to be at one MCVSD school or another, teachers with experience at more than one of these schools are able to pick out the similarities and differences of Monmouth County’s best and brightest.