Principals that attain future achievement are what any school aims to develop in their students. At EBT (the High School for Enterprise, Business & Technology) that aim couldn’t be more defined if it were spelled out in the school’s name, which it pretty much is. The principal of EBT, Holger Carrillo, has been at the helm of the school for seven years. His steady efforts are focused on boosting the achievement potential of his students: to provide students with quality academic education and give them access to the resources that are necessary for them to not only to graduate high school but to apply to college, go to college, stay in college, graduate college, and be career ready.
Carrillo is deeply invested in his school as evidenced by the twenty years he has been at the school. He started at EBT in 1997, then he was as a math teacher. Four and a half years later he was promoted to Assistant Principal of Math and Science.
He has strong ties to the North Brooklyn community also. He resided at Cooper Park Houses while he went to college. The inspiration to become an educator was galvanized when he experienced the patience, dedication, support, and motivation provided by two faculty members during his college days.
“Dr. Loreto Porte from Hostos Community College and Dr. Jane Mathews from Hunter College were both phenomenal educators that inspired me to become one like them,” Principal Carrillo said.
Experience and foresight are a valuable combination. Carrillo’s twenty years of experience at the school informs him, and he has an eye out for new exciting initiatives. EBT has a lot to look forward to. The school is officially a candidate to become an International Baccalaureate Program (IB) school. EBT’s inclusion as a candidate school is a very impressive achievement because it is rare that a school that is not a selective school (one that requires rigorous testing for admission) has been in contention.
Consideration for this potential is due to EBT’s academic component and competitive graduation rate (83.4 percent). Also in the works for the school is a third Career in Technical Education (CTE) program in engineering to address the high demand for those in STEM careers. For the past 15 years EBT has offered CTEs in computer networking and the other in hospitality and tourism.
Then there is Career GPS starting this month via the Grand Street Campus’ latest initiative in partnership with St. Nicks Alliance which offers skills training and support services to students while they are in school so on graduation they are career and college ready.
Principal Carrillo cited what a phenomenal asset St. Nicks Alliance has been to the school for such a long time. St. Nicks Alliance has served as a community partner since the early 1990s to the schools at the Grand Street Campus offering a variety of activities, supports and after-school to complement academics and through management of the Williamsburg Beacon also housed in the Campus.
Principal Carillo is very proud of the school’s student successes. Here are just two:
- Stefanie Canete (class of 2014) won a Posse scholarship; she is a student of Babson College and holds an internship with Bank of America as a credit risk analyst of big companies. She intends to go on to earn an MBA.
- Glenn Alvarez (class of 2013) is a Gates Millenium Scholar and will soon graduate from Cornell University on a STEM path. Achieving the scholarship and entrance into Cornell is spectacular in double measure. Another circumstance that extends the extraordinariness of Alvarez’s achievements was that he had a brain tumor that kept him in a coma for almost a month during his senior year.
During a tour of the school Principal Carrillo brought me to the college office. It is overseen by Guidance Counselor/College Adviser, Michele Oransky-Arroyo who also runs the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. Here, students can research colleges and get assistance in the application process, which includes finding scholarships and financial counseling. A student there at the time was looking into universities offering accounting and finance programs.
On the way to the band rehearsal we were stopped by the director of bands and coordinator of performing arts, Jeff Ball. He was busy posting promotional materials for upcoming music performances at the Grand Street Campus. Mr. Ball has been director of bands for twelve years and coordinator for six years. His enthusiasm for his department is evocative, so that he made me want to dust off my clarinet and join the band — at Grand Street Campus there is a band just for those adults who want to pick up their instruments and play in a band again.
The Grand Street Campus’ successful performing arts and sports programs are symptomatic of the strong collaboration among the principals of the three schools: Progress High School, the School of Legal Studies, and EBT. This also extends to academic initiatives such as their Advanced Placement for All initiative, where a student from one of the schools can participate in an AP program offered by one of the other schools.
In the band room Sondra Braeutigam conducted her students through the piece they were practicing. This class was for beginners to musical study. When asked how the students chose their instruments, Ms. Braeutigam said that they do it by seeing which mouth piece they are most natural with. Flutes, woodwinds, and brass instruments all have distinct mouthpieces so paring the player to an instrument this way is most effective.
Walking back toward the principal’s office, Carrillo mentioned the previous week a former student of his came by to say hi and tell him that her son was currently attending EBT. Over the past years more and more students from all over the city have chosen to go to EBT, and it speaks volumes that alumni want their children to study at the school.