Gov. Hochul visits Tech Valley High, signs two key education bills

Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Tech Valley High School yesterday, Sept. 7, using our innovative school as an example to the benefits of advanced placement courses while signing two bills into law.

Tech Valley High School Principal Amy Hawrylchak was joined by Capital Region BOCES Chief Operating Officer Joseph Dragone, Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Lauren J. Gemmill, Questar III BOCES Superintendent Gladys Cruz, Questar III BOCES Associate Superintendent James Niedermeier, New York State Assemblyman Steve Otis, Tech Valley High School students, and members of the state Executive Chamber and high school’s foundation board.

“We were honored to host Governor Hochul today at Tech Valley High School,” said Tech Valley High School Principal Amy Hawrylchak. “The two bills she signed while at Tech Valley align well to our goals as a school. We believe in the importance of student government and elevating student voice. At Tech Valley, all students have the opportunity to take courses for college credit and we echo the Governor’s sentiments that all New Yorkers should have the opportunity.”


The two pieces of legislation target opportunities for high school students, clarifying the benefits of advanced placement courses and requiring the establishment of student governments.

Legislation (A.514-A/S.5650-A) amends education law to require schools to provide information to parents and students about the availability and benefits of Advanced Placement (AP) courses on an annual basis. Notices will now include the benefits of participation, a description of courses offered and how to prepare and enroll in them. Detailed descriptions of the academic and non-academic support the district or charter school provides will also be included, as well as financial assistance relating to the cost of participating in AP courses.

Legislation (S.1732/A.6091) amends the education law to require that student governments in high schools or district wide are established where they currently do not exist. The board of education or trustees of every school district serving high school students in grades nine through 12 with no districtwide or school building peer-selected student government must establish a student government system.

“Education is the great equalizer for young New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “This legislation proves that we’re not just changing policy — we are creating environments where every family has the knowledge to best support their kids on their educational journey and students have the opportunity to practice civic engagement through opportunities in their own classroom.”

The day marked the governor’s latest commitment to education as students across the state return to class from summer break. In the week leading to the first day of school, she has announced commitments to expand and support a diverse teacher workforce, expand childcare centers at SUNY campuses, and ensure school districts and BOCES have COVID-19 tests and masks available.

Tech Valley High School is a four-year regional public high school located on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus in Albany. It serves approximately 150 students, from grades 9 through 12, engaging them in hands-on projects that include unique, innovative and student-centered educational opportunities.

“It is our privilege and pleasure to welcome Governor Kathy Hochul. We are honored with her presence and what a wonderful way to start the school year,” said Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Lauren J. Gemmill. “Tech Valley High School embodies innovation, technology and the spirit of progress, which aligns directly with Governor Hochul’s vision for the future of the state. Her visit today will inspire our students to continue to explore new horizons and become the inventors and leaders of tomorrow.”