Manufacturing companies all over the Hudson Valley are eager to recruit and train the next generation of young men and women to continue the legacy of building quality products used across the nation and overseas. Thanks to the efforts of a high school principal and technology teacher, this process is going to become easier. Aaron Hopmayer has been the principal of Pine Bush High School for almost 18 years. Throughout those years, Mr. Hopmayer has created several programs aimed at students interested in pursuing a trade.
HV MFG sat down with Mr. Hopmayer back in 2018 to discuss the progress made over the years. Growing up, Mr. Hopmayer was not fully sure what he wanted to pursue as a career. After graduating high school, he joined the Army and served in Iraq and various other places. After serving, Mr. Hopmayer came back to the Hudson Valley and became a student at SUNY New Paltz where he majored in Secondary Education/Social Studies and eventually earned a masters in Special Education. His first teaching job was in Fallsburg where he learned what it takes to support both students and teachers while meeting state education requirements.
After working at Fallsburg, Mr. Hopmayer began working at Pine Bush High School which houses around 1,800 students in grades 9 through 12. The high school is home to a diverse community that is continuing to grow with a district budget of $115 million. From the very first day, Mr. Hopmayer said the main focus of the school is the children and making sure the faculty/staff is doing everything possible to ensure they will develop into successful adults. One of the initiatives started is called Summer Academies, which range from 1-4 weeks in duration and teach kids various subjects. Currently, there are 6 different disciplines including Leadership and Law, Aviation, Performing Arts, Science, Horsepower & Engineering, and Medical. Each program is taught by district teachers as well as community leader who specialize in the given field. The program is so successful that students are even able to earn SUNY Orange Community College Credit in some classes. In addition, STEM Academy was created to help incoming high schoolers gain exposure to manufacturing programs.
Mr. Hopmayer contributes many of the successes to the excellent staff he works with that always show enthusiasm and energy towards the students. Over the past few years, Pine Bush High School has seen fewer fights thanks to programs designed to help students find their passions. With many manufacturers across the Hudson Valley looking to hire new talents, the hard work that Mr. Hopmayer, the faculty, and the students have put into these programs will soon pay off.
The full interview between HV MFG and Mr. Hopmayer can be viewed here.