Jason Gendron, NVTHS’s Nominee for Top Tech Student in State, Eyes a Future in Cybersecurity
WESTFORD -- Jason Gendron may someday be one of the experts the country turns to when a data breach or hacker threatens classified information.
He is certainly one of the people Nashoba Valley Technical High School turns to help keep its computers safely up and running.
“The past few years, it’s been a really pressing issue,” he said of cybersecurity. “Data breaches are rife across the country and the world. I’d like to combat that kind of thing, and I think I’d be good at it.”
There is no reason to doubt him.
Jason, a senior from Dracut, is Nashoba Tech’s nominee for the Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award, given by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators. Each technical high school nominates one student who best represents the opportunity provided by a vocational-technical education. All of the nominees are recognized at a dinner in April at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
Jason, son of Dan and Kat Gendron of Dracut, is a senior in the Electronics & Robotics program at Nashoba Tech. He has the highest grade-point average in the Class of 2019 and has been inducted into both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society.
He also attends Middlesex Community College full time through the Dual Enrollment plan and is a Dean’s List student in the Information Technology/Cybersecurity program. He is on target to graduate with an Associate Degree from MCC in May, then graduate from Nashoba Tech in June.
And, at age 18, Jason is a supplemental instructor in MCC’s Information Technology Department, helping students older than himself with homework and other course-related issues, which could cause some awkward moments.
“I don’t mention I’m in high school if they don’t ask,” he said with a laugh.
When Jason was an eighth-grader in Dracut, he was looking for a high school that could give him a head-start in the I.T. and cybersecurity fields. Even though Dracut is not a member of Nashoba Tech’s district, he decided to check out the school. What he saw convinced him it was right for him, and he was accepted through school choice.
“I liked what I saw here in terms of the vocational education,” he said. “My experience at Nashoba Tech has been great. All of the courses I took freshman and sophomore years really prepared me for Dual Enrollment and helped me to get where I am today. I’m definitely grateful for the education I received here.”
Dual Enrollment students from Nashoba Tech, though in college full time, are encouraged and expected to remain active at the high school, and Jason has no problem with that. He worked at the school last summer, helping the Technology Department update and secure all of its software.
He is a member of the school’s Robotics Club and its SkillsUSA team and, in fact, is the reigning national silver-medal winner in Information Technology Service Conference -- the highest any Nashoba Tech student has placed nationally -- after earning the gold medal at the State Competition. He is competing again this spring for Nashoba Tech and hopes to return to Louisville, Ky., in June to compete for the gold again.
Jason has qualified for the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship and plans to continue his education in cybersecurity at either Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Northeastern University or UMass Lowell.
After that, he plans to enter the world of cybersecurity, though he’s not sure if he’d rather work for a government agency, a private company or on his own. Whatever he decides, it will be bad news for hackers and professional cyber-criminals.