High Technology High School opened its doors to its first class, 60 students entering as sophomores, in September, 1991. By January of 1992, what is now the HTHS building was opened and the school could leave its temporary location within the Brookdale Community College. By November, 1991, a handful of determined parents formed the nucleus of the fledging PFA. They were able to formulate a Constitution and By-Laws by April, 1992, and to become incorporated by the State of New Jersey as a non-profit organization. Since that time, the PFA has also received official notice from the IRS of its tax-exempt status.
The PFA's first full school year, 1992-1993, featured both fall and spring fundraisers, a welcoming brunch (which evolved into a BBQ and now a picnic with ice cream sundaes) for all students, faculty, administration and staff held on the first Friday of the school year, a family picnic in June, as well as the first SAT prep program, all of which continue today. Career Day and the Senior Brunch (hosted by the Junior parents) debuted in 1993-1994, along with the awarding of five scholarships totaling $3,000 to graduating seniors. In 2000-2001, the scholarship program was increased to seven graduating seniors sharing $5,250 in awards. The Special Student/Faculty Fund was added in the 2000-2001 school year along with the Student Research Grant Fund. In 2007-08, seven PFA scholarships of $1000 were awarded. The PFA also looks for corporate scholarships for our students.
The Executive Board (consisting of the Officers and Committee Chairpeople, as well as a Faculty Representative and the Principal) meets monthly usually on the first Monday evening of the month during the school year. These meetings are open to all. Up to four general membership meetings have been held each year. Traditionally, the first meeting coincides with Back To School Night. The second meeting often focuses on student volunteer opportunities. Another is held at Classical Music Night in December. Election of officers is usually held at the May Executive Board Meeting.
The PFA has, since its inception, published a newsletter, The High Tech Times, which is distributed to the entire PFA membership six times per year. A Student Directory is published and distributed every September which includes all PFA families--student and parents names, addresses and telephone numbers (with their permission) by class. This directory also includes the calendar of events for the year as well as a listing of the PFA Executive Board and Committee Members. The PFA also keeps parents informed via the BBS. There is a BBS support person within the PFA to help parents get it set up and to answer questions.
Fundraising has always been a major focus of the PFA . Various fundraisers have been held over the years. An early fundraiser was the Belmar Garage Sale, held every May in Belmar. Just about anything but clothing was collected at HTHS and hauled to Belmar where up to $2000 was raised each year. An Art and Gift Auction was begun in 2001. In 2002, the PFA compiled and sold its own cookbook which consists of a multitude of recipes gathered from the membership. In 2003, the Barnes & Noble fundraisers were begun. Pizza sales, gift wrap sales, magazine sales, 50/50, annual donationsâ€”these have all had a place in the HTHS PFA as needed funds were raised to support the many programs.
The PFA also does many activities to benefit the students. The Global Enrichment Committee, formed in 2006-07, solicits ideas from the faculty for trips and other ways to enrich our studentsâ€™ educational experience. Given the schoolâ€™s focus on science and engineering, this committee helps provide for humanities-related trips. At one time, as a service and not a fundraiser, the PFA offered an alternative to the lunches offered through Brookdale College. For these alternative lunches, students ordered lunches from outside restaurants such as Italian, Chinese, subs and parents picked them up and delivered them to HTHS at lunch time.
There are many activities that the PFA is involved in. The hospitality committee provides refreshments for many school sponsored events such as information sessions, guidance nights, NHS Induction, the welcoming Picnic, and Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. After Prom, the PFA sponsors a substance-free Post Prom party, providing food and fun for the prom attendees. A Classical Music Night is held in December and a family picnic in June.