Hutchinson Central Technical High School
Skill / Knowledge / Power
256 South Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, New York, (Erie County), 14201
Coordinates 42'53'31'N' 78'52'44'W'
School type Public, Coeducational Exam/Magnet High School
Established 1904 Mechanics Arts
1954 Hutch-Tech HS
Founded Wed, September 14, 1904 at Elm Street School #11.
Founder Dr. Daniel Upton[1]
School board Buffalo Board of Education
School district Buffalo City School District
Oversight New York State Education Department
Superintendent Dr. James a. Williams
School number 304
CEEB Code 331035[2]
Principal Sabatino Cimato
Assistant principals James Singletary, Charlene Watson
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1129[3] (2009)
Classes Technical, College Prep
Average class size 32[3]
Hours in school day 7
Campus Urban
Color(s) Maroon and White
Athletics Football, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, Cross country, Track, Swimming
Mascot 20px Engineers
Newspaper Techtonian
Yearbook Techtonian
Affiliations University of Buffalo, SUNY, USNY, NYSED
Information Phone: +1 (716) 816-3888
Fax: +1 (716) 851-3890

Hutchinson Central Technical High School, informally known as Hutch-Tech, is a high school in the City of Buffalo, New York. Its founding on September 14, 1904[1] under the name Mechanics Arts High School marked the beginning of technical education on the secondary level in the city of Buffalo.


The school was first housed in the then Elementary School No. 11 on Elm Street near Clinton Street. Dr. Daniel Upton, the founder of the school and its first principal, began operations with a faculty of four teachers and a pupil registration of sixty-four.

In September 1905, the school's name was changed to Technical High School, pending the move to a new building to be built on Cedar Street and Clinton Ave; its corner stone was laid on November 14, 1912.[1] The Cedar Street building opened on July 14, 1918 with an enrollment of 1009 students, 863 boys and 146 girls. It offered evening classes, the first of its kind in Buffalo at the time.

The program of studies at Technical High School differed from that of other Buffalo high schools, in its introduction of Industrial Chemistry Machine Design, Engineering College Preparatory, Electrical, Commercial Art and Building Design and Construction to the program of the high school at this point.[4]


The school received a charter from the Regents of the State of New York (now the New York State Education Department) under the name Technical High School of Buffalo in 1918, and remained in this building until 1954.[5] In the Spring of 1921, Tech began issuing Entrance Exams[4] and became what is now known as a Magnet School, even though with its course load it would normally fall into the classification of a Vocational-technical school. That practice still continues today to help select classes, which now consist of roughly 200-300 students.

The school was in great demand during its forty years of instruction at this location. Most of Technical High School's equipment was transferred to the building formerly occupied by Hutchinson Central High School.[5] This building, located at South Elmwood Avenue and Chippewa Street, was completely renovated, remodeled and repainted. It is located within the boundaries of the West Village Historic District.[6]


Hutch-Tech was one of the world's first high schools with a digital computer, acquiring an IBM 1620 (Level C) in 1961.[5] This computer, with 20,000 BCD words of memory, was quite advanced for the time, and classes were taught in assembly language, symbolic programming, Fortran, Cobol, and numerical analysis. Many Hutch-Tech graduates from the 1960s became pioneers in computing; perhaps the best known of these was astronomer and computer security expert Clifford Stoll.

The curriculum has been revamped and expanded continuously over the second-half of the 20th Century, for entrance into schools of engineering and or the training of technicians for entry-level positions in current technical fields. The programs the school now offers includes Bio-Chemical Technology, Computer Technology, and Engineering Technology. Instruction in Electricity and Electronics is also provided. Hutch-Tech also offers a selection of college prep courses including Advanced Placement that both helped their major, and helped them meet their General Education Requirements that most colleges require. The courses include, AP English Comp, AP English Lit, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, and AP United States History.

More recently the building was set for renovation as part of a city-wide plan to renovate dozen of schools in the city of Buffalo. The renovation took place from the summer of 2005 until the summer of 2007. The "New" building has more and updated classrooms with Promethean Ltd smart boards, a brand new gymnasium, new engineering and electrical equipment, and new science rooms. While the building was being renovated, school operations took place at Kensington High School on the city's east side.


At the end of the 2010 School Year, David Greco retired[7] after nearly fifteen years of service as Head Administrator at Hutch-Tech, and nearly twenty-five years as a history teacher, and administrator elsewhere, including Bennett High School, Buffalo Traditional, and others. This is five years later than his original retirement date of 2005, but Greco made a promise to see the renovations through, and see the students back to the building on South Elmwood. Greco's successor is Sabatino Cimato.

Selected former principals Edit

Previous assignment and reason for departure denoted in parentheses

Selected former assistant principals Edit

Previous assignment and reason for departure denoted in parentheses

Clubs and extra-curricular activitiesEdit

The school offers a number of extra-curricular activities and sports The school also features a number of clubs and organizations including: Student Council, Students Against Drunk Driving, Kappa Sigma Phi, Drama Club, JROTC, Foreign Language Clubs, Engineering Organizations, Drill Team, Cheerleading and a school newspaper club. Staff-led musical instruction supports several musical groups including a jazz ensemble, concert band and marching band.

In the newsEdit

In recognition of its unique programs and past accomplishments, Hutchinson Central Technical High School was honored as a National School of Excellence in 1988-1989 by the U.S. Department of Education.[8] In 1996, Redbook Magazine cited HCTHS as one of the top 150 high schools in the country.[9]

In October 2005, the New York Civil Liberties Union successfully pressured the school to release students from their mandatory Junior ROTC program, arguing that the practice violates the State’s Education Law, which provides that no child may be enrolled in JROTC without prior written parental consent.[10] In the end, Greco did release the student in question, and all others,[11] but not without the attention of the local media. WGRZ, the local NBC broadcast channel, carried the story,[12] as did the local publication Artvoice.[13]

On November 21, 2008, John Hoffmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil in Houston, spoke to the student body about alternative energy, in an event organized by the Buffalo Urban League.[14]

Following the theft of a student's bicycle from Hutch Tech in March 2009, the administration announced a policy that in essence banned bike riding to and from the school. The student brought the matter before the Buffalo school board, and the first bike rack at Hutch Tech was installed, contributed by a local bicycling advocacy group. The superintendent of schools expressed a desire and plan for bike racks throughout the Buffalo Public School District.[15][16]

In 2009, Hutchinson Central Technical High School was ranked 86th out of 131 Western New York high schools in terms of academic performance.[17]

In the 2011 U.S. News and World Report analysis of United States Best High Schools, Hutch Tech received a Bronze Star for exceeding state performance in its Poverty-Adjusted Performance Index, and greatly exceeding overall state average performance by its disadvantaged students. The school's college readiness score prevented receiving a higher ranking.[18]

Notable alumniEdit

  • Chester A. Kowal, Buffalo mayor, 1962–1965
  • Stanley M. Makowski, Buffalo mayor, 1974–1977
  • Frank A. Sedita, Buffalo mayor, 1958–1961, 1966–1973
  • Clifford Stoll, Astronomer, inventor, computer security expert.
  • Harold Arlen, Composer.[19]


External linksEdit