Western School of Technology and Environmental Science, also known as WSTES or Western Tech, is a public magnet high school in Catonsville, Maryland. The school's main focuses are its 11 magnet programs pertaining to specific careers. In December 2013, Western Tech was named one of six public Blue Ribbon Schools in Maryland for 2014. On September 30, 2014, Western earned its status as a National Blue Ribbon School, becoming the seventeenth school in Baltimore County since 1994 to receive this honor.
Western Tech is currently ranked #11 in Maryland, and #347 among high schools nationally.
Students must apply to Western Tech and the school can only accept a limited number of applicants. Therefore, the admission process is selective and competitive. Students must complete an assessment for the magnet program in which they applied to. Admission is based on these assessments among other criteria, including grades and attendance.
The programs offered are Academy of Health Professions, Automotive Service Technology, Business Management and Finance, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, Graphic/Print Communications Technology, Information Technology (with a choice between the Computer Science or Networking Pathway), and Mechanical Construction/Plumbing.
The facilities include a state-of-the-art garage (for Automotive), kitchen (for Culinary), salon (for Cosmetology), and mock hospital (for Health Science).
In 2010, these technologically advanced programs have earned Western the title of "Best School for Hands-on Education" by Baltimore Magazine.
Western Tech currently offers 17 different Advanced Placement courses. Western also offers internships and parallel enrollment for students in the 12th grade.
The graduation rate at WesternTech was 89.25% in 1996, 94.96% in 1997, and 94.91% in 1998. From 1999-2011, the graduation rate has been greater than 95%. Also, over 95% of students have passed the HSA's. The student enrollment has been as high as 1,070 in 2004 and as low as 434 in 1994.
Western Tech does not have a field of its own, therefore sports must be played at nearby Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) or at other schools in Baltimore County.
In 2013, the Western Tech girls basketball team won the A1 Girls State Basketball Championship, beating Dunbar High School with a score of 46-40.
Western Tech supports 14 athletic teams in Maryland Athletic Conference 1A.Football
Track and Field
Western has several eclectic clubs and student-run organizations, where most focus on some academic aspect.Future Leaders of America
Gay Straight Alliance
Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement
National Art Honor Society
Student Service Learning
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Société honoraire de français
Wolverine RPG Society
Western Dance Team
On April 11, 2013 at approximately 2:30 a.m., two portable classrooms were engulfed in flames. Over 75 firefighters got the blaze under control by 3:30 a.m. Due to smoke that went into the main building, the school was closed that day. The cause of the fire is under investigation.