“New Horizons will strive to become a state-of-the-art regional education center nationally recognized as an authority on specialized educational programs and services that support the development of a world-class workforce and a self-sufficient citizenry.”


“To serve the educational needs of the Peninsula’s school divisions, New Horizons will prepare students educationally, technically, and socially, according to each student’s needs, to become productive citizens.”

Our mission is:

  • To train and educate a world-class workforce
  • To challenge and enrich the education of future scientists and mathematicians
  • To provide effective educational, vocational, and therapeutic day treatment for children and youth with disabilities

Core Values

“Collectively, we the members of New Horizons Regional Education Centers express our commitment to the following values as guiding our daily actions in pursuit of our vision.”

    1. A strong emphasis on student success and the realization of individual potential.
    2. A shared belief in the importance of partnerships and teamwork involving all members of the school community including parents and students.
    3. An emphasis on teaching and modeling ethical values in work and life.
    4. A commitment to reflective practice as a means to achieve continuous improvement and innovation.


    1. Establish and maintain quality education programs that incorporate the Standards of Learning and complement school division curricula
    2. Deliver rigorous and relevant curricula meeting student needs, preferences, and workforce requirements
    3. Strive to provide state-of-the-art equipment, instructional technology, and facilities
    4. Ensure excellent relations with students, parents, member schools, and the business community
    5. Extend work-based experiences and apprenticeship opportunities that reinforce Academic learning and technical training to students and teachers
    6. Ensure a safe learning and working environment

Organizational Chart

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A Legacy of Regional Cooperation Since 1965

New Horizons Regional Education Center (NHREC) is operated by the six Peninsula School Divisions to provide educational services that are most efficient to implement through a regional partnership.
The school first opened in 1965 as the Virginia Peninsula Vocational Technical Education Center at the renovated Copeland Park Elementary School in Hampton, Virginia. The first high school faculty consisted of five teachers serving a student body of 85 students.

The Center began to serve adults of the community in 1966 through continuing education classes and apprentice-related instruction. Training for disadvantaged adults was made available through federal employment, and training programs were expanded and moved to the renovated Buckroe Skill Center in 1978. This provided a second campus in the Hampton area.

As years passed, the Center continued to expand to meet an increasing school population, as well as increased industry demands. A third campus was built at Woodside Lane in 1978. This new facility located in Newport News was comprised of a single 78,000 square-foot CTE center specifically built to accommodate the latest in technical programs.

In 1985, Governor Robb and the General Assembly authorized $2.5 million to construct the Butler Farm Road campus to consolidate the Copeland Park site and Buckroe Skill Center into one Hampton Campus. The new facility consisted of four buildings in a campus environment with a total of 104,000 square feet of instructional and laboratory space. At the time, the Board of Trustees changed the name from the Virginia Peninsula Vocational Technical Center to New Horizons Technical Center, which was comprised of the Woodside Lane Campus (Newport News) and the Butler Farm Campus (Hampton).

Also in 1985, The Governor’s School for Science and Technology was added to the Butler Farm Campus. This program was one of four schools in the state authorized by the Virginia Board of Education and offered college-level courses to the top science students of the Virginia Peninsula.

In 1993, the Superintendents and Board of Trustees further expanded the mission of New Horizons Technical Center by incorporating a highly successful regional special education program known as the Peninsula Area Cooperative Educational Services (PACES). The special education programs were moved to the Woodside Lane campus and the name of the organization was changed to New Horizons Regional Education Center in 1994 to reflect the enhanced scope of services. These new special education programs served youth between the ages of 4 and 21 years. The service areas were divided into Newport Academy for seriously emotionally disabled youth and the Center for Autism. The programs have grown today into premier regional day treatment programs. A third campus site (Kiln Creek Elementary) and a fourth campus site (York Middle School), along with the Woodside Lane facility, make up what is now the Center for Autism.

In 2016, a new 52,000 square-foot Special Education Center was constructed to serve up to 200 students. This state-of-the-art Center provides a gym, cafeteria, therapy rooms, and the latest technology.

Fast Facts

Opened its doors as Virginia Peninsula Vocational Technical Center in 1965 (see History for information regarding the growth of facilities and services).

Owned and Operated by the six Peninsula School Divisions (Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg/JCC, and York).

Largest of the nine regional centers in the state of Virginia in both size and scope of service.

Centers include:

      • Career and Technical Education Center
      • Governor’s School for Science and Technology
      • Center for Autism
      • Newport Academy
      • Center for Apprenticeship and Adult Training
      • Youth Workforce Center
      • Family Counseling Center

Located on four sites:

      • Butler Farm Campus is a 115,000 sq. ft. bldg. on 30 acres
      • The Woodside Lane Campus resides on 20 acres. The WL Career and Technical Education Center is a 75,000 sq. ft. bldg. and the WL Special Education Center is a 52,000 sq. ft. bldg.
      • Kiln Creek is a 15,000 sq. ft. integrated wing at Kiln Creek Elementary School
      • York Middle School is an 8,800 sq. ft. wing at York Middle School

Over 300 employees (full and part-time)

Total budget exceeds $ 20,000,000

Serves approximately 1,500 public school students and another 1,200 adults per year