GST cosmetologists win at competition
Five students in the Wildwood Education Center Cosmetology program competed in a student competition that was held during Goldwell New York's Trendzoom 17 event in Syracuse in November. Twenty-one students from across New York State participated, and two Wildwood students placed in the top 10. One Wildwood student (right, holding poster) was selected as the first place winner of the competition, and was awarded $650 in cosmetology tools and equipment, along with two-day admission to next year's event.
Adult Ed program decorates holiday-themed window
If you're in downtown Elmira during the holiday season, check out our Adult Education and Career Services Program's beautiful holiday-themed window at 209 Water Street. Many thanks to Elmira Downtown Development for inviting us to participate.
For more information on GST BOCES Adult Education program, please go to http://www.gstboces.org/adulted.
GST BOCES student honored at Rod Serling Film Festival
For the third consecutive year, an entry from the GST BOCES Audio Media program at the Bush Education Center was been selected as a top honor winner in the 2017 Rod Serling Film Festival. Shyann Stroud (Twin Tiers Christian Academy) earned the Best Documentary award for "Choices." She is a 2017 graduate who created her entry during her senior year in the Audio Media program.
Compilations of honorees' films were featured during the 2017 Rod Serling Film Festival, which was held in October at The Art Mission & Theater in Binghamton. Entries for the Rod Serling Film Festival are produced and submitted by students in kindergarten through grade 12 from across New York State. The festival is organized by WSKG Public Media in partnership with Binghamton City School District's Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, Broome County Forum Theatre, New York State Media Arts Teachers Association and the Serling family.
In the photo at left, Shyann Stroud (left) is congratulated by Instructor Allen Orshal.
Students honor veterans, active military personnel
In November, more than 200 students from the Elsmere and Broad Horizons programs at the GST BOCES Bush Education Center hosted an event to honor veterans and active military personnel.
The students lined the halls to shake hands and say thank you as the honored guests paraded through the school to patriotic music. Following the parade, students served their guests at a luncheon and had an opportunity to sit and talk with the veterans.
Auto Body classes get new uniforms, vehicle
Junior and senior Auto Body Repair students at the Coopers Education Center received new uniforms thanks to a generous donation. Michael Cassata, Jr., owner of Hammer Insights in Wayland, NY, donated $800 through the Collision Repair Education Foundation to provide Cintas work uniforms for each student. The goal of the foundation is to add a new level of professionalism to school collision programs during the 2017-18 school year. Cassata has been a strong supporter of the Coopers Auto Body program. "I am a strong proponent for students learning vocational and technical skills," said Cassata. "Students can make a good living if they choose to go into this field, and this program gives them a jump start toward that."
Cassata's son Mike is the General Manager at Copart in Rochester, NY, a company that sells total loss vehicles for insurance agencies. He arranged the donation of a 2013 Honda Accord that will be used to train students in newer model repair methods. Delivery of the vehicle was donated by Salazar Towing and Recovery in Canandaigua, NY.
Project SEARCH program started at Ira Davenport Hospital
GST BOCES has partnered with Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath, a part of Arnot Health system, to open the first Project SEARCH classroom in the GST region.
Project SEARCH offers a unique school-to-work transition program for special education students aged 18-21 who are in their last year of high school eligibility and who have a goal of obtaining competitive employment. The classroom is located at the hospital to provide students with an immersive setting, as classroom instruction combines with workplace environment, career exploration and intensive job skills training.
During the course of the school year, Project SEARCH students will participate in three unpaid internships on the hospital's campus in areas such as dietary, environmental services, adult daycare, clerical, activities and linen services/laundry. Participants will spend four to five hours in their internships supported by host business mentors, a job skills trainer, a special education teacher and a teaching assistant. Classroom time will focus on practicing employment skills.
GST BOCES and Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital have partnered with local community agencies to provide a high level of support to the interns. Community agency partners include The Arc of Steuben, NYSED Adult Career & Continuing Ed Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) and The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Zip line installed at ABL course
A new zip line was installed on the GST BOCES Adventure Based Learning course on the Bush campus this fall and CTE staff were the first group to try it out.
Adventure Based Learning uses games, problem-solving challenges and a rope courses to teach character and teamwork to students and adults. The activities are organized play, where students and adult learn, develop and practice problem-solving skills.
Adult Ed. student named Student of the Year
Tezeru (Tizta) Birbirsa of Corning recently was named a Student of the Year by the New York Association for Continuing/Community Education (NYACCE). Tizta (center) and her daughter were joined by (l-r) NYS Senator Tom O'Mara, GST BOCES Community Education Specialist Robin DeLong and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano at a recognition ceremony in Albany.
Tizta was born, raised and educated in Ethiopia. In early 2013, her husband was offered a job at Corning Inc. in Corning and the couple and their young daughter moved to the United States. When she arrived in the US, Tizta quickly discovered that her limited English was not enough to help her assimilate into her new country.
In 2013, Tizta began attending the GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services English as a Second Language (ESL) program at a local library. Eventually, she realized that her goal was to enter the workforce. She worked on raising her reading skills in order to enter the Certified Nurse Aide/Home Health Aide program at GST BOCES. During her clinicals, staff members at one of the senior living centers noticed Tizta’s compassion and wonderful way with their residents. They invited her to apply for a position upon the completion of her program. She did and she is currently enjoying her employment with them.
We are now accepting nominations for the GST BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to recognize the personal and professional achievements of past Career and Technical Education students who best exemplify the qualities and characteristics inherent in a successful BOCES program graduate.
If you know someone you would like to nominate for this honor, please complete this application, print it and return it to the address listed by January 15, 2018.
(L-R) Ryan Harrison, Heather McLaughlin, Abe Thomas, Jody Andrus and Jason Emo were recently inducted into the GST BOCES Hall of Fame. Photo by Tom Mike..
Jody Andrus graduated from Alfred-Almond Central School and completed the Cosmetology program at the Wildwood Education Center in 1979.
After graduation, Jody worked at two Hornell salons before opening her own business, Jody's Unisex Hair Design, in 1989. She ran her salon until 1998, when she accepted a position as a Cosmetology teaching assistant at the Steuben-Allegany BOCES (now GST BOCES) Wildwood campus. She still holds this position today and now works on the Coopers campus. For the past three years, she also has served as an advisor for the student SkillsUSA chapter.
Jody is active in her community and helped coordinate fundraising efforts for many local causes, including Relay for Life and Lungs for Leah. She also works with Volunteer Caregiver, providing hair services and visiting with elderly residents in local nursing homes.
Jason Emo graduated from Alfred-Almond Central School in 1990 and completed the Auto Body and Heavy Equipment programs at the Wildwood Education Center during his high school years.
After graduation, Jason began his career with the Town of Hornellsville as an equipment operator. He was able to merge his automotive and heavy equipment knowledge as he used down time to refurbish and maintain the town's aging fleet of equipment. Eventually, he was able to transform old pieces of equipment into a useful and reliable fleet. Jason later became the assistant highway superintendent and, after 20 years working for the town, was elected Town of Hornellsville Highway Superintendent in 2012. In this position, he put in place a system that reduced the town's spending on equipment maintenance by replacing it with debt service on bonding for new equipment. This approach has saved the town a significant amount of money, allowed debt to be almost eliminated and provided new equipment to the town on a regular rotation.
Jason provides internships for current GST BOCES students; he enjoys working side by side with them and serving as a mentor as they develop work skills.
Ryan Harrison completed the Criminal Justice program at the Wildwood Education Center and graduated from Hornell High School in 2005. After graduation, he attended Corning Community College and earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice.
In 2012, Ryan was sworn in as a full-time police officer for the City of Hornell Police Department. Four years later, he was promoted to sergeant, the position he still holds today. He leads the field training program for new officers and is a certified computerized voice stress analyzer, general instructor and bicycle patrolman. He also has taken additional training in narcotics investigations and interview techniques and recently graduated from the state-certified supervisors school.
Ryan remains involved with the GST BOCES Criminal Justice program by serving as a guest speaker and mock interviewer. He also assists with student performance evaluations.
Heather McLaughlin, a graduate of Corning-Painted Post West High School, attended the Licensed Practical Nurse program at the Coopers Education Center as an adult student while working full-time and raising four young children. After completing the program in 2001, she went on to work as an LPN at Elcor, The Waters of Three Rivers and Pathways, Inc.
Heather attended Corning Community College and earned a nursing degree in 2006. Her career path included jobs at Robert Packer Hospital and then Arnot Ogden Medical Center. While working in Arnot's emergency department, she earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Keuka College and a master's degree in Family Health Nursing from Binghamton University.
After earning these degrees, she returned to Robert Packer Hospital, taking a position as a Nurse Practitioner. She also was a clinical instructor for the Registered Nurse program at Corning Community College. Heather is currently a Nurse Practitioner at the Bath Veterans Administration.
Abe Thomas completed the Auto Body Repair program at the Coopers Education Center and graduated from Corning-Painted Post West High School in 2003. After graduation, he worked as an auto body technician at Loren's Body Shop in Corning. He went on to work at Crane's Towing in Painted Post and Goodrich Auto Works LLC in Bath before joining the Fox Auto Group in Painted Post in 2011.
Abe has worked his way from collision repair technician to his current position of auto body shop manager. He earned the Automotive Service Excellence Technician certification and I-CAR certifications. In addition to his job at Fox, Abe operates his own business, Against the Grain Paint, Body and Sales. He has built a reputation for quality of work in complete restoration, custom paint and body work. Abe has earned several awards for his work, including an award at Daytona Bike Week for a custom motorcycle that he painted.
Abe remains involved with the GST BOCES Auto Body program. He provides internship experiences for students at Fox Auto Group and works with his contacts at area body shops and estimators to secure internship opportunities. He also volunteers his time to share his experiences with BOCES students at events throughout the year.
The Hall of Fame recognizes the personal achievements of former GST BOCES students who demonstrate an understandable connection between their BOCES experience and career choice achievements. Anyone who has successfully completed an Adult Education, Alternative High School or Career and Technical Education program is eligible for the Hall of Fame. Applicants are eligible after the sixth year following their program completion. Inductees are selected by the CTE Advisory Council, which is made up of business and community leaders.