Phoenix Academy offers school-based food pantry
The Phoenix Academy at the GST BOCES Bush Campus is now home to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s first school-based food pantry in the GST region. The Phoenix Academy Food Pantry provides families who enroll with a weekly delivery of supplies for a complete meal that will feed the entire family, along with extras such as cereal. In total, participating households receive enough food for seven meals per family member per month. Enrollment in the new program is not income based and does not affect other services that the family may receive.
Not only does the pantry provide food for families, but Phoenix Academy students also are gaining work study experience through the project. They unload and shelve the monthly delivery from the Food Bank (left) and then fill and deliver orders each week. They also assist with data collection and meal planning.
GST BOCES students place at state FCCLA competition
GST BOCES students from the New Visions Human Services and Education and the New Visions Innovation, Leadership and Business programs at the Bush Education Center competed in the New York State FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) conference in March in Callicoon, NY. All GST BOCES winners qualify for the national competition to be held in Anaheim, California from June 30 to July 4.
Auto Body receives donations
The Bush Campus Auto Body Repair program recently received 28 new lift gates from the Collision Repair Education Foundation and Toyota. Students will use these to practice painting and repairing dents.
"It is extremely rare that we have undamaged body panels for students to practice on," said Instructor Brad Knowlden. "We appreciate this donation from Toyota, and we would like to especially thank the Collision Repair Education Foundation for its continued support of the Auto Body programs at GST BOCES. The generous donations we have received from the foundation enrich the instruction we provide to students and have made our program more successful."
Criminal Justice donates to local law enforcement
This spring, the Wildwood Criminal Justice junior class visited the Steuben County Jail. While there, they presented Steuben County Undersheriff John McNelis with a $200 check from the class club account. The money is to honor one of their deputies who was with and assisted Trooper Nicholas Clark when he sacrificed his life in the line of duty.
Students also donated $250 to the "Smoke in the Valley" event, which will be held in July. The event will benefit the Canisteo and Hornell police organizations.
CISCO team wins at Alfred
A team of students from the CISCO Networking Academy program at the Wildwood Education Center won first place at the Alfred State Adventure competition held at Alfred State College in March.
The event was a special competition for high school students who are interested in information technology. Teams of students ran machines through virtual trials based on different components of the IT field such as networking, web security and programming. The challenges were designed to encourage problem solving and project management.
New Visions takes first in Upstate Medical competition
A team of students from the New Visions Health Careers Exploration program at the Bush Education Center won first place in the second annual Rural Medical Scholars Program "Mentorship through Case Discussion" competition at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in April.
Thirty high school students from across New York State participated in the competition. Teams of first and second-year medical students from the rural training program began mentoring and training teams of high schools students about a clinical case in September using online modules. The competition focused on the students' diagnosis and treatment plan for a hypothetical patient with specific symptoms. Each high school team was quizzed on its general knowledge of medicine, with questions roughly equivalent to content taught in the first year of medical school.
The students were judged by fourth-year RMED students, as well as local physicians and health care administrators from regions served by the program.
Students donate flowers
Coopers Education Center SkillsUSA representatives recently delivered flowers that they grew as part of the club's community service project. The flowers were donated to area nursing homes to help brighten the day for residents and staff. Many SkillsUSA members from across the campus worked in the greenhouse as part of this project.
New Visions Medical students explore career options
Coopers New Visions Medical students recently visited the Lifenet helicopter in Hornell and the North Hornell Fire Department to learn about different career options in the medical profession. Students were taught how to intubate a patient (provide an artificial airway), intraosceous IV (place an IV in a bone to get access on a critically ill patient) and all the extensive certifications these providers need.
(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.