GST BOCES, GEICO donate vehicle to deserving family
A deserving local family experienced a life-changing event - the presentation of a vehicle to provide them with independence and the ability to work and travel safely to their son's medical appointments - thanks to GST BOCES and car donor GEICO, along with the National Auto Body Council™ Recycled Rides® program. The recipients, William and Jessica Naylor of Bath, were selected by Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc. The Naylor's six-year-old son, Noah, had a liver transplant at three weeks old and requires frequent trips to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment. William works full-time and Jessica stays home due to the medical needs of Noah. They owned a vehicle, but it was unsafe due to age and numerous repairs needed.
The Auto Body Repair and Automotive Technology classes at the GST BOCES Coopers campus worked together to repair the 2012 Chrysler 200 with minor front-end damage that was donated by GEICO. Several local businesses contributed to the project, including T & R Towing and Service Centers, Jaynes Used Auto Parts, Dunning's NAPA Auto Parts, Empire Auto Parts, Liquidz Autobody Supply, LKQ Corporation, Firestone, BFTP Limited, Elmira Auto Paint, Hartman Electric, Castle Cleaning Products and Smith's Laser Car Wash, along with individual donors. Margeson Insurance was on hand to present the family with a year of free insurance, and the Steuben County Sheriff's Department donated a new car seat for the Naylor's daughter. The Naylors also received a trunk full of groceries and gifts, as well as many donated gift cards.
Seniors work with preschoolers
In March, four seniors from the Dental Assisting program at the Bush campus completed an oral hygiene presentation at Fassett Elementary school. The Dental Assisting students taught a Pre-K class the importance of good oral hygiene and nutrition. The GST BOCES CTE students were able to reinforce what they have learned in class by teaching it to others. The lesson included games and fun activities for the preschoolers.
Phoenix Fury earn gold medal at Special Olympics
The Phoenix Academy Special Olympics floor hockey team competed in the 2020 New York State Special Olympics Super Regional Floor Hockey Competition in January in Rochester, NY. The competition consisted of teams from across upstate New York.
The entire Phoenix Fury team played an outstanding tournament both offensively and defensively and brought home the gold medal from the competition for the second year in a row.
GST students' design selected as logo for state event
A design created by a team of Nurse Assisting students from the Wildwood Education Center was selected as the logo for this year's New York State HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) conference. The design was used for t-shirts that were distributed to all competitors and advisors across the state and for pins that were given to winners of each competition.
This year, due to COVID-19, the annual conference was changed to a virtual conference. Participating students took online tests and submitted their events through video.Pictured are a Wildwood student in the participant t-shirt she helped design (she also took first place in the prepared speaking) and a pin featuring the Wildwood students' design.
GST BOCES student and teacher honored at SEMA in Las Vegas
A senior in the Auto Body Repair program at the GST BOCES Coopers Education Center was selected as this year's "Collision Student of the Year" by the Collision Repair Education Foundation. Her instructor, Brian McDonnell, was selected as the "Collision School Instructor of the Year."" Both received a trip to SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas, NV, where the pair were honored at the Education Foundation's November 5 reception. The SEMA Show is the world's premier automotive trade show that features more than 2,400 exhibiting companies and attendees from all over the world.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities.
Culinary students face off in Cupcake Wars
Seniors in the Culinary Arts program at the Bush Education Center faced off in a Cupcake Wars competition as a culmination of their baking unit. Students worked in two-person teams to bake and decorate cupcakes in unique flavors and themes. They were judged on consistency, presentation and taste by a panel that included selected staff. In addition, juniors in the program offered peer evaluations of the cupcakes.
GST BOCES students to help Hornell rebuild
On February 28, Hornell Mayor John Buckley visited the Wildwood Building Construction program to thank Instructor Rob Lemay and his students for their help in revitalizing neighborhoods around the city. The class has built several homes that have been placed throughout the community. Beginning next year, the class will work on a home that will be placed on Preston Avenue to help rebuild a city neighborhood where five homes were destroyed by fire in November 2019.
"The (GST BOCES) students do an excellent job and it's such a vital tool to have in the City of Hornell to revitalize neighborhoods, to place new homes on empty lots and put homes back on the tax rolls," said Buckley. "All the credit goes to the students and staff at BOCES."
Phoenix Academy students practice interview skills
In February, more than 50 juniors and seniors participated in Phoenix Academy’s first mock interview day. Participating businesses included First Heritage FCU, Express Lube, DiPetta Chiropractic, NYS Parks and Recreation, Kimble Inc., Drake Heating, ServU Credit Union, Town of Southport, Wegmans and the Transformation Center. Representing the Waverly Fire Department, along with his brother, was a past graduate from Phoenix Academy.
At Phoenix Academy, students are exposed to vocational skills training and hands-on work experience as part of career development. These mock interviews helped students practice and further develop their communication skills, which are vital to success in life and in the workplace. Students came ready to show off their skills, dressing to impress and with résumés
"Students left with more confidence and all gained valuable experience in the hiring process," said Principal Jesse Ferris.
(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.