Auto Body students win at Buffalo competition
Three GST BOCES Auto Body seniors recently competed against students from seven different BOCES in the Western New York Auto Collision Competition in Buffalo. They were judged in paint blending, plastic repair and estimating. Awards were presented in three categories and for overall performance.
Coopers Education Center student Josh Conner (Campbell-Savona) won first place in plastic repair and was awarded $125 cash and a $1,000 scholarship to Ohio Technical College.
Coopers student Mitchell Lewis (Corning-Painted Post) won second place in the overall competition and second place in the plastic repair portion. He was awarded $75 cash, a spray gun and a $2,500 scholarship.
Wildwood Education Center student James Griffin (Arkport) won second place in the refinishing and blending competition, which earned him $75 and a $1,000 scholarship.
GST BOCES Phoenix Academy hosted a Veterans Day parade
GST BOCES students in the Phoenix Academy hosted a Veterans Day parade and luncheon in November. Students and staff lined the halls to honor veterans and active military personnel, then hosted a luncheon where veterans shared their stories with each other and with students.
GST BOCES adult student receives Student of the Year award
Alyssa O'Malley Galpin was recently named Student of the Year by New York Association for Continuing and Community Education (NYACCE). On November 29, Galpin was recognized by Assemblyman Chris Friend for her accomplishment.
Although Galpin attended high school through grade 12, she did not pass her Global Regents exam and according to her, "life got in the way" of her being able to graduate. Wanting to earn a decent living doing meaningful work, she landed a job with the non-profit organization AIM Independent Living Center. Although she considered her work rewarding, Galpin desired a career change that would offer more money and benefits to support her family. She also realized a high school equivalency diploma was necessary for her start on her path toward success.
Galpin joined the National External Diploma Program at GST BOCES in July 2017 and later enrolled in GST BOCES Phlebotomy program. Time after time, she demonstrated her maturity and tenacity. In less than a year, she completed the NEDP program and earned her high school equivalency diploma, as well as her national certification as a phlebotomist.
Galpin recently was hired at a local call center and said she loves her new job. Without a high school diploma, she would not have been a candidate for the job.
Students build new home for Santa
Students in Rob Lemay's Building Construction class on the Wildwood campus had the opportunity to work on a unique holiday project that is helping the Hornell community celebrate the season. They were asked to construct Santa's Cottage, a newly-built home where Santa visits with children and listens to Christmas wishes. The structure is located near the city's Christmas tree on Main Street.
The project had to be completed quickly, as the request wasn't made until mid-October. Mayor John Buckley appreciated the quality and timeliness of the students' work and invited them to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony that opened Santa's Cottage to the community.
Phoenix Fury takes fourth place in NYC tournament
The GST BOCES Phoenix Academy Special Olympics Floor Hockey Team, the Phoenix Fury, were invited to represent the Genesee Region of Western NY as the only team in upstate NY to participate in the 50th Anniversary Special Olympics Peter Aquilone Floor Hockey tournament In NYC on December 7 and 8. The team competed with 24 teams and more than 300 athletes at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. The team also had the opportunity to visit NYC and Times Square prior to the competition.
The Phoenix Fury played an exceptional tournament all day and brought home a fourth place finish. Sebastian Willhelm was outstanding in the goal and Devin Thomas led the team in scoring with 5 goals. The Fury will play next on January 12 in Rochester in the Special Olympics Regionals and will then travel back to Rochester in February for the NYS Special Olympics Winter State Games.
The team thanks Welliver, Edger Enterprises, Inc., HUNT EAS, Day Automation Systems and John H. Cook, Jr. Painting for their donations toward transportation costs.
Memorial donation helps continue welding training for students
A generous donation in memory of a local welder has helped the Welding program at the Coopers Education Center continue to educate students in the trade. Teresa Duell and her son, Michael Hough, a student in the Coopers Auto Technology program, donated five welding machines to the program in honor of Teresa's father, Mike Duell. "He loved having kids know how to weld," said Teresa of her dad, who was a welding instructor at Corning Community College and owned his own business.
"I couldn't think of a better way for Teresa and Michael to honor their father and grandfather than to contribute to keeping the process of teaching the welding trade going,” said Instructor Brett Tuscany. "This was a huge contribution that I see impact my students every day, and we can't thank them enough."
Lotocky presented with CCC Colleague Award
Tammy Lotocky, instructor of the Criminal Justice program at the Bush Education Center, was a Colleague Award recipient at SUNY Corning Community College's annual Reflections event in November. The Colleague Award recognizes K-12 education partners who have been nominated by SUNY CCC students for their exemplary instruction. Tammy worked in law enforcement before transitioning to education and has been a teacher for 25 years.
"Teachers cannot teach in a vacuum," said Lotocky. "It takes the village. At BOCES, I have been blessed to work with enthusiastic students. But just as important, behind the scenes, I have had the chance to work with outstanding support staff like Eileen Doppel, seamless substitutes like Bri Borden last year and Doug Houper this year, and I have a supportive spouse and family. The CCC event was a wonderful chance to stop and reflect on what I like best about my work. I remembered that it is the people that make this job so worthwhile."
Cosmetology seniors provide haircuts for veterans
On December 13, four seniors and two juniors from the Bush Education Center Cosmetology program visited the Horseheads American Legion to provide veterans with free haircuts during the Stand Down event. The event is held to help homeless or in need veterans with food, clothing, blankets, basic needs and services that are available for them in the area.
The senior Cosmetology students provided 41 veterans with professional haircuts while the juniors assisted. "As we were cleaning up from the event, one student told me that this made her week, while another commented on how nice it felt to make people happy," said Instructor Jennifer Wacenske.
(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.