Summer of Innovation 2014
Welcome to GST BOCES
  • Culinary students hold benefit dinner to help Haitian orphanage

    Bush Education Center Culinary Arts students held a benefit dinner on May 15 to aid an orphanage in Haiti called Heather's Home. A Horseheads High School senior, pictured in this photo holding a dinner with Culinary Instructor Karen Mecum, has visited Haiti three times, where she helped provide assistance and supplies. She saw that the need was great, and wanted to do something more that would make a difference in the lives of those children.

    "We sold close to 200 dinners," said the student in this photo, who organized the event. "I was very overwhelmed -- in a good way -- by the support of the people who came, and by the teamwork with my fellow classmates. It was fantastic to see everybody working together for such a great cause."

    The $8 dinners featured a delicious traditional Haitian menu - chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and plantains. The recipes came from the cook at the orphanage.

    Culinary Arts is one of many Career and Technical Education programs offered at all three GST BOCES campuses. It's a very popular and busy program, where students create foods for all types of events for fellow students, staff and the community. Some students who take this program and are career-ready for jobs in food service right out of high school. Many others use it as a jump start to top university culinary programs, where they train to become top chefs. Other career opportunities with additional education include banquet planning, registered dietician or nutritionist, food service management or hospitality management.

  • BOCES organizes massive test grading system for 21 school districts

    Staff from the GST BOCES Instructional Support Services Department recently helped organize a massive test grading operation for the New York State ELA and Math Assessments.

    In this photo, Linda Perry stands by stacks of exams at the Hilton Garden Inn in Horseheads. The manpower involved in this group effort is significant.

    According to Linda Perry, ISS supervisor, this effort involved:

         • Grading tests for 30,000 students in all
            21 component school districts
         • Hiring 30 regional retired teachers to serve as leaders,
            raters or quality assurance supervisors
         • Hiring approximately 400 certified teachers, mostly
            retirees and subs, to grade the tests
         • Organizing the logistics for an event that lasted six days.

    "This is a huge collaboration," said Perry. "Our maintenance team transports the test materials securely between the hubs of our scoring system. Computer Services conducts computerized scanning and data submission to the New York State Education Department. Districts work through our School Improvement Program to ensure quality trainers and raters. So many departments collaborate to make sure we have many hands on deck to process the 30,000 tests securely and get the data back to each district within a narrow timeline."

    "The fourth-grade ELA scoring team was eager to make sure their scoring was consistent," said Chris McGinnis, curriculum coordinator. "They took the process seriously, yet still had fun working with their colleagues."

  • Early Childhood program holds annual Science Fair for preschoolers

    Students in Amy Warner's Early Childhood program recently held a Science Fair for preschool children enrolled in the campus Head Start program. The high school students enrolled in the CTE Early Childhood class ran a series of hands-on explorations geared to the preschoolers' level of learning.

    In this photo, the preschooler created an orange fizz volcanic eruption by pouring in the catalytic liquid. Other activities included baking soda paintings, making crazy putty, finger painting and fun with funnels.

    "Simple science projects are a great way for children to learn about science in a fun, interactive way," said Amy Warner, CTE instructor. "They aren't usually experiments, but hands-on explorations. This allows the preschoolers to ask questions and use all their senses to discover and explore."

    The two-year CTE Early Childhood program works in cooperation with the Head Start program located on the Bush campus. Students work with preschoolers, plus visit local day care centers and classrooms, learning about early childhood development, care and activity planning. Upon graduation, students are prepared to seek employment as a nanny, in public and private day care centers and in agencies serving the disabled. Students also are well–prepared to continue in college in elementary education or to establish their own day care program.

  • Fashion Design students hit the runway

    Students in the Fashion Design, Merchandising and Marketing program modeled their designs at a Fashion Show recently at the Arnot Mall. Four seniors and nine juniors, plus other models wearing the students' original designs, walked the catwalk wearing creations ranging from formal to casual.

    In this photo, a model wears a fuchsia cocktail dress featuring a stretch bodice and a sequined-fringed skirt.

    "In this program, students get to tap into their creativity and reach for the stars in the fashion industry," said Instructor Cynthia Husband-Cohen. "Since we've partnered with the Arnot Mall on this annual show, the students and models get a true, professional runway experience."

    This two-year program, offered only at the Bush campus, encourages students' creativity and resourcefulness in the fashion industry. Students learn about textiles, design history and theory, garment construction, 3D design and fashion merchandising and marketing. Upon graduation, students are ready to step right into the world of retail fashion or continue in college with a jump start in the field.

    Fashion Design is just one of more than 20 CTE programs offered at GST BOCES to area high school students.

  • NVILB students debate with Croatian class about alternative energy via teleconference

    Students in Ted Kellogg's New Visions Innovation, Leadership and Business class at the Bush campus recently linked up via teleconferencing to a classroom in Croatia for a debate. The Croatian classroom and teacher are pictured in this photo. Students from Kellogg's class at Bush can be seen on the monitor.

    The Croatian teacher is Ivan Sarjanovié. His students have learned English as a second language, so for them it was not only a debate, but an opportunity to practice conversational English. "Me and my students would like to thank you for this debate," said Sarjanovié. "It was a great and really useful experience for all of us."

    The debate parameters set the Croatian classroom in favor of solar and wind energy and against fossil fuel. The ILB classroom was tasked with arguing just the opposite – against solar and wind energy and for fossil fuel.

    The distance learning experience was made possible by René Carver, GST BOCES distance learning coordinator, who arranged and moderated the teleconference debate.

    "My class enjoyed the challenge of arguing a position that many did not feel passionate about," said Kellogg. "How many young adults would argue against solar and wind power? But they did, and it helped them to really look deeply into this issue. Plus, we all enjoyed the dialogue between our class and students from another country. Not many students have an opportunity like this."

    New Visions Innovation, Leadership and Business gives college-bound high school seniors an intense course in teamwork, leadership, engineering, communication, research, problem-solving and entrepreneurship. NVILB gives students greater freedom and more responsibilities than a traditional classroom setting. The classroom has a shop/lab where small group projects are built and tested. It also includes a four- to six-week cooperative/job shadowing experience at a local business and a field trip to New York City.

  • Machine Trades prepares students for good jobs after graduation

    This student chose to take the Machine Trades program during his junior and senior years at Bradford Central School. He chose the program in part because he had friends who took it and found jobs immediately following graduation. He enjoys running the CNC machines to make an exact product, and is using many of the math skills he learned in high school. After graduation, he plans to obtain his Commercial Driver's License and apply for work in the machining industry.

    "I'll have a head start before I get out in the real world because of the great experience I've gained at BOCES," he said.

    This program is taught by instructor Paul Taylor, and is offered only at the Coopers Campus.

    Machine Trades is one of 20 some Career and Technical Education programs offered at GST BOCES. There is a similar program for adults called Precision Machining offered at the Bush campus through Adult Education and Career Services. Machining is a skilled trade that pays well and is in high demand locally. Many program graduates receive job offers immediately upon completion.

  • BOCES STEM program hosts second annual VEX Robotics Competition

    Sixteen student teams from six area school districts competed in the Spring 2014 After-School VEX Robotics competition on May 20 at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center.

    Nearly 80 middle and high school students from six school districts showcased their robotic projects and competed for awards. The GST BOCES STEM Team organized the event, which was made possible by a Perkins Grant that provided funding for this after-school enrichment program.

    Students from Arkport, Campbell-Savona, Corning-Painted Post, Elmira, Hornell and Watkins Glen competed with robots that they constructed and programmed to function autonomously and under remote operator control. The event not only promoted science, technology, engineering and math skills, it also encouraged teamwork and creativity. Awards were given out to both individuals and teams at the end of the day-long event. The competition included tasks, such as moving objects from one area to another in a specific parameter, a relay race, a science fair and a robot "dance" to music.

    "I learned how to build a robot and how to program it," said one seventh-grader. "I thought it was pretty exciting. It gave me something cool to do after school."

    The Perkins Grant, supervised by GST BOCES Executive Director Chris Weinmann, provided funding for STEM learning for the after-school robotics clubs. The grant provided a small stipend for teachers to act as mentors and advisers, and it provided the actual parts and equipment to build the robots. Professional development and training was provided by the GST BOCES STEM Team.

  • Wildwood Heavy Equipment students help expand a cemetery near Hornell

    These Heavy Equipment students from Andrew Dennis's class at the Wildwood Education Center are working to cut and fill a 500-by-300 foot area to help expand the Fremont Cemetery just outside of Hornell. The students used their class equipment along with some borrowed from the City of Hornell to turn a rough field into a better landscaped area that will become a cemetery expansion. They did survey and layout planning, lash and loading, stripped the top soil, cut and filled, loaded trucks and finished with a fine grade.

    Approximately 70 high school juniors and seniors worked on this project. The equipment they used included an excavator, dozers, backhoes, loaders, a grader, a tractor, a dump truck and a lowboy.

    "Any time students can get real world experience it is a good thing," said Dennis, who has taught this class for four years. "We talk theory in the classroom, but here they can apply it."

    "It's an actual workplace," said one senior from Hornell High School who was driving a dump truck. "It prepares you for the workforce right out of high school."

    Heavy Equipment is one of more than 20 Career and Technical Education programs taught at GST BOCES. It's also offered at the Coopers campus. Students at the Bush campus learn heavy equipment skills through the Conservation program.

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We deliver a variety of innovative programs and services from our three beautiful campuses. A full list of services can be found in the footer of this page.
Bush Campus
459 Philo Road, Elmira, NY 14903
(607) 739-3581 - Fax: (607) 795-5304
Coopers Campus
9579 Vocational Drive, Painted Post, NY 14870
(607) 962-3175 - Fax: (607) 962-1579
Wildwood Campus
1126 Bald Hill Road, Hornell, NY 14843
(607) 324-7880 - Fax: (607) 324-3842
Digital Media Arts students receive Adobe certification

These students in Gary Acker's Digital Media Arts class on the Wildwood campus are shown holding their Adobe Certified Associate certificates in Visual Communications with Photoshop. The ACA certificate program is an industry-recognized credential that verifies achievement of proficiency and skill using that software within Adobe Create Suite.

Digital Media Arts is just one of more than 20 Career and Technical Education programs offered at GST BOCES. This popular class, which is offered on all three GST BOCES campuses, teaches students skills in the rapidly-growing visual communications field. The program blends traditional design principles, composition, color theory and layout and typography with advanced technical skills, including Adobe certification.

Superintendent winds down his tenure at GST BOCES

District Superintendent Horst Graefe, Ed.D., (second from left, seated) is officially retiring as of June 30. He is shown here with members of the GST BOCES Board of Education at the June meeting at the Coopers Campus. The search for his replacement is underway.

New career training program targets recent high school graduates

Beginning in August 2014, GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services will offer specialized career training programs to recent high school graduates. Right after graduation, students can develop a marketable skill by enrolling in a short-term career training. These programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of local employers. Participants will be prepared to enter the workforce in their chosen field after successfully completing one of these courses.

Options include Commercial Driver's License (Class A or B), Cosmetology, Electricity, Healthcare Career Pathway, Industrial Manufacturing, Practical Nursing, Office Support Specialist, Precision Machining and Welding. All other adult career training programs are open to recent graduates as well. Each program will train participants in job readiness skills such as résumé building, job search support and employment preparation. Programs range in price from $1,250 to $12,000 and many students will qualify for financial assistance. For those who do not qualify, payment plans are available.

To learn more about these courses and our other career training options, please call 739-7905 and ask to speak with one of our vocational specialists. Pre-admission testing is required for all courses. For a program brochure and application, click here.