Elsmere Eagles gear up for NYS Special Olympics
The Elsmere Eagles Floor Hockey Team has had a successful season so far. In January, the team competed in the New York State Special Olympics Winter Games Regionals in Rochester. This competition is a preliminary event for the New York State Special Olympic Winter Games.
The Eagles played exceptionally well at regionals. They went undefeated to make it to the gold medal round and brought home a silver medal.
In February, the Eagles defeated the Elmira College men's varsity ice hockey team 11 to 1 in their annual face-off. Elsmere is undefeated against EC. WETM TV 18 covered the game – click here to see the story.
The Eagles will travel to the NYS Special Olympics Winter Games on February 17-19 in Poughkeepsie to compete against the best teams in New York State.
AMP training leads to higher-paying job
A few months ago, Emiljard (Aldi) Ismajlukaj looked at his paycheck and realized his current income wasn't going to meet the needs of his growing family. Aldi was employed as a security guard, making $13.05 an hour and had a wife and infant daughter.
One of his friends suggested he look into further training through GST BOCES Adult Education.
In a phone conversation, Debbie Harrington, Training and Development Specialist, discussed the options that were available, including the AMP (Accelerated Machinist Partnership) program. Because Aldi had to continue working while he trained, his options were limited to classes that did not conflict with his work schedule. Based on his interests and schedule, AMP was the best fit.
GST BOCES Adult Education and Career Services, CSS Workforce NY and WDI (Workforce Development Institute) developed the AMP program at the request of local employers. The program offers an enhanced machining program to adult students in the area that includes 440 hours of classroom instruction at GST BOCES and 280 hours of hands-on experience at local businesses.
Within weeks, Aldi had completed the aptitude test and was scheduled to begin the course in September. "All this was through almost no effort of my own, I called to see what there was and Deb took it from there. I am grateful to the Adult Education department at GST BOCES."
As he wraps up his training, Aldi has employment lined up at Anchor Glass. In February, he will begin work as a mold maker at the plant for $23.45 an hour. The position is a four-year apprenticeship program. Through the program, he will receive training in industrial maintenance, electricity and welding through BOCES. By the time he finishes, he will be making about $30 an hour, he said.
Student saves neighbor’s life
A junior in the Nurse Assisting program at the Wildwood campus used the skills she learned in her program to save a life recently. On May 24, the student's neighbor was having a hard time breathing and then suddenly collapsed. The student initiated CPR and continued until an ambulance arrived. Her neighbor was taken to the hospital and survived because of her quick thinking and willingness to take action.
"I am so proud of her for taking what she has learned here at BOCES and applying her knowledge and skill when it was most needed," said Nurse Assisting Instructor JoAnn Phillips. "It takes courage to act in an emerging situation such as this was. She didn't shy away, but jumped in and acted."
The student was presented with a certificate of recognition at the June 6 GST BOCES Board of Education meeting.
Bush Culinary students face off in Cupcake Wars
Seniors in the Culinary Arts program at the Bush Education Center recently faced off in a Cupcake Wars competition as a culmination of their baking unit. The event was modeled after the popular Food Network competition in which contestants are judged on the taste and presentation of their confections.
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.
The winner of this year's competition was a Starbucks-themed Snickerdoodle Frappe Cupcake.
Literacy graduation held at Bush Campus
GST BOCES Adult Literacy program recently celebrated the accomplishments of some of its students at a graduation ceremony on the Bush Campus. Fifteen students received their high school equivalency diploma at the event.
In all, 120 students from 21 school districts earned their equivalency diploma during the 2016 calendar year, said Nicole Elston, Adult Literacy coordinator.
GST BOCES Adult Literacy Services provides quality educational opportunities to adults to develop skills for employment and successful completion of a high school equivalency diploma. Programs are tailored to meet the educational and occupational needs of adults 18 years or older and are offered at no cost to our students. Day and evening classes are available to eligible students at convenient locations throughout the region.
For more information, please call 607-739-7684.
New Visions students promote shows at the Clemens Center
Paul Richmond's morning and afternoon New Visions Innovation, Leadership and Business classes at the Bush Education Center are working on unique projects this semester. The classes, with the financial backing and mentoring of promoter Matt Hufnagel, are promoting two events at the Clemens Center.
Morning students are working on the popular musical DISENCHANTED!, which tells the tale of Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses who have come back to life to set the record straight. The afternoon class is promoting Erth's DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE, an interactive adventure that guides the audience on a breathtaking tour through pre-historic Australia where they will observe, meet and interact with amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures.
Each class is broken up into three groups for the project - sales and sponsorships, marketing and production. Sales and sponsors students are meeting with companies for sponsorships and donations. The marketing group is in charge of promoting the show through social media and other advertising. Production is in charge of taking care of the cast rider, sound and lighting needed for the show.
DISENCHANTED! is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. Erth's DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Both classes must break even on the cost of the show in order to be successful on the project. This means the cumulative price of tickets and sponsor money must exceed the cost of the show. Any additional profits from the show will be donated back to the class in the form of scholarships.
For ticket information, please visit the Clemens Center Box Office or go to http://clemenscenter.org.
Students learn interview skills
The annual Construction Trades Employers Day was held at the Bush Campus in February. Representatives from 39 area businesses conducted simulated entry-level job interviews with senior students enrolled in the Building Construction, Conservation, Welding and Metal Fabrication and Diesel Equipment Technology programs. Students prepared for the day by putting together a résumé and researching the companies with which they would interview. The event gave employers the opportunity to learn about Career and Technical Education programs, meet prospective graduates and provide them with feedback on their job-seeking skills. Students learned from employers about local businesses, job descriptions, hiring procedures and workplace expectations.
Classes refurbish tractor
Junior and senior Auto Body students at the Wildwood Education Center recently completed a project that they spent nearly an entire semester on.
The classes painted a tractor for a Hornell resident who, in turn for their hard work, made a generous donation to the Auto Body program. The job required complete dismantling of the tractor, including removing the large wheels and mounting new tires. Students had to sand some parts by hand and were able to sandblast others. Some body work also was needed before the entire tractor was primed, painted and reassembled.
(L-R) Anna Leszyk, Rose McAdoo, JoAnna Scott and Thu Tran were recently inducted into the GST BOCES Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of Tom Mike..
Michael Miller also was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Anna Leszyk graduated from Southside (Elmira) High School and completed the Dental Assisting program at the Bush Education Center in 2007.
Anna earned an associate's degree from Corning Community College and then entered Erie Community College's dental hygiene program in 2009. The program proved to be rigorous, especially while maintaining employment at area restaurants to cover her education and living expenses. Anna worked hard and persevered, completing the program and passing her state board exam on the first attempt.
Anna has worked in various dental offices since earning her certification, including a part-time position in the Chemung County Health Department's dental clinic. She currently works in the local offices of Dr. Warren Eng and Dr. Mark Shaw.
Anna strives to stay up-to-date with her skills by attending dental conferences. She has shared her skills and knowledge by offering dental hygiene presentations for GST BOCES Adult Education students and students in local elementary and middle schools.
Carolina (Rose) McAdoo graduated from Horseheads High School and completed the Culinary Arts program at the Bush Education Center in 2008. The career path she embarked on after graduation has taken her across the US and around the world.
Rose's first position after graduation was a teaching chef at the Young Chef's Academy in Orlando, Florida. She was then offered a position in tour operations and hospitality management with Holland America and Aramark in Denali National Park, Alaska, where she worked seasonally for two years. In September 2010, after a season spent farming in Ireland, Scotland and England to learn more about the culinary world from the roots up, Rose was offered the opportunity to establish a first-time pastry department and dessert action station at a four-star resort in Lake Powell, Arizona.
She returned to New York in 2011 and became the Head Chef and Catering Director for Stellaâ€™s Restaurant in Ithaca. During her time there, the restaurant was voted "Best Restaurant in Ithaca" by the Cornell Sun. She simultaneously taught kids' cooking camps with the Ithaca Children's Garden and worked as the Pastry Sous Chef at Sarah's Patisserie. In early 2013, Rose's accomplishments in the culinary world led to an invitation to stage under renowned pastry chefs Carolyn Nugent and Alen Ramos at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills, California. This experience led to a job offer at Mast Brothers Chocolate in Brooklyn, where Rose spent two years managing the chocolate production team and developing their events and education outreach programs before the company's international expansion.
Rose's charitable work deeply reflects her passion to have an impact on world hunger. She has worked with No Kid Hungry/Taste of the Nation, the Cambodian Child's Dream Organization and the NYC Refugee and Immigrant Fund, where she's farmed, led resumé workshops and coordinated an international dessert selection for their upcoming high-profile fundraising event in Manhattan. She also serves as the communications officer for Onwards Travel, a nonprofit that provides microenterprise loans to tourism/culinary-based organizations in developing countries.
Striving to live at the intersection of agriculture, food, development and culture, Rose frequently backpacks abroad to gain experience in international farming practices. So far, she's worked on farms in the continental US, England, Scotland, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Costa Rica and Chile. She currently lives in Brooklyn and works as a farmhand and events assistant at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, as a cake decorator under Betsy Thorleifson at Nine Cakes and as a culinary and agricultural consultant through her freelance catering company, Whisk Me Away Cakes.
Michael Miller completed the Carpentry program at the Bush Education Center and graduated from Horseheads High School in 1991. After graduation, Michael ran his own construction business for eight years before deciding to become a full-time missionary in his wife's childhood hometown of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Michael and his wife, Glenda, established Border Buddies Ministries in 2004 with a budget of $13,000. Today, it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with full financial accreditation and a working budget of $350,000. Border Buddies Ministries, Inc, refurbishes selected deteriorating public school buildings, often doubling their size by adding first or second floor additions. One school even has an air-conditioned computer lab. Michael requires that a kitchen be added at each school, which allows more than 1,000 children to be fed daily. Each Saturday, more than 125 children aged four to 14 from the streets participate in a youth program that provides play time, Bible study, a meal and craft time. The organization also works with prisoners and gang members to provide resources for rehabilitation.
The One Child School Sponsorship Program operated by Border Buddies has helped more than 250 students to attend school who otherwise would not have been able to afford it. The program provides their tuition (which is charged at public schools) and uniform, along with school supplies and related school expenses.
Border Buddies works with a variety of churches in Central New York, as well as Elmira College, to provide opportunities for short-term construction and medical teams to travel to Honduras and help with its efforts. Michael continues to use the skills he gained at GST BOCES in his daily work to engineer the construction, with Honduran approval; select, procure and schedule materials; coordinate intensive two-week teams of eight to 10 locals working along side 15 U.S. volunteers and in teaching teams of volunteers so that they can further the work of Border Buddies Ministries.
JoAnna Scott graduated from Watkins Glen High School and completed the Cosmetology program at the Bush Education Center in 2001. She has lived independently since she was 16 years old and managed to maintain honor level grades as she pursued training in the career she had dreamed of since third grade.
After graduation, JoAnna began working at Regis Smartstyle in Watkins Glen, where she accepted her first management position after only one year of being in the field. In 2005, she relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and began working for Great Clips, Pompadour Inc. She was quickly promoted up the ranks to her final position of district manager, overseeing seven salons. After returning to this area, JoAnna worked as a salon manager at Ulta Salon, Cosmetics and Fragrance in Horseheads.
In February 2011, JoAnna left Ulta to pursue her dream of opening a successful salon. She opened a small salon in Odessa. When the owner of the property sold the building later that year, she relocated to Montour Falls and opened Simply Your Best salon. The business opened with JoAnna as the only service professional. It has grown to include four employees and has extended its service menu to include hair, skin and nail services. JoAnna encourages a culture within her business that promotes strong customer service, great technical skills and a clean, family-friendly environment.
JoAnna enjoys working with current GST BOCES students by offering internship opportunities in her salon. She has a love for her community and volunteers her time and talents as a hair stylist for local plays, musicals and fashion shows. She has been a member of the Village of Odessa Planning Board since 2015.
Thu Tran attended school and earned a degree in electronical engineering in her native country, Vietnam. She arrived in the US in 1999 with no English language skills. Thu originally enrolled at GST BOCES through the Adult Education English as a Second Language program. As soon as she was able to read English and had expanded her vocabulary, she enrolled as an adult student in the secondary Cosmetology program at the Coopers campus. During her time as a GST BOCES student, Thu was inducted to the National Technical Honor Society and was selected as the New York Association for Continuing and Community Education Student of the Year.
After completing the Cosmetology program in 2009 and passing her licensing exams, Thu worked in several local salons including Beautiful Nails in Painted Post and Bella Capelli and Nail Tech in Corning. In 2012, she opened her own salon, Studio 2 Hair and Nail Salon, on Market Street in Corning. She currently employs two stylists who Thu trained to provide both hair and nail services.
Thu maintains a close relationship with the GST BOCES Cosmetology program. She provides internship opportunities for current students and participates as an employer in Employers' Day. She visits classes on the Coopers and Bush campuses to share her knowledge and the importance of a strong work ethic and customer service. Thu also serves on the GST BOCES Career and Technical Education Advisory Board to offer feedback and input in planning for future classes.
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.