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May 24, 2019 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, news, schools, education.

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(Above, Hannah Tiede, Batavia, with instructor Bob Yates, and her new boss, Darryl Horzempa, of Stan's Harley-Davidson, where she interned and will work after graduation, and her parents, Meghan and Rich Tiede.)

When sports stars sign letters of intent to attend a university, the schools' athletic directors invite the media to cover the letter-of-intent signing but students moving onto careers rarely get the same attention.

Batavia CTE/BOCES corrected that oversight earlier this week by holding its first-ever signing day with three students who graduate this spring with jobs in their chosen careers already in place.

"As many of you know, we’re at a critical shortage of skilled workers these days," said Principal Jon Sanfratello. "There are many different avenues that kids have today, whether it’s going through school onto college or technical school or straight out into the workforce.

"And so we try to provide those opportunities for kids each and every day, so we have three great stories of these hard-working seniors who are going to go straight out into the workforce."

Hannah Teide, of Batavia, will be working at Stan’s Harley-Davidson in Batavia.

"When she first started coming into our shop I thought she was already friends with all of our employees," Horzempa said. "I thought if she's that enthusiastic about working in our shop, maybe I should give her a try and she's been that enthusiastic ever since."

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(Above, from left are Todd Sloat, his parents, Rebecca and Richard Day, Bob Yates, and Jon Sanfratello.)

Jake Day signed with Sloat Tire. 

"Jacob approached and said he would like to stay and we were already thinking, 'what are you doing this summer?' " said Todd Sloat, owner of Sloat Tire, and a former BOCES student himself. "It worked out that we asked him to stay. It worked out and that's why we're here today."

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(Above Jenna Montgomery signs with The Exchange in Attica with her are, from left: Renee Ackert, owner of The Exchange; Jenna’s father, Jim Montgomery; Jon Sanfratello; Jenna’s mother, Bethany Montgomery; and cosmetology teacher Mary Beswick.)

Jenna Montgomery signed with The Exchange in Attica. Beswick said what turned Montgomery around was a student was her internship at The Exchange, where she really started to shine and that carried over into her course work.

"She's so talented in what she loves to do," Ackert said. "She's fit in wonderfully at the salon."

May 16, 2019 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, building trades, alexander.

 

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By the end of July, Robert and Kimberly Maerten, along with their three young children, hope to move into their new home on Pike Road in Alexander built by the Building Trades program students at Batavia CTE/BOCES. 

Maerten is himself a graduate of the program.

March 21, 2019 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, news, schools, education.

The district superintendent for BOCES says a student complaint about an instructor with an unauthorized pocketknife on campus was taken seriously and dealt with promptly after the student contacted The Batavian to complain about what she perceived as an inadequate response.

Kevin MacDonald said as soon as the Batavia principal was contacted by the student the situation was dealt with and that the instructor involved felt "horrible" about the mistake. The pocketknife is something she normally carries with her off campus and forgot it was clipped on the pocket of her utility pants, making it clearly visible to students.

The student who contacted The Batavian said she was concerned the issue hadn't been dealt with and MacDonald suggested the student wasn't aware of what went on after she spoke with a principal.

While sharp objects -- knives, saws, scissors, and other items -- are part of the instructional environment on the Batavia CTE campus, neither students nor faculty are allowed to bring knives onto campus.

The parents of three students who expressed concern about the knife were contacted by phone by school officials, MacDonald said.

"I'm confident our staff handled the situation very well," MacDonald said.

Here is a statement from District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald:

On Wednesday, March 20, a student who attends the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, reported that an instructor was carrying a knife that was visible to students.

Administration was notified of the report and the student’s concerns. A conversation was had with the instructor who was carrying a knife. She immediately removed the knife from the building. She apologized noting that it was an honest mistake. Administration met with the student who reported the incident. Parents were notified of the situation that occurred.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has a board policy that states that weapons are not allowed on campuses, however, the policy does note that tools and other equipment, like knives and scissors, are allowed as long as the implement is part of the approved career and technical education program. The welfare of our students is of utmost importance and we take reports like this seriously.

March 1, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NASA, news, BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, Mount Morris, food, Culinary Arts.

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Students of the culinary program at Batavia CTE on Thursday presented dishes they created with the goal of cooking up something suitable for astronauts in space to a panel of judges to see if their creations might be worthy of a nationwide competition in Houston later this year.

Six students, three from Batavia and three from Mount Morris, prepared two dishes -- asparagus "fries" from Batavia and berry quinoa salad.

The dishes were scored on presentation, nutritional value and taste. The final dishes will also need to be suitable for freeze-drying to take into space.

Travis Barlow, Kevin Balkota, John Steward, Danielle Rotondo, Patrick Rae, and Darly Pochan.

Nancy Hall from NASA was also on hand to observe and advise during the competition.

There is no winner from yesterday. Both teams will have their scores presented to a panel who will select 10 teams from entries from around the nation to travel to Houston for the final competition.

Students from Batavia were Melissa Voltura, Jose Vanegas and Jason Lowe. Students from Mount Morris were Sam Meyers, Tony Uveino and Mackenzie Wheeler.

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February 1, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in BOCES, Batavia CTE, news, schools, education, precision machining.

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A new partnership with the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (BOCES) and Cornell University is paving the way for students interested in a career in precision machining.

The unique program, which is the only such partnership in the nation, allows students to study realistic particle accelerator hardware designs and fabricate hardware based on those designs, said Maggie Fitzgibbon, head of public relations at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

“Within the next several years, the Cornell-BNL Energy Recovery Linacs Test Accelerator at the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education (CLASSE) will develop into a powerhouse of accelerator physics and technology and will be one of the most advanced in the world,” said Lora K. Gruber-Hine, director of Education and Outreach Programs at the Cornell laboratory.

“The building of ERL will require the cultivation of local talent and a highly trained workforce. When this prototype ERL is complete and expanded upon, it will be a critical resource to New York State, the nation and the world, propelling science, biomedical advancement and economic development.”

Tim Gleba, precision machining instructor, was instrumental in development of the new partnership. After watching a video on the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source Facebook page explaining how machinists work to create parts for the particle accelerator at Cornell, he was intrigued and thought this could possibly be a project for his students.

He pitched his idea to Cornell and a meeting last summer resulted in development of a project plan for this school year.

Batavia CTE’s precision machining students are now creating 150 parts for Cornell’s particle accelerator. These include adjustment plates and brackets, as well as a short dipole spacer bar. These parts are used to align magnets within a tolerance of .004 inches, Gleba said.

“This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for these high school students,” Gleba said. “They are able to work with Cornell’s engineers, physicists and machinists.”

Development of the partnership adds a whole inventive aspect to the precision machining curriculum and provides students with relevant work experience, Gleba added.

“Our machine shop and Cornell’s are virtually the same,” he said. “Cornell has the identical machines as us and also uses the same software as what we have in our Precision Machine Shop here in Batavia.”

Students recently toured the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory at Cornell to kick off the new partnership, according to Fitzgibbon.

Gruber-Hine said they want to showcase the partnership and the new technologies being developed.

She and Gleba both commented on the shortage of trained employees in the precision-machining industry.

“Our lab has been sensitized to the shortage, and as we are growing, the need for skilled labor becomes more evident," Gruber-Hine said. “We realize the need to cultivate a relationship with institutions that train skilled professionals to fill this middle skills gap. When Tim watched our video, he wanted to form a relationship with our laboratory that would allow his students to work on meaningful machining products and contribute to the work being done here.”

“Within the next five years, it is anticipated 50 percent of the precision machining workforce will be retiring, leaving an incredible gap,” Gleba said.

The Precision Machining class at Batavia BOCES had been discontinued for several years, after longtime instructor David O’Geen retired, Fitzgibbon said. But when several high school students expressed an interest in the field, Gleba was hired three years ago in an effort to resurrect the program.

Four of those students are Ayden Odachowski, James Roggow, Benjamin LaBombard and Evan Bartz.

Bartz said he wanted to get into machining because he knew the field was exploding.

Bartz and Roggow worked together to create a process to machine both sides of spacer bars.

Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia campus, which includes the Batavia CTE Center, commented on how this partnership provides students with the chance to learn advanced manufacturing skills. The Precision Machining Program is currently affiliated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s HUNCH program. Along with manufacturing hardware for Space X-10, students learn how to inspect and analyze the parts to meet the expert standards set forth by NASA.

“We pride ourselves in offering innovative programs that give our students real-world applicable learning opportunities,” Sanfratello said. “In this new partnership with CLASSE, our students will study cutting-edge designs, learn modern manufacturing methods so they are equipped to succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

“The goal of this partnership is to inspire the next generation of machinists and trades professionals by providing educational opportunities for students to work in concert with engineers and technical directors,” Gruber-Hine added.

Top photo: Tim Gleba, right, instructor in the Precision Machining Program at Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, and student James Roggow show some of the parts the class is making for the particle accelerator at Cornell University.

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Above, four of the students in the Precision Machining Program at Batavia Career and Technical Education Center are, from left, Ayden Odachowski, James Roggow, Benjaming LaBombard and Evan Bartz. The Center is engaged in a partnership with Cornell University’s lab to make parts for the college’s particle accelerator. This is the first such partnership in the nation with high school students.

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Tim Gleba, instructor in the Precision Machining program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, holds one of parts made by high school students in his class in a one-of-a-kind partnership with Cornell University. Gleba was hired three years to train precision machinists, which are in dire need throughout the area. Gleba said Cornell and industry in the region will be looking to hire 100 precision machinists within the next five years.

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This is an example of the parts machined by students at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. The program was revived three years ago to train precision machinists for the industry.

December 19, 2018 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, BOCES, Batavia CTE, schools, education.

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Press release:

Providing students with authentic learning experiences is the goal of every career and technical education program. Students in the Conservation Program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center got just that opportunity when they constructed a kiosk for the Town of Bergen.

Despite the rainy, cold weather and muddy grounds, the Conservation students built a kiosk that has a roof, two benches and an information board. This project can be found in the Town of Bergen’s Drew’s Nature Center, located on West Sweden Road.

Ernest Haywood is the supervisor for the Town of Bergen. He contacted Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia Campus, which includes the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center, to inquire about the possibility of constructing the kiosk.

“I thought the opportunity to build a kiosk for the nature center would foster the students understanding and appreciation of our natural resources as well as provide students a real-life experience to build something that would benefit the community for years to come,” Haywood said.

“It is my hope that the kiosk will provide information for community members to enhance their knowledge of what the Drew's Nature Center has to offer and directions and guidance to visitors on how to independently explore, at one’s own pace, the natural wonders of the center.”

Sanfratello echoed Haywood's thoughts.

“This project gave the students the opportunity to understand the importance of time management, and customer satisfaction all while using the skills learned in the classroom and shop," Sanfratello said. "They worked under some difficult weather conditions but they got the job done."

Jacob Vandenbosch is the Conservation Program instructor.

“The Conservation students were able to learn carpentry skills by creating a location for the community to enjoy the outdoors. As an added bonus, they learned the importance of giving back to the community,” Vandenbosch said. “We will also be exploring future class projects at the nature center and working alongside the town to improve the community’s experience."

Submitted photo: The Conservation a.m. session class with their completed project. Not in order of photo. Ali Mann, Peyton Armison, Andrew Clark, Chad Green, Evan Hands, Mitchell Humel, Dominic Ianni, Kristofer Kuszlyk, Breanna Mest, Adam Offen, Noah Pangrazio, Tristan Rasmussen, Kaitlyn Shultz, Alec Slepinski, Nathan Tabor, Hunter Wade, Tyler Will.

December 18, 2018 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Batavia CTE, BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Terry Thompson and Becky Marsh, of Mercy Flight/Mercy EMS, talk about a career as a paramedic to a group of 10th-graders from throughout the region as part of the 10th Grade Career Day at Genesee Community College, sponsored by Batavia and Mount Morris CTE.

Throughout the morning, students rotated among a couple of dozen classrooms led by speakers from the local community representing various career fields including environmental science, cosmetology, educational administration, media and communications, the military, border protection, and nursing, among other fields.

More than 450 students from GLOW along with Steuben County participated.

Chris Suozzi, vice president of business development, Genesee County Economic Development Center, was the keynote speaker to kick things off in the morning.

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November 29, 2018 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

When Jeff Fronk was approached by a member of the Conesus Fire Department regarding a project, he never thought that the venture would take on a life of its own. Fronk is the Collision, Custom, and Restoration (CCR) instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. 

Dale Eddy is the assistant fire chief and vice president for the Conesus Fire Department. He contacted Fronk last spring with the hopes of having the CCR students work on a 1934 Dodge firetruck that was in dire need of repair.

“The truck had been stored since the '70s when it was put out of commission. It was in very bad shape, even trees were growing out of it,” Eddy said. “We contacted Jeff and hoped he would be willing to take on this project. He showed great interest because he saw the potential for the truck. We were hopeful that he could complete the extensive overhaul that the truck needed.”

“I knew this would be a big undertaking because the truck was in such disrepair,” Fronk said. “It had sat idle for many years; there were parts and pieces missing.”

Fronk inspected the truck and decided to tackle the project. Fronk and the CCR students delved into restoration and uncovered how much work that the truck required. Learning the scope of the work needed, Fronk called upon some of the other Batavia CTE instructors for their assistance, as well.

“The Conservation students milled the wood for the truck bed flooring, and then pre-drilled these oak planks for installation, the Welding students fabricated the side panels and fenders,” Fronk explained. “My CCR students repaired the body pieces that were salvageable, sandblasted the exterior, then primed and painted the exterior. The students even polished the brass bell that’s on the front of the truck.”

Due to a Conesus Fire Department event, the project was under a tight deadline. The entire restoration took place within a four-month period so the firetruck could be used during the summer months. When school ended in June, the truck was not fully completed, so Fronk, along with the help of some fellow CTE teachers, completed the project.

Eddy and the other fire department members were in total awe of the project when the truck was delivered to the fire department in July.

“I knew this was a project that the students could take on," Eddy said. "I completed the Auto Technology Program at the Mount Morris Center, so I’m a BOCES graduate.

"But when all of us saw the finished truck, we were amazed at the quality of the work that the students and instructors completed. That truck was, and still is, smiling from fender to fender.”

The finished truck was recently displayed at the Batavia CTE Center so the students could view their work. Fronk noted how students reacted to seeing the restored truck.

“When the students saw the truck, their jaws dropped and eyes were so big; they were in disbelief! They are so proud of their work,” Fronk said. “This was an incredible project for the students to complete. I’m sure that they will never see a project like this again; I know that I never will!”

The truck is now showcased at the Conesus Fire Department and is used for special community events.

November 2, 2018 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Sara Menke, of Caledonia, a student at Batavia CTE in the Animal Science program, explains to her parents, Linda and Jason, how she cares for a French agora rabbit in her class during an open house Thursday night.

The annual open house is a chance for parents and the community to see what students are learning at the school and what programs are available to career-minded students.

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May 17, 2018 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, building trades, batavia, news.

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It will be an exciting day sometime in June when the Holman family -- Matt, Maren, and Reya, who is 3 months old -- can finally move into their new home on Edgewood Drive, Batavia.

Five years ago they put their names on a waiting list for their planned home to become a construction project for the BOCES building trades program, they finally got to draw up plans with an architect a year ago.

After 11 months of building, the 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath house with a finished basement is nearly complete.

"Obviously they did a phenomenal job around here," Matt Holman said. "The teachers kept them in line the way that good teachers do. It's been a phenomenal process. They take care, so it's just a good value for everybody and that is evident in the work."

The building trades program gives students interested in construction work an opportunity to learn about construction both from a residential standpoint and a commercial standpoint. The students do the work under the supervision of teachers coupled with classroom construction on what they're doing and why.

Affordability was a big reason Mat and Maren turned to BOCES for their new home construction.

"We've been through the last four or five (BOCES houses) and we saw the quality of work they did," Matt said. "That was the tipping point. We knew the potential cost savings but we wanted to be sure that the quality was where we wanted to be."

It is and now they will have a new home for their infant daughter.

"We did it all for her," Matt said. "She's the reason we're here."

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May 9, 2018 - 4:32pm

Information provided by Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Pavilion Central School.

Students at Pavilion Central School are being treated to a delicious BBQ beef lunch on Wednesday, May 23, in recognition of their achievements in the recent Top Cut Beef Contest.

The catered lunch is being provided by the New York State Beef Council and New York Agriculture in the Classroom.

Ag in the Classroom is co-hosting the lunch later this month because Pavilion students established three Tower Gardens (aeroponic systems) thanks to a Grow with Us grant from Ag in the Classroom. They are growing strawberries, lettuce, Swiss chard, tomatoes, basil and cucumbers.

Pavilion's eighth-grade Family Consumer Science students placed first in the Middle School Division of the Top Cut Beef Contest for their product, "Grab-A-Bull's Beefy Sliders."

It was the only school in Genesee County to place in the top five of the Middle School Division.

In the High School Division, Pavilion's 12th-grade Family Consumer Science class placed second for their "Gourmet Beef and Tatar Bites."

Both classes are taught by Catherine Johnston.

Pavilion won a total of $350, thus purchasing a Weber grill for their Family Consumer Science classroom.

A class taught by Kerri Richardson at the Agri-Business Academy at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center received an Honorable Mention in the High School Division for their "Texas Beef Chili -- Chili con Carne."

About the Top Cut Beef Contest

Slow-roasted beef brisket sandwiches, flaming maple beef jerky, and a Texas chuck roast chili were just a few of the delicious recipes developed, tested, and tasted in the debut of the Top Cut Beef Contest for middle and high school students.

Students and teachers in grades six through 12 were exposed to beef production and nutrition with this experiential learning competition by developing a marketing strategy for a food product of their choice and design.

Every classroom was equipped with a "True Beef: From Pasture to Plate" DVD, the True Beef Educator Guide, lesson plans, and consumer guides to better understand the many cuts of beef and their best uses.

Schools were paired with a local beef producer who mentored the students through the process of beef production or supplied the beef necessary for the project. In this hands-on experience, students were exposed to careers in the beef industry and learned about safe food-handling practices.

Participants created beef-centric recipes which they made and tested with their target audience. Submissions included sandwiches, stews, meatballs, and even jerky.

The creativity with this contest was unlimited as students filmed their own commercials and designed websites to market their products.

One of the judges, Ken Krutz, manager of Empire Livestock and board member of New York Beef Council, said of the entries, "I was amazed at the talent and innovation our youth put into their projects. It was an honor to be a judge for the Top Cut Beef Contest."

A total of 30 entries were submitted for judging by a panel of beef producers and industry experts. Each entry was scored based on the product, the market analysis, the marketing plan, and the beef nutrition analysis.

The first-place classroom in each division received $250, second place earned $100, and third place earned $50; all receive a banner to display their achievement, and the first-place teams, like Pavilion's eighth-graders, are also receiving a catered barbeque lunch from the New York Beef Council.

New York State Beef Council thanked participating schools for increasing the agricultural literacy of their students. "It is our hope that they will grow an appreciation of New York’s food system and gain exposure to the many careers available in agriculture," the council stated.

(To enter your classroom in a future contest, or to volunteer your time as a mentor, please contact [email protected].)

Grow With Us Grant

Below is the letter Pavilion Central School teacher Catherine Johnston received from Katie Carpenter, director, New York Agriculture in the Classroom, regarding the Grow with Us Grant.

"Congratulations! You have been selected as a recipient of the Grow with Us Grant from New York Agriculture in the Classroom. Your grant application communicated your school’s need, interest, and commitment to providing healthy food and food system education to your students. The applicant pool for this program was deep and competitive; less than 25 percent of the submitted proposals were funded. You should be proud of your achievement in this difficult selection process.

You have been awarded three Tower Garden aeroponic systems.

Within the next week you will be receiving an emailed link. It will be important for you to thoroughly read the information about accepting the grow system, provide an accurate shipping address, and confirm your contact information. This will be essential to ensuring your grow system is shipped and received in a timely manner. Once this information is received, you will be provided additional information about the shipment of your grow system.

We are excited to work with you and your school as you extend your growing season throughout the entire school year. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Again, congratulations on your success in the Grow with Us Grant program."

April 20, 2018 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia CTE, BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

Earlier this month, hundreds of high school students from across New York state attended the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference, which was held in Binghamton.

Students from the Mount Morris and Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers attended this competition and earned the highest awards in their events. These students proved to be the top student technology experts in the state. As a result of earning these awards, four students have qualified to attend the National FBLA Leadership in Baltimore in late June.

“FBLA is a great learning opportunity for our students, they gain confidence in their abilities and develop valuable networking skills to aid them in their future,” said Maggie Poray, Batavia CTE Center Programming and Interactive Media instructor.

Angel Felix and Spencer Herring are Computer Information Systems students who attend the Mount Morris CTE Center. Both are students from Geneseo Central Schools. This team won first place in the Computer Game and Simulation Competition.

This is the second year that Angel has competed in this competition. Last year, he also earned first place in the Computer Game and Simulation Competition. This year’s game has a theme, “A Day in the Life of a FBLA student.”

“It is a two-dimensional game that is played on a computer. The characters have different activities such as competing in FBLA events and even fundraising. In our game, the characters are also developing a game. We spent six months working on this project which includes two main and 10 other characters,” Angel said.

Spencer said, “This was my first year entering the FBLA Competition, Angel and I are a great team. It’s an open-world game, which means the player can roam a virtual world and approach objectives freely.

"Angel and I thought about some of the things we do as FBLA students and we put that into the game. We had some programming glitches to work through but we worked together to fix these issues.”

“Angel and Spencer put a lot of hard work and dedication into their Computer Game and Simulation competition. They were able to build on the experience from last year to develop their skills in programming, design and problem solving to develop an amazing computer game to present to the judges this year,” Poray said.

Larry Harvey, Mount Morris CTE Center Computer Information Systems instructor said, “We are incredibly proud of our students for competing and producing results that will enrich their lives for years to come.

"The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership along with the Future Business Leaders of America organization, believe that the most important skills that we teach are the ones that the students will use far beyond school and into everyday life.”

Taylor Tyczka is a Batavia CTE Center Programming and Interactive Media student from Attica CS. She is a junior and was elected as NY FBLA District 10 State Vice President. This is the first time that a student from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership has been elected as a state FBLA officer.

“I am very excited to be elected for this position," Taylor said. "I worked very hard on my campaign. I will attend state FBLA meetings and serve as a liaison between the schools and chapters in District 10 and the state FBLA.

"I’m very thankful to my advisors and my teacher, Ms. Poray, for providing me with this opportunity to attend this state conference. This is an honor for me to serve.”

Donovan Kelley is a Batavia CTE Center Programming and Interactive Media student from Caledonia-Mumford. He earned fifth place in the Computer Applications Competition.

March 29, 2018 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, downtown, batavia, T-Shirts Etc., art canvas, news, notify.

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About a year ago, after Brooks Hawley moved into a family home in the Town of Batavia, with the help of Brian Kemp, Kemp asked if there was anything on the old farm that might be suitable as bike racks for Downtown Batavia.

Two weeks later, Hawley showed up at Kemp's shop with four hog farrowing pens in his pickup truck.

Kemp, co-owner of T-Shirts Etc., is an artist who specializes in turning found objects into art and he thought the pens just might work.

Kemp started talking to anybody he could about helping out with the project. He knew he needed people who could work with metal and weld and had the equipment to do it.

"As with all of my projects, mention it to enough people and sure enough, someone will bite," Kemp said.

One day, Tim Gleba, a machine shop instructor at Batavia CTE (BOCES) came into Kemp's shop to pick monogrammed shirts and Kemp told him about the bike rack project.

Gleba immediately saw the potential for the school to get involved, so for the past several weeks, students in four different programs have been converting the pens into bike racks to be placed around downtown Batavia.

The project brings together students from the machine shop, welding, auto body, and conservation.

James Roggow, a student from Byron-Bergen, designed and fabricated finials to cap the bench arms, and other students are fabricating other parts for the racks and bench, including filigree end pieces for the bench (only one of the racks will have a park bench attached); welding is putting the pieces together; auto body students will paint the metal; and the conservation students logged a tree and made planks from it for the bench seat and back.

Auto body instructor Jeff Fronk saw the project as a perfect community contribution for his students.

"I thought it was cool," Fronk said. "These are going to be around the city for a long time. When these guys become young adults and have families of their own they can say, you know what, I did that. We did that in our class."

Fronk said he's really into color and what colors mean. He said he's always associated the color blue with Batavia, so the benches, he said, will be painted in a metallic blue that fades into a metallic orange.  Blue, because it symbolizes peace, harmony and unity, and orange because it symbolizes balance and warmth.

Kemp said he's looking forward to seeing the bike racks installed Downtown.

"I’m excited to see the progress of this project, along with the amount of collaboration it has taken to pull this together," Kemp said. "We are blessed to live in a community like this."

Graham Manufacturing is also assisting with the project.

Top photo: Three of the machine shop students who worked on the project with the first bench that is near completion, Arden Schadt, left, Evan Bartz, and James Roggow.

Below, one of the finials for the bench and a picture of the design on a computer.

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This is what the pen looked like when it arrived at the machine shop (photo courtesy Tim Gleba).

March 28, 2018 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, schools, education, news, notify.

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The point -- at least at first glance -- of the auto body shop at Batavia CTE (BOCES) is for students to learn how to repair dings and dents and apply primer and paint to fenders and doors.

On a short tour today, Instructor Jeff Fronk told The Batavian that the kids in his class learn more than just restoration and bodywork.

"I tell my kids in here that we are fix it, men and women," Fronk said. "What I mean by that is we can fix everything but a broken heart and a cobweb. We fix everything teachers and our customers bring to us. You name it, we've fixed it. It's more than just cars -- furniture, metal trade stuff, clear coating, we do fix it all."

Members of the class present today pose (top photo) with a 1953 Mercury owned by a Batavia resident who started the restoration project but then brought it to Jeff and his students when he needed more help. The class is pretty proud of the project, which is near completion.

Below, a photo of Fronk with a mailbox painted by a student.

Fronk loves colors and he loves painting stuff.

"Everything in the world is painted, right?" he said.

In another picture below, a student buffs a go-kart body with a Corvette design. Fronk said the body was rescued from a dumpster and was cracked and broken. He challenged the students to turn it into something special, something they could be proud of when they were done. Besides a shiny paint job, the colors of body change depending on what angle you view it from. He's already obtained another banged up go-kart body for the next group of seniors who come through the class.

Here is a list of students in the class. They all participated in the Mercury project. Not all were available today for the picture at the top of the story.

  • John Achatz – Attica
  • Adrien Anderson – Oakfield-Alabama
  • Taigon Baker – Batavia City (absent)
  • Arin Bannister – Attica
  • David Boyce – Pembroke
  • Hannah Cathcart – Batavia City
  • Nathan Hamilton – Batavia City
  • Jarod Kates – Attica
  • Jeremy Kimanski -- Le Roy
  • Trinity Liles – Batavia City (absent)
  • Damin Rautenstrauch – Attica
  • Connor Tracy-Graybeal – Attica
  • Alyssa Virgilio – Batavia City
  • Dylan Walker -- Adult
February 20, 2018 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, BOCES, crime, notify, news.

A BOCES student is suspected of making threats of violence at the Batavia campus and he is currently undergoing a mental health evaluation in Buffalo.

The name of the student is not being released and he has not been charged, though Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said that if there is sufficient evidence for charges against the youth, he will be charged.

Brewster said local law enforcement takes these kinds of threats seriously and will act on them when they come to the attention of local officials.

"We're still trying to pin down what he said and to whom," Brewster said. "If anyone is going to make such threats about something they're going to do at a school, they are going to get arrested."

Superintendent Chris Daily confirmed he was made aware of the threats and notified local law enforcement.

"We look into any kind of threat and work with local law enforcement to make sure it is not credible, and if it is we act accordingly," Daily said. "We take any threat very seriously. The safety of our students is of utmost importance."

It's unclear if the student made verbal threats or if he had written anything down. Brewster said investigators are still looking into it. 

Daily said he was only aware of statements the student reportedly made at BOCES.

Brewster characterized the threats, based on information available so far, as vague threats to hurt students with no reference as to how he would do it.

The youth is somebody with prior criminal charges.

Batavia PD was notified of the alleged threats and has offered to assist in the investigation, Chief Shawn Heubusch said.

It's important, Brewster said, for parents, teachers, fellow students, and others who come in contact with somebody making threats against schools to notify authorities.

"Unfortunately, we live in a day and age when the rule is, if you see something, say something," Brewster said. "Police can't act on anything if they don't know about it."

November 3, 2017 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Parents of students and parents of prospective students were able to tour Batavia CTE (BOCES) last night and see firsthand what some of the course offerings are that help prepare students for careers in law enforcement, welding, manufacturing, agriculture, auto repair, cosmetology, culinary arts and other careers.

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October 28, 2017 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, BOCES, news.

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It was an emotional moment when Jodie Hebdon radioed dispatch to sign off, signaling his last shift as a deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office after 35 years of service.

Hebdon spent the past 16 as resource officer at the BOCES campus on State Street in Batavia. And it's leaving that job that is particularly difficult he said.

"I'm going to miss these kids," Hebdon said. "You know, there are some kids here that have been through horrible lives, horrible living conditions. Trauma, PTSD, whatever you want to call it. The ability to at least interact with them and make something happen for them is good."

Hebdon started his law enforcement career in the Army and when he came home after a hitch in Germany, he enrolled at Genesee Community College. After a stint as a corrections officer, Hebdon was transferred to road patrol before being asked to apply for the resource officer position at BOCES.

The majority of the students at BOCES don't have issues, Hebdon said, but it's dealing with the at-risk kids and helping them is what made the job worthwhile.

"I was the one person they interviewed (for the job)," Hebdon said. "Why I gravitated to the job is I like helping at-risk kids. Today I had six girls at different times who came up to me who were victims of severe abuse, sex abuse, rape. They see me as a safe adult, a safe male. They have the ability to speak in a good way to a man without being extorted or taken advantage of. They gave me some long embraces. They don't want me to go."

When it was time for Hebdon to leave, his coworkers both within the ranks of the Sheriff's Office, other local law enforcement officers and staff at BOCES formed two lines outside the BOCES entrances and saluted and applauded Hebdon.

Then it was time to sign out.

"This is hard," Hebdon said, brushing back a tear before informing dispatchers he was saying goodbye.

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October 12, 2017 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foodie Challenge, freshLAB, batavia, business, BOCES.

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Press release:

Officials from the Batavia Development Corporation, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the Batavia Business Improvement District, collaborators on the Foodie Challenge, recently presented the proceeds from the People’s Choice Tasting Event to Chef Burgio and Culinary Arts students. Chef Tracy Burgio noted how this $750 donation would support student activities.

“This contribution to the Culinary Arts Club will help to enrich our students’ culinary education by helping to fund field trips, projects and student competitions,” Chef Burgio said.

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the Batavia Development Corporation and the freshLAB project. It is our hope that this partnership sparks more involvement with our community partners,” said Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the Batavia CTE Center and Campus.

Photo: Barb Shine, front, left, and Pierluigi Cipollone from the Batavia Development Corporation; Mary Vandenbosch, student; Steve Pies, Batavia Development Corporation; Chef Tracy Burgio, Culinary Arts instructor, Batavia CTE Center; Danny Pernesky, Debra Moore, students. Back left: Austin Deck, student; Jon Sanfratello, executive principal, GVEP Batavia Campus; Julie Pacatte, Batavia Development Corporation; Tom Turnbull, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

More after the jump:

 

May 23, 2017 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, schools, education, Mental Health Association, news.

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A pet therapy dog, flying doves, a butterfly, a tree with a swing, a meditation bench, a lilac bush and a drum, these are just some of the metal sculptures that were handcrafted by area career and technical education students. More than 100 students from four career and technical education centers located across Western New York have created more than 70 metal sculptures that will be auctioned to benefit The Mental Health Association.

Welding for Wellness is a collaborative project that includes students from 65 school districts, which span 10 counties in Upstate New York. Students in the Metal Trades Programs at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, Monroe 2- Orleans BOCES, Monroe #1 BOCES, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GV BOCES) have worked since December to craft this artwork.

In June, these sculptures will be auctioned to benefit The Mental Health Association. The auction will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 2, from at Village Gate on the 2nd floor Atrium, 274 N. Goodman St., Rochester.

Auction tickets may be purchased online at Weldingforwellness.com or by contacting the Mental Health Association at (585) 325-3145.

The American Welding Society – Rochester section is a sponsor of this project.

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May 10, 2017 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, NASA, schools, education, news, batavia.

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Getting to work on parts that NASA will actually use on the International Space Station is definitely something to brag about, said Dominick Brown, a senior at Batavia High School (at right, in photo above) and a student in BOCES precision machinery program.

Brown and about a dozen other students are part of a program begun this year at BOCES by teacher Tim Gleba, who persisted in his pursuit last year to get Batavia's machine shop course accepted into NASA's HUNCH program. HUNCH is a nationwide program started in 2003 that gives high school students the chance to design and manufacture hardware for NASA. The program has since expanded to include culinary arts as well so that students can come up with ready-to-eat meals for astronauts.

Students have made single-purpose storage lockers to hold experiments being taken up to the space station and one of the next projects is new handrails.

Brown's reaction was like a lot of students in a video presented by NASA scientist Florance Gold, Ph.D, yesterday at a press conference about the program in Batavia. The students all said the program inspired them to think about engineering, science and aerospace careers and gave them the confidence to think it might be something they could pursue.

"It’s really awesome that we actually get to work for NASA and it’s something I can put on my resume," Brown said. "I’m always bragging to my friends, ‘OK, I work for NASA now.’ It’s kind of cool. I’m definitely very grateful for everything my teachers and NASA have presented to me to be part of this amazing program. I’m crazy grateful. Unlike test hardware, we’re making actual hardware that is going into the space station, so it’s something that I can say, ‘I made parts that are in the space station.’ ”

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Tim Gleba with the first part his precision machine students made for NASA.

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NASA scientist Flo Gold

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Nancy Hall, an aerospace engineer with NASA, who works at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio.

A couple of weeks ago, BOCES students were able to visit the facility. Hall said it's special getting to work for NASA.

“One thing I want to pass onto the students is think about the opportunity you have in front of you," Hall said. "You’re going to be making parts for NASA, which is just neat in itself. Even myself, working for NASA, I still pinch myself."

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Amanda Phelps, a HUNCH support machinist with one of the storage lockers designed and made by high school students.

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