Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Batavia CTE

November 9, 2020 - 2:22pm

Photo: Aaron Leone, right, practices his welding skills on the Miller LiveArc machine, as welding instructor Andrew Geyer, guides him.

Submitted photo and press release:

When Graham Corporation and the Genesee County Economic Development Center approached the executive principal of the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus about donating a welding simulator, Jon Sanfratello knew that this was a huge bonus for the Metal Trades Program.

“When businesses invest in our programs, our students are the true benefactors," Sanfratello said. "This welding simulator, that Graham Corporation has so generously donated,will provide our students with an additional training tool to test their skills.

"One of our top priorities here at GV BOCES is the integration of both applied and practical skills into curriculumso our students are college and career-ready. This training tool is another means of achieving our goal. We are so very appreciative of Graham’s investment in our program and students.”

At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Graham Corp. provided them a Miller LiveArc Welding System. It provides a simulation scenario for a student to practice welds in a live-arc training mode.

Andrew Geyer is the welding instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

“The Miller LiveArc has cameras and infrared sensors that will read students’ welds and grade them accordingly based upon the parameters that are set,” Geyer said. “It is our hope that representatives from Graham can spend some time with us and program the machine with industry-based welds, so students can get a better understanding of what is expected in industry.” 

Geyer and Metal Trades students recently met with Graham Corp. representatives and Chris Suozzi, GCEDC vice president of Business & Workforce Development, via Zoom. During this online meeting, students asked many questions about employment opportunities at Graham Corporation.

Graham Corp. is well known for being a major employer in the region as well as a big supporter of schools especially, Genesee Valley BOCES. Graham has gifted other materials used in the Metal Trades Program at the GV BOCES Batavia Campus, too.

“The Welding Program at the Batavia CTE Center is very important to Graham Corporation and to our community," said Alan Smith, general manager of Graham Corp. "As Graham continues to grow, access to skilled welders is vital. Welders make up approximately 50 percent of Graham's skilled workforce.

"Graham has a long history of supporting the welding program at the Batavia CTE Center with donations of plate steel and weld wire. Graham's latest donation of the weld simulator will enable students to learn proper welding techniques by providing immediate feedback while saving the expensive cost of weld wire.”

Graham Corporation also has a track record of hiring welding students from the Batavia CTE Center and from other BOCES around New York State. Don Fonda, superintendent at Graham Corp., says this partnership goes back decades.

“We have close to 75 employees who went to a BOCES program, and add in some recent new hires, the total is over 80 employees," Fonda said. "We have 53 employees who came to Graham from the Batavia GV BOCES program.

“From what I could find out the Graham/Batavia GV BOCES connection goes back to the 1970s when GV BOCES was next to the industrial center. Bob Torrey was one of the first co-op students at Graham. He started at Graham working three days and Saturdays in January of 1974 while he was in school. He was hired full time in June 1974, 46 years ago.”

Suozzi says partnerships like this benefit the community.

"The Genesee County Economic Development Center applauds Graham Corporation for investing in equipment and experiences that will benefit every 11th- and 12th-grade student learning in GV BOCES' welding lab," Suozzi said. "This partnership strengthens the skills of our students for the great careers at Graham Corporation.”

March 6, 2020 - 3:46pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Casey Felski is a determined young person. This senior from Pembroke High School attends the Electro-Mechanical Trades Program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

Last school year, she attended the Building Trades Program at the Batavia CTE Center. Rich Monroe is Casey’s Electro-Mechanical Trades instructor in the program. He describes her as a leader in the classroom and on the worksite.

“From Casey’s first day of school, I could see that hands-on learning is her forte," Monroe said. "I could tell that she would excel in whatever she attempted to do.  My job as her instructor was to spark her interest."

Each year the Building Trades and Electro-Mechanical Trades Programs build a house on-site for a home owner. All the building materials costs, as well as the construction of the home’s foundation, are paid by the home owner but the labor to construct the home is free.

This house project provides students with real-world on the job experiences including leadership roles.  

As a senior, Casey does just that, she works with the incoming juniors to orient them to working at the house site, leading group projects and running jobs as assigned by Monroe.

Besides being determined, Casey can also be described as hardworking and dedicated. She is an active volunteer firefighter with Corfu Rescue Hook and Ladder Company and she also serves as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She runs track at Pembroke High School and works part time at a grocery store in Akron. 

Casey’s actions and work ethic in and out of the classroom have proven successful. She recently was awarded a School-to-Work scholarship from the Electrical Association of Western New York (EAWNY).

Founded in 1924, this organization’s mission is to educate about the safe and efficient use of electricity and technology, and promote the electrical industry. Each year, the EAWNY awards School-to-Work Scholarships to individuals who pursue a career in the electric industry and participate in a training program to be used for the purchase of tools.

After graduation in June, Casey’s goal is to gain acceptance into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 41 Apprenticeship Program. Monroe said the he has no doubt that Casey will get accepted.

Photo, from left: Instructor Rich Monroe, senior Casey Felski, and Catherine Bennett, Batavia CTE Center assistant principal.

January 23, 2020 - 1:52pm

Above, Joshua Roberts, of Attica Central School, races against a clock as he fixes a tire during the Tire Rodeo at the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition.

Submitted photos and press release:

Each year the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association hosts a competition that is held at the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center (ECC-VTTC) in Orchard Park. This event, called the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, is open to any high school senior or junior who is enrolled in an automotive program.

The competition draws students from seven Western New York counties. The winners of this contest, along with their high school instructor, receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the nationals at the National Automotive Technology Competition.

Six students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center’s Auto Technology Program competed in this year’s Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, which was held Friday (Jan. 17).

During this daylong event students, who competed in teams of two, were scored on their knowledge of tools, measuring instruments, specific vehicle components, and job interview skills. Students were also required to diagnose and repair a number of preassigned problems under a car's hood.

During the Tire Rodeo, students were put to the test as they raced to replace a damaged tire in the quickest time.

Seniors Lucas Doran from Alexander Central School and Patrick Willis from Attica Central School took second place in the automotive competition.

John McCarthy from Alexander CS, and Michael Roberts from Attica CS, are both seniors and they also competed in the automotive competition. This team took fourth place and just missed third place by only one point.

Devon Zinter from Byron-Bergen Central School, and Joshua Roberts from Attica CS, are both juniors. This team took second place in the Tire Rodeo.

All four seniors were offered the opportunity for tuition-free enrollment into the two-year Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training(ASSET) Program at Erie Community College.

Lucas and Patrick each received a $750 scholarship to the college of their choice, tool boxes, and an assortment of tools. Mike and John received a $250 college scholarship.

Devon and Joshua won jump boxes and have qualified to return to next year’s competition as seniors to represent the Batavia CTE Center.

Bob Yates is the Auto Technology instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. He noted it’s not always about winning but more importantly, how a competition gives students the opportunity to learn about their skill set and how they can improve.

“All of these students worked hard preparing for the competition both during school as well as over winter break, Yates said. "The seniors spent time at Basil Ford working with a senior technician preparing for the debugging of a 2019 Ford Ranger.

"The second part of the competition was based on a series of stations which we prepare for during class and shop time. I am very proud of the students and the effort they put in.

"I was complimented several times about the professionalism, politeness, and knowledge our students displayed during the competition. They were a great representation of our program and the Batavia CTE Center.”

Below, from left, Bob Yates, Batavia CTE Center Auto Technology Instructor, with Auto Technology students Patrick Willis and Lucas Doran, accept their awards at the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition.

June 19, 2019 - 2:24pm

From left, Bill Hayes, Jon Bigsby, Rich Monroe and in back, Nathan Blowers, Turnbull Operations manager, all gather as Jon accepts Hayes’ offer to enter into Turnbull’s apprentice program.

Submitted photo and press release:

In the school world, June is a time for graduations, celebrations and awards ceremonies. This holds true for Jon Bigsby as June holds special meaning for him; he was offered full-time employment with Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning.

Jon is a recent graduate of the Building Trades Program at the Batavia Career and Technical (CTE) Education Center. He is set to graduate from Alexander High School on June 27.

His decision to seek employment after high school graduation was easy.

“I like working with my hands and I feel that this is a good choice for me to enter the workforce. I’m honored to be working with Turnbull,” Jon said.

Bill Hayes is the owner of Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning. In the past, Hayes has hired almost 10 students from the Batavia CTE Center’s Building Trades Program.

“I know that these students have the foundational skills necessary to enter into our training program," Haynes said. "I need skilled workers. The instructors in the Building Trades Program teach the students the importance of quality workmanship and that’s important to me."

Last summer, Jon worked for Turnbull and his work ethic was noticed.

“He listens, is disciplined, he works hard,” Hayes said.

After graduation, Jon will be enrolled in the Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning 12-month certified apprentice program.

“He’ll learn how to thread pipe to actually doing installations and service calls. He’ll be working in the shop and in the field,” Hayes said.

Rich Monroe is one of the Building Trades Instructors at the Batavia CTE Center. He echoed Hayes thoughts about Jon.

“Jon meets the standards that Turnbull expects," Monroe said. "He is a hands-on learner and he will be embraced here at Turnbull. Jon fits the mold and I know the people here at Turnbull will give him every opportunity to be the best mechanic."

About Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning

It is a Batavia-based HVAC contractor that offers residential and commercial heating, air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration service, installations, and scheduled maintenance programs.

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (The Partnership). The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 1, 2019 - 12:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Culinary Arts, BOCES, Batavia CTE, food, cooking, batavia, video.
Video Sponsor

On Friday, the students in the Culinary Arts Program prepared their final projects for a group of judges. I happened to arrive in time for the last student of the day, Jose Vanegas, who made tacos and flan.

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


(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."


(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."


(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.


Video Sponsor


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.


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.







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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.






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


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.


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.








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


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."





May 16, 2018 - 4:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Batavia CTE, education.

Batavia CTE NYS HOSA (from left): Nicole Welka, Bonny Shelby -- Batavia CTE Center Health Dimension instructor, HOSA co-advisor and New York State HOSA advisor; Danielle Mason, Catherine Corbin, Faith Jones, Maxim DuFour, Jeffrey Evert; and Sara Kutter -- Batavia CTE Center HOSA co-advisor and instructional support teacher.

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) students recently attended the New York State HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Leadership Conference, which was held in Syracuse.

Seven Health Dimensions students participated in this event, which included more than 300 students who represented New York state schools and BOCES. As a result of this competition, all of these students have qualified to attend the national HOSA Conference which will be held in Dallas in June.                            

The students, their competitions, and their placements are noted below.

Health Career Issues Exam

  • Emily Antonucci (Alexander) – Second Place
  • Jeffery Evert (Attica) – Third Place

Interviewing Skills

  • Faith Jones (Caledonia-Mumford) – Second Place

HOSA Happenings

  • Students must score an 80 percent to qualify for nationals; Nicole Welka (Byron-Bergen) scored an 85;
  • Online Testing International Leadership (ILC) Conference qualifiers: Nicole Welka, Maxim DuFour (Attica), Jeffery Evert, Emily Antonucci, Catherine Corbin (Batavia), and Danielle Mason (Byron-Bergen);
  • New York State HOSA Future Health Professionals State Officers for 2018-2019: Maxim DuFour will serve as parliamentarian; Faith Jones will serve as Region E vice president.

The Batavia CTE Center HOSA AM Chapter submitted a theme, “The Heartbeat of Health Care,” at the Delegates Meeting and it was chosen as the theme for the New York State HOSA Future Health Professionals Fall Leadership Conference.

The Batavia CTE Center HOSA PM Chapter donated $100 to National Alliance on Mental Illness and will receive recognition at National HOSA for this donation.

“I am so very proud of this group of students; they are exceptional leaders,” said Bonny Shelby, Batavia CTE Center Health Dimensions instructor, HOSA co-advisor and New York State HOSA advisor.


The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

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


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.


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.




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.


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
March 1, 2018 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia CTE, Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, news.

Photo: Bob Yates, Batavia CTE Center Auto Technology instructor, with Ryan George and Cassidy Cater.

Submitted photo and press release:

Despite a tough contest, Cassidy Cater and Ryan George, Batavia Career and Technical Education Center Auto Technology students, placed fourth in the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, sponsored by the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association.

Cassidy and Ryan are seniors from Attica Central Schools.

Beforehand, Cassidy and Ryan worked every school day for two weeks at Basil Ford in Cheektowaga. There they practiced with a technician on a 2018 Ford Escape.

During the competition, Ryan and Cassidy worked through timed stations where they were required to complete tasks such as precision measurement, drop voltage, balancing a tire, splicing a wire, and soldering. In order to receive points, these assignments needed to be completed in less than 10 minutes.

“I was comfortable doing these tasks because I was familiar with this work,” Ryan said. 

“These are things that we learned in our class. Mr. Yates prepared us for what we might have to do during the competition,” Cassidy said.

A total of nine teams competed, all from schools and career and technical education centers across Western New York. Cassidy and Ryan were in the senior division. The daylong event was held at Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center in Orchard Park. 

Competition was fierce said Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.

Ryan and Cassidy were required to diagnose and repair a 2018 Ford Escape that was bugged with many mechanical issues.

“There were very intricate and technical bugs that were set up in the car," Yates said. "Even a seasoned technician would have struggled with some of these problems. The rear hatch would not open and Ryan had to reprogram it and he got it to work. Very few teams got the car to operate and Ryan and Cassidy got the car to start and run."

“We also had to do a pinpoint test, which is a step-by-step procedure on how to fix the car. We got a perfect score on the alignment and the alignment test,” Cassidy added.

“The competition was scored on a total of 1,000 points," Yates said. "The difference between the first-place score and fourth-place was only 21 points." 

Ryan described the event as a great experience.

“It was fun, hands-on and taught me a lot about electrical systems in cars.” Cassidy said “It gave us a taste of what working in the real-world will be like.”

About Batavia CTE 

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button