During a ceremony on June 10, a total of 133 students from school districts throughout Chautauqua and southern Erie County were honored for successfully completing two years of study in Career & Technical Education programs offered by the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES at the LoGuidice Educational Center in Fredonia.
Since the beginning of their junior year, the students have spent nearly half of each school day at the LoGuidice Center studying specialized fields and career areas of their choosing. Toward the end of their senior year, they had to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and experience by passing challenging national assessments and most had to successfully complete a three-week internship at businesses, organizations and agencies related to their programs.
For these students, there were many benefits from their participation in CTE programs. In addition to receiving formal training in the fields they chose, students who successfully completed the programs and met the necessary requirements received a Technical Endorsement on their Regents Diploma. The requirements for a Technical Endorsement include earning a Regents Diploma, passing the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute national exam, passing the composition and communication course, completing a portfolio with a passing grade, passing their CTE programs, and successfully completing a three-week internship.
Jose Pagan, principal of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES LoGuidice Educational Center, far left, and Lori Sam, cosmetology instructor at the LoGuidice Center, second from left, stand with Emily Gilman, a graduating senior from the Cosmetology Program and Forestville High School, as well as her father, Scott Gilman, during the Chautauqua County School Boards Association Honors Night May 30. Emily was one of two students from the LoGuidice Center who received special recognition from the CCSBA and one of 133 graduating seniors from the LoGuidice Center honored at a ceremony at Silver Creek High School June 10.
In addition to receiving a Technical Endorsement on their Regents Diploma, for many students, their participation in CTE programs enabled many students to earn articulation credits from many different colleges and some have earned scholarships toward their post-secondary education. Many were even offered employment opportunities. Additionally, students were able to earn valuable certifications and licenses. They were also able to compete in a variety of career events and participate in student organizations such as SkillsUSA, National Technical Honor Society, Health Occupations Society of America and Explorers.
The ceremony took place in the Silver Creek High School auditorium, which was filled to capacity with students' friends and families. For many, the ceremony was as significant as their high school graduation since they spent so much of their junior and senior years at the LoGuidice Center. One by one, each student took to the stage to accept their certificates.
"Our Career & Technical Education teachers did an excellent job with our students and I am very proud of them," said Jose Pagan, LoGuidice Center principal. "It was nice to have our graduation ceremony at the Silver Creek High School auditorium. Silver Creek is one of our participating districts and I would like to thank the district for allowing us to use their facilities."
The following students received special recognition for honors and awards, listed with their home school districts: Lindsey Falco from Forestville and the Health Careers Program received the Tri County Citizenship Award, Ryan Harvey from Forestville and the Criminal Justice program received the Optimist Junior Citizen Award; Jason Stevens from Cassadaga Valley and the Culinary Arts Program received the Katie Gorbett Award; Katelynn Bigham from Gowanda and the Criminal Justice Program received the President's Award for Citizenship; Chelsea Kilbury from Cassadaga Valley and the Health Careers Program and Sean Burke from Gowanda and the Welding/Metal Fabrication Program received the President's Award for Educational Achievement; Emily Gilman from Forestville and the Cosmetology Program and Dominick LeMoine from Pine Valley and the Automotive Body Repair Program received the President's Award for Educational Excellence.
Finally, the following students received Outstanding Student Awards in their respective programs: Dominick LeMoine from Pine Valley, Automotive Body Repair; Trevor Taber from Gowanda, Automotive Technology; Michael Naples from Gowanda, Conservation/Natural Resource Management; Miranda Begier from Fredonia, Cosmetology; Katelynn Bigham from Gowanda, Criminal Justice; Marcanna Zielinski from Cassadaga Valley, Culinary Arts; Lindsey Falco from Forestville, Health Careers; Casey Toledo from Gowanda, Small Animal Science; and Sean Burke from Gowanda, Welding/Metal Fabrication.
Students were able to participate in CTE programs through the participation of their home school districts: Brocton (19 graduating seniors), Cassadaga Valley (16 graduating seniors); Dunkirk (16 graduating seniors), Forestville (13 graduating seniors), Fredonia (18 graduating seniors), Gowanda (24 graduating seniors), Lake Shore (two graduating seniors), Pine Valley (13 graduating seniors), and Silver Creek (five graduating seniors), all of which are component school districts of the E2CC BOCES. Seven additional students participated as well.
The LoGuidice Center offers 10 two-year CTE programs that allow high school juniors and seniors to gain experience and technical knowledge in specialized fields of their choosing while earning a Regents Diploma. Students who have successfully completed the requirements of their programs will receive a Technical Endorsement on their diplomas, and they will be prepared to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or pursue more advanced levels of study at post-secondary educational institutions. Programs offered at the LoGuidice Center include Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Technology, Conservation/Natural Resource Management, Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Health Careers, Small Animal Science, and Welding/Metal Fabrication.
Pagan gratefully recognized David Caccamise, culinary arts instructor, and Patrick Brandt, criminal justice instructor, and their students for assisting with the graduation ceremony.