‘Amazing’ results: BOCES students participate in skills competition

At right is Kaylee Keating, of Silver Creek Central School, who won first place in the Employment Application Process competition. At left is Brooke Long, of Southwestern Central School, who took second place in the contest.

SYRACUSE — Anna Call had just come off the stage inside the Center of Progress building on the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse when she met up with her parents.

Call, a Pre-Engineering and Drafting Design student at the Ormsby Educational Center, embraced her dad, who promptly lifted her off her feet.

It was a special father-daughter moment, indeed.

Moments earlier, the East Aurora High School student learned she had taken first place in the Technical Drafting contest at the New York State SkillsUSA Leadership and Champions Conference. She was one of 44 Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES students to compete and one of three to earn first-place awards.

“I kind of knew that I would place,” Call said of the Technical Drafting contest. “I was really proud of what I did, but I’m very happy I got first.”

Anna Call embraces her father after winning first place in the technical drafting contest.

By winning, Call, along with Nathan Blair, a Construction Technology student at Ormsby, and Kaylee Keating, a Welding/Metal Fabrication student at the LoGuidice Educational Center, will now have the opportunity to take part in the SkillsUSA national competition to be held June 24 to 28 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Keating, a Silver Creek Central School student, said she wasn’t “entirely expecting” to take first place in the Employment Application Process competition. However, when she heard LoGuidice while the first-place award was being announced, she got “so excited.”

“I worked hard to get where I am, and I’m extremely proud of myself,” Keating said. “I can’t wait to go to nationals.”

She also acknowledged her teacher at Loguidice, Kevin Valentine.

“He’s amazing,” Keating said. “He’s always pushing us, and when you don’t think you got it, he’ll show you that you do. He will motivate you to the very end. He’s very dedicated to his work and what he does for his students.”

Valentine, a longtime SkillsUSA advisor, said he was “very proud” of all 44 E2CCB students who participated this year in Syracuse.

“It takes a lot of practice, extra preparation, and approval for these students to get to the NYS SkillsUSA Leadership and Champions Conference,” he said. “It is awesome to have one of those students win. The student gets the opportunity to attend the SkillsUSA National Conference. I look forward to getting Kaylee prepared for the next level of competition.”

Blair, a student at Iroquois Central School, was surprised to learn he had taken first in the Carpentry competition.

“I didn’t get to finish, but I guess they care about quality over rushing and getting it done,” he said. “It feels great going on to nationals. I’m really excited, and I can’t wait.”

Like Keating, Blair’s Construction Technology teacher at Ormsby, Paul Hoch, is an advisor and was in Syracuse for the annual competitions.

“He’s helped me a lot,” Blair said of Hoch after taking first place. “He gave me a lot of tips, and he’s taught me pretty much everything I know about construction. He’s just a great supporter and a great friend.”

Competitions in dozens of categories began the following morning. The three-day event concluded with the awards ceremony on April 26.

Several E2CCB students said they enjoyed their trip to Syracuse.

Zachary Smith, a welding student at LoGuidice, was part of the Quiz Bowl team. He attended the state SkillsUSA event to “get a grasp on how the competition works” and plans to take part in the Welding Sculpture competition next year.

Smith said he has learned a lot during his time at E2CCB. “The stuff you can do at BOCES can land you good jobs, well-paying jobs,” he said. “If you want to enter the workforce, you can take what you learned from BOCES and put it into your future life.”

For more information about CTE programming at E2CCB, visit www.e2ccb.org.


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