BOCES students recognized at CTE program

Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger delivers the keynote address during the HFM BOCES Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at FMCC. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

JOHNSTOWN — Graduating seniors from the HFM BOCES Career and Technical Center were recognized and presented their certificates of completion on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

HFM Career and Technical Director Jay DeTraglia welcomed a crowd of roughly 1,000 family, friends, faculty and staff members who filled the gymnasium at FMCC to attend the CTE Recognition Program in acknowledgment of the 268 graduating students.

“This is my 14th year here and this is probably the largest crowd that we’ve had and I really want to thank you family and friends for being with us this evening,” DeTraglia said.

Before students were called to walk across the stage, DeTraglia introduced keynote speaker FMCC President Dustin Swanger who offered a few remarks to the graduating students as they prepare to take the next steps in their lives.

“What a sense of accomplishment you must feel tonight,” Swanger said. “You’re prepared to start your career or enter college, whichever you choose, because you stuck with it and proved your dedication to education, something that no one will ever be able to take away from you.”

HFM BOCES New Visions Health Careers students Shelby Opalka and Austin Oare of the Gloversville Enlarged School District prepare to receive their certificates of completion during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

“Take the time to be proud of yourselves and know that your family and friends are proud of you as well,” he continued.

As the graduates begin making the “big” decisions about their lives, Swanger reminded the students of the impact the seemingly insignificant everyday choices they make can have on their lives and the lives of the people around them.

“When I think about how people touch our lives and help us we generally think about our parents, our grandparents, our friends, our teachers, but there are so many more people who in a large way or small way effect us and they often don’t even know it,” Swanger said. “One interaction with someone, maybe even a brief interaction that seems meaningless can have a profound impact on someone’s life.”

Swanger recalled meeting recently with an FMCC graduate who told Swanger about the lasting impact of an interaction he had with the college president at a club meeting years earlier.

“He told me that our discussion had a tremendous impact on him and it effected the decisions that he made for his future. I was extremely flattered by what he told me, but honestly I didn’t remember the discussion,” Swanger said. “How we treat each other matters, whether you treat people with kindness or anger touches their lives in one way or another.”

HFM BOCES Automotive Technology student Austin Wood of the Greater Johnstown School District receives his certificate of completion from HFM BOCES Board of Education President Joanne Freeman during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

“As you start your adult life you can decide how you want to approach the world and the people in it,” he continued. “Remember that you can influence anyone’s life, be the person that makes someone’s day a little better. Be the person that for some small gesture changes someone’s life for good. Be the person that people will remember and smile. Be a human being.”

Before the certificates of completion were conferred, a number of students were presented with special awards for their dedication and individual achievements while participating in the HFM BOCES CTE program.

Award recipients include Nalysia Santiago of Gloversville, Massimo DiCaprio of Fonda-Fultonville, Katelyn Babiarz of Fonda-Fultonville, Robert Lake III of Adirondack Academy, Arthur Ausfeld III of Amsterdam, Makenna Grady of Fonda-Fultonville, Johnathon Funk of Broadalbin-Perth, Emma Wellspeak of Broadalbin-Perth, Casey Watson of Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville, Emma Ruth Kilmer of Johnstown, Alexandria Evens of Mayfield, Bracie Belle Vose of Johnstown, Taryn LaFontaine of Mayfield, Olivia Margaret Weiderman of Johnstown, Josephine Wood of Gloversville and Kaleb Horning of Fort Plain.

Graduating students were offered a final word of commendation before they were each called in recognition and celebration of completing the CTE certification programs.

“You’ve achieved a milestone today, one in education, with it you can open many doors and you have many options. Take advantage of them, stand tall, do good work and be kind. With that you will go far. Congratulations class of 2019,” Swanger said.

HFM BOCES Auto Body student Matthew Hirschfeld of the Greater Amsterdam School District receives his certificate of completion during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

The HFM BOCES CTE students will go on to receive their high school diplomas in the coming weeks during the regular graduation ceremonies of their component school districts.

HFM BOCES Career and Technical Center student Emma Wellspeak of Broadalbin-Perth Central School District receives the HFM BOCES Teachers' Association Award during the CTE Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

HFM BOCES Careers in Education student Kaylee Hotaling of the Gloversville Enlarged School District receives her certificate of completion from HFM BOCES Board of Education President Joanne Freeman during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

HFM BOCES students Alex Evens and Nicole Fazio from Mayfield Central School District prepare to receive certificates of completion for medical assisting during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

HFM BOCES Career and Technical Center student Robert Lake III of Adirondack Academy receives the Dr. Geoffrey H. Davis Memorial Award during the CTE Recognition Program on Tuesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

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