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Senator Tedisco Says WSWHE BOCES Programs Provide Building Blocks

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A teacher, Senator Tedisco and District Superintendent James Dexters on a buffet line being served by four culinary arts students.

Left: Exceptional Learners Science Teacher Jane Amorosi, Senator James Tedisco, District Superintendent James Dexter; Right: Culinary Arts students.

New York State Senator James Tedisco (R, C – 49th Senate District) toured the F. Donald Myers Education Center in Saratoga Springs on October 30. Members of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and SkillsUSA, both student organizations, led the tour and provided information about the Career and Technical Education programs they are enrolled in. Students in the Exceptional Learners Division made presentations about their Boys Town Merit projects.

Senator Tedisco said, “I think this program is a building block. When you are standing on a building block you have an advantage over a lot of other young people. This is a program that gives them that information, that education, to be ready for industry.

The former special education teacher, guidance counselor, athletic director and coach, said “preparation is what education is about. This is real preparation.”

WSWHE BOCES Superintendent of Schools, James Dexter told the senator that all CTE programs, as well as most Exceptional Learners programs include internships, or job shadowing, which provides students with real world experience, and exposure to prospective employers or continuing education opportunities.

Environmental Conservation & Forestry Program Instructor, Dennis Flynn spoke about FFA, the national convention his students recently returned from, and articulation agreements.

Flynn said, “the forestry program has an articulation agreement with Paul Smiths College. Students can finish this program with 5 college credits at Paul Smiths. Nine of my students who completed the forestry program in 2017 are attending Paul Smiths this year.”

During the visit, the senator had a chance to see a Regents math class in action. Shayne Bishop (right), an instructor in the Exceptional Learners Division, showed how he works with students to engage them in activities that make algebra and geometry exciting. He pointed the senator’s attention out the window to the garden plot the class has. Bishop asked students to calculate how much volume they would need to lay 3 inches of the compost that they procured from the horticulture program.

“We like to connect the real world with some of the algebra and geometry that we are working on. This is just one class of many.”

After seeing how quickly the students made their calculations, Tedisco joked, “I wish we could solve the problems in the senate that fast.”

Shayne Bishop, instructor, works on a math problem with 3 students and Senator Tedisco

The senator commented throughout the tour that when he meets local businesses, they frequently comment that there are many good jobs to be had, but not enough skilled workers to fill them.

Dexter said "we are fortunate to have great relationships with industry partners."

At the end of the tour, Senator Tedisco said, “the kids did a great job, you are all doing a great job. Now we, the senate and the assembly, need to do our job and make sure the funding comes through to keep supporting these programs.

Senator Tedisco, 5 students and a teacher putting their hands together

The senator is all hands in with Exceptional Learner students.

Senator Tedisco with 2 SkillsUSA students and their advisor

Senator Tedisco with SkillsUSA students, their advisor, and District Superintendent James Dexter.