Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center Students Secure Big Wins at Regional Competition

Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center Students Secure Big Wins at Regional Competition

With the roaring applause of their classmates, instructors, and peers from all across the region, 35 young professionals from the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center beamed with pride as they took the stage to accept medals they earned in timed trade, leadership, and community service contests during the 2024 SkillsUSA Regional Competition, held in Goshen on February 10. The Ulster BOCES competitors were among almost 300 participants from all across the area who came to showcase their knowledge and skills in 38 different work-based categories ranging from Extemporaneous Speaking, Interviewing, CNC Milling, Automated Manufacturing, and many more.

The Ulster BOCES delegation secured an impressive 8 first-place, 16 second-place, and 11 third-place medals in 15 different categories. Bryce Buntyn, a young professional from Onteora Central School District, was elected Area IV Vice President State Officer and National Delegate.

This year, participation in SkillsUSA—a nonprofit national career and technical student organization that creates a partnership between students, teachers, and industry workers in an effort to create and sustain a skilled workforce in America—is open to each of the approximately 1,200 students who attend the Career & Technical Center and Hudson Valley Pathways Academy. Ulster BOCES has secured a designation as a “total participation school,” which has removed cost barriers for individual students attending events such as competitions and other club activities, ensuring all young professionals have the same opportunity to build their skills and confidence in the workforce.

“Removing the economic barriers by ensuring any student who wishes to participate is able reflects Ulster BOCES’ commitment to creating an equitable culture where all young professionals have opportunities to soar,” says Peter Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Career Pathways Programs. “This has fostered involvement and excitement from young people who may have never otherwise had the opportunity to have these meaningful experiences, which can be life-changing.” Harris notes that involvement can not only inspire them to grow their professional and leadership skills, but also provides an opportunity to network with peers from other geographic areas as well as industry professionals and potential employers.

The SkillsUSA club also empowers students to not only hone their technical skills but also become actively involved in their communities, fostering a sense of pride and connectedness. 

“We are so proud of all of the young professionals who competed,” said District

Superintendent Jonah M. Schenker, Ed.D. “SkillsUSA not only provides opportunities for our young professionals to hone their technical skills through competitions, but to also engage in meaningful community service projects, and develop strong leadership skills that will serve to empower them to grow to their full potential.” 

Specific winners, listed by their home school district, include:

Ellenville Central School District: 

Mya Chevannes, 3rd Place in Crime Scene Investigation

Highland Central School District:

Katherine Fitzgerald, 1st Place in Cosmetology Jr.

Sophia Hajiani, 1st Place in Prepared Speech

Karl Jacob Haviland, 2nd Place in IT Services

Ava Mora, 2nd Place in Esthetics 

Belen Ocampo Quiroz, 2nd Place in Esthetics Model

Kingston City School District:

James DeWitt, 1st Place in Automated Manufacturing 

Ashor Raal, 1st Place in Automated Manufacturing 

Divine Hassell, 2nd Place in Action Skills

Apollo Liewa, 2nd Place in Internetworking

Wade Clemente, 2nd Place in Job Interview

Rodolfo Alarcon Aguirre, 3rd Place in Crime Scene Investigation

Nevaeh Boler, 3rd Place in Culinary

Marla McCain, 3rd Place in Quiz Bowl

Melina Mosby, 3rd Place in Cosmetology Jr.

New Paltz Central School District:

Jacob Frost, 1st Place in Automated Manufacturing 

Ethan Gregor, 2nd Place in CNC Milling

Griffin Bacon, 2nd Place in Automated Manufacturing

Jack Talbert, 2nd Place in Quiz Bowl

Camille Samuels, 3rd Place in Job Interview

Onteora Central School District:

Bryce Buntyn, elected Area IV VP State Officer and National Delegate

Payton Kothe, 2nd Place in Extemporaneous Speaking

Joseph Reese, 2nd Place in Food Prep

Zachary Calderale, 3rd Place in IT Services

Rondout Valley Central School District:

Tucker Chase, 1st Place in Extemporaneous Speaking

Jonathan Chamberlain, 3rd Place in Internetworking

Saugerties Central School District:

Ian Vickery, 1st Place in CNC Milling

Eric Weisman, 1st Place in Quiz Bowl

Micah Copeman, 2nd Place in Automated Manufacturing 

Zakery Luck, 2nd Place in Prepared Speech

Caitlyn Rafferty, 2nd Place in Culinary

Lucas Miller, 3rd Place in Auto Service Tech

Wallkill Central School District:

Benjamin Pauselius, 2nd Place in Automated Manufacturing 

Travis Betanzos, 2nd Place in Related Technical Math

Aaron Baker, 3rd Place in Prepared Speech

Evangeline Spampinato, 3rd Place in Crime Scene Investigation

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