Bethlehem, Schoharie students at Capital Region BOCES win $5,000 scholarship from Casella Waste

A pair of recent Capital Region BOCES graduates have won $5,000 scholarships from Casella Waste Systems.

Keegan Liddle, a Construction/Heavy Equipment program graduate from Schoharie High School, and Dylan Poirier, a Diesel Technology graduate from Bethlehem High School, were presented the scholarships during ceremonies earlier this month.

Casella officials said the scholarships—presented to Capital Region BOCES students for the first time this year—are awarded to students who share Casella’s values of service, trust, responsibility, integrity, continuous improvement and teamwork.

Richard Ray, General Manager, and Kilian Flynn, Market Area Manager for Casella, praised all of the graduates for their willingness to pursue a career in the skilled trades, saying the demand for workers willing to get their boots dirty, work long hours and being dedicated is real.

Liddle is planning to pursue a career as a heavy equipment operator.

He praised BOCES for teaching him about the diversity of equipment that exists and showing him how to operate it.

“Coming to BOCES, I have learned the differences in the various brands of equipment and learned skills I wouldn’t have learned on the farm or doing construction with the family,” Liddle said during a break from operating a dozer.

Faculty members said Liddle has shown drive and determination while at BOCES.

“Keegan is a bright young man who understands that hard work and determination will always pay off. When asked what he does outside of school his answer is always ‘working’,” teacher Matt Millard said.

Poirier is entering the truck repair industry.

He said his time at BOCES has given him an advantage over other recent high school graduates.

“I like that BOCES gives you a leg up. I can go into life with a job and job security because of the education I have received at BOCES,” he said.

Teacher Kyle Harrington praised the Bethlehem teen as “hard working and committed” to learning and achieving.

Capital Region BOCES Managing Program Coordinator-Business & Community Partnerships praised Casella for supporting BOCES, its students and graduates.

“We value our business partners, like Casella, and the support they give our students through work-experience, professional opportunities and more. We look forward to the many new opportunities Casella and all of our partners will afford our students,” Liddle said.