Capital Region BOCES programs recognized as NYSBBA Champions of Change

Group of five capital region BOCES employees and students accepting an award
Career and Technical School Automotive Trades program representatives accepting a NYSBBA Champions of Change award.

Two Capital Region BOCES programs were recognized recently for innovation in the advancement of educational skills for high school and adult students.

The New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) presented two Champions of Change awards to BOCES leaders and educators during the BOCES annual meeting on April 13.

The first Champions of Change Award was presented to the Career and Technical School Automotive Trades program for its work on development of an electric vehicle maintenance and repair curriculum.

The second Champions of Change Award was presented to the Adult Education Program, which has partnered with the Albany County Department of Probation to launch a High School Equivalency (HSE) Program for county residents currently on probation.

“We are always striving to look forward and plan for the future needs of our students, our partners and our community. It is an honor to be recognized for this work,” said Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Officer Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D.

The electric vehicle repair curriculum is being written by teachers Scott Tessier and Brian LaCroix in conjunction with their counterparts in Orleans-Niagara BOCES and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.

Funded through a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the curriculum will prepare students for legislation signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul last September. The legislation effectively bans the sale of new internal combustion engine cars, off-road vehicles, light-duty trucks and equipment by 2035 and makes electric and “green” vehicles an essential mandate.

“Electric vehicles are the future and we are working to ensure our students are prepared to maintain and repair them,” said Tessier.

Accepting the award along with Tessier and LaCroix, were Career and Technical School Principals Shelette Pleat and Matt Ward and Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) students Alex Ramsaroop of Schenectady and Matt DeCelle of Cohoes.

The Adult Education HSE program collaboration with Albany County Probation supports individuals on probation as they earn their High School Equivalency Diplomas. The program is voluntary and students enrolled are eager to learn during the evening classes and are dedicated to completing their goal, said Maria Huntington, supervisor of Adult Education and Programming at Capital Region BOCES.

Accepting the award with Huntington was Kristin McCabe, probation supervisor at the Albany County Probation Department.