Electrical Trades Students Surprise Teacher with Support

A group of students are pictured with their teacher in the electrical trades classroom
Electrical trades students show support for their teacher while helping others going through a difficult health situation.

An innocent challenge to friends to support his wife through a donation to Albany Medical Center turned into a surprise showing of support by students in John Puglisi’s electrical trades class at Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School.

Puglisi’s wife had a brain tumor removed two years ago and earlier this month underwent her fourth operation to deal with complications from the surgery. On a lark, the longtime teacher challenged his friends and family on social media to either shave their heads in support of his wife or donate $10 to Albany Medical Center’s Neurosurgery Department.

Unbeknownst to him, Puglisi’s daughter shared the post on her Facebook account and a sister of current electrical trades student Jared O’Connor saw the post and spread the word to Jared and his friends.

“We heard about it and decided to share the idea in our group chat that we should all donate,” said O’Connor, who attends Capital Region BOCES from the Scotia-Glenville Central School District. “We thought it would be nice to show support because we all like him and he’s such a good teacher.”

Recently, Puglisi was greeted by 22 students each with a $10 bill in their hand.

“They all came up and surrounded me. I had no idea what was going on. It was truly humbling,” said Puglisi.

Puglisi said the money is going to a good cause, helping Albany Medical’s Neurosurgery Department.

“It’s overwhelming to see such support from students and to know their support is going to help others who is going through situations like my wife’s,” he said.