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Tools Trade May 2009

Culinary Arts Student Brings Home a SkillsUSA Trophy!

Congratulations to Brandon Dunkley, a Culinary Arts student on our campus, who took home a coveted first-place trophy in Extemporaneous Speaking from the New York State SkillsUSA A Publication of the Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services competition, held recently in Syracuse, NY.

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A Message from the Director Dear Friends:

Spring has sprung, and here on the Career Services campus you can see the winter jackets and hats finally being shed and the crocuses peeking through the soil. But even though winter is largely behind us, you should know that your students and our staff did not hibernate during the winter months. Far from it – they were as productive, creative and successful as ever. In this issue of Tools of the Trade, we document that success and creativity with articles about numerous student awards, including the prestigious first-place SkillsUSA award won by New Rochelle High School’s Brandon Dunkley. You’ll travel to Broadway with our Fashion Design and Merchandising students, and learn about our campus security team. And join us in celebrating an extensive list of college acceptances for our students. Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, June 11, the date of our important Career Services graduation and awards. It will take place at the Westchester County Center at 6 p.m. Sincerely, Linda Maria Suarez Director, Center for Career Services

Skills on Display at Open House Jessica Shaw, left, a senior at White Plains High School, and Sara Lapolice, a senior at Irvington High School, prepare a breakfast in the kitchen at the Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services in Valhalla. The two students were among others demonstrating their skills in March when the Valhalla campus opened its doors to the public for its annual spring Open House. Student projects were also on display and teachers were available to answer questions about the program from visitors. Shaw and Lapolice are both students in the BOCES Culinary Arts Program. 1

Brandon, a senior at New Rochelle High School, will now go on to represent New York State in the national SkillsUSA competition, which will be held in Kansas City in June. In addition to Brandon's win, most of the SWBOCES students participating at the state tournament placed in the top five in their competitions. Extemporaneous Speaking, said Brandon, required students to prepare and deliver a 3- to 5-minute speech on a topic that is randomly selected by judges. Brandon was asked to speak about Brandon Dunkley and his how his educa- SkillsUSA trophy. tion prepared him for competing at SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). The SkillsUSA competition is considered the top competitive event for Career and Technical Education students in the country.

CONTENTS Automotive Competition . . . . . . . . . . .2 Technology Across the Curriculum . . . . .3 BOCES Goes to Broadway . . . . . . . . .4 Off to College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5


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B O C E S Center for Career Services

SWBOCES Students Take Home Awards in Automotive Competition Southern Westchester BOCES took home second, fourth and fifth-place awards Jan. 14 after competing in the 2009 Greater New York Regional Automotive Technology Competitions at the General Motors Training Center in Ardsley. Five SWBOCES students participated in the competition with 19 other students representing Mount Vernon High School, Rockland BOCES and Orange-Ulster BOCES. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association sponsors the competition, which is designed to measure the technical/diagnostic abilities of students and evaluate their academic preparation in the automotive technology field.

Students in the regional competition, which is manned by judges and monitors, are required

to demonstrate their automotive skills using technical information and hands-on repair. Each team of two students also took a written test. In addition to trophies, students win Snap-On tools, scholarship offers from the Lincoln Technical Institute and the Ohio Technical College, and GNYADA T-shirts and hats. Neil Vassel of New Rochelle High School competes.

Winning a second-place trophy in the competition were Roberto Cervantes of New Rochelle High School and Douglas McGirt of Woodlands High School. Taking home a fourthplace award were Isaiah Garcia of Hawthorne Cedar Knolls and Neil Vassel of New Rochelle High School, and winning a fifth-place award were Victor Arpi of Sleepy Hollow High School and Philip Mendola of Woodlands High School.

SWBOCES Students Win Awards at Regional Media Festival Valhalla, NY -- Congratulation to six Southern Westchester BOCES students who earned Audience Choice Awards at the Lower Hudson Valley Youth Media Arts Show held recently at Westchester Community College. Commercial Art students – Matthew Adorno of Edgemont High School and Paola Carbone of Valhalla High School – received awards for graphic design work they created in BOCES Commercial Art teacher Damian Powers’ classroom. Their selected

Bevil, all of Eastchester High School. The Youth Media Arts Show, sponsored by the Lower Hudson Region of the New York State Media Arts Teachers' Association, which offers students the opportunity to exhibit their work and see the work of peers. The show has been a popular annual event for more than 20 years.

Matthew Adorno

works were on display at the Media Arts Show.

Paola Carbone

Four of BOCES TV/Video Production students were also recognized for videos and short films they have produced. The students, who take classes with BOCES teacher Tony Ely, were: Jean Thorny Dussuaud of New Rochelle High School, and George Petrescu, Richard Arce and Grayson 2

Jean-Thony Dussuaud


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B O C E S Center for Career Services

Technology across the Curriculum at Career Services

Students participating in the arts program were introduced to software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and many can receive industry certification in the use of that software.

The teachers and administrators at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services campus are often spinning many plates in the air, serving a population of more than 650-700 students in two different daily sessions, meeting state regulations and maintaining a solid record in the field of Career and Technical Education.

The digital media project culminated in lively final presentations that included the creation of actual clothing and accessories, videos, and logo presentations on business cards and web pages. In noisy and active collaborations, students from disparate classes got to know one another, work hands-on, and look at business from a design standpoint. “The kids are eating it up,” said Dr. Ceccarelli. “It’s hands-on, less about lectures and more about doing.” The arts curriculum will continue to develop over the next two to three years until it’s fully integrated.

But the staff has remained steadfast about one goal in particular over the years -- the full integration of technology throughout the Valhalla campus, and enhancing the way technology is used both by teachers and students.

The integration of technology on the campus is no accident, but was part of a five-year plan developed by Career Services Director Linda Suarez and her team.

Today, technology is a key factor in nearly every classroom, from automotive diagnostic software used by Michael Ward’s automotive technology students, to the gleaming white iMacs used by Carmen Galiano’s fashion design students and Damian Powers’ commercial art students.

Dr. Ceccarelli noted that more than 70 percent of today’s Career Services students move on to two-year and four-year colleges and universities Commercial Art teacher Damian Powers speaks with when they graduate parents at Open House. Commercial Art students from high school, and work on iMacs in Powers' classroom. that only 30 percent move directly into the work force. That’s far different from the image of the old “vocational education” model of years ago, and today’s curriculum needs to keep up with the changes.

The transition of the Career Services campus into the 21st century has been a decades-long process, but has gathered steam in the past three years, according to Clement Ceccarelli, supervisor of the Secondary CTE Programs. In that time, the Career Services team has spearheaded a multi-pronged technology effort that has included: • Installing SmartBoards into every classroom, and training teachers in their use

Because SWBOCES integrates “as much technology as possible into our curriculum now,” said Dr, Ceccarelli, students graduating from the program are often overqualified in the area of technology when they enter colleges.

• Installing new campus-wide servers to handle the increased technology load

“Our students often have a clear understanding of the technology just being introduced to college freshmen,” he said. “In fact, they often display mastery and fluency in their field of study, when it comes to the technology that’s required.”

• Upgrading fiberoptics lines serving the campus • Installing eSchool Data, a web-based student information system that makes it easier and more reliable to track student attendance and grades

For that reason, Career Services has been able to establish articulation agreements with a number of colleges and universities that permit students to enter with credits either already earned or with credits that will be earned after a successful first year on campus. Such articulation agreements have been established with SUNY Delhi, Marist College, Monroe University and the Universal Technical Institute, an automotive trades school with campuses around the country.

• Implementing a campus-wide email system The campus has also installed a new Mac server, along with full integrated Mac computers in all arts, multimedia and fashion classrooms. To complement the hardware and software, the campus fully integrated its arts curriculum this year by “clustering” arts classes and launching team-driven student projects, including a recent project that brought together students from four classes – Commercial Art, Fashion Design, TV/Media Production, and Multimedia Production – to work together on business logos, clothing and videos that represented “companies” they developed as teams.

In 2009 -10, said Dr. Ceccarelli, the campus plans to begin a virtual enterprise curriculum, in which students will work at a virtual online company that will include the development of business plans. 3


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B O C E S Center for Career Services

The Life of an Actor: BOCES Student Devon Krobetzky In spite of the fact that the life of an actor can be tumultuous, notable for ego-boosting highs and heart wrenching lows, SWBOCES student Devon Krobetzky loves life on the stage, amassing a professional acting resume nearly as long as his lanky arms. The 16-year-old Fashion Design and Marketing student, a junior at Harrison High School, has been in front of the footlights since he was a toddler, having made his stage debut at the age of 6 in a show at his older sister’s high school.

Devon also spends nearly as much time in Manhattan, both to see new Broadway and offBroadway shows and to audition for upcoming projects. With a mother and sister both working professionally in theater costuming, the stage is in Devon’s blood, and he wants to keep it that way.

Devon Krobetzky

The young actor landed his first lead role at the age of 11, as Pippin at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, and has appeared in more than 15 productions with theater groups throughout

BOCES Students Get a Taste of Broadway The fascinating, whirling-dervish life of a Broadway costume mistress left a lasting impression on a group of SWBOCES Fashion Design and Marketing students recently, who traveled to Manhattan to get a behind-the-scenes lesson from both a costumer and an actress currently working at “Phantom of the Opera.” Students in Carmen Galiano’s class sat in on a class with costumer Vicky Plummer and actress Kris Koop, both from “Phantom,” to learn more about the elaborate costumes created for the long-running Broadway show and the chaos that often goes along with the job. Ms. Plummer told student she started her career as a seamstress in New York’s Garment District, then eventually moved on to working as a seamstress and costume assistant behind the scenes at “Phantom.” Staging each performance, she said, requires dozens of costume assistants because

Devon, like many young actors in Westchester, sees the theater community here as “a smaller New York City.” “It’s a small world,” he says, “but it never stops growing.” Some of the same young actors audition and perform for several of the region’s theater groups, said Devon, so there are always friendly faces at auditions.

Since that first curtain call, Devon’s life in the theater has become nearly a full-time job. He recently starred in The Pulse Theater Company’s production of the hit Broadway rock-opera, RENT. Playing Mark Cohen, one of the musical’s leads, he said, was one of his dreams. He also was costume supervisor for the show, which gave him the opportunity to learn more about that field. Now Devon is excited about traveling to Europe with Pulse’s Infinity Repertory Co. in August, when the Bedford Hills acting troupe will perform an original rock musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and in other European cities. They are also expected to perform in a preview of the musical at the East to Edinburgh Festival, held earlier in the summer in New York City.

Westchester County, including Pulse, the Young Artists Repertory Co., The Edge Repertory Co., and the Times Square Group. He has performed in venues that include the Tarrytown Music Hall, Westchester Broadway Theater, the White Plains Performing Arts Center, and others.

of its frequent costume changes, numerous cast members and elaborate, heavy costumes. The students had a chance to see bead-laden costumes and pass around a number of accessories from the show while Ms. Plummer spoke. “Phantom,” which just celebrated its 21st year on Broadway in late January, requires costume assistants who can run fast, carry heavy gowns and maintain their cool under intense pressure, said Ms. Plummer. “Sometimes, when I’m picking up smelly socks after a show, I remind myself that I’m a college graduate,” she said. “But the work is so much fun.” 4

Like most high school juniors, Devon has aspirations for college; and plans to apply to Carnegie Mellon and New York University, among others. The challenge for him is squeezing auditions, rehearsals and shows into an already hectic pace that includes college applications and visits. The frantic schedule, though, keeps him disciplined. “When you’re doing a show, you’re easily out until 11 p.m. on school nights,” he said. “So it’s not easy. But if you love it, you find a way.” Most costumers, said Ms. Plummer, pay their dues by beginning as “swing” dressers, working behind the scenes as stand-ins and assisting actors in costume changes. Most “swings” need several months of shadowing another dresser before they understand all the scene changes, costume changes and cues. Anyone who works in wardrobe on Broadway must be a member of the Theatrical Wardrobe Union, and membership in the union requires a minimum of 30 days of work, she explained. Kris Koop, an actress and member of the “Phantom” ensemble, explained to the students that actors also wear microphone packs and wires, making the dresser’s job more complex. According to union rules, she said, costume staff are not permitted to touch microphones, a job for the sound crew. Continued on page 5


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College Acceptance Letters are Rolling in…

Like high school seniors everywhere, dozens of BOCES students have spent the spring months opening letters from colleges and universities around the country, hoping for good news. On the Career Services campus, dozens of seniors have received that good news with acceptance letters from some of the country’s top-notch colleges and trade schools. Here is just a sampling of the students who have received good news: Tiffany Spagnuolo of West Lake High School, a student in the Fashion Design program: Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, Calif. Gina Pezzolanti of Valhalla High School, a student in the Fashion Design program: Fashion Institute of Technology, Manhattan.

three years of study at Oneonta and one year of student at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Roberto Cervantes of New Rochelle High School, a student in the Automotive Technology Program. Universal Technical Institute in Pennsylvania, on a scholarship.

Christopher D’Ambrosio of Eastchester High School, a student in the Culinary Arts program: Johnson & Wales University and SUNY Delhi.

Andrea Nesci of New Rochelle High School, a student in the Fashion Design program: State University of New York at Oneonta’s three-in-one program, which includes

BOCES Students Get a Taste... Continued from page 4

But sometimes, when you’re dealing with hoop skirts and long trains, she said, “you do what you have to do.” Ms. Koop, who has played the role of Carlotta, the diva in “Phantom,” said that some of the

Douglas McGirt of Woodlands High School, a student in the Automotive Technology Program. SUNY Morrisville and University of Northwestern Ohio.

Latoya Smith of New Rochelle High School, a student in Culinary Arts: Johnson & Wales University.

Eric Young of Harrison High School, a student in Culinary Arts: Westchester Community College

Lisa Abdalla of New Rochelle High School, a student in Culinary Arts: Johnson & Wales University.

character’s costumes cost upwards of $750,000 to make. BOCES students who attended the costuming class, along with Ms. Galiano and English Rich Grizzuti, then attended a matinee of “Phantom of the Opera,” which is playing at the Majestic Theater. SWBOCES Fashion Design and Merchandising students and teachers with Phantom of the Opera star Kris Koop, kneeling, center.

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Jackie Petix of New Rochelle High School, a student in Culinary Arts: Westchester Community College. Gennaro Servillo of New Rochelle High School, a student in Culinary Art: Monroe College. Jessica Shaw of White Plains High School, a student in the Culinary Arts program: State University of New York at Delhi

SWBOCES Media Show The Career Services Media show, showcasing the works of our students, will be held on Thursday, May 28th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Valhalla campus.


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Campus Monitor Uses a Gentle Touch Joe DeCaprio has become a familiar face on the Center for Career Services campus in Valhalla, where he was hired in the fall as a campus monitor.

SWBOCES Center for Career Services 65 Grasslands Road Valhalla, NY 10595 914-761-3400 Linda Maria Suarez, Director Dr. Clement Ceccarelli, Supervisor, Secondary Day Career & Technical Education Dr. Colleen Murray, Supervisor, Basic Occupational Education Eileen Bloom, Supervisor, Alternative Education Evelyn McCormack, Newsletter Editor Southern Westchester BOCES 17 Berkley Drive Rye Brook, NY 10573 914-937-3820 www.swboces.org Board of Education President, John DeSantis Vice President, Beverly A. Levine Nancy Fisher Richard Glickstein James Miller Georgia Riedel Joseph Wooley Robert Monson, Ph.D., District Superintendent Sandra Simpson, Deputy District Superintendent Assistant Superintendents Raymond Healey, Ph.D., Special Education

Mr. DeCaprio, who provides campus security and monitors the whereabouts of the campus’ 800 students, is retired from the New York City Transit Authority, where he worked for more than 13 years. In addition to his years with the Transit Authority, Mr. DeCaprio has held a variety of jobs, from providing security in the New York Yankees team locker room at Yankee Stadium, to working as a camp counselor in Eastchester. While his job at Career Services sometimes calls upon his security experience, said Mr. DeCaprio, he prefers to deal with students in a friendly, respectful away. “Sure, some of the kids make siren noises when they see me coming,” he said. “But it’s all in good fun and I deal with them diplomatically. I have to be firm with students who should be in class, but most of them are good kids.” Mr. DeCaprio worked his way up the ladder in his years with the Transit Authority, starting as a cleaner, then moving on to maintenance and finally, to operating the A, B, C, D, F and J lines of the city’s vast subway system. A Bronx native, he grew up playing in the Villa Roller Hockey League there, where he occasion-

Joe DeCaprio

ally played against an older kid, Ray “Junior” Sulla. Mr. Sulla now teaches in the Emergency and Protective Services Program at Career Services. Mr. DeCaprio still lives in the Bronx, now in Woodlawn. He is married to Jacquelou DeCaprio and they have a five-year-old son, Robert. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing at the Croton and Kensico Reservoirs and hunting in upstate New York.

Nancy A. Jorgensen, Ed.D., Human Resources Marcel Vales, Business and Administrative Services The Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services, its officers and employees, shall not discriminate against any student, employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, gender, age, handicapping condition or sexual orientation. This policy of nondiscrimination includes access by students to educational programs, counseling services for students, course offerings and student activities, recruitment, appointment and promotion of employees, and employment pay and benefits, and it is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and then promulgated thereunder, not to discriminate in such a manner. SWBOCES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER Title IX Coordinator Michael Gargiulo, Director of Human Resources Section 504 Coordinator Thomas DiBuono, Director of Facilities and Operations “The Mission of Southern Westchester BOCES is to collaborate with school districts and communities to meet their educational challenges by providing regional leadership and cost-effective, high-quality services.”

Four students from the SWBOCES Culinary Arts program were presented to regional school officials April 15, after cooking and serving for the SWBOCES Annual Meeting. Working that evening were, left to right, teaching assistant Jack Palevic, Jessica Shaw of White Plains High School, Mayron Vazquez of Sleepy Hollow High School, Eric Young of Harrison High School, Gennaro Servillo of New Rochelle High School, and Chef Peter Tomaskovic. 6

Tools of the Trade Newsletter  

The newsletter published by the SWBOCES Center for Career Services

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