This article has been revised to correct the enrollment numbers in the second paragraph.
Students in Peekskill schools can expect to hear much more about the courses available to them at the BOCES Tech Center in the wake of an upbeat presentation to the Board of Education by six of their peers Tuesday night.
The Career Technology Education Program, which prepares students for college and trades, offers more than 40 courses of study through 10 career academies at the Yorktown Tech Center of the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services. The center’s enrollment of 1,000 high school students and 75 adults includes 76 Peekskill students.
BOCES, which serves 18 school districts including Peekskill, offers career courses, some of which are eligible for college credit, in a variety of fields including business, communications, construction, cosmetology, environment, health, hospitality, teaching and transportation, said Catherine Balestrieri, director of career and technical education, who introduced the presentation. Many of the offerings are available in Spanish.
The first Peekskill presenter, culinary student Brian Ricciardi, clad in white kitchen garb, spoke of his desire to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and become a pastry chef.
Urban forestry students Shaheim Terry and Brandon Browne emphasized the importance of learning to use equipment safely and the prospect of good jobs outdoors, including “being in the trees.”
In the fields of advertising art and digital design, Braulio Morocho is busy preparing for a May 17 art show at the Tech Center and eventually hopes to open his own art studio while Margaret Krapish has her eye on the Fashion Institute of Technology and freelance fashion design.
Medical assistant student Aliyah Singleton hopes to join the fast-growing ranks of nurse practitioners. She emphasized the importance of working as a team to provide the best possible health care.
Board members complimented the students on their presentations and their poise and offered belated thanks to BOCES for the culinary program’s “excellent” cookies and pastries sent to the Administration Center two weeks ago, when this week’s presentation was originally scheduled.
“We’re proud and impressed with what we heard tonight,” board President Joseph Urbanowicz said.
School officials, including James Willis, superintendent of schools, and Joseph Mosey, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, acknowledged that, while Peekskill runs a tour bus to the center, the district could do more to promote the array of BOCES offerings and pledged to do so. Guidance counselors will be encouraged to show students – in middle as well as high school – Tech Center offerings that may be of interest to them. Urbanowicz, who has a long-standing interest in occupational and technical education, encouraged parents to visit the center with their children.
Additional information about the Tech Center, including course offerings, summer camps and virtual tours of some programs, are available on the center’s Web site, www.pnwboces.org/tech Please click here, then "view the agenda," then scroll down to item E and click on the attachment to watch "Are You Ready?" a marketing video.