Sackett and REC team up to dance

Sackett Educational Center students held a dance May 1st

Sackett Educational Center students held a dance May 1st

Students at Questar III’s Sackett Educational Center held a school dance on May 1st, but it was far more than just music and dancing.

Earlier this year, the student council requested to have a dance for students. They decided to hold the dance during the school day because students attend Sackett from several districts, and transportation could be a challenge if it was scheduled in the evening.

The clinical team at Sackett had been working with staff at Questar III’s Rensselaer Educational Center about the possibility of rewards from CTE students (like baked goods or haircuts) as part of Sackett’s behavior management plan. When the student council asked to hold a dance, staff at Sackett immediately thought of REC cosmetology students.

Sackett Dance Prep_6“It was a natural progression to request that CTE cosmetology students be invited to help students prepare for the dance by offering hair and makeup services,” Sackett Social Worker Jane Govola said.

“I am very proud of the collaboration that we initiated this year between our REC Cosmetology students and the Sackett Center. Our Cosmetology students were very excited to travel to a different Questar building, showcase their skills, and help the Sackett students feel pampered and special for their big dance,” REC Psychologist Allison Janis said.

When the cosmetology students arrived, they set up in a classroom and treated theSackett Dance Prep_2 Sackett students who wanted hair or makeup done like customer in a salon or barbershop. Govola said all the students involved had just as good a time preparing for the dance as they did actually dancing!

It’s not just Sackett who reaps the benefits of this collaboration. CTE students can receive internship/service credit for providing service to Sackett students.

“This is a win-win situation,” said Govola. “The CTE students were very enthusiastic, friendly, and skilled.”

As for moving forward? Janis hopes this is just the beginning.

“I think all of the students really enjoyed this experience, and the feedback that they received was wonderful. I hope that we can continue this collaboration in the future.”

Students shine at State SkillsUSA

Career Development Facilitator Lyn Seftner and Wesley Knichel (Ichabod Crane) -1st place - Job Interview

Career Development Facilitator Lynn Seftner and Wesley Knichel (Ichabod Crane) -1st place – Job Interview

Questar III’s career and technical education (CTE) students competed at the 2015 SkillsUSA State competition held at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY. This marks the 11th year our CTE students have finished in the top three statewide.

The SkillsUSA competition, which is judged by industry professionals, tests technical and professional skills through hands-on and written contests including construction, information technology and welding.

Students from Columbia-Greene Educational Center (CGEC) and Rensselaer Educational Center (REC) competed against more than 2,300 students from 83 trade and technical schools. Over 1,000 industry partners attended the 49th annual event and served as contest chairs and judges.

Michael Pinney Jr. (Greenville)  2nd place HVAC and HVAC teacher Michael Veeder

Michael Pinney Jr. (Greenville) – 2nd place HVAC and HVAC teacher Michael Veeder

Congratulations to the three Questar III students who earned awards at the state competition and to HVAC teacher Danny Ramirez, who accepted the nomination for Area 3 SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year.

In addition, Anthony Capece (Averill Park) accepted the nomination for New York State treasurer position for the 2015-16 school year. First place winners go on to compete at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky on June 22.

Columbia-Greene Educational Center, Hudson

1st place winner – Wesley Knichel (Ichabod Crane) – Job interview

2nd place winner – Michael Pinney Jr. (Greenville) – HVAC

Rensselear Educational Center, Troy

Caleb Hendricks (Berlin) 3rd place - Carpentry

Caleb Hendricks (Berlin) – 3rd place – Carpentry

3rd place winner – Caleb Hendricks (Berlin) – Carpentry

“We are extremely proud of our students, along with students from REC, who competed at the state conference in Syracuse. These students showed a positive attitude, confidence and excitement,” said CGEC SkillsUSA advisor, Craig Church. “I thank the faculty and staff for their support. Each of them play a vital role in preparing our students for the competition.”

SkillsUSA is a national organization for high school students enrolled in CTE programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.

Questar III welcomes new staff

Questar III welcomed the following new staff members in April:

Adult LPN program
Andrea M. Christensen, LPN Clinical Instructor
Patricia Robertson, Health Occupations Teacher

Berlin Pre-K Program
Victoria Styer, Pre-K Teaching Assistant

Central Office
Melissa J. Macaluso, Special Education Specialist

George Washington Elementary
Stacey Shelhamer, Teaching Assistant

Maple Hill Middle School
Abigail Fox, Teaching Assistant

Sackett Educational Center
Ayla Mertturk, School Psychologist

AIT program kick starts career

Eric_MassmanEric Maassmann enrolled in the Academy for Information Technology (AIT) program at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center because it fit well with his future goals and allowed him to kick start his education and career.

A 2008 graduate of Cairo-Durham High School, Maassmann said the AIT program challenged and engaged his interests.

“The time in class flew by, the work was very dynamic, and I was introduced to a number of different concepts while in the program,” said Maassmann. “In many cases these concepts were new to me, allowing me to discover different professional fields.”

This included Software Engineering, Front End Engineering and Network Engineering.

After graduation from high school, Maassmann continued his education at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and earned a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering Technology.

In 2014, Maassmann took a position as part of the support team with Meraki Inc., a start-up company in Silicon Valley that was later acquired by Cisco.

“My major responsibilities consisted of working with end customers on troubleshooting their network, communicating best practice recommendations, and documentation/testing bugs for the Software Development team,” said Maassmann. “I focused on learning and studying 802.11 wireless networking during my time in support and earned my Certified Wireless Network Administrator as part of the CWNP program.”

Maassman was recently promoted to the position of Wireless Product Specialist which is a part of the Wireless Product team at Cisco. He acts as the liaison between all of the departments of the company, working closely with the Wireless Product Manager and the Software Development Team.

Maassmann praised the AIT program and the broad skill-set that allows teacher Mike Knichel to engage each student’s interests for success.

“The AIT program opened up a number of opportunities for me in the Network Engineering to Software Engineering fields, said Maassmann. “For students enrolled in the program, challenge yourself and learn as much as you can from the program, if you like what you are doing now it only gets better!”

Questar III also offers the two-year AIT program at the Rensselaer Educational Center in Troy.

Graduate expands local business

Melony Coons is the sole proprietor of a successful business at the age of 23. Learn how this Ichabod Crane graduate, who completed the cosmetology program at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center, is expanding her hair salon. Click the link below to read this story from the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation.

http://goo.gl/eAf4oN

Cooking their way to scholarships

Culinary teams from Rensselaer Educational Center and Columbia-Greene Educational Center

Culinary teams from Rensselaer Educational Center and Columbia-Greene Educational Center

Culinary Arts students from Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center (CGEC) in Hudson and Rensselaer Educational Center (REC) in Troy competed in the ProStart competition at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY on March 13 and 14.

CGEC cooked their way to second place and REC placed third in the competition. Each team received the following scholarships:

                                                 2nd Place CGEC                  3rd Place REC

Culinary Institute Of America                 $1,000                                   $1,000

Johnson and Whales                              $1,000                                   $500

Paul Smith                                               $1,000                                   $1,000

SUNY Cobleskill                                       $1,000                                   $1,000

SUNY SCCC                                            $1,000                                   $1,000

New England Culinary Institute                $10,000                                 $9,000

IUP                                                            $1,000                                   $1,000

Arts Institute                                              $1,000                                   $1,000

Monroe College                                         $1,000                                   $1,000

The CGEC Culinary team led by Culinary Arts teacher Peter Desmond consisted of Dalton Howard (Catskill), Christina Baker (Taconic Hills), Cody Arp (Catskill), Greg Fasulo (Greenville) and Alternate- Heather Ford (Ichabod)

The CGEC Culinary team led by Culinary Arts teacher Peter Desmond consisted of Dalton Howard (Catskill), Christina Baker (Taconic Hills), Cody Arp (Catskill), Greg Fasulo (Greenville) and Alternate- Heather Ford (Ichabod)

At the culinary event, teams had 60 minutes and two portable butane burners to prepare and serve a three-course meal. They were judged on presentation, taste, food safety and sanitation, teamwork, knife skills, food costs and professionalism.

Culinary Arts teacher Peter Desmond said both teams spent many hours preparing for the competition.

“It is very challenging to make a three course meal on just two burners, but they worked together

and really displayed their skills and professionalism,” said Chef Desmond.

The REC Culinary team led by Culinary Arts teacher Andrew Ottati consisted of Charli Spiegel (Averill Park), Haley Scott (Lansingburgh), Kaitlin Carrasquillo (Brunswick), Samantha Foglia (East Greenbush) and Morgan Percey (Schodack).

The REC Culinary team led by Culinary Arts teacher Andrew Ottati consisted of Charli Spiegel (Averill Park), Haley Scott (Lansingburgh), Kaitlin Carrasquillo (Brunswick), Samantha Foglia (East Greenbush) and Morgan Percey (Schodack).

ProStart, a two-year career-building program for high school students who are interested in culinary arts and restaurant and foodservice management, enables students to study in the classroom, participate in mentored work experiences and test their skills in local and national competitions.

 

 

 

 

QIII Aviation grad earns CFI

Bernie Watt, a former Aviation student at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center (CGEC) recently passed his practical test to become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

Bernie Watt photoWatts’ interest in aviation began in his early teens. At 14, he took a discovery flight with Questar III Aviation teacher, John Mahony and fell in love with flying. Two years later, as a junior at Ichabod Crane High School, he enrolled in the two-year Aviation program at CGEC.

“It is a lot of responsibility to fly a plane,” said Watt. “Students who enroll in the Aviation program at QIII need to be dedicated and put in the time after school and on weekends.”

After graduation from high school, Watt went on to Schenectady Community College where he double majored and received his Associate of Science degrees in Aviation Science and Math & Science.

“The process to become a Certified Flight Instructor is lengthy,” said Watt.

Before applying to take his CFI practical test, Watt secured his private pilot license, became instrument rated and then secured his commercial pilot license which required 250 hours of flight time and an additional medical exam.

The CFI practical test is administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and consists of taking two written exams, six to eight hours of oral questioning and approximately two hours of flight time. “It was a long road and a lot of hours to get here but well worth it,” said Watt.

Watt is currently working as a Lineman at Richmor Aviation where he hopes to transition to a flight instructor position. In the future, Watt would like to continue his education by earning a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and obtain enough flight hours to become a Charter Pilot.

Students earn awards at SkillsUSA

Questar III’s career and technical education (CTE) students excelled at the 2015 SkillsUSA regional competition on March 18. The regional competition took place at Schenectady County Community College, Modern Welding and Stratton Air National Guard Base.

Students serviced automobiles, prepared dinners, styled hair and delivered speeches as part of the annual competition testing job-related and technical skills.

Congratulations to the 19 Questar III students who earned awards at the regional competition and to HVAC teacher Danny Ramirez, who was nominated for SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year.

Columbia-Greene Educational Center, Hudson

First Place:

  • Michael Pinney Jr. (Greenville) – HVAC

Second Place:

  • Wesley Knichel (Ichabod Crane) – Job Interview
  • Samuel Waite (Taconic Hills) – Internetworking

Third Place:

  • Shylee Bain (Coxsackie-Athens) – Cosmetology Junior
  • Marcus Hinds (Hudson) – Auto Vehicle Maintenance
  • Zach Kerr (Hudson) – Internetworking
  • Jacob Mabb (Ichabod Crane) – Welding
  • Tee Quan Davis (Hudson) – Food Prep Assistant

Fourth Place:

  • Russell Lewis (Greenville) – HVAC

Fifth Place:

  • Morgan Knott (Ichabod Crane) – Junior Cosmetology

Rensselaer Educational Center, Troy

First Place:

  • Caleb Hendricks (Berlin) – Carpentry
  • Chris Salvati (East Greenbush) – Networking (CISCO)

Second Place:

  • Alyssa Casatelli (East Greenbush) – Cosmetology
  • Doug Haskins (Lansingburgh) – HVAC
  • Madison Paloski (East Greenbush) – Cosmetology

Fourth Place:

  • Shane Barney (East Greenbush) – Carpentry

Fifth Place:

  • Garrett Bartlett (Tamarac) – HVAC
  • Marrisa Littlejohn (East Greenbush) – Cosmetology
  • Ryan Ramundo (East Greenbush) – Automotive Mechanics Technology

SkillsUSA is a national organization for high school students enrolled in CTE programs. It provides quality educational experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.

CGEC students help build homes

Students at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center (CGEC) in Hudson have been helping build homes with Columbia County Habitat for Humanity.

CGEC students stand in front of townhomes being built at 206 Columbia Street in Hudson.

CGEC students stand in front of townhomes being built at 206 Columbia Street in Hudson.

Construction Technologies and Building Trades students have been working on the townhomes being built at 206 Columbia Street in Hudson one day a week per month since the beginning of the school year.

The townhomes the students have been working on have been designed to incorporate energy-saving, high performance Passive House technology and building materials making these homes affordable for families and economically sustainable for the long term.CGEC-habitat-for-humanity-018

“Our students are gaining hands-on experience in residential building, including framing, insulations, door/window installation, siding, trim and interior finishes,” said Construction Technologies teacher Bill Ebel.

Columbia County Habitat for Humanity, founded in 1993, is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. To date, their volunteers have built safe, affordable housing for 16 families. They make home ownership possible for lower-income working families through no-interest mortgages. To encourage re-use and recycling as well as generate revenue for building projects, Habitat operates the ReStore, adjacent to their office on Route 66, just north of 9H in Hudson, NY. Learn more about Columbia County Habitat for Humanity.

Rensselaer Educational Center also continues to support Capital District Habitat for Humanity (CDHfH) locally in Troy.