Career and Technical Education Graduates Nearly 500 Students

June 05, 2018

Friends, family, and graduates filled the one thousand chairs set on the lawn of Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES’ campus for the 2018 Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school graduation. 
The nearly five 500 graduates represented the 18 districts of Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES and beyond, and each of the 30-plus career-minded tracks offered—ranging from Animal Care, Animation and Motion Graphics, and Architectural Design and Modeling, to Urban Forestry/Arboriculture, Veterinary Science, and Welding. Dozens of students also earned college credits from Mercy College and Westchester Community College.
“It’s an honor to recognize this tremendously talented group,” said CTE Director Catherine Balestrieri in her opening address.
“We’re so pleased to celebrate the accomplishments these students have achieved,” said District Superintendent Dr. James M. Ryan.  “You are well prepared. Many of you have outstanding placements in the workforce and at colleges and universities. All the best and congratulations.”
Two students offered reflections.
Jacqueline A. San Jose, a New Visions Health graduate from the Somers Central School District, spoke about the diversity of students at CTE. “Here, we meet people from all different backgrounds. We can’t create walls or echo-chambers of our own perspectives. In our classes, where all we might have in common is a shared career interest, I have witnessed the formation of great comradery.”
“What sets Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES apart is its amazing staff,” said Stephanie Mandelkow, a Sports Medicine graduate from the Hendrick Hudson School District. “I loved every minute of Dr. Brightman’s classes.”
She offered her classmates basketball-great Michael Jordan’s thoughts on perseverance: “Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Stephen W. Lowery, Executive Principal of CTE, and James Bellucci, Career Academy Principal, also spoke, followed by a closing poem offered by Britney J. Javier, an Auto Body graduate from Lakeland Central School District.