Croton High School’s Senator Bjorge Honored as BOCES Student of Distinction

January 02, 2018

Croton-Harmon High School senior Senator Bjorge is months away from graduation, but after getting clarity on his future by attending BOCES, he knows what he wants to do and has already been accepted into college. A second year Urban Forestry student at the Career and Technical Education Center at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, Bjorge will attend Paul Smith College in the Adirondacks, to pursue a degree in Arboriculture and Landscape Management.
At the most recent Croton-Harmon Board of Education meeting, he was named a BOCES Student of Distinction for his achievement in the Urban Forestry program. His awards, a certificate of recognition and a medal of honor, were presented to him by Tech Center Principal Jim Bellucci and Croton-Harmon Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward Fuhrman.

“I can’t say enough about Senator, he is what every parent wants their child to be,” Bellucci said. “He’s a student who inspires the students and staff around him and his enthusiasm for what he does in the Urban Forestry classroom spreads to everyone he works with.”

Bjorge, whose lifelong fascination with heavy machinery dates back to his early childhood, said he first became interested in the Urban Forestry program while attending a metal working camp at the Tech Center campus. After two years in the program, he says he couldn’t be happier with the relationships he has developed and all that he has learned.

 “I saw the equipment while going to camp at BOCES and thought it was all really cool,” Bjorge said. “I’m happy I joined the program. You learn so much in class, from how to operate the heavy machinery to the different diseases that plants and trees may get, and how to diagnose and save them.”

Bjorge added that his experiences in the program aren’t only educational, but fun as well and that he enjoys his time with his friends and the faculty there.

 “My favorite things about my classes are the camaraderie of the students and the teachers – they’re great. They all make it fun to learn. Even when we’re inside doing paperwork, it’s still fun.”

Bjorge’s enthusiasm for the BOCES program and early college acceptance are a reflection of his outlook on life.  Never one to sit on his hands, he has been involved with his local fire department since the age of 14, is a member of the Croton-Harmon High School swim team, ski team and tennis team, and is a volunteer with the Croton Senior Citizen program. Additionally, he has spent time in Canada attending whale camp at the Bay of Fundy and works maintaining trails at the Teatown Nature Preserve, where he also spends summers working as a camp counselor.

His parents, Kim and Victor Bjorge, are proud of their son’s many accomplishments, and praise BOCES for helping him develop his passions.

“I am beyond proud of Senator,” Mrs. Bjorge said. “I am not surprised, because I always knew he had this in him, but I’m just happy he is being recognized for his hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. His father and I are just incredibly proud. High school can be difficult. Being accepted to college before he even started his senior year is a huge accomplishment, and now this is just the cherry on the cake,” she said, referring to the Student of Distinction honor. “BOCES has helped him immensely. It confirmed his inner desire to do this, and gave him the opportunity to learn in such a loving, nurturing environment. BOCES gives their students a real sense of responsibility and the fact that he has been able to shoulder this responsibility and then thrive in the situation is really phenomenal. It’s such a privilege to have him be able to partake in this program.”

When asked how it felt to be honored as a Student of Distinction, Bjorge smiled proudly.

“It feels pretty amazing to be recognized for working hard and trying to do the best you can with everything.”

PHOTO: (From L to R): Tech Center Principal Jim Bellucci, Victor Bjorge, Senator Bjorge, Croton-Harmon Superintendent Dr. Edward Fuhrman, Kim Bjorge and Croton-Harmon Board President Iris Bugliosi