Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Student of Distinction Finds Cybersecurity Career Path

January 17, 2019

Eighteen-year-old James Murphy and his parents arrived a few minutes early to Lakeland Central School District’s January Board of Education meeting, giving them time to chat with his teacher and principal in the reception area.
James, in a dark suit, shirt, and gray tie, looked like a young professional as he spoke confidently with the adults. Thanks to the preparation offered through Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES’ Microcomputer Technology program, the two-year course James attended while a student at Walter Panas High School, he was just that.
“BOCES’ Microcomputer Technology program has been a great introduction to programming, coding, and networking,” said James. “I got a great foundation at BOCES.”
One of the first pieces of business at the Board meeting on January 17 was to honor James as a BOCES Student of Distinction.
Jim Bellucci, principal of the Career Academy at BOCES’ Tech Center, and Dr. Joseph DeCicco, instructor with BOCES’ Microcomputer Technology course, asked James to join them at the podium. They highlighted James’ accomplishments; describing him as in the top  one percent of students at the Tech Center and a member of the National Technical Honor Society. 
 “James has exceeded all expectations,” said Bellucci. “When he entered the Microcomputer Technology program as a junior, I saw immediately that he was a hard-working young man. Little did I know what a phenomenal programmer he’d be. He also creates jaw-dropping graphics.”
 “James plans to study cybersecurity in college and is already accepted into Iona College and the State University of New York at Albany,” said Dr. DeCicco. “I know he will be successful in his pursuit of this career and in his future endeavors.”
Dr. George Stone, superintendent of Lakeland School District, and BOCES Board member Tina Mackay awarded James the Student of Distinction medal and certificate.
“With so many news stories of computers being hacked, we wonder if computer networks will ever be secure again,” said Dr. DeCicco afterwards. “With young people like James going into cybersecurity, I’d say yes.”