Tech Center Graduates Ready for a Bright Future


Pictured Above: The graduation ceremony for Tech Center students on the campus of Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES this week. Pictured Below: Tech Center graduates Kristen Corona, Lindsey Civita and Nicole Gardineer, from Mahopac.

Graduates of the Tech Center at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES are not only ready for college and careers, they are ready for life. That was the consensus of the three student speakers at Wednesday’s graduation on the BOCES’ Yorktown campus. The graduates represented the 40 programs Tech has to offer.

Valedictorian Leah Feniger said she not only feels better prepared for a career in Computer Graphics because of The Tech Center, but she feels better prepared for the practical side of life as well. “We learned about business and finance and even how to do our taxes,” said Feniger, who is from North Salem.

Salutatorian Jesse Fleming, also from North Salem, said being a Sports Medicine student enabled him to find himself and discover his desire to become a doctor one day. “The hands-on techniques we learned were inspiring and exciting,” he said, “and I learned more in this class than I have in all four years of high school.”

Computer Graphics student Chelsea Horsfield, from Walter Panas High School, said that the staff and teachers at The Tech Center prepared her well for the future and supported her like a family. “I learned more than I could ever say, including how to write a good resume.”

Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES District Superintendent James Ryan spoke at the ceremony as did Tech Center Director Cathy Balestrieri and principals Steve Lowery and Jim Bellucci. BOCES board members and area district superintendents were also on hand for the celebration.

“The passion and commitment you have is really amazing to see,” Dr. Ryan told the students. “We are so proud of you!”

More than 400 students graduated from the Tech Center with training and expertise in such fields as culinary arts, fashion design, computer technology, environmental science, healthcare, computer graphics, digital film, law enforcement, urban forestry, auto mechanics and education. The program for the graduation ceremony listed pages of scholarships, honors and awards received by the graduating class including top honors in statewide competitions and scholarships from community and professional organizations.