After enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast, compliments of the ESBOCES Culinary Arts students, the counselors secured a seat and fastened their seat belts for a journey into the world of Career and Technical Education programs at ESBOCES.
Culinary Arts students from Matt Kozak’s program Justin Twining, South Country CSD; Dominique Marquart, Bay Shore UFSD; Brittany Broderick, Patchogue-Medford UFSD; Ryan Wagner, West Islip UFSD; Jesse Chiorando, Westhampton Beach UFSD; Rick Casdia, Mount Sinai UFSD, and Tom Ward, Patchogue-Medford UFSD.Suffolk Aviation Academy Principal Joseph Delgado got things off the ground by thanking the counselors for taking the time to attend. He said, “I am gratified and grateful that the school districts send us some of the best students. We have 102 students, 32 are second year students, and 29 of them have already flown solo. Can you imagine puddle jumping to Poughkeepsie or Connecticut while you are still in high school? Some of the students have to have their parents pick them up, because they don’t even have a driver’s license yet.”
Principal Joe Delgado addresses the audience.
Counselors from the Miller Place UFSD, Connetquot CSD, Bayport/Blue Point CSD, Three Village CSD, and Hauppauge UFSD enjoyed breakfast prepared by the ESBOCES Culinary Arts students and said they looked forward to attending the district contact meetings to secure information about the ESBOCES programs.Several guidance counselors from area schools agreed. They said they come each year to the District Contact Meeting to get updates on the ESBOCES programs. When they find the right student and match them with the right program, it’s worthwhile for the student and their future.
Guidance Counselors listening to the presentations by the ESBOCES guidance counselors.After breakfast, the counselors were directed into the BOCES hangar for a presentation by adult student Justin Zumo, and Kevin Grasshandler, a student from the Sachem CSD. Both set their sights on being aviation airframe technicians. Kevin said, “I like working with my hands and I like planes. I feel like I have the best of all worlds because I’m here at ESBOCES.”
Justin Zumo, adult student, Airframe Mechanic teacher Gregg Karp, and Kevin Grasshandler, Sachem CSD, pose by the 1958 Cessna 175 that is being repaired and renovated by the ESBOCES students. They just unveiled the new windshield they installed.Kevin secured an apprenticeship position at the Bayport Aerodrome, working there on the weekends and after school. He said of his ESBOCES experience, “I receive my academics here in the classroom and then I walk next door into a hangar and get the experience of working on planes. It’s great having the chance to take a plane apart and put it back together again.”
The counselors gathered in the ESBOCES hangar to here the student presentations.Currently, the Airframe Technician students are in the process of renovating and rebuilding a 1958 Cessna 175. The plane is privately owned and on loan to the students. The owner is paying for the cost of all the renovations and the students reap the rewards of getting hands-on experience. The experience, skill, and knowledge Kevin Grasshandler acquired at ESBOCES helped him wing his way into an aero technical school in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kevin will be transferring in 36 college credits. While at ESBOCES he was able to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe Certification. The ESBOCES program meets the FAA certification standards and emphasizes hands-on experience in maintenance and repair of aircraft engines and airframes.Justin Zumo, now an Adult Education student, had attended ESBOCES while in high school during his junior year. He said, “I wish I had continued my education here at ESBOCES. After graduating from high school, all I could think of was how much I enjoyed working on and around planes. I secured a job at Long Island MacArthur Airport and now I’m back here at ESBOCES to get certified. It’s the best decision I’ve made.”Principal Joe Delgado summed it up saying, “It’s all about time on task and positive outcomes. We get 100% from the students. This is the best place in the world to work and we look forward three times a year to share career information with the district guidance counselors.