We were honored to host two of our County Commissioners on Monday, May 2, 2022. County Commissioners Tony Amadio and Jack Manning met with our Administration, three of our Joint Operating Committee (JOC) members and BVIU’s Executive Director to discuss BCCTC’s expanding population and how that could positively affect our surrounding communities and local economy.
David A. Wytiaz, Administrative Director, credits his instructional staff for the significant increase in the population of the CTC. “Our teachers are here for the right reasons – to teach these students relevant industry skills – and we see their successes after they graduate when they return to share their good fortune. The generous articulated credits from our educational partner, CCBC, will also make a difference for those students who choose to further their education right here in Beaver County in the completion of an associate degree.”
“BCCTC is an economic engine for our economy,” said Commissioner Manning, who has a background in manufacturing and is the former President of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce.
Laura DelVecchio, Assistant Administrative Director stated, “I appreciate you (the Commissioners) looking to our school as an investment, and we are committed to the believe of building a strong workforce because workforce development leads to economic development, and this county is in need of economic development.”
BCCTC has been teaching technical education for over forty years and the momentum isn’t slowing down any time soon. As both parents and students recognize the value that a career and technical education can provide, BCCTC offers seventeen (17) programs that will help students build the foundation of a wage-sustaining career, a good educational base for college, the proper preparation for an apprenticeship, or an avenue to a skilled position serving our country.
Commissioner Amadio, a retired educator with the former Center School District said, “I supported this school as an educator and will support this CTC now as a commissioner.”
BCCTC offers approximately 45 state-wide industry certifications factoring all of the programs at the site. Students enjoy participating in both their sending district extra-curricular activities and having the opportunity of participating in one or more career-related clubs or organizations. “Our staff of BCCTC and the JOC celebrates the successes of our students, and we are overjoyed of all of the opportunities we can provide to them right here,” said Ms. DelVecchio.
The Administration and BCCTC Staff sincerely thank both Commissioners, Dr. Eric Rosendale, Chief School Administrator, Mary Jo Kehoe, JOC Chairperson from the Ambridge Area School District, Ron Miller, JOC Vice-Chair from the Big Beaver Falls School District, and Dennis Bloom, JOC Member from the Central Valley School District, for their attendance and for assisting in the vision of BCCTC’s future and mission to offer a quality career and technical education to those students we serve!
2016 Veterinary Assistant graduate, Samantha Scobie from Freedom Area School District, had aspirations of becoming a Veterinary Technician when in high school. However, after spending some significant time at the Beaver County Humane Society, her career plans changed.
Veterinary Assistant is a program that offers the foundation for careers in the animal industry that may include being a Veterinary Assistant, which is similar to being a Medical Assistant to a human, and with further education, a Veterinary Technician, Veterinarian, or a Trainer, just to name a few. Let’s add Humane Police Officer to the list! When in high school, Samantha Scobie started working in the kennels of the Beaver County Humane Society. Fast forward to today, she is now a Humane Police Officer for the facility and could not be happier!
BCCTC’s Veterinary Assistant program partners with Beaver County Humane Society in multiple ways and most of the time, students from the program will volunteer their personal hours beyond activities the program schedules, like Samantha did. She actually started volunteering there the summer before her senior year. She elected to volunteer there because of her interest in animals and due to the partnership BCSH had with the program. Samantha said, “It only made sense to me to do my senior project hours there since I was already involved, and I mean, who doesn’t like being around animals?!”
Now partnered with another Humane Officer, Samantha will investigate dog fighting, assist with animal control, enforce the rabies vaccine, write up citations and collect animals if in a negligent living situation, can enforce animal laws, identify respiratory and animal sicknesses, follow up on calls made by either the public or another professional from an animal clinic and may assist the Dog Warden, if requested to do so.
Prior to the holiday break, Samantha and her partner, Tristian Wenzig, spoke to the current Veterinary Assistant students in both sessions. She said, “Pending situations will depend if a warrant is needed for the owners, but usually an animal or animals can just be taken from the residence without one if needed.” Her partner Tristian complimented Samantha’s abilities to recognize certain diseases and potential medical issues with the animals they investigate and help. Her response to his compliment was, “It was because of this program (Veterinary Assistant) that I am able to identify certain issues with the animals we come across. I can tell if the situation is a neglectful one or not very easily.”
She also shared her favorite quote with us from Albert Einstein in which she admits that never leaves her head… ‘The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.’
We are incredibly proud of Samantha and her career achievements in her field! “Samantha, THANK YOU for MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
“Be the best version of yourself that you can be. You’ll make mistakes and that’s okay. Just learn from them.” This was a statement from Anna DeSantis, alumni from Health Occupations (yes, one of the original members of ‘Cairns Crew’), a graduate of Center High School, CCBC, and RMU.
Anna, enrolled in Health Occupations in high school due to her interest in wanting to become a medical professional, more specifically, a flight nurse. And surprisingly enough, the CTC was not her first option. Anna’s mother felt it was an appropriate path as she was a graduate of career and tech ed herself. She knew that the program would give Anna enough information and experience that it would enable her to know if being a nurse, was in fact, what she wanted to do and it was.
Although Anna discovered through college clinicals college clinicals that she changed her mind about becoming a flight nurse, she explained to the students that the basis of her career came from Health Occupations in helping her to develop professionalism, empathy, critical thinking and making informed decisions. She learned to follow safety procedures, be a team player and develop self-awareness. She also commented that it was the start of a really awesome career. Currently, she is an ER Nurse in Georgia.
In closing, Anna commented, “Embrace your role as a student here. This sticks with you and it’s the most humble part of the medical field. All the team building skills learned here will be applied in a work team at whatever medical facility you find. Don’t ever forget where you started and remember to always be the patient’s advocate.”
Anna, thank you for your insight and valuable advice! Ms. Cairns, Ms. Izz, and the students enjoyed listening to your health care journey and appreciate the time you were able to spend with them. Thank you!
With nearly 50 years in the industry, 10 years of teaching at BCCTC and close to 40 years working for a Chevrolet dealership, Mr. Alan Valasek, Automotive Technology instructor, will not be returning next year as he is retiring his automotive work wrench.
“Probably my favorite project we worked on in here would be the ’67 Camaro due to the amount of time and student involvement on that car. But projects aside, I am definitely going to miss the students, however I am looking forward to relaxing and not having to worry about daily work pressures,” Mr. Valasek said. He continues, “Of course, I will miss the staff too. They are extremely friendly and I like how they all pull together to help each other out.”
When asked if he had any advice for a new teacher, he said, “Take things as they come and realize that the students in this program are not professionals yet. It’s important to be patient and it’s equally important to award bonus points for the Chevy drivers!”
Dylan Lewis, Automotive Technology student from South Side who will be returning to the program next year said, “Mr. V taught me a lot, especially with electrical and engine work. He’s really cool. I’ll miss him.”
Mr. Jason Davis, Automotive’s Instructional Assistant added, “Working with Alan these past years, has been a real pleasure. He always treated me as an equal and was open to any suggestions I had for the class. His friendly nature and vast automotive knowledge will be a loss to the school and future students. I would like to wish him the best in his new chapter of life in retirement!”
And finally, our Assistant Administrative Director, Ms. Laura DelVecchio, had the following to say. “Mr. Valasek has been an asset to the career center in so many ways and will be missed terribly. His willingness to go above and beyond for his students and think outside of the box during the pandemic to ensure that his students had opportunities that enabled them to get the hands on experience needed through utilizing our business partners, his willingness to bring in new equipment to the program to ensure his students were learning on the latest and greatest in the industry, and his undying support to help his colleagues and members of our partner districts with issues they encountered with their vehicles with his “Can Do” attitude, will be missed. Mr. Valasek , aka V, is a class act and his handprint will remain on the hearts of his students for years to come. Thank you so much for your service and for all that you have done to make a difference in the program and more importantly for the students enrolled in the Automotive Technology program.”
Apart from emphasizing how much he will miss the students and staff, Mr. Valasek ended his interview by stating, “I would like to wish everyone the best in what life has to offer.”
Mr. Valasek, we would like to wish you the same. Happy Retirement and THANK YOU!
CONGRATULATIONS to Zaire Ellis from Ambridge Area School District, who was recently awarded masonry tools from Bon Tool Co. on behalf of Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association for his work ethic and masonry abilities by his instructor, Mr. Arnold Shaner. Way to go, Zaire!
Carpentry students, Brandon Hare from Ambridge Area School District , Amos Ramsey, homeschooled student from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and Jacob Simmons, Freedom Area School District were guest speakers during last night’s Beaver Valley Contractors & Suppliers Association General Meeting. These three outstanding students spoke very highly of their instructor, Mr. Dave Liptak, quoting him on several occasions and crediting him for the skills they have acquired while being students in his program. Pandemic or not, these three students have discovered their talents and abilities, with the help of Mr. Liptak and plan to find work in the construction industry as soon as they graduate. Gentlemen, THANK YOU for your character and disposition… you three were remarkable!
Huge shout out to Miya Wingard, Automotive Technology student from Western Beaver County School District, who recently found out that she won 2nd place for the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association (GPADA) Scholarship! The amount? $10,000! Currently, Miya works at Beaver County Auto Group in Chippewa and plans to attend CCAC West Hills in the Fall to major in Automotive Technology. Mr. Valaski, Automotive Technology Instructor and Mr. Davis, Instructional Assistant, couldn’t be more happy and excited for Miya as she approaches graduation. They even surprised her with a congratulatory sign and confetti when she walked into the program this morning, which is pretty awesome… Congratulations, Miya! #eliminatingtheskillsgap #letsgettechnical #SkilledTradesROCK #workwithyourhands #wegiveyouthetoolstobuildyourfuture #EducationInMotion