Brian Neff, 1998 Automotive Technology graduate from Blackhawk, is one of the supervisors at Beaver County Auto. Part of his position is taking on cooperative education students from BCCTC and training them on-the-job while working the in the field.
2008 Health Occupations graduate from Ambridge Area School District, Cassandra Weisser, reached out to us stating, “I am the Director of Human Resources at ManorCare Health Services-North Hills! Every day I hire compassionate CNA’s and licensed nurses to provide top quality care for our residents! In 2018, we were named a US World BEST for short term rehab! Having the experience as a CNA helps me every day relate to my team members and I have excelled in my career in more ways than one.”
Meet 2009 Health Occupations graduate from Center High School, Anna Marie DeSantis Miral. Ms. DeSantis Miral currently works as an RN at Heritage Valley Health System in Beaver. Being a former student of Theresa Cairns from Health Occupations, she felt that her former instructor truly gave a good basis of health care knowledge that included: core skills, customer service, dedication, and hard work. “The basics and fundamentals are not only covered but can be used to gain employment,” she said. Ms. DeSantis Miral started her career three weeks after graduation making $15/hour at Life Beaver and worked as a CNA for about five years. Once realizing she wanted to be a nurse, she maintained her CNA job and attended CCBC and completed her education later at Robert Morris University. “Being a CNA first makes me a better nurse,” DeSantis Miral says. “Having performed clinicals in high school and having those years of work experience, really set me apart and farther ahead in my class. It was not foreign territory and working with patients was not a problem. Anyone in high school thinking about a profession in health care should seriously consider Health Occupations at BCCTC.”
My name is Megan Shull and I am a Clinical Informatics Analyst at Heritage Valley Health System. In 2011, I graduated from the Business Information Systems (BIS) program (from the Blackhawk School District), which has helped me more than I could have ever imagined. After high school, I became a student at Robert Morris University studying Cyber Forensics and Information Security, and because of BIS, I was 3 credits ahead of my fellow classmates. Did you know the average cost if 1 credit is around $594? I saved close to $1,800 on school costs just by attending the BIS program. While in college I was able to get the internship of my dreams with a local government organization. I felt prepared from the business aspect of the class, knowing what to wear, how to interview, producing a full resume, and having work experience from the Co-Op program. Another thing that was a great experience for me was being involved in Pennsylvania FBLA and attending the conferences. This helped me to be independent in college, traveling to the different buildings; finding the correct room; and asking for assistance. The same goes for my life now, eight years later. As an adult, I go to conferences yearly, managing myself amongst the crowd and networking with professionals in my field. Unlike my friends who I’ve met throughout the years, this lifestyle is normal for me and it all goes back to my experiences at BCCTC. Today, I am doing what I love and using my BIS skills. I keep my connections to the school, BIS, and Renee DiGiacomo by volunteering as a NOCTI and FBLA RLC (Regional Leadership Conference) judge every year. I am so grateful for my time spent at the school and want to give back because of it.
From New Brighton School-District, Ethan Miller graduated from Welding in 2015. He said, “I have had a full time welding position at Woodward Inc. for just about 4 years. Recently, just got a new welding position at a new company, Calgon Carbon and love it… I can’t thank the staff at BCCTC for helping me build a career for myself and family.”
Meet Taylor Poliak, a 2017 Veterinary Assistant graduate from Freedom Area School District. Currently, she is working at a Big Rock Veterinary Hospital in New Brighton. She informed Mrs. Vuckovich, instructor of the program, that her plans include to get her Technician License as well as Practice Manager credentials.
Introducing 2019 Carpentry graduate from Blackhawk School District, Chance Liptak. Having a family member of a successful construction business and another being heavily involved in the Carpenter’s Union, Chance also showed interest in the construction industry. However, after listening to a presentation from someone from Mac Safety Consultants, that sealed the career pathway for Chance. He chose to major in Safety Management at Slippery Rock University and once he obtains his degree, he will be onsite at various construction sites making sure that all of the workers are working under ‘safe’ conditions. Chance said, “My education at BCCTC is helping me in the safety course that I am taking now. I know it will help me moving forward as I complete my college education.”
Courtney Chamberlain is a 2015 Collision Repair Technology graduate from Western Beaver School District. She got in touch with us and like other alumni, would like to come in to speak to our students. She states, “I work for Shealy Truck Center in South Carolina as a Diesel Mechanic on Volvo and Mack semis. Missing that place more and more every year! I could not be more thankful for all the doors BCCTC opened up for me! I was also the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania President for BCCTC in 2015… I am alumni of the University of Northwestern Ohio as well, obtaining my Applied Science Associate Degree majoring in Diesel Mechanics. I can not be more thankful for Mr. Murdoch always pushing me to do better and be confident as a female in the “men’s world”. If it wasn’t for him and the CTC, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today! Word of advice for current students: Follow your dreams, listen to your teachers, and become a better person everyday. Work hard everyday and I promise you will have a good outcome!! SkillsUSA opened additional doors for me. So please, please join SkillsUSA. It will change your life in the end, I can promise you that! (FYI – I did not want to join and I did!) I miss Mr. Murdoch and BCCTC so much but I know I’m where I am at today because of him and the awesome program!”
Noah Kairis, 2015 Business Information Systems graduate from New Brighton School-District said, “The Business Information Systems program at BCCTC was one of the best decisions I made during my high school career. This program helped me gain valuable knowledge, skills, and experience that allowed me to jump start my business career in healthcare. The impact became tangible when I started impressing my employer with skills and abilities that my peers did not posses at the same high school age. Utilizing these valuable skills and experience helped me to quickly rise through the ranks and gain opportunities to work on special projects which required the skills and knowledge acquired in this program. Thanks to my BIS background, paired with a strong work ethic and bachelors degree from Geneva College, I have accelerated into my current role of Assistant General Manager, Health Mart Pharmacies: Brighton, Beaver Falls, and Rochester. I am currently a member of the Occupational Advisory Committee for the BIS program because I want to make sure that other students interested in business/technology know that they have the same opportunities and benefits as I do now.”
The ‘CNA Sisters’, 2016 Health Occupations graduates from Central Valley High School, caught up with Carins and Miss Izz. Lydia Hood is currently working as a CNA through Liken Home Care & Villa St. Joseph of Baden through Concordia and is also pursing her RN at Community College of Beaver County. She said, “When I met Ms. Cairns, I knew I needed to have that woman in my life. She made me the GREAT CNA I am today!” Amber Gonczi is currently working as a CNA through Flag Star Staffing Inc. to work at many nursing homes throughout Allegheny County. In addition, she plans to pursue her RN or LPN after selecting a school. Amber mentioned, “I owe my life to Ms. Cairns and Miss Izz. I always ask myself, ‘what would Cairns do’ when I’m in a situation I question.” Breana Viscuso is currently working as a CNA through Heritage Valley Beaver. She too is attending CCBC for her RN and admits that she will ‘channel’ her ‘inner Cairns’ during times of need. All of these young ladies expressed to Ms. Cairns’ current students to 1. Be Here, 2. Apply Yourself, and 3. Follow the Rules. They also advised them to KEEP THE BINDER!
2018 Health Occupations alumni visited Theresa Cairns during Open House… from left to right, Shyra Goe from New Brighton is currently working at Five Star Nursing and attending CCBC. Her future plans? She would like to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Haley Thomas from Hopewell High School is working at Progressive Home Health. She too is attending the Community College of Beaver County and her plans include becoming a Certified Nurse Anesthetist. Keely Gizzi from Central Valley High School is working at Beaver Elder Care & Rehabilitation, owned by Guardian Elder Care . She will begin her post-secondary education with CCBC Continuing Education in 2019. All graduated with the 5 industry certifications available to obtain in the program, including their PA Registry for CNA.
Introducing Thomas Smeltzer, 2019 Machine Tool Technology graduate from South Side High School. Tom was hired full-time (with a raise after he graduated!) at Valves, Inc. through our Cooperative Education program. His position entails a little more now than as a Co-Op student in high school but he is responsible to run manual machines that include: Lathes, Milling, and Keying machines. Tom said, “The education I received in Machine Tool Technology was helpful to me and Valves, Inc. is really treating me well. I like what I am doing right now.”
- Shout out to ALL and ANY BCCTC Alumni! Want to see a short bio of yourself on this page?
- Do you want to inspire current BCCTC students by sharing your story?
- Have some ‘kudos’ to share to your former teacher or a testimony about your former program?
If you answered yes to one or any of the above questions, please contact Mrs. Liz Lanshcak at your earliest convenience. THANK YOU!
Any alumni listed above who would like to update their information, please email Liz Lanshcak. THANK YOU for your submissions!