News from the Noteworthy

Noteworthy News: Beyond the classroom at ONC BOCES

[Editor’s note: This week’s “News from the Noteworthy” comes from Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Education Services – ONC BOCES – serving student from 19 component districts throughout the greater Otsego County region. ONC BOCES has plenty of great stories to share, and we’re delighted they accepted our invitation to do so in this space.]

One of the Career & Technical Education Course extras that students can take advantage of while enrolled at ONC BOCES is participating in many nationally recognized student leadership organizations. Through these clubs and organizations, our students network with industry professionals and fellow BOCES Career and Technical Education students at the state and national levels.

ONC BOCES students are involved with Skills USA, Health Occupations Students of America, and Future Farmers of America.  These groups help showcase the skills students acquire through their classroom instruction and prepare them for the world of work through leadership training activities, demonstrations, competitions, parliamentary procedures, and community service projects.

Pictured is Skills USA member and Cosmetology student Lydia Biruk of Roxbury. Lydia is preparing for one of the upcoming Skills USA regional championship contests — “Job Demo-Open” — that will take place at the State University of New York at Morrisville. Her presentation of “Happy Mistakes” allows her to do her best Bob Ross impression and demonstrate a job skill outside of her current occupational area.

Other students will compete in contests for culinary arts, engineering, technical math, public speaking, hair design, and many additional industry related areas.  Students who compete at the Morrisville competition may go on and participate in the state championships held each April in Syracuse.

Skills USA has national industry connections with 3M, Caterpillar, Carhart, John Deere, Lowe’s, Nissan, State Farm, and more.  Student members of the group understand extra aspects of a job that go above and beyond the industry-specific skills needed to gain and maintain employment within the workforce.

They also convey the employability skills that any employer seeks in the areas of appropriate time management skill, teamwork, communication, and attention to detail.

For further information about any of the Career & Technical Education programs or the student leadership clubs that are available at Otsego-Northern Catskills BOCES, please contact Ryan DeMars – Director of Career & Technical Education, Alternative Education & Adult Education.  You may contact his office by phone (607) 286-7715 extension 2609, or by email at

Information on all BOCES offerings can also be found on their website,




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