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Syracuse Auto Dealers Honor Exceptional Students

Every year, the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association (SADA) recognizes students who have shown exemplary work and dedication in the fields of auto technology and collision, which continue to be high-demand career fields in Central New York and across the nation. The prestigious SADA recognition comes with a sizeable tool kit for each award winner. This year’s winners were recognized May 8 during a luncheon celebration at the OCM BOCES Thompson Road Campus. Students were nominated by their instructors.

Adam Cooper 
Adam is a Baldwinsville senior in the OCM BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program in Solvay. His instructor, Sam Azria, said Cooper’s determination and hard work have made him one of the best students in his Automotive Technology Program at the OCM BOCES Thompson Road Campus. Because he communicates through sign language, “Adam is very good at figuring out what people want to convey in the noisy shop environment,” Azria said in his nomination letter. “Adam will be successful because of his persistence, perseverance and his attention to detail,” Azria said. Adam is about to perform an internship at Burdick Chevrolet.
Adam received his award from John French, service director at Maguire Auto Group
Wyatt Shute 
Wyatt is a Baldwinsville senior who was nominated for the SADA award from the OCM BOCES Thompson Road Campus because he has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the auto service craft, said his teacher, Brandon Chase. “You can always count on Wyatt to get the job done right and on time, no matter the vehicle or situation — from tire service, brake work and oil changes to basic repairs and New York State inspections,” Chase said. Wyatt’s professional skills also include “personal drive and the best attendance and participation record in this class,” Chase said.  Additionally, Wyatt is always willing to help others with their vehicles. “He is truly a giving person,” Chase said.
Wyatt received his award from Nick Crisafi, service manager at Romano Chrysler Jeep
Jakob Thornton 
Jakob is a Cortland sophomore who has worked hard since the fall of 2016 in the Automotive Collision and Refinishing Technology program at the OCM BOCES Cortlandville Campus. Next year, he will transition to Automotive Technology for his junior and senior years. His instructor, Dale Gendron, said Jakob “excels at non-structural metal repair, welding, estimation, and refinishing. Jakob is also skilled at problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, and is very helpful when working with peers. He is a self-starting and enthusiastic technician.” In addition, Gendron said Jakob’s greatest strengths are “his positive attitude, charismatic character and pleasant demeanor, both in the classroom setting and during lab work. His ability to learn constructively and to work cooperatively makes him a leader and role model for others.”
Jakob received his award from Nick Crisafi, service manager at Romano Chrysler Jeep
Jolis Perez 
Jolis was nominated by her instructor, Michael Edmunds, in the Automotive Technology program at the Institute of Technology at Central in the Syracuse Central School District. Edmunds said he nominated Jolis because of her drive to learn, desire for the class, quality of work and professionalism. “Jolis is very interested in beginning her journey in the automotive repair business,” Edmunds said. “She demonstrates this through her professionalism, her drive and her leadership. She is always prepared for class and on time. She is willing to work and dive into whatever the activity is that I have planned for class. Because of this, students look up to her for advice and guidance.”
Jolis received her award from Nick Baldini, service manager at Fuccillo Hyandai
Devin Shon 
Devin Shon is a senior at Cazenovia High School who participates in the OCM BOCES embedded Automotive Technology Program at Driver’s Village in Cicero. In addition to being a student, he also works for the GM dealer in the auto complex. His instructor, Eric Dodge, said Devin is truly passionate about cars. He also works on vehicles at home, including a Volkswagen bug, from which Devon removed, rebuilt and re-installed the engine and replaced the entire front steering and suspension. In addition to exceling on exams and already passing numerous Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications, Devin took first place in the SkillsUSA regional competition this year at SUNY Morrisville. “Devin just seems to have the mechanical aptitude to fix things and enjoy doing it,” Dodge said. “Devin is always the first one under the hood of a car in the shop to complete the task at hand.”
Devin received his award from Nick Crisafi, service manager at Romano Chrysler Jeep
William Moskvich 
William is a senior at Cazenovia High School senior who participates in the Automotive Collision Technology Program at the OCM BOCES Thompson Road Campus. During his two years in the program, William has “consistently demonstrated a willingness to work hard and learn much about auto collision repair and refinishing,” said his instructor, Matthew McGivney. “In fact, William has excelled in every area in the Career & Technical Education program which stresses removing and replacing body parts, making plastic repair, strengthening sheet metal, welding and refinishing.” In addition, McGivney described William as independent, self-motived and “concerned about showing progress in whatever he does.” William recently received a first-place finish at the SkillsUSA regional competition at SUNY Morrisville.
William received his award from Nick Baldini, service manager at Fuccillo Hyandai
Dexter Brown 
Dexter is a Homer Central School District senior in the Automotive Technology Program at the OCM BOCES Cortlandville Campus and recently performed an internship at Dovi Motors in Cortland. Instructor James Erlichman nominated Dexter for the award because he excels as a technician, researches any problem and is always eager to help his peers in the lab. His accomplishments include passing the student Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification in maintenance and light repair, passing several AC Delco courses, and qualifying for the National Technical Honor Society, among others. Erlichman said he is impressed with Dexter’s work ethic and ‘I can fix it’ mindset. “He has a great attitude for learning and values what he has learned at OCM BOCES,” Erlichman said.
Dexter received his award from John French, service director at Maguire Auto Group