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“Tools for Success” ceremony honors outstanding CTE students


May 22, 2024

“Tools for Success” ceremony honors outstanding CTE students


Ten exemplary Career & Technical Education (CTE) students at the OCM BOCES Thompson Road Campus were honored today at the annual “Tools for Success” ceremony.

One by one, CTE teachers from the auto collision, auto technology, construction, culinary, heavy equipment,  and welding programs commended their students for a long and impressive list of accomplishments and positive attributes. They also rewarded them with specialized equipment such as Snap-on screwdrivers, welding helmets and toolbelts with hammers and other tools.

The businesses and organizations that participated in the event were Driver’s Village, Home Builders and Remodelers of CNY, Lincoln Electric, Tracey Road Equipment, and Snap-on, Inc. The culinary honoree received a $1,000 college scholarship from Two Chefs from Above, LLC, which created the award as a memorial for two young men killed in a Syracuse-area restaurant shooting in 2018.  

To qualify for a "Tools for Success" award, students must demonstrate proficiency in their program, have good classroom attendance and participation, and consistently show a positive attitude. This year, students were also commended for having outstanding leadership skills, strong work ethics, a willingness to help others in the classroom, and a commitment to learning and improving.

Assistant Principal Jared Ciereck welcomed everyone to the ceremony and emceed the event. Students, teachers, family members, BOCES and district administrators, Board of Education members and other guests joined the celebration.

“We’re excited to see where your skills will take you in the future,” Ciereck said.

Here are the 2024 "Tools for Success" recipients:


Automotive Collision

Isaiah Goddard - Baldwinsville Central School District
Instructor - Jonathan Sawicki

Sawick described Isaiah Goddard as “an exceptional young man whose hard work, dedication, and positive spirit have left an indelible mark on our community.” He noted Isaiah's involvement in the National Technical Honor Society, SkillsUSA, and the Friends of Rachel Club. He described one of Isaiah’s most admirable traits as “his willingness to learn and improve.” Isaiah will continue his work in the automotive field because he was accepted into the Motorsport program at the University of Northwestern Ohio. 


Automotive Technology

Zenon Bender - Chittenango Central School District 
Instructor - Sam Azria

Azria described Zenon Bender as a student who exemplifies “the true meaning of perseverance and positivity” and a “shining example of what it means to be a hard worker.” Azria said Zenon has a cheerful demeanor, a positive attitude and an “unwavering” commitment to his work despite any obstacles. Zenon previously completed an internship at AUDI in Driver’s Village and looks forward to continuing his work in the automotive technology field by working at a dealership after high school. “With his determination and positive attitude, there is no doubt Zenon will continue to achieve great things,” Azria said.


Jason Johnson - Onondaga Central School District
Instructor - Isaac Fair

Fair described Jason Johnson as a reliable, respectful, diligent and self-confident young man who has made “significant strides in his technical abilities, social skills, and interactions with others.” He also noted that Jason’s “positive attitude, sense of responsibility, and enthusiasm are evident in all he does.” Jason has earned his Maintenance & Light Repair (MLR) ASE certification, a crucial step for the technical endorsement in his field. Jason plans to further his knowledge of automotive skills at the Universal Technical Institute (UTI).


Aden Case - Chittenango Central School District
Instructor - Erick Dodge (classroom at Driver’s Village)

Dodge described Aden Case as a bright young man “whose dedication, skill, and character have set him apart.” He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and has ASE certifications in brakes, engine performance, steering and suspension, maintenance and light repair, and electrical/electronics. He has also completed more than 20 General Motors technical certifications in vehicle repair, “a feat that speaks volumes about his dedication to his craft,” Dodge said. Looking ahead, Aden hopes to work at Driver's Village at General Motors.


Construction Technology

Dominic Wiers - LaFayette Central School District
Instructor - Nick Ross

Ross described Dominic Wiers as embodying the “essence of hard work, professionalism, and a passion for excellence.” Dominic is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and, in addition to his academic excellence, earned a first-place finish this year in the regional Carpenter Assistant category for SkillsUSA and a third-place finish at the New York State SkillsUSA championships. “He not only excels in his work but also takes the time to teach others advanced construction concepts, always maintaining a professional and polite demeanor,” Ross said. Dominic, who could not attend Wednesday’s ceremony, plans to continue working in construction.


Kyle Andrella - Westhill Central School District
Instructor - Zachary Wills

Wills described Kyla Andrella as an “outstanding young man” with exceptional construction and leadership skills. “From carpentry to drywall, electrical work to masonry, he has diligently honed his skills, always striving to improve his knowledge and craftsmanship. His commitment to continuous improvement is a testament to his passion for the trade and his determination to excel,” Wills said. Kyle is a National Technical Honor Society member and participated in SkillsUSA. Every day, Wills said, Kyle shows up to class with a positive attitude and a readiness to tackle new challenges. “Kyle's journey is a powerful reminder of the impact that passion, hard work, and a collaborative spirit can have on achieving success,” Wills said. After high school, Andrella plans to continue working in construction.


Culinary & Pastry Arts:

Joseph Kozubowski - North Syracuse Central School District
Instructors - Robert Canorro and Albert Herrera

Canorro described Joseph Kozubowski as an outstanding student who excels in the classroom and is truly “an asset in the kitchen.” His previous work experience demonstrates his love of culinary and pastry arts and his commitment to the field, Canorro said. Joseph worked at Carvel and Cinnabon and recently completed an internship at Toss & Fire Pizza that turned into a summer job. Joseph plans to continue his culinary studies and will use his $1,000 scholarship from Two Chefs from Above to study culinary arts and hospitality next fall at Onondaga Community College.


Heavy Equipment Repair, Operations & Diesel Technology

Charleton Aumiller - Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District
Instructor - Bryan Wilson

Wilson described Charleton “Charlie” Aumiller as a bright, determined student who is always eager to learn, is committed to continuous improvement, and has emerged as a leader in the classroom. “Fellow classmates look to him for assistance and guidance,” Wilson said. Charlie is currently doing an internship after school with Tracey Road Equipment. The company has praised Charlie for his work ethic, positive personability and willingness to learn. After high school, Charlie hopes to work full-time for Tracey Road.


Welding Technology

Anthony Virag - Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District
Instructor - Duane Debejian

Debejian described Anthony Virag as an exceptional student with “exemplary qualities” such as a notable work ethic and positive attitude. Anthony began an internship this year with JPW Companies and has proven to be a hard worker and an invaluable team member. “Other students see him giving extra effort, and in turn, they try to match him,” Debejian said. After graduation, Anthony plans to continue working at JPW Companies and with the Ironworkers Union. “I have no doubt that Anthony will excel in his field and significantly impact the industry,” Debejian said.


Dylan Dubar - Marcellus Central School District
Instructor - Scott Watkins

Watkins described Dylan Dubar as a young man whose “dedication, talent, and unwavering work ethic have set a remarkable example for all of us. He also called Dylan “a shining star in the welding field, whose accomplishments and character make him a standout in every sense.” Dylan is a National Technical Honor Society member and participated in SkillsUSA. He also won a $1,000 scholarship from a recent American Welding Society (AWS) “Thruway Cup” competition. He is doing an internship at JPW Companies and plans to continue working there after high school and continuing his education through the AWS.