BOCES in the 'Well' CTE takes the spotlight as Southern Westchester and 37 other BOCES show off programs in Albany

ALBANY—The grand marble stairwell of the Legislative Office Building, adjacent to the state capitol, offered a regal setting for three SWBOCES veterinary science students to talk about their rats.

Now, it wasn’t practical to bring their rats along, but videos of daily class training sessions with the animals complemented the students’ stories of how they teach their furry charges to move a ball around a basin or how they learn to remedy a condition like malocclusion (aka crooked teeth that become overgrown rather than wear down naturally).

In short, McKayla Mulvaney, Tyler Mahoney and Miranda Reynolds came to Albany to talk about the head start on a veterinary career that they’re getting at SWBOCES.

“I’ve always known that I was going to be a vet, even when I was a young child,” Miranda said. “Being able to be in BOCES and have this leg up is really helpful.”

The SWBOCES delegation to Well Day

Earlier in the day, Miranda introduced state Sen. Shelley Mayer, whose remarks kicked off the first-ever “BOCES in the Well” event. Officials and students from each of the state’s 37 BOCES gathered in the stairwell to highlight programs from virtual reality and robotics to construction trades, aviation and, yes, animal science.

Miranda was excited to be selected to represent her program, but she didn’t fully grasp at first the honor of introducing a state senator.

“I thought maybe (my teacher) meant kind of like how we have a president of HOSA,” she said, referring to an organization of CTE students studying health care fields. “Then I read the other emails in the chain, and I was like, ‘Oh my!’ I didn’t realize how nervous I was until I was in line to speak.”

Sen. Mayer thanked her as they shook hands afterward and congratulated her on her scholarship to Wilson College/s Veterinary Medical Technology. That made an impression on Miranda.

Mayer, who chairs the state senate Education Committee, spoke enthusiastically about the role of BOCES, particularly the Career and Technical Education programs on display for this day.

“We need BOCES to do well and to serve our kids” she said. “There is so much opportunity for these kids to thrive in those industries where there is a need for workers.”

Miranda, Tyler and McKayla served as ambassadors for the day, networking with representatives of other BOCES, sharing their own program while learning about others. Also representing Southern Westchester BOCES were Animal Science Teacher Michael D’Abruzzo, Assistant Principal Evangelo Michas and District Superintendent Harold Coles.

D’Abruzzo said he chose these students because he knew they’d embrace the chance to speak publicly about the program. It’s a unique program, he said, in part because he worked in the field for 20 years and he knows what will benefit them most to learn.

Deputy Commissioner of Education Kevin Smith, center, offered words of encouragement to our CTE students.

Well Day was a chance to learn about other BOCES' programs.

Thank you, Sen. Mayer for taking the time to meet and encourage our students! Your support is greatly appreciated!

“Everything we do in the class, all the training, are things I know are the skills that are going to be hard for them to come by,” he said.

His students will all have an impressive resume before they even move on to a college program.

Tyler and McKayla agreed with Miranda that it was an honor to be selected to make this trip and share their passion with others.

“I want to be able to advocate for animals and for people who work with animals,” said Tyler.

Created By
Brian Howard


Brian Howard/SWBOCES

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