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.”
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.