Thursday, April 2, 2015

Annual meeting showcases collaboration through BOCES

OCM BOCES' 2015 Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 1 at the McEvoy Education Campus in Cortland, NY. The meeting gives OCM BOCES the opportunity to educate its 23 component school districts about the high quality services it provides, while fulfilling the legal requirement of providing those districts with information about the BOCES budget, which goes to vote on April 20.

Prior to this year's meeting, attendees were treated to a fabulous gourmet meal and an assortment of delectable desserts prepared and served by Culinary Arts students. Colorful Dr. Seuss-themed centerpieces (pictured left), created by Special Education students, graced each table.

The meeting began with a welcome by OCM BOCES Board of Education President Ann Wright and District Superintendent Jody Manning. Prior to the presentation of the 2015-2016 budget, attendees had the opportunity to view a video about OCM BOCES that showcased component district students, teachers and staff, and an informative presentation regarding the benefit and future of embedded career and technical education programs.

For  details on the OCM BOCES budget process and its 2015-2016 budget, view and download the Initial Budget booklet online.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Students compete in Regional SkillsUSA Competition; Four earn gold medal, several others place

Congratulations to the many OCM BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who recently competed and placed in the Regional SkillsUSA competition held at SUNY Morrisville on February 27. This annual competition gives OCM BOCES the opportunity to compete against other schools in timed technical, trade and leadership contests.

One OCM BOCES team (pictured at left), consisting of North Syracuse CSD seniors MacKenzie Lananux (Laboratory Technology), Kristin Rogers (Laboratory Technology), and Jessica Sorbello (Health Occupations Technology), and Chittenango CSD senior Grace Nicholas (Health Occupations Technology), earned a gold medal in the health knowledge bowl competition. The event pitted 10 four-student teams from various Region II BOCES. The competition covered topics such as medical ethics, medical law terminology and medical vocabulary.

OCM BOCES student Lily Skinner, from the Fabius-Pompey Central School District, was among four BOCES students from across the region to sing the national anthem prior to the competition.

Other OCM BOCES students who placed in the competition include:

1. Dominique LaRose, Pastry Arts senior from the Liverpool Central School District – 1st place in Commercial Baking

2. James Miller, Automotive Collision Technology junior from Cortland Alternative School and the Cincinnatus Central School District – 1st place in Collision Repair Technology


3. Jake Nobile, New Vision Medical Professions senior from the Solvay Union Free School District – 1st place in the First Aid/CPR

4. Hannah Northrop, Cosmetology senior from the Liverpool Central School District – 1st place in Cosmetology senior category

5. Alex Sanford, Culinary Arts junior from the Cortland Enlarged City School District – 1st place in Restaurant Service


6. Skyler Lyons, Pastry Arts senior from the Baldwinsville Central School District – 2nd place in Commercial Baking

7. Allison McDonald, Cosmetology senior from the Liverpool Central School District – 2nd place in the Nail Care category

8. Deirdre Monroe, Cosmetology senior from the Cortland Enlarged City School District – 2nd place in Job Interview

9. Hunter Moore, Graphic Communications senior from the Cortland Enlarged City School District – 2nd place in Photography


10. Anthony Pham, New Vision Medical Professions senior from the North Syracuse Central School District – 2nd place in First Aid/CPR

11. Nahsia Batts (pictured far left), Health Occupations Technology junior from the Cortland Enlarged City School District – 3rd place in Job Demo Open

12. Charlotte Hollenbeck, Automotive Technology senior from the Homer Central School District – 3rd place in Automotive Maintenance Basic

13. Ben Nelson, Culinary Arts senior from the North Syracuse Central School District – 3rd place in Food Preparation Assistant


14. Yesenia Rodriguez-Abelar, Cosmetology senior from the Cazenovia Central School District – 3rd place in the Cosmetology senior category


15. Brooke Turner (pictured right), Health Occupations Technology junior from the Homer Central School District – 3rd place in Job Demo Open Model

Following is the complete list of OCM BOCES students that competed in the Regional SkillsUSA competition:

Baldwinsville Central School District:

Kalie Arnold, Joseph Fiorini, Eva Korczakowski, Skyler Lyons, Connor Oakes, Shannon Perrotta, Sierra Phillips, Andreana Reed, Cameron Sant

Cazenovia Central School District:

Yesenia Rodriguez

Chittenango Central School District:

Anthony Lozipone, Grace Nicholas, Ashley Price

Cincinnatus Central School District:

Keyara Aiken, Ashley Angel, Kristen Angel, Melanie Cass, Chelsea Gerrard, Jennifer Ivison (helper), Kaitlin Manley, James Miller (Cortland Alternative School student), Shelby Phillips, Brooke Tobias

Cortland Enlarged City School District:

Nahsia Batts, Mazey Cornell (helper), Julia Goddard, Alizabeth Knout, Christopher Luke, Deirdre Monroe, Hunter Moore, Nicole Nichol, Juan Oliver, Alex Sanford, McKenzie Stark

DeRuyter Central School District:
Breanna Hare, MaryJo Miller (helper)

East Syracuse Minoa Central School District: 

Shannon Miller

Homer Central School District:

Tara Daley (helper), Charlotte Hollenbeck, Cory Kanar, Tanya Smith, Brooke Turner

LaFayette Central School District:

Ben Kramak

Liverpool Central School District:
Ashanti Dorsey, Dominique LaRose, Allison McDonald, Hannah Northrop, Marie Vassallo

Marathon Central School District:

Tyler James, Taylor Larrabee, Rachel Lawrence, Jerralyn Vogt, Stephanie Wales, Basha Zurbruegg

Marcellus Central School District:
Isabella Wennberg

McGraw Central School District:
Cody Reome, Sarah Thurley

North Syracuse Central School District:

Sarah Amato, Megan Gorman, Mackenzie Lanaux, Ben Nelson, Olivia Orlando, Sidney Perks, Anthony Pham, Natasha Rivera, Kristin Rogers, Jessica Sorbello

Solvay Union Free School District:

Natosha Black, Jordan Micheletti, Jake Nobile, Miya VanFossen

Tully Central School District:
Jason Reid (OCM BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program), Ally Snyder, Taylor Soderholm

West Genesee Central School District:
Lisa Hall

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school/college students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations. The organization provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development and builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills.

For more information about OCM BOCES Career and Technical Education Programs, students should see their high school guidance counselor or call our OCM BOCES guidance counselors at: (315) 433-2635 in the Syracuse area or (607) 758-5260 in the Cortland area.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

OCM BOCES District Superintendent accepts 2015 NYSAWA Giacobbe Award on behalf of 23 component districts

On Sunday, March 22, 2015, OCM BOCES District Superintendent J. Francis Manning was presented with the 2015 Maxine Giacobbe Award from the New York State Association for Women in Administration (NYSAWA) at its annual symposium in Albany, N.Y. NYSAWA Award Committee Chair Dr. Jennifer Schulman presented the award at an award reception and dinner held at Albany's Desmond Hotel.

Mr. Manning accepted the award on behalf of OCM BOCES 23 component school districts and the collective work for all students in Central New York. 

The award, named for NYSAWA’s first executive director, is presented annually to a person who demonstrates exceptional work with children from diverse populations, including children of color, to reduce gender inequalities and promote outstanding achievement for children of color.

Manning, nominated for the award by Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District Superintendent Dr. Corliss C. Kaiser, has a career in educational administration spanning more than 25 years. Prior to taking on the highest leadership role at OCM BOCES in August 2012, he had served as a school superintendent, business administrator, building administrator and teacher in various districts.

Manning’s ability to work collectively and collaboratively with students and staff in one of the big five school districts in New York state as well as with OCM BOCES’ 23 component districts, has been exemplified through the leadership initiatives he has implemented to improve the success of diverse populations. Most recently, Manning led OCM BOCES in the establishment of Innovation Tech High School, a non-traditional high school designed to provide authentic experiences for students through collaborative and hands-on learning. He has been instrumental in assisting his constituent superintendents with responsive activities to help them carry out their duties.

Manning created partnerships with several colleges in the area and has been involved with several community-based organizations, such as the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), the School Alliance for Continuous Improvement (SACI), and the Career and Technical Education External Review Committee.

A passionate leader and a risk-taker, Manning who puts the needs of students, and most especially, children from diverse populations, at the forefront of his actions.

Additional details are available on the NYSAWA event website for anyone who would like additional information about the Symposium.

The New York State Association for Women in Administration was established in 1990 to address the lack of women in educational leadership positions. It was the genesis of a group of individuals who met to develop at statewide network, now known as NYSAWA. This group determined to create programs to identify and promote women in leadership.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Project-Based Learning conference to draw more than 300 teachers to Syracuse

The Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) will be hosting the 2015 Project-Based Learning New York (PBLNY) Conference on August 3-5, 2015 in Liverpool, NY. The three-day event will feature inspiring keynotes, engaging workshops and practical advice for educators and school administrators who want to learn about all aspects of project-based learning.

The PBLNY Conference is for those new to PBL, as well as experienced practitioners. Sessions are targeted to help educators, at any stage of their career, take it to the next level. Administrators, too, will find the support and training they need to ensure implementation of high-quality PBL in their school. This conference, the only one of its kind on the East Coast, is a premier opportunity to engage with national leaders and thinkers and discuss PBL with one’s colleagues in education.

“Our goal for PBLNY is to bring educators together for deeper learning about a method of teaching that is engaging to students,” says Joanne Keim, OCM BOCES PBL coordinator. “Last year’s conference was energizing—over 300 teachers and administrators came together for three days to learn more about PBL as they listened to nationally known keynote speakers, attended workshop sessions and shared experiences. As a PBL trainer and coach myself, I can’t wait to attend this year and deepen my understanding of PBL.”

In addition to keynotes by several well-known professionals in PBL, education and leadership (see bios below), additional guest presenters for the event are Rody Boonchouy and Matt Best of the Buck Institute for Education (BIE); Michael Gorman of 21centuryedtech; Stacia Snow of Tech Valley High School; Suzie Boss of Edutopia & BIE, and; Lee Fleming of New Tech Network. Breakout session titles include “Online Resources that Amplify PBL in a Blended Environment,” “Engaging Students with Disabilities through Project-Based Learning,” “PLC and PBL: Learning to Learn Together,” and “Problem-Based Learning (PrBL): A Smaller Approach to a Large Problem.”

Registration is now open for individuals in New York state. Registration for out-of-state attendees will open soon. For more information and to register, click here: Three-day admission fees for attendees from OCM BOCES component districts is $450; $550 for attendees from non-component NYS districts; and $650 per person for attendees from non-NYS districts.

The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY.

Keynote Speaker Bios
Dr. Milton Chen - George Lucas Educational Foundation
Chen is senior fellow and executive director emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), a San Francisco Bay area-based non-profit that utilizes its multimedia website,, and documentary films to communicate a new vision for 21st century schools. He served as executive director of GLEF for 12 years. During his tenure, GLEF and its media brand, Edutopia, greatly expanded their editorial publishing efforts, including the award- winning Edutopia magazine. is known as a destination website for educators and others interested in educational innovation and has won numerous honors, including the 2009 Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Education Website. Chen received an AB in social studies from Harvard College and an MA and PhD in communication research from Stanford University.

Sam Seidel  - Author, HipHop Genius
Seidel is the director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). He speaks internationally about innovative solutions to challenges facing schools, community organizations and prisons. He is a passionate and experienced leader in education transformation. Seidel has keynoted for three years at PBL World in Napa California. He has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. Seidel graduated from Brown University with a degree in education and a teaching certification. He was a scholar-in-residence at Columbia University's Institute for Urban and Minority Education and a community fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Kippy Smith - Expeditionary Learning
Smith is the Northeast region associate regional director for Expeditionary Learning (EL). With more than 20 years of experience helping new and veteran teachers in all settings, EL builds their capacity to ignite each student’s motivation, persistence, and compassion so they become active contributors to building a better world and succeed in school, college, career, and life. EL’s innovative curriculum, teacher-created resources, and model of professional coaching and support are anchored by a vision of student success that joins academic achievement, character, and high-quality work. EL partners with more than 160 schools and 4,000 teachers, serving 53,000 students in 33 states, and thousands of other teachers through its professional services work in New York and other states.

Sarah Brown Wessling – The Teaching Channel
Brown Wessling is the Teaching Channel’s first “Teacher Laureate.” In this role, she helps shape the content on Teaching Channel, where she is a regular contributor to the Tchers' Voiceblog and is often featured in regular video segments filmed inside her classroom. Brown Wessling teaches English and is the department chair at Johnston Senior High School in Johnston, Iowa. She is a national board-certified teacher in English language arts/adolescence and young adulthood. In 2010, the Council of Chief State School Officers honored Brown Wessling as National Teacher of the Year. In that capacity, she was responsible for being the nation's teacher ambassador for education and took part in more than 240 appearances, speeches and workshops in 37 states as well as Japan and Finland.

Ed Griffin – Fleet Feet Sports
Griffin is co-owner of two Fleet Feet Sports shoe stores in Central New York. Griffin speaks around the country on motivation and small business leadership. He brings an authenticity to the conversation about the world of work. He and his wife Ellen opened their first Fleet Feet store in Dewitt in 2000. It was named the best running store in America by Competitor and Running Insight magazines in 2012. They opened a second location in Clay in 2013. The business caters to runners, and about half of their customers are medical referrals for foot problems that require high-quality footwear and custom fitting.

Tony Wagner - Harvard University Innovation Lab
Wagner currently serves as an expert in residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Wagner was the first Innovation Education fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Wagner is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. Wagner also recently collaborated with noted filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60-minute documentary, “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World’s Most Surprising School System.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Local schools kick off National School Breakfast Week with OCM BOCES

Two schools in the North Syracuse Central School District helped kick off National School Breakfast Week and National Nutrition Month with some healthy options for their students. During the week of March 2, Roxboro Road and Gillette Road Middle School food service departments both offered yogurt bars as part of their school’s breakfast offerings.

The North Central School District always strives to provide delicious, nutritious meals for students that also meet the federal guidelines under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act because they know that:
·      eating breakfast improves standardized test scores, including reading, writing, and math;
·      children who eat breakfast have improved attentiveness;
·      increasing school breakfast participation increases school attendance; and
·      children who eat school breakfast visit the school nurse less frequently, and complain less of tiredness and sickness.

Additionally, the district’s nutrition services department staff have been collaborating with the Healthy Schools NY program at OCM BOCES to increase participation in their schools’ food service program and to provide students with healthier, exciting meal options. OCM BOCES has provided fruit and vegetable sectionizers to the district to help increase consumption of fruits and veggies.

Wendy Swift, director of Food Services at the North Syracuse Central School District, encourages everyone to check out their web page at or call (315) 218-2175 for detailed information on menus, nutrition resources, and more.

Great job North Syracuse Central School District!

For more information on the Healthy Schools NY program, contact Stacy McNeill at or call (315) 433-2246.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

OCM BOCES accepting nominations for CTE Hall of Fame

The Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES is accepting nominations for its Career and Technical Education (CTE) Hall of Fame through May 8, 2015. 

The Hall of Fame was established in 2011 to honor individuals who have graduated from our Career and Technical Education programs and who demonstrate leadership in their field. Each year, nominations are solicited and reviewed by a subcommittee made up from our OCM BOCES Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee. The committee reviews the nominations for the following qualifications:

1. OCM BOCES Career and Technical Education Graduate;
2. Engagement in an occupation related to the program completed at OCM BOCES;
3. Demonstrate leadership in his/her field;
4. Exercise civic responsibility.

The winners of the award will have a commemorative plaque placed in the "Hall of Fame" in their respective campus of graduation.

Current members of the OCM BOCES Alumni Hall of Fame are:
Keith Standish (Inducted 2011 - McEvoy Campus)
Leah Estock (Inducted 2011 - Henry Campus)
Dave Ryder (Inducted 2012 - Henry Campus)
Kevin McMahon (Inducted 2012 - McEvoy Campus)
Robert Canorro (Inducted 2013 - Henry Campus)
Brian Eastman (Inducted 2013 - McEvoy Campus)
Stacy Uzunoff (Inducted 2014 - Henry Campus)
Michael Park (Inducted 2014 - McEvoy Campus)

By identifying successful graduates, we hope to provide positive role models for current students, while making the public aware of the accomplishments of our former students and the potential for success through the high quality programs offered by OCM BOCES.

For more information on the OCM BOCES Alumni Hall of Fame, contact Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education, Phil Grome at 315/431-8407 or by email at

Click here to download a nomination form.

Click here to download selection criteria and nomination form. 

OCM BOCES CTE students and staff participate in Career Expo event

With February being Career and Technical Education (CTE) month throughout the United States, OCM BOCES wanted to participate by show-casing several of its own CTE programs. OCM BOCES staff worked to set up a working display at the Great Northern Mall on Saturday February 7.

Seven CTE teachers, a teaching assistant, a CTE guidance counselor and the CDOS guidance counselor from  OCM BOCES Henry Campus volunteered to staff the booth throughout the day. Additionally, principal, Peter Hunn and interim assistant principal, Helen White, were on hand to oversee the event.

To showcase BOCES, about a dozen cosmetology students volunteered at the event, demonstrating hair cutting, makeup application techniques, and nail care; two laboratory tech students displayed and explained phlebotomy equipment and a student from the OCM BOCES embedded physical therapy course was available to discuss careers in that field.

Hundreds of mall shoppers saw the OCM BOCES expo area, with many stopping to visit. Some of the visitors who stopped to pick up program brochures, expressed their belief that a career & technical education is a sure pathway to good Central New York job opportunities requiring the skills and work ethic foundational in BOCES CTE programs.  One visitor echoed the comments of most of those walking through our piece of Great Northern Mall between the food court and Macy's, by affirming, "It's great to see young people learning a profession they can really use."  And more than a few mall-goers simply smiled and let the staff know that someone in their life benefitted from a CTE or Adult Education course, then exclaimed, "I think OCM BOCES does great work!"

Some passersby, from districts other than OCM BOCES 23 components, compared their BOCES' programs to ours, with OCM's typically receiving a positive nod.  All in all, the afternoon proved enjoyable for students and staff, many of whom got a chance to chat with their home-school classmates and friends pleasantly surprised to see them on an otherwise gray winter's day.  The Great Northern site served as a practice run for next year's anticipated OCM BOCES CTE Expo at Destiny USA. 

Click here for additional information about OCM BOCES Career and Technical Education programs.