Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Graduated students often visit their former teachers at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center and tell them about their successes. It is especially nice when they are able to lend a hand during Skills Week, where each vocational class sets up competitions for their students to see who will go on to the Regional SkillsUSA competition.
“We have asked several judges to come in and help us with scoring hairstyles for our competition,” said Cosmetology teacher Sue Lindke. “We are very grateful when former students, who are now in the field, come in to judge. Not only are they trained professionals, they have been through this competition so they know how hard the students have worked and what is required from them.”
Precision Machine Technology teacher Bill Rakonczay asked former student Al DeChanbeau, a 2006 graduate from Newfane, to come in to judge his students’ work.
“This class helped to shape me and the career I have today, so I was glad to come and help out,” DeChanbeau said. “I was always better with my hands than book work and that is why this program was a good fit for me. Senior year when I capstoned at Niagara Precision in Lockport, it really showed me what the real work environment is like and paid me to learn. After graduation I went to work for them full time and now I do quality control for them. I love it.”
Rakonczay asked him to talk to his students about his career and he was more than happy to do so. He told them, “Mr. Rakonczay really inspired me and opened my eyes up to the possibilities for me. If you want to learn, he is here to teach. You can make a good living from this and the capstoning is a great way to get your foot in the door.”