Orleans/Niagara BOCES names employees of the year
Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES
MEDINA – The Orleans/Niagara BOCES kicked off the new school year by announcing the employees of the year. District Superintendent Dr. Clark Godshall announced the winners at opening day ceremonies.
The winners were nominated by their peers in the categories of administrator, clerical, maintenance, staff specialist, substitute, teacher aide and teacher, all for doing an outstanding job the previous school year.
• The Administrator of the Year was Dr. Michael Weyrauch, principal at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center. He has been with BOCES for 4 ½ years and says his favorite part of his job is the staff and students that he gets to work with on a daily basis.
“I felt very honored that in this organization, which has a large number of outstanding staff who give it their all each and every day, that I was chosen,” he said. “It is an outstanding feeling.”
• Special education teacher Theresa Clause was named the Teacher of the Year. She has worked at BOCES for 20 years.
“My favorite part of my job is the paperwork – Just kidding!” she said. “Of course it is the kids! My personal experiences are the greatest contributing factors to me becoming a teacher. These experiences shaped my views and continue to influence my teaching style. I love the fact that I can give back.
“I have a learning disability (dyslexia) and I have been on the other side of the classroom. I understand the daily struggles our kids have to overcome just to be on an even playing field with peers and hope I can be a positive role model for them. I want to challenge them to dream bigger and imagine themselves in a different set of circumstances. I want to make them aware of the opportunities they may be oblivious to because they do not know they exist outside of school or the life they know. I strive to meet students where they are, and not dwell on where they should be. I truly believe that you can accomplish anything your put your mind to. When I was in school I always wanted to be a teacher and with hard work and family support I made it happen. I was so surprised and humbled by this award.”
• In the clerical category, Shirley Campbell works for the Special Education Department and has been with BOCES for 14 years.
“My favorite part of my job is working with the secretaries in all the districts,” she said. “They are a wonderful group of women. I was very shocked that I won. It was a wonderful surprise.”
• Rene Becht has worked at BOCES for 22 years and is the teacher aide in the Welding Program. She was named the outstanding teacher aide during the past school year.
“I started working in the day care as a Toddler Room teacher and after 10 years, I started working with the high school vocational students where I have been an aide since 2008.
“My favorite part of my job is working with the students, helping them realize their potential. I have enjoyed the positive relationships I’ve built with many of them and the daily interactions in and out of school. The staff at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center are all great and I would not be able to do my job without them. It was a great honor to be recognized. I especially want to thank Dr. Elaine Black-Richards for all her advice over the years and always being there for me.”
• In the maintenance category Tom Wright has worked in the Print Shop for seven years.
“The best part of working at BOCES is the people, of course! “ he said. “All my coworkers and administrators are great to work with. I was very surprised and excited that I was named an employee of the year.”
• Staff Specialist Leon Szczerbinski has been with BOCES’ Safety Risk Department for eight years. He was employee of the year for the staff specialists.
“I work in a very solid unit that provides a valuable and necessary service for our component districts,” he said. “I am impressed by the quality of service the Safety Risk unit has been able to provide and I am encouraged daily to see the end result; a safer place to learn and work.
“I have also met so many wonderful people at BOCES and in all the districts wherever I am assigned. I am grateful for their cooperation, assistance and the opportunity to know and interact with them. Being named an employee of the year is an awesome tribute!
“I am humbled and grateful by this honor and recognition, but I am certain that my inspiration and dedication was and is instilled from my parents, family and my BOCES family of whom I work and interact with daily.”
• Robin Quinones is an independent hair stylist at the Blue Door Salon, NYS Certified Instructor for Career and Technical Education and a Career Coach for Beauty Industry Professionals. She has substituted at BOCES since 2006. She was named the outstanding substitute for the past year.
“It’s incredibly gratifying helping students prepare for future careers and continued education. I am honored to be chosen as Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Substitute of the Year. It truly validates my efforts that I brought into the career and technical ed classrooms.”