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September 26, 2018

BOCES Medical Assisting And Dental Assisting Graduation Ceremony


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MEXICO, NY – Oswego County BOCES Adult Education department held a joint graduation ceremony recently for Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting students. Family, friends, staff, community and BOCES board members gathered for the ceremony, presenting pins and diplomas honoring the 13 graduates.

Oswego County BOCES Dental Assisting Program graduates include, front row left to right: Julia Osorio, Ashley Hughes, and Jill Mulcahey. Back row left to right: Sara Spencer, Kendra Serrano, Suzanne Bellinger, and Dental Assisting Instructor Tracey Ryan.

Oswego County BOCES Dental Assisting Program graduates include, front row left to right: Julia Osorio, Ashley Hughes, and Jill Mulcahey. Back row left to right: Sara Spencer, Kendra Serrano, Suzanne Bellinger, and Dental Assisting Instructor Tracey Ryan.

Oswego County BOCES Board of Education President John Shelmidine applauded the graduates for their perseverance and dedication to continuing their education. He commended the students for choosing noble career paths and encouraged the students to find new opportunities and rise above adversity.

“Today is a new beginning… the beginning of your future,” Shelmidine said to the students.

Medical Assisting Graduate Joy Lower, chosen as the class speaker, followed Shelmidine addressing her fellow graduates and the audience members.

Remembering back to when the Medical Assisting class started five months prior, Lower said, “Everyone in the class, including myself, came here searching for something new.”

Now, 17 years after quitting school at age 16, Lower referred to the graduation day as “one of the proudest moments of my life.” She thanked Instructor Shelly Spencer for making the class and learning enjoyable and encouraged her fellow classmates to “never be afraid to try new things.”

Guest speaker on behalf of the Medical Assisting program was Jacqueline Gates, RN and Nursing Manager at Family Practice Associates in Liverpool.

Gates, with more than 40 years experience in the nursing field, had a few words of advice for the graduating class.

She encouraged the graduates to refine the skills they’ve learned, challenge themselves, and strive to be their best.

To achieve success in the ever-changing medical field, Gates said, “Show you have initiative and continue motivating yourself to keep learning.”

Adult Education and Workforce Development Director Donna Donabella was joined by Spencer for the pin and diploma presentation portion of the ceremony.

Following the presentation of diplomas and completion of the traditional Medical Assisting Pledge, special achievement awards were given to class valedictorian Lower for a 100.53 GPA and class salutatorian Gail Torkildsen for a 100.36 GPA.

Shifting gears, students graduating from the Dental Assisting program were honored for their achievements.

Suzanne Bellinger, Dental Assisting Class Speaker, addressed the audience on behalf of her class.

“Sixty-four chapters, 200 hours of internships, and 431 flash cards later… It’s amazing how far we’ve come,” Bellinger said to her classmates.

Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting Program graduates include, front row left to right: Hope Graham, Nicole Miller, Gail Torkildsen, and Tonya Coe. Back row left to right: Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Lane Pistello, Rebecca West, and Joy Lower.</p>

Oswego County BOCES Medical Assisting Program graduates include, front row left to right: Hope Graham, Nicole Miller, Gail Torkildsen, and Tonya Coe. Back row left to right: Medical Assisting Instructor Shelly Spencer, Lane Pistello, Rebecca West, and Joy Lower.ÂÂÂ

She thanked instructor Tracey Ryan and said, “We are all well prepared and eager with anticipation for what lies ahead.”

Guest speaker on behalf of the Dental Assisting program was Dr. Juan Lopez from Canalview Dental Associates in Fulton.

Commenting on the graduates’ knowledge and preparedness for a career in the dental field, Dr. Lopez said, “Students from the BOCES’ (Dental Assisting) program are making great additions to the profession.”

Pins and diplomas were presented to the six Dental Assisting graduates by Ryan and Donabella.

Special achievement awards were presented to class valedictorian Bellinger for a 99.07 GPA and class salutatorian Sara Spencer for a 98.48 GPA.

The graduates, lead by their instructor, took the traditional Dental Assisting Pledge as confirmation of their graduation.

Concluding the ceremony was a presentation by John Shelmidine and Donabella inducting students into the National Technical Honor Society.

NTHS honorees are recognized for outstanding student achievement in the following areas: knowledge, skill, honesty, service, responsibility, citizenship, and leadership. Inducted into the NTHS was Medical Assisting students Hope Graham, Lower, and Torkildsen along with Dental Assisting students Bellinger, Kendra Serrano, and Sara Spencer.

For information about the Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting programs at Oswego County BOCES or other adult education offerings, contact Donabella at 963-4256 or visit the OCB website at www.oswegoboces.org and click on adult education.

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