Oswego County BOCES Public Safety and Justice Cadets were honored recently at the program’s annual recognition and awards ceremony.
Parents and family members along with BOCES and component school district officials gathered for the distinguished ceremony to celebrate students’ accomplishments and educational achievements as they prepare for careers in police science, security, surveillance, corrections, emergency medical response, firefighting and the military.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem, audience members and students alike were shown a special class video produced by Public Safety and Justice Instructor Mark Bender.
The video highlighted the many activities students participated in over the last few months, from interior firefighting work to rappelling and vehicle extrication. It concluded with a final goodbye to instructor Jim Casamento, who will retire with the Class of 2014.
Three graduating seniors, Karleigh Stuckey (Sandy Creek), James Peet (Mexico) and Alantis Bonanno (Pulaski) were selected to address the audience and speak on behalf of their classmates at the ceremony.
The student representatives talked about the important, character-defining values that the program instills, and thanked their instructors for their guidance and support. Morning class speaker James Peet said a few words about brotherhood.
“Over these past two years the men and women in this class have built a bond greater than any friendship you’ll find in an average high school or even another class here at BOCES,” said Peet. “Brotherhood is something greater than an ordinary friendship. It’s a relationship that you’ll find in every field of public safety, whether its fire, police, or EMS. It’s a bond that separates us from most people in the communities of which we currently serve, or will serve somewhere in the future.”
The instructors honored the graduating seniors from the program, presenting them with official completion certificates. Special awards were also presented including: highest academic average awards, which went to Haley Purdy from Central Square Central School District, and Ian Vivlemore of the Oswego City School District.
The Physical Training award morning program winners were Mark Simmons from the Central Square Central School District, Zachery Mosher of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District and Tracie Murphy of the Fulton City School District.
The afternoon program PT winners were Dallas DeNise from the Hannibal Central School District, Koti Turner from Pulaski Academy and Central School District and Haley Purdy from the Central Square Central School District.
The Dr. David M. Stern Principal “Most Improved” Award was presented to graduating seniors Mark Simmons and Dallas DeNise. The William Bonney Scholarship, in memory of former instructor and valued at $500, was awarded to James Peet.
Also receiving special acknowledgement at the ceremony was Cadet Derek Pelkey from the Oswego City School District. Pelkey was presented with the program’s prestigious William T. Russell Jr. Wendall Award.
As an annual tradition, the Wendall Award recognizes one exemplary student that embodies the mission of the program and demonstrates a willingness to learn.