Health Occupations Graduation Ceremony Held at Oswego County BOCES

A commencement ceremony was held in early June to honor graduates of the Oswego County BOCES Certified Medical Assistant program and the Certified Administrative Health Assistant program.

Paul Gugel, Director of Adult and Migrant Education at OCB welcomed family and friends to the ceremony and commended the graduates on their dedication to continuing their education, professionalism and willingness to work as a team, saying “take that spirit of collaboration with you when you enter the workforce and you will find success.”

Graduates of the June 2012 Oswego County BOCES Certified Medical Assistant program are pictured above with Instructor Shelly Spencer. Graduates in the front row, left to right, include: valedictorian Patti Ruffos, Kara Peterson, Samantha Isabell, and Tammy Earnshaw. Second row, left to right: Lee Simpkins, salutatorian Mary Mangan and Spencer.

OCB Board of Education President John Shelmidine offered his congratulations to the graduates and spoke about the courage, perseverance and sacrifice that a non-traditional student makes when he/she decides to reenter the classroom to pursue a new career.

“By their very presence here this evening it is clear that they represent the highest level of commitment and character,” he said. Adding, “I am extremely proud to represent an organization which so solidly embraces the concept of lifelong learning and these students are the very essence of it.”

Guest speaker for the ceremony was May 2011 Certified Medical Assistant graduate Sarah Porter who now works for Elite Health Care Medical Associates, a Central New York orthopedic surgery group. Providing a breath of excitement for the new graduates, Sarah talked about the many rewards of working in the medical field and said, “I learn something new every day.”

Adult Education Instructor Shelly Spencer presented each graduate with a commemorative pin and diploma and led the Certified Medical Assistant group in confirming their completion of the program with the reciting of the traditional Medical Assisting Pledge.

Rounding out the ceremony was the recognition of class valedictorian, Patti Ruffos, and class salutatorian, Mary Mangan, as well as the students accepted into the National Technical Honor Society. Serving as America’s highest award for excellence in education, students Samantha Isabell, Mary Mangan, Kara Peterson and Patti Ruffos were selected for this prestigious honor.

The Certified Medical Assistant and Certified Administrative Health Assistant training programs at OCB combine theory with hands-on learning experiences and are designed to exceed the standards for today’s in-demand jobs.

For more information about the two programs or other opportunities catered to adult learners who have been displaced, are considering a career change and/or are interested in re-entering the workforce, contact the Adult Education Department at (315) 963-4256 or visit