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Foundation celebrates local students with scholarship awards

June 11, 2019



Nine students stand holding their scholarship certificates at Herkimer BOCES


The Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation’s 28th annual awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, May 29, at the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer. Special Nursing Award winner Jaylan Witherspoon (front, left), a Herkimer resident in the Adult Practical Nursing Program, is pictured with high-school students who won scholarships and attended the ceremony. From left, after Witherspoon, front row: Brooke Newtown, of Central Valley; Jennifer LaGrange, of Little Falls, and Carmela Cancelmo, of Little Falls. Back row: Mickinzie Tabor, of Poland; Riley Spellman, of Frankfort-Schuyler; Christopher Schultz, of West Canada Valley; Daniel Cioch, of Central Valley, and Austin Ainslie, of Mount Markham.




HERKIMER – Deavon Eysaman’s path after graduating from Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and receiving a scholarship from what is now the Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation didn’t go exactly the way she expected.

Her path, however, did lead her back to Herkimer BOCES as a speech-language pathologist after she went back to college in her late 20s and received an associate degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. She now works as a speech-language pathologist at Dolgeville Central School District and the Herkimer BOCES Extended School Year program.

“Never forget where you started,” Eysaman said to Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation scholarship recipients during this year’s awards dinner. “I was lucky enough to come back to where I started.”

The Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation awarded $9,250 in scholarships to local students during the foundation’s 28th annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, with more than 50 people in attendance at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.

The goal of the Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation is to expand access to higher education for students in the region who are in career and technical education fields. To date, the foundation has provided more than 300 scholarships – totaling more than $175,000.

The ceremony

At the ceremony, foundation President Sharon Baisley conducted the welcome and introductions, and thanks were given to the foundation’s Board of Trustees and the dinner sponsors: M&T Bank and Human Technologies.

Baisley also congratulated the award winners and thanked them for attending with their families.

“Tonight’s to celebrate the students,” she said.

Ed Mower, a former Herkimer BOCES Board of Education member for 22 years, attended the event to share the history of how the foundation started. Mower attended the Annual Rural Schools Conference in Cooperstown where there was an information session on scholarships for students that major in vocational education. He brought the idea to then-District Superintendent William Whitehill, who launched the local foundation, which was initially part of the National Dollars for Scholars.

The Mower Family Farm Scholarship is one of the annual special awards, and it was started in honor of Mower’s brother, he said. He noted that his will includes leaving money to his family’s scholarship to continue the legacy.

As the guest speaker for this year’s awards dinner, Eysaman discussed the impact that the scholarship and her time as a student at Herkimer BOCES had on her. She started at Herkimer BOCES as a high-school junior in 1997 in the Early Childhood Education program with instructor Kim Fragetta. The program is now known as Child Family Services with instructor Sarah Weeks, another former scholarship recipient who was last year’s guest speaker.

“It was an amazing experience actually,” Eysaman said of her two years at BOCES. “I looked up to all my teachers. I wanted to do what they did. I wanted to be a teacher.”

Along the way, a bad car accident caused her to drop out of college. Through Head Start, she began doing some teaching for several years, before going back to college to earn her degrees. Her goal changed to becoming a speech-language pathologist.

“The one thing I did have was perseverance,” she said. “I know that with my perseverance and determination, every day I get to do what I love, and that is to teach kids to communicate.”

The awards

The general scholarship winners receive $650 for the first year of college and then are awarded another $650 for a second year if they maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and provide a copy of their freshman year transcript and enrollment verification for their sophomore year.

The scholarships are open to students who are majoring in vocational education in their high schools or at Herkimer BOCES and plan to go to college the next school year.

The following students won the foundation’s general scholarships:

  • Austin Ainslie, of Mount Markham;

  • Carmela Cancelmo, of Little Falls;

  • Daniel Cioch, of Central Valley;

  • Jennifer LaGrange, of Little Falls;

  • Danielle Modie, of West Canada Valley;

  • Brooke Newtown, of Central Valley;

  • Josiah Palumbo, of Owen D. Young;

  • Christopher Schultz, of West Canada Valley;

  • Riley Spellman, of Frankfort-Schuyler, and

  • Mickinzie Tabor, of Poland.

Morgan Benjamin, of Central Valley, and Britney Tucker, of Mount Markham, were named as alternates to receive scholarships.

There also are special incentive awards available each year for students pursuing careers in certain areas that awards were established for through donations.

The following students won special incentive awards of $100 each this year:

  • Ainslie won the Paul A. Bouck Memorial Scholarship. An award that is given to a student who will be majoring in an agricultural/rural or related field.

  • Cancelmo won the William E. Busacker Memorial Scholarship, which goes to a student who has been actively involved in school and/or community programs and has demonstrated leadership.

  • LaGrange won the Robert A. Moore Memorial Scholarship, which goes to a student who has completed the Herkimer BOCES Visual Communications Media Arts program.

  • Modie won the Chris Brockway Memorial Scholarship, which goes to a student completing the Criminal Justice program at Herkimer BOCES.

  • Palumbo won the Mower Family Farm Scholarship, which goes to a high-school graduate who will be pursuing occupations in the field of agriculture.

  • Schultz won:

    • The Papaleo/Dady Family Scholarship, which goes to a student who has completed a two-year program at the Herkimer BOCES Technical Education Center and has demonstrated good attendance, teamwork and commitment to a career field.

    • The Hummel Family Scholarship, which goes to a student who has completed a Herkimer BOCES career program and has demonstrated community-minded focus throughout high school.

    • The William E. Whitehill Jr. Scholarship, which goes to a student in a Herkimer BOCES Technical Education program who has demonstrated perseverance and has set clear goals for the future.

Additionally, $650 LPN scholarships were awarded to two Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program students: Michelle Comstock, of Dolgeville, and David Nesbitt, of Mohawk. Jaylan Witherspoon, of Herkimer, received the $650 special nursing scholarship. Rebecca Munoz, of Turin, was named as an alternate for the LPN scholarships.

The foundation’s largest fundraiser each year is the Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation Golf Tournament, which takes place this year at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5 at the Cedar Lake Golf Club. Last year’s golf tournament raised $9,500.

For information on registering for the golf tournament or making a donation, send an email to smaxson@herkimer-boces.org or call 315-867-2023.

 

 

Graduate Deavon Eysaman speaks at scholarship dinner


Deavon Eysaman, a graduate of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and former recipient of a Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation award, gives the guest speech during the foundation’s 28th annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.





Ed Mower speaks at scholarship dinner


Ed Mower, a former Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Board of Education member for 22 years and one of the key people in founding the Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation, speaks during the foundation’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.





Scholarship Foundation President Sharon Baisley speaks at scholarship dinner


Herkimer Region College & Career Scholarship Foundation President Sharon Baisley speaks during the foundation’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, at the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.