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Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Hosts Commencement

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Cheers and applause filled the air as 558 students graduated from the Tech Center as Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, prepared for college or careers in fields ranging from law enforcement to cosmetology to health care.

Student speakers at the ceremony, which took place on the Yorktown campus Wednesday, June 11, included Walter Panas High School student Hawkon Gustavsson, Haldane High School’s Rachel Conklin and Yorktown High School’s Amanda Carlson.

“Everyone here has learned and developed skills in a trade, but it’s not our dedication that has made it so valuable, but our passion that turns even the most tedious work into a work of art,” said Gustavsson.

Conklin, a graduate of the New Visions Health program, said what she would remember most from her BOCES experience were the friendships she made.

“The bonds that I have made here in the last 10 months are stronger than those that I’ve made with kids from my home school who I’ve known since I was 5,” Conklin said. “The students at BOCES are no doubt the reason for this. Each student has … a unique presence.”

Carlson, a graduate from the law enforcement program, took to the podium to express her gratitude for the future employment opportunities her BOCES training has afforded her.

“We at BOCES have an advantage over those at our home school,” Carlson said. “We are graduating with the particular skills needed to perform the specific job of our choosing.”

After the graduation ceremony, students flocked to the friends and family members who were present to celebrate the special day. Students showed off their diplomas and spoke about what the future holds for them.

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