Education goes on outside classroom: BOCES students work at town highway garage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School is a little bit more labor-intensive for Shan Beebe and Tyler Perry than for most students, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

While many of their peers are sitting in a classroom dissecting Shakespeare or calculating derivatives or integrals, the seniors at Whitehall High School are busy patching blacktop and servicing backhoes.

Their classroom isn’t contained within four walls. Instead it extends to the yard of the Whitehall Town Highway garage and the roadways throughout the community.

For three days every week, from September to December and April to June, Beebe and Perry receive practical, hands-on training at the Highway Department.

They pave and improve roads, dig ditches, install fence posts, service trucks, and serve as flagmen directing traffic.

“We operate equipment, pave roads … we do whatever we have to do,” said Beebe.

Beebe and Perry are both enrolled in a heavy equipment maintenance and operation course at BOCES in Hudson Falls.

 

National program

The two-year program, based on the National Center for Construction Education and Research Contren Learning Series for Heavy Equipment and Repair, introduces students to the trade.

After a couple of hours of instruction in core subjects, like math, English and science at Whitehall, the pair spends Monday and Tuesday afternoons at the BOCES facility learning how to operate, maintain, diagnose and repair a variety of heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, bucket loaders, excavators, dump trucks, and skid steers.

“We learn a lot of equipment maintenance at BOCES,” Perry said.

Last year, students enrolled in the course completed work on a baseball field and this year they have done some work in Cole’s Woods in Glens Falls.

Although it’s not a requirement of the course, students are encouraged to seek an internship where they refine their skills and gain more experience.

So every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Beebe and Perry work with the crew at the town highway garage.

“The main thing for them is they get that hands-on experience,” said Louis Pratt, highway superintendent. “They come long enough to do just about every aspect of the job except snow removal,”

Pratt has taken two students at a time for a few years and said the program has been excellent.

He said Beebe and Perry have freed up guys to get other work done and have saved the department and, by extension, the town money.

As an example he discussed how Beebe was out working with the crews on some of the town’s roads and Perry was left behind to remove a ramp at the highway garage.

By the time they got back, the entire ramp had been torn out.

Beside the fundamental skills of operating and maintaining equipment, Beebe and Perry learn the various nuances, and tricks of the trade that can’t be replicated in the controlled environment of BOCES. They also learn how to work with people and handle the different personalities they’ll encounter on a work site in the future.

“You learn there (BOCES), but you get lot more here,” Beebe said. “It’s helped me a lot.”

Perry agrees.

“I’ve picked up a lot being here,” he said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

Obituary: Audrey J. Vladyka

North Granville, NY – Audrey J. Vladyka passed peacefully into the arms of the lord on October 12, 2019, while […]

Obituary: Roger H. Edwards

Roger Edwards obit photo

Roger H. Edwards, 88, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, with his loving daughters by his […]

Obituary: Donald H. Hammond

Hammond obit poto

Donald H. Hammond, 75, passed away on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, at Albany Medical Center following a long illness, surrounded […]

North Country Freepress – 10/11/19

FreePress_10_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 10/11/19

Lakes_10_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

Classifieds 10/09/19

Classifides 10_9_19.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 10/10/19

518 Wheels 10_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

12-unit apartment complex to be auctioned off

DSC_3276

By Matthew Saari Brookview Town Houses owes nearly $42,000 in back taxes and is set to be auctioned off this […]

‘Culture has changed’ at school

WHS

By PJ Ferguson The consensus at the Whitehall Junior-Senior High School is that the “ship has tightened” and the “culture […]

Christmas in the Park kicks of Wednesday

Gville lights

By Matthew Saari It may be only the second week of October, but a group of Granville residents is already […]

Cameras to ‘patrol’ Skenesborough Park

visitor center2

By PJ Ferguson After multiple reports of vandalism and property destruction in Skenesborough Park, the Whitehall Town Board has voted […]

Town-wide sale in Poultney Saturday

yard sale

By Jared Stamm The Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual fall town-wide yard sale tomorrow, […]