Standout Engineer student medals - again - at SkillsUSA

Ariel Novominski returns to Syracuse a year later and takes the podium one more time

silver medalist at statewide conferenceSouthern Westchester BOCES Career and Technical Education student Ariel Novominski won the Silver medal for Related Technical Math at the prestigious SkillsUSA  Leadership and Skills Championships in late April.

That very statement was also true one year ago when the then-junior from Edgemont first accomplished the feat. She was among 28 SWBOCES students who attended the competitions from across the #CTE programs. "The kids enjoyed it," advisor Ray Sulla said. "They had a good experience. The juniors can't wait to go back next year because now they know what to expect."

For her part, Ariel reflected on her accomplishment and on her decision to make a CTE credential a core piece of her high school academic career. 

What does it mean to you as a CTE student to compete so successfully at SkillsUSA?

"As a CTE student who excelled on stage and emerged victorious after competing with my peers, the feeling of accomplishment was indescribable. It is imperative that we realize that there are no limits to what we can achieve and that we set our goals as high as possible. It is vital that we do not confine ourselves or place any restrictions on what we believe we can accomplish. So go ahead and aim for the stars, because the sky is not the limit!"

As a graduating senior , what would you tell incoming CTE students about SkillsUSA and why they should get involved?

"Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly endorse and encourage everyone to become a part of SkillsUSA. It is more than just an organization at SWBOCES; it is a tight-knit family that provides a platform for you to work collaboratively with like-minded individuals who excel in competitive environments. The synergy and camaraderie that you experience as you prepare for the competitions is truly remarkable. You will witness the power of teamwork and collaboration, and you will feel a sense of drive and motivation to strive for excellence and succeed. So, if you are seeking an opportunity to enhance your skills, expand your network, and be a part of a supportive community, then SkillsUSA is the place for you!"

As you look ahead to college, how do you feel about your decision to take the CTE path? 

students who attended statewide conference

"Undoubtedly, my time at CTE was a transformative experience that enabled me to gain a comprehensive understanding of the field of Engineering long before I even step foot in college. The program provided me with invaluable insights into the intricacies and nuances of the profession, allowing me to gain a better understanding of what my daily routine as an engineer would entail. Furthermore, it helped me discover my learning preferences and taught me how to leverage them to my advantage. Through this, I learned that I thrived in a collaborative environment, where teamwork and mutual support were key, and where the competitive spirit was balanced by the spirit of cooperation."

What did you figure out about the value of CTE that you’d want other students to understand?

"CTE is much more than a mere half-day program; it is an enriching experience that leaves an indelible mark on one's life. It has helped me grow as an individual, both personally and professionally, and has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to excel in my chosen career path. I would relive this experience in a heartbeat, as it has been instrumental in shaping me into the person I am today."