Career and Technical Education students receive awards for their hard work

Center for Career Services recognizes dedicated students

Students from the Southern Westchester BOCES Valhalla campus were recognized for their hard work and dedication to their Career and Technical Education programs. Two ceremonies were held in the beginning of June to celebrate students in the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively.

“I’m excited and I’m honored to receive such recognition with all these amazing people who excel in their programs,” said Brooke Murphy, senior at Eastchester High School.

Among the list of awards handed out was a new one for this year, the Excellence in Baking Award. The award was presented by Chef John Damiani, the Culinary Arts teacher, to Jae Ah Lee (Sarah Lee).

“This is the first ever excellence in baking award,” said Chef Damiani. “I petitioned for it because I felt it helps identify the students who are interested in different culinary paths, and this recognition helps keep them on a successful track.”

Chef Damiani also had the honor of watching his daughter Maria Damiani, a senior at New Rochelle High School, receive an award for Commercial Art. 

“It was a great day. I presented an award, but I also got to see my daughter win an award,” said Chef Damiani. “It feels great, I’m proud of my daughter and all of the opportunities SWBOCES has given her.”

Each student at the ceremony was presented a certificate and a plaque to commemorate the occasion.


Morning Session


Introduction to Career & Technical Education Outstanding Student - Jacob Ellam, Port Chester High School - Auto Body & Detailing

Donald B. Barbieri Memorial Award - Jasmin Robinson-Wilson, White Plains High School, Culinary Arts

John Harley Award - Kevin Lorenzana, Port Chester High School, Security, Law & Policing

DePaul Stallkamp Memorial Award- Kenneth Tiangco, Eastchester High School, Office Skills

Ray Oddo - Elijah Haynes, BOCES, Valhalla Center, Auto Body & Detailing

Dr. Colleen Murray Scholarship Award - Hendy Vasquez, Eastchester High School, Office Skills

Ruth Bullwinkel - Samantha Blaker, New Rochelle High School, Cosmetology

Dree Atkins Award- Timothy Fernandez, Dobbs Ferry, Commercial Art

Ollie Clark Award - Eduardo Anaya, New Rochelle High School, Electrical Construction

Best in Program

Introduction to Applied Art  - Hector Garcia, Port Chester

Automotive Technology - Raphael Reis, Pelham High School

Automotive Technology - Axel Villeda, Port Chester High School

Auto Body & Detailing - Jacob Ellam, Port Chester High School

CISCO -Christopher Raspiller, Edgemont High School

CISMAA -  Zainab Maqsood, New Rochelle High School

Cosmetology - Samantha Gonzalez-Lopez, New Rochelle High School

Culinary Arts - Janeth Navarrete, New Rochelle High School

Electrical Construction - Luis Jesus Ayala, New Rochelle High School

Emergency Medical Services - Joanne Madrid, New Rochelle High School

Fashion Design & Merchandising - Diana Lopez, New Rochelle High School

General Maintenance Assistance - Andrew Murphy, Yonkers High School

Office Skills & Occupations - Lesnar Quezada, Port Chester High School

Retail Food Skills & Services - Andrew Martin, Tuckahoe High School

Afternoon Session


Secondary Day Career & Technical Education Outstanding Student- Brooke Murphy, Eastchester High School, Collision Technology

John Remling Award- Loreanny Rivera Rosales, Valhalla High School, Commercial Art

Stock Award for Culinary Excellence - Ashley Stricker, Blind Brook High School, Culinary Arts

Excellence in Baking - Jae Ah Lee, Edgemont High School, Culinary Arts

Elaine Barisch Memorial - Grace Ruiz-Santillan, Woodlands High School, Computer Information System Medical Administrative Assistant

Margaret Antonecchia Memorial Award - Briana Benjamin, Woodlands High School, Computer Information System Medical Administrative Assistant

Hanifah Muhammad Award - Victoria Bencivengo, Valhalla High School, Emergency Medical Services

Glenn Demers Award- Camilo De La Cruz Jr., New Rochelle High School, Collision Technology

Teacher Appreciation Award - Arial Villada, White Plains High School, Culinary Arts


Best in Program

Animal Science - Amy Baez, New Rochelle High School 

Architecture - Eicyess Richburg, White Plains High School

Automotive Technology - Daniel Dierssen, Westlake High School

Collision Technology - Brooke Murphy, Eastchester High School

Commercial Art - Maria Damiani, New Rochelle High School

Construction/Plumbing - Jorge Navarro, New Rochelle High School

Cosmetology - Taylar Mitura, Westlake High School

Nurse Assistant - Giovanna Roque, Woodlands High School

Pre-Engineering - Amelie Escamilla Ramos, Harrison High School

Security, Law & Policing - Michael Cacioppo, Edgemont High School

Sound Production - Nyla Walker, Woodlands High School

TV/Video Production - Samuel Burgos, Valhalla High School