Jean Sullivian, April 2, 2009
OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY- The Ocean County Foundation for Vocational and Technical Education honored the 2009 recipients of the Acknowledging Excellence Awards at the annual dinner ceremony. Each year the Foundation honors an outstanding community partnership, a retired educator and three Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) graduates.
Caption: The 2009 Acknowledging Excellence recipients were honored for their outstanding accomplishments. Shown here left to right are: Robert Hansen, Rose Hansen, Jim Rizzolo, Warren Nordfors, Rosemary Newman-Kaiser, and John Vorhees.
This year the Foundation recognized Hansen Lithography, Ltd., of Toms River as their community partnership. Owners Robert and Rose Hansen were recognized for their generosity and commitment to technical vocational education. They have provided printing services, free of charge, for Foundation’s events for the past twelve years. Mr. Hansen commented “vocational technical education makes sense” in today’s world, “providing focus for people searching for a career.”
James Rizzolo, of Toms River, was recognized as a retired OCVTS educator. Jim Rizzolo’s career as an educator and educational leader spans thirty-nine years, the past twenty-five of which were dedicated to OCVTS. Jim has served as a guidance counselor, director of guidance services, vice principal of the OCVTS Brick Center, and principal of the OCVTS Waretown Center. In addition to his administrative duties, Jim served on numerous district committees; and of course he is fondly remembered for his long-standing involvement with SkillsUSA, a national student skill competition program.
Three successful graduates were also recognized. Rosemary Newman-Kaiser, of Lakehurst graduated from the OCVTS Cosmetology program in 1987. Confident and determined, Rose opened her own salon six months after graduation. Her business has flourished over the past 21 years and her present salon, Dimensional Designs in Lakehurst, which she designed herself, offers a full range of hair, nail and spa services. “Ocean County Vo Tech gave me a stronger sense of who I was. I adored my instructors and they prepared me well for my future. Over half of my staff are OCVTS graduates. Students who go to OCVTS recognize their passion early-on, work hard, and follow their dreams,” she stated.
Warren Nordfors, of Island Heights, graduated in 1986 from the Architectural Engineering program at OCVTS. He pursued his degree at New Jersey Institute of Technology and is now a certified Project Architect/Manager for a Princeton firm. Mr. Nordfors decided to become an architect after attending an OCVTS summer exploratory program where he had a chance to sample several career skills and was introduced to drafting. From that point on Warren says “I knew then what I wanted to do. OCVTS provided a good foundation of skills and allowed me to focus on a career.”
John Voorhees, of Brick, graduated from the OCVTS Collision Repair program in 1983. He began his career in the collision repair industry through the OCVTS Cooperative Education Program, as an auto body repair technician. He is currently employed by Central Paint ColorSource as a sales manager. John has been an instructor for auto body classes in the OCVTS Adult Education Division since 1996. He also assists on the industry advisory committee, has volunteered with SkillsUSA, and works closely with the OCVTS daytime Collision Repair providing information and demonstrations on current industry technology and trends.
The honorees were recognized at a dinner ceremony held at the OCVTS Navy Lakehurst Culinary Center. The meal was prepared by OCVTS Culinary students and entertainment was provided by OCVTS Performing Arts Academy students.
The Ocean County Foundation for Vocational Technical Education was established in 1994. The Foundation provides funds for learning and training activities not funded through other means. Donations also support professional growth of staff and provide venture capital for creative ideas and programs. The Foundation promotes community awareness of educational challenges and solutions and develops enrichment programs to address the needs of OCVTS and the community it serves. The Foundation also provides resources for equipment and training in the most recent technologies used in the workplace and for the development of innovative technologies in teaching and learning. For more information about the Foundation visit www.ocvts.org/foundation.