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      Jean Sullivan
      Communications Director
      732-473-3100 x 3060

    Page Title| Happenings News Stories  2010


    April 29, 2010

    OCVTS Graduates Shine Brightly at 50th Anniversary Gala
    Jean Sullivian, April 29, 2010

    Caption: 50th anniversary of Ocean County Vocational Technical School

    TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY- Ocean County Vocational Technical School opened its doors in 1959, offering the Licensed Practical Nursing program in a small converted supermarket building in downtown Toms River. Over the past five decades the district has grown by leaps and bounds and now offers over thirty career programs at six campuses throughout the county.

    The Ocean County Foundation for Vocational Technical Education hosted an evening of celebration and tribute to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ocean County Vocational Technical School. 250 guests attended the 50th Anniversary Gala Thursday evening at the Quality Inn, in Toms River.

    Fifty graduates from the past five decades were the guests of honor, including graduates who traveled from as far away as California. The graduates, who represented more than 30 current and former career training programs had been nominated for this honor by their former teachers, employers, family members and friends. Along with a certificate of recognition, their achievements were also commemorated by a Proclamation presented by Ocean County Freeholder and OCVTS Liaison Joseph H. Vicari, and a Resolution of Honor from Congressman Andrew Ciesla, Assemblymen David Wolfe and James Holzapfel , from New Jersey’s 10th Legislative district.

    Caption: 50th anniversary of Ocean County Vocational Technical School

    A seven-course meal was prepared by local distinguished chefs including: Chef Joe Leone (OCVTS graduate) from Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties, Point Pleasant; Chef Mike Jurusz, (OCVTS graduate), Atlantic Bar & Grill, Seaside; Chef Erik Weatherspool, Bistro 44, Toms River; ,who reigns as a champion from Foodnetwork’s cooking competition ‘Chopped’; Chef Peter Fischbach, Gourmet Dining Services, Toms River; Chef Rich Lecarpentier, Quality Inn, Toms River; Chef Murray Dychtwald, Restaurant Rescue, Toms River; as well as OCVTS Culinary Arts Instructors Chef Ian Smith, Chef Gary Lesniak, and Chef Dennis Melia (OCVTS graduate).

    The Ocean County Foundation for Vocational Technical Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to help ensure a quality education for students of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School through the attraction of private resources for the exclusive benefit of its students and staff. The Foundation provides scholarships for students as well grants for instructors to augment and supplement their programs through the acquisition of equipment, supplies, technology and training.

    Graduates and their career program who were honored at the Gala include:

    OCVTS Graduates from the 1960’s:

    Marie Cox Pendleton, Practical Nursing                      

    ‘Marie Cox Pendleton, graduated from the first OCVTS class in 1960, while she was attending Lakewood High School. The Licensed Practical Nursing Program classes were held in a small building behind Kimball Medical Center at the time.

    Pendleton has been working at Kimball since 1961 as a surgical technician. “I was born there, worked there, and I guess I’ll go to heaven there. I’ll keep working as long as I can,” she said. ‘ (Toms River Times, May 5, 2010)


    OCVTS Graduates from the 1960’s (Continued):

    George McKelvey, Auto Mechanics

    Wayne Skinner            , Auto Mechanics

    Karen Doe, Dental Assisting

    Jim Emmer, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning

    Arthur Nobles, Welding

    John Atkinson Sr., Auto Mechanics


    OCVTS Graduates from the 1970’s:

    Dorothy Draper Hoeh, Practical Nursing

    Joan Barnard, Practical Nursing

    Glenn Sculthorpe, Auto Body

    Glenn graduated in 1973 and is the second-generation owner of one of the oldest and largest family owned and operated collision businesses in New Jersey. The 50-year-old Tilton Body Works has locations in Point Pleasant, Jackson and Lakewood, N.J.

    Keith Norris, Architecture/Drafting

    Russell Ludwig            , Building Trades

    Ronald Braen, Marine Trades

    Neil Lelievre, Masonry

    Rita Rocco, Practical Nursing

    Edith LaTorre, Practical Nursing


    OCVTS Graduates from the 1980’s:

    Marie Cristo, Practical Nursing

    Diane Henry- DeCicco, Advanced Medical Skills

    Rick Braen, Marine Trades

    Sharon Hicks, Dental Assisting

    Alan Wilkins, Electrical Trades

    Alan Wilkins graduated from the Electrical Trades Apprenticeship program and has operated an electrical contracting business since 1985. Mr Wilkins serves as Building Department Electrical Inspector/Subcode Official for several New Jersey townships. He was named New Jersey Electrical Inspector of the Year in 2005.

    Larry Schuster, Recreational Vehicle Repair

    Skip Peters, Electrical Trades

    James Balkus Jr., Auto Mechanics

    Ralph Sebastian           , Auto Body

    Lisa Tatesure, Medical/Dental Receptionist

    Kim Healy Sanchez, Cosmetology

    John Vitale, Radio/TV Repair

    Josie Vega, Cosmetology

    JoAnn Juralewicz, Cosmetology

    JoAnn graduated in 1989. She is a fully licensed cosmetologist the sole proprietor of Simply Skin Day Spa and Salon in Toms River, New Jersey for 14 years with a staff of thirty professionals.

    Ms. Juralewicz holds several advanced certifications including a diploma for ITEC (International Technical Examination Council) which is the highest professional standing for estheticians. She was recognized as the OCVTS Successful Graduate by the NJCCVTS in 2003.

    OCVTS Graduates from the 1990’s

    Jacqueline Rible, Interior Design

    Lori Rathgeber, Practical Nursing

    Lori graduated from the Practical Nursing program in 1991. She is currently the Director of the Visiting Angels Nursing Service in Toms River, New Jersey, Ms.Rathgeber also serves as the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau Officer.

    Scott Nevins, Electrical Trades

    Jeff Deron, Electrical Trades

    Jennifer Cottrell           , Cosmetology

    Steven Mitchell            , Electrical Trades

    Steven Mitchell graduated from the electrical trades program while in high school and then attended the four-year electrical apprenticeship program. He owns his own electrical contracting business

    In July 2010, Mitchell, 39, will graduate from the OCVTS Practical Nursing Program. Steven became interested in nursing while caring for his wife who had had a kidney transplant and requires dialysis three to six times a week.


    Laurence Trainor, Welding

    Robert Armbuster, Telecommunications

    Robert graduated in 1998 and worked as an installer and foreman for the I.B.E.W for eight years. He then founded his own business Armbruster Communications, LLC in Toms River, New Jersey. Mr. Armbruster says, “OCVTS truly prepared me for the real world. I received the best technical training along with the business skills I needed to start my own company.” (Toms River Times, April 21, 2010)

    Tanya Lynn Smith, Office Systems Technology


    OCVTS Graduates from the 2000’s:

    Jason Millard, Recreational Vehicle Repair

    Jonathan Morey           , Welding

    Adam Malinowski, Recreational Vehicle Repair

    Joe Sabba, Automotive Technology

    Jonathan Lovallo, Machine Trades

    Ryan Schmitt, Culinary Arts

    ‘Ryan Schmitt  attended the culinary and pastry program at the OCVTS Brick center, and got a job working summers at the Atlantic Bar and Grill in Seaside Park.

    From there, Schmitt attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Florida and now works as a pastry chef at the prestigious Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.

    “I had two years of vo-tech and won at the state level for the SkillsUSA competition,” Schmitt said. “The teachers there really knew what they were doing. They were talented and focused and made me feel like I could be successful.”’(Toms River Times, May 5,2010)



    OCVTS Graduates from the 2000’s (Continued):

    Daimon Santa Maria, Graphic Design Technology

    Mitch Remig, Law & Public Safety

    ‘Mitch Remig, who attended the Law and Public Safety school and now serves as a councilman in Point Pleasant Boro. “My goal was to be a police officer. I took every (course) they had to offer to the fullest extent,” he said. “When I graduated Point Boro in 2007, I already had 12 college credits…I was hired by Manasquan after attending the Monmouth County Police Academy, where I was number one in my class.

    “Vo-tech set the path and opened doors. Everything fell into place. I’m a special police officer now; I’m waiting for a full-time position,” he said.

    Elected as a councilman at the age of 20, Remig said he believes that opportunity was “one in a million.”’ (Toms River Times, May 5, 2010)


    Matthew Thomas, Aviation & Aerospace Technology

    Sean Dowling, Agricultural and Environmental Science

    Angela Penna, Culinary Arts

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