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