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June 5th, 2013

This Week in Orange County 6-5-13

Orange County Executive Edward Diana

To close out Orange County Office for the Aging’s (OFA) recognition of May as Older American’s Month, they hosted a senior health and fitness day at our beautiful Thomas Bull Memorial Park this week. OFA was joined by the County’s departments of Parks and Health to make this a great outing for Orange County’s most senior residents. What started out as a damp, drizzly day ended in warm sunshine at the park’s boathouse and lake pavilion.

Participants enjoyed a full day of activities starting off with a one mile walk at the park and finishing up with a healthy lunch provided courtesy of ShopRite Supermarkets. In between they had the opportunity to use the park’s fitness trail, participate in a Silver Sneakers exercise class courtesy of Bare Fitness in Goshen, enjoy a healthy cooking demonstration by Stefanie Hubert of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and talk to the many other sponsors and vendors who were on hand to offer useful information, health screenings, and more.

Kudos to the entire Office for the Aging staff for putting together a fun and informative day for our seniors so that they could get outside, spend time with friends, and even make new ones.

Indeed, a good time was had by all!

This week it was my pleasure to attend the Orange County BOCES Career and Technical Education Center’s (CTEC) annual partnership breakfast. If you’re not familiar with CTEC, it is a great educational opportunity available to high school students here in the County that offers both college and career preparation and skills.

It’s also a wonderful collaboration between BOCES and the many business and industry partners who provide the students with real-world, hands-on job experience. CTEC offers students 39 different programs in 12 career academies which include business computers, construction, culinary, education, health, visual arts, engineering, and more.

At the breakfast, results of the 2012 CTEC graduate survey were reported. Last year, 669 students completed the CTEC program. A remarkable 70% of those students responded to the survey and of those nearly 62% reported that they’d gone on to full-time post-secondary education, another 26% were employed, and 3% joined the military. Those are fantastic results of which the CTEC educators, administrators, and students can be very, very proud.

I was surprised to see my name on the partnership breakfast program that morning for a special recognition from CTEC Director Jodie Yankanin. I was touched when Ms. Yankanin presented me with a plaque of appreciation recognizing my support of the CTEC program, and I was deeply humbled when she announced that CTEC would be creating a scholarship award in my honor.

My roots are in education, so this means a great deal to me. I spent 30+ years teaching and coaching in the Minisink Valley School District and that commitment to education has carried through with me to my career as an elected official.

Education is the key to our young people’s futures. It opens doors and provides opportunities. We are fortunate to have a great many institutions of learning here in Orange County, and I encourage residents of all ages to take advantage of the many educational options. Remember, you’re never too old to learn.

To all of the class of 2013 graduates – congratulations and best wishes for a bright and successful future!

Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.

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