Batavia students earn AutoTech Competition scholarships

Margaret Poray, Executive Principal GV BOCES Batavia Campus; Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor; Noah Burke; Conner Gale; and Tom Herrmann and Charlie Pfeil, representatives from NFADA.Margaret Poray, Executive Principal GV BOCES Batavia Campus; Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor; Noah Burke; Conner Gale; and Tom Herrmann and Charlie Pfeil, representatives from NFADA.
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Two Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Tech students brought home a very big trophy on May 21! 

Conner Gale from Byron-Bergen Central Schools and Noah Burke from Batavia City Schools took first place in the Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition that was held at the SUNY Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center and sponsored by the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association (NFADA). 

Each student won a $10,000 college scholarship, as well as a $5,000 tool scholarship. 

Charlie Pfeil and Tom Herrmann, representatives from NFADA, recently paid a visit to the Batavia CTE Center to recognize these two students and present them with their scholarship certificates. Herrmann explained how noteworthy it was for these two high school seniors to win this competition.

“This is a very big deal for you to win the competition. In the past, the winners of the competition have been people who have graduated from high school and are employed at dealerships,” Herrmann said. “This is a great accomplishment to put on your resume. The future is yours.”

When asked about the competition, both Gale and Burke said that they were apprehensive.

“It was nerve-racking,” Burke said. “We knew the tasks that we had to complete but we weren’t sure of the specific issues we had to fix. But we worked together as a team.” One of the tasks included diagnosing and repairing an issue with a vehicle that had been purposely bugged.

Overall, both students felt prepared for the competition. “We spent time after school preparing and also spent a week working at Basil Ford in Buffalo so we could work on newer model vehicles,” Gale said. 

“The extra time that we spent preparing really paid off. Mr. Yates really helped us to understand how to problem solve.” Burke added.

Bob Yates, Auto Technology instructor, said, “Conner and Noah represented Genesee Valley BOCES and my Automotive Technology class in the most professional manner. These two students were so dedicated and spent many hours preparing for the competition.  This preparedness proved their success, and I’m so proud of Connor and Noah.”

Currently, Gale is employed at Livingston Associates and plans to go to college for automotive technology. Burke plans to attend the State University of New York at Morrisville to study Automotive Management.

Vincent Dickinson, a junior from Batavia City Schools, placed second in the Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition Tire Rodeo. This event is a timed test of how a student properly mounts, balances and installs a tire.

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is a Genesee Valley BOCES program. Genesee Valley BOCES operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties.

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