Cooperative and Career Education Springs Into Action in 2012

David Ahern
Tonwshend, VT

May 4, 2012

lg-frontviewThe spring internships are in full swing as we move through the second semester. Once again I’m sharing what each student has been doing in his/her various Co-Op placements. Having so many outstanding opportunities within our small community always impresses me. A huge appreciation goes out to all the sites and mentors that take time out for our students.

Click on the "Read More" button to find out what they are up to!


ocOlivia Capponcelli has been exploring a career in nursing in a number of settings. She spent the early part of the semester taking an online anatomy course in preparation for coursework she will be taking in college. The past four weeks she has spent time at Grace Cottage Hospital shadowing and helping out in four different departments. She has had a good overview of the hospital system. Starting after the break, she will be spending time at Sojourn Health Clinic in Westminster learning about the holistic approach to health that they practice. She will primarily work with the Nurse Practitioner but will also observe the many “alternative” approaches they offer. She will also spend some time with a school nurse in Brattleboro giving Olivia some more insight into careers that nurses might follow. Olivia will be attending Keene State College next year majoring in nursing.


daDrew Ameden has been working this semester in Jamaica on an excavation crew and does everything from learning about project estimations, developing site strategies, and getting dirty. Much of his time has been spent learning about off-season equipment maintenance, organizing a small business, and helping out with some large spring projects. Drew has been a great asset to the crew and has consistently followed through with his commitment. He has gained a greater understanding of what it takes to succeed in owning your own business.


cbCaleb Bristol explored a career in architecture during the fall semester and decided to look at different options for a number of reasons. Currently he is doing some work with Stevens Engineering in Brattleboro working with different engineers and disciplines within the Company.

This week he will also start working with Wadsworth Builders in Bondville so he can gain a greater understanding of the building process from the ground up. Caleb continues to learn about the many career options available. Caleb will be attending Vermont Technical College next year with a focus in engineering and design.


blBrooke Lazar has been working at Valley Cares Assisted Living in the kitchen during lunch four days a week. The staff loves her presence and hard work when she is helping out. She is a valued member of the team. Brooke has learned some important lessons about punctuality and follow-through. She has gained some insights into how a team depends on one another in the workplace. They might even offer her a job this summer! Spending time with the elders has given her some new insights about her future. She is starting to explore different career options in social services and health care.

ajAly Jones has been interested in becoming an elementary school teacher for a long time. Over the past three semesters she has worked at NewBrook Elementary and Townshend Elementary with three different classes. In all three settings, she has received high praise for her work ethic, follow through, and ability to connect to the students. She has developed lesson plans and conducted instruction independently with excellent results. Aly has truly taken advantage of the opportunities her internships presented. Next year she intends to attend Keene State College with a double major in education.


kfKayla Farace has also spent three semesters in classroom settings in Townshend Elementary. This semester she has been working with Joyce Berry helping out in the kindergarten and newly added pre-k class. Joyce has been thrilled to have Kayla’s help as they transition these young students into the “big” school. Joyce has nothing but high praise for Kayla’s work this year as she matures into her role at the school. Kayla plans to major in education at Keene State next year and hopes to replace Joyce when she retires!


apDrew Parsons is interested in a career in Engineering. He has been working with Peter and Kevin learning the CAD program, an important tool for any type of design work. He hopes to spend his last semester next year working in the field of engineering to learn more about his career choice. Having a basic understanding of the CAD program will help if he works with an engineer as Caleb Bristol has discovered this semester. Caleb also learned CAD last year and was able to incorporate his learning into his internship. Having a background in CAD was the first question I was asked when discussing having a student spending time in an engineering office.

Drew has displayed a good aptitude for the CAD program and, at this time, is planning on following an engineer education when he goes to college.


acAnna Cashman has plans to become an Occupational Therapist someday. To further her understanding of the field, she has been working with a Physical Therapist and assisting in stretching and exercise classes at Valley Cares Assisted Living with a movement instructor. She has had the opportunity to become involved firsthand in the field she hopes to enter. She will also be spending time at the Sojourn Health Clinic learning about Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage Therapies, along with other forms of body healing. These experiences should give her a well-rounded background in her chosen pathway. Next year she will be attending Vermont Technical College for her senior year of high school in the VAST program.


gbGabe Barbaria has divided his time this semester working with Norm Holding, Valley Cares, and possibly Southworth Electric. Gabe is primarily interested in working in the building trades or in going to school for welding. He has had the chance to see different types of work he might like to pursue when he enters the workforce. He has received excellent evaluations from his site supervisors and has proven to be a very responsible worker. He is still weighing his options for next year.



Jon Gallup is interested in a career in law enforcement. Currently he is spending three afternoons a week at the Brattleboro Police Department. He is involved in many of aspects of the police work that takes place in the headquarters. Jon has developed an appreciation for the amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes in police work. Jon has also spent time with the Vermont States Attorney's office observing the work involved after an arrest. He has observed arraignments and trails at the courthouse in Brattleboro as well. His internship has also involved ride-alongs with the Windham County Sheriff's Department. His Co Op experience has brought him in contact with many facets of law enforcement. Jon has been accepted at Southern Vermont College and hopes to major in Criminal Justice.


wbWade Beattie is also interested in law enforcement, specifically working as a game warden. Wade has spent time with the local game warden and, like Jon, he has going to the States Attorney’s office observing trials and arraignments. He has been participating in ride-alongs with the Sheriff’s Department. Wade has been gathering valuable information as he forms his plans for beyond high school. Both Wade and Jon went through intensive one hour interviews with two officers at the Brattleboro PD. This offered a tremendous learning opportunity as to how to prepare and present yourself in a real world interview.


cgCasey Gould has continued an internship he started last semester with Rescue Inc. in Brattleboro. Casey has completed his EMT Basic training and passed the exam. This makes it possible for him to take part in more aspects of the ride-alongs he is involved in with Rescue.

In addition to the ride-alongs, Casey spent some time this semester working at Coleman’s Auto in Bondville. He wanted to explore an interest in mechanics to see if he might want to pursue that field. At this time he feels strongly that EMT is his passion and will continue in that direction after graduation.


Nolan Edgar has a strong interest in video and film. Last year he was in the film program at the career center and developed strong skills in editing and camera work. We were able to secure a position at BCTV in large part because he had the ability to step in and take on complex tasks right away. Nolan is working on the news show 5:45 live, see link:

For a view of the video where they give a shout out to Nolan --> 5:45 Live - BCTV

His responsibilities include film interviews, setting up studio spaces, editing, and writing copy for the show. Nolan has been excited about the responsibilities he has been given and has put in extra time because he is enjoying the experience. This past Saturday he spent his afternoon assisting the filming and editing of the show’s new introduction. His evaluator said he doesn’t know what they will do when his internship ends; he has become such an important member of the team.


jmJulia Miramontes is interested in a career in health science, possibly teaching wellness and health. Working with Patty Hinds’ middle school health classes this semester has helped her solidify an interest in this area and increase her commitment to becoming a teacher. She has worked with large and small groups in the class and developed and delivered her own lesson plans aligned to the Ms. Hinds’ curriculum. Julia has proven to be a “natural”, working with students and conducting herself in a responsible manner. She has been a great asset on a couple days Ms. Hinds’ was absent. Julia will be attending Rhode Island College with a double major in health science and education.


jcJames Crowther has continued and expanded the internship he started last semester at Taft Hill Glass. James is assisting and learning glassblowing, spending two blocks a day apprenticing with Robert DuGrenier. Showing he has a good eye for producing attractive pieces, James has assumed more responsibility throughout the year. He is considering going to school for glassblowing next year to further develop what he has learned this year. He has made some truly impressive pieces and has even helped make a line of work for Tiffany's.


jsJulie Sheppard has been exploring a number of career interests in animal care. She has worked with a dog trainer, a groomer, the Humane Society, and with Windham Veterinary Clinic. She has been able to spend much of her senior spring semester working with the Veterinary Clinic assuming more responsibility as the year has progressed. She has been offered a position with both a veterinary office and a pet groomer when the school year ends. She plans to go to school to become a Veterinary Technician next year.


sfSloan Forstrom had completed almost all of his required credits to graduate by the end of the first semester. He completed his elective credit requirements during this spring semester working at the Mt. Snow equipment maintenance shop learning how to repair, maintain, and put to bed at the end of the season, the various pieces of equipment used around the mountain. Sloan took advantage of the opportunity to learn how a large shop operates and deals with the daily demands put on the staff. Sloan intends to attend school next year studying either diesel mechanics or welding. He is excited about the career options in both fields.


elEmmett Larson has been involved in two different internships this semester. He has helped a start-up business organize and implement a system for buying and selling on ebay and managing a retail sales operation. Learning about the requirements for starting a business and implementing systems has presented a big learning curve for Emmett. He has also spent time helping out the maintenance staff at Grace Cottage Hospital assisting them with building and repair projects. Emmett has looked at a number of schooling options for next year but at this time is unsure of his plans.


ctCody Thompson has been a huge help to Ed this semester assisting him with the many projects the school maintenance requires. He has been especially helpful when repairing the works above the ceiling. Ed can’t always reach them but Cody certainly can. Cody has done such a nice job he might be hired this summer to help with some of the school maintenance projects.

tcTrey Cayton has also been working with Ed on school projects and grounds maintenance. He has proven himself to be a dependable solid worker for Ed and had a positive experience learning about the many aspects to keeping the school working properly. A big thanks to Ed for assisting our students and giving them this great learning opportunity.


jyJessica Young spent part of the semester with the program specifically to explore an interest in working as a dental hygienist. She spent the first semester working at NewBrook Elementary with the kindergarten class and had a successful experience. During part of the second semester she worked with and observed the dental hygienist at West River Dental. Jessica has a number of interests she is still exploring as she decides on her future plans.


rmRachel Mowrey has had a long time interest in Cosmetology. She spent a semester last year interning in Brattleboro at SissorsMasters and wanted to continue learning about the field this semester. Rachel has completed her credits for graduation but enrolled in the Co-Op program to take advantage of another internship opportunity at Hare Salon in Londonderry. She has gained experience working at the front desk and learning many other aspects of running a hair salon.

Although not certified to work on customers, she has gained guided experience working on models and experimenting on friends! Rachel intends to attend the Keene Cosmetology Academy in Keene next year.


Grayson Peterson has spent his last two semesters working with Johnny Swing Welding. He was interested in learning the welding trade and how to operate a small business. One of his mentors is Eric Brooks, who started his career interning at Johnny’s Studio six years ago. Grayson has had an opportunity to help out the crew building the new concrete two story studio. This has involved learning how to install radiant heating, iron beams, and cement walls. He has become a proficient welder assisting with creating Johnny’s internationally acclaimed half dollar couches. He had the opportunity to go with the team to New York and deliver a newly designed couch to a gallery in Manhattan. Grayson plans to keep working with Johnny after graduation.


hsHeidi Snell spent the semester working at the Windham Humane Society. She has completed previous internships with them and they have been enthusiastic about her attitude and work ethic. This semester they were able to fund a part-time position for Heidi and increase her time at the Humane Society. Heidi intends to go to school in Ohio and become a Veterinary Technician.The Leland and Gray Community can be proud of how well its students represented the school this semester. The students have made excellent use of their opportunities and been respectful in the many available settings.