Five Dutchess BOCES students were honored for their hard work by the Poughkeepsie-Arlington Rotary during the virtual Student of the Month Ceremony on March 10. The Rotary hosts the ceremony several times a year and has continued to do so virtually during COVID, pausing the usual luncheon.

John Boom, of the Career and Technical Institute, Jordan Terry and Andrew Popovic, of the Work Based Learning Program, and Salt Point Center students Juan Gonzalo and Khalil Beckford, each received a certificate and a $25 first-time savings account deposit sponsored by TEG Federal Credit Union.

Boom has a positive attitude while working hard in CTI’s culinary program where he is always prepared, Chef Instructor Darcy Sala said.

“It’s not easy to be a leader, but John seems to make it easy,” Sala said. “He has an incredible future ahead of him.”

Boom thanked many, including Sala for nominating and encouraging him.

“Whether it be the teachers or the students, they always push me to do my best,” Boom said.

Terry works at Price Chopper and fills in at the Big Bubble Laundromat where he completes any task asked of him with ease. Teacher James Baker described Terry as an exceptional and kind student.

“He always volunteers to sub and will happily go on a moment’s notice,” Baker said. “I can’t think of a better example of a model student.” 

After four years in the program, Popovic demonstrates an excellent work ethic and is always willing to try new tasks. Popovic was also named Employee of the Month when he worked at Hannaford’s.

“He’s willing to help others and consistently demonstrates a positive attitude,” teacher Lisa Slagle said. “He is adored by all.”

Popovic thanked Slagle for helping him learn job and life skills. “I’ve gotten a lot of job experience,” Popovic said. “I’m ready to work.” Gonzalo came a long way from when he first started in teacher Kathy Rexhouse’s class and is a pleasant and responsible student who loves learning. “He has progressed socially big time,” Rexhouse said. “He looks forward to doing any subject in school.” 

Work-Based Learning Coordinator Jeanette Straebler is always touched to hear about every achievement a student makes in order to be Student of the Month. “That’s what brings us joy in the world,” Straebler said.

PEACCE program teacher Maria Sita nominated Beckford because he improved his communication skills and is a hard  worker who helps anyone in need.

“Khalil’s an exceptional young man and a dedicated student,” Sita said.

Work-Based Learning Coordinator Jeanette Straebler is always touched to hear about the wonderful achievements students made in order to get the award.  “That’s what brings us joy in the world of teaching,” Straebler said. “I’m very proud of everybody.”


“I’ve gotten a lot of job experience,” Work Based Learning Program student Andrew Popovic said of his experience in the program during March’s Student of the Month ceremony.