Franklin County Technical School   82 Industrial Blvd.   Turners Falls, MA 413 . 863 . 9561

Carpentry Students Build Custom Sheds for Area Homeowners

Carpentry Students Build Custom Sheds for Area Homeowners

Franklin County Technical School’s Carpentry program wrapped up their 2013-2014 academic year by custom building three sheds for homeowners in Turners Falls, Shelburne and Northfield.

The project was the brainchild of Carpentry instructor Michael Nobrega who came up with the idea when a Habitat for Humanity project the students were to work on this spring didn’t materialize.

“We’re teaching the students to build houses,” Nobrega said. “This is the first year we built the sheds. Since we didn’t have a Habitat house to work on this year, we built the sheds instead. These are all 11th graders, so when they build a house next year, they’ll understand the process.”

The 8 foot by 10 foot sheds were partially assembled at the school, then the pieces were transported to the worksites and installed.

“The walls and flooring systems were built at the school shop,” Nobrega said. “We then scheduled the installations with the homeowners.”

The solidly constructed sheds were made of plywood siding, with pine trim, and asphalt roof shingles. Installation of the sheds took about a week, but Nobrega said next year he hopes to be able to allot up to two weeks to get each job done.

Jordan Momaney of Northfield said being able to build three sheds was important to the learning process.

“After building the third one, you pretty much have it down,” Momaney said. “I learned a lot about framing and finishing. It was fun.”

Amber Malooly of Greenfield worked on all aspects of the project, except for the roof. She said she and her classmates worked as a team to get the structures built.

“We all played a big part in learning to build the sheds,” she said. “It was time consuming learning all of the parts of the sheds, but I enjoyed it. Learning how to start was the most important part.”

Cosmetology Talents on Display at First Annual Beauty School Battles

Cosmetology Talents on Display at First Annual Beauty School Battles

Judges carefully scrutinized the 42 mannequin heads lining the tables in the Franklin County Technical School assembly hall as the moment of truth came for contestants during the school-sponsored first-ever Beauty School Battles.

Cosmetology students from Franklin County Technical School, Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer and Charles H. McCann Technical High School in North Adams competing in Beauty School Battles waited anxiously to see who would emerge victorious for hair styling and makeup in Classical and Fantasy categories.

It was a tough decision, said the three judges, as so many of the students did an outstanding job with their creations.

“It’s amazing,” said Donna Packard, an instructor at Marinello Schools of Beauty in Northampton, who served as a judge. “There are a lot of really talented kids out there. It was very difficult to judge.”

Judge Gloria Eugin, another Marinello instructor, said she was impressed with the creativity of the makeup and hairstyles.

“Being instructors, we know what we’re looking for,” Eugin said. “They all have a unique flair and talent.”

When the results came in, Franklin County Technical School cosmetology students Madison Dussault, Yarelis Santana, and Svetlana Vdovichenko swept the Classical category.

In the Fantasy division, Pathfinder students Bailey Jones won first prize and Alexandria Avery took second place; and Shelby Bator from McCann won third place.

First prize was $150; second prize was $100, and third prize was $50. A total of 37 students participated in the event.

Dussault, a senior from Warwick, said she designed a bridal up-do for her first place winning design.

“Those are very classic,” she said of her bridal design. “It probably took me about an hour to do. It was very precise. With bridal up-dos you don’t want anything to go awry. It can’t be messy. It has to be very neat.”

Santana, who is from Turners Falls, said she made up her second place winning design as she went along and it took her between 3-4 hours to complete. She was surprised when her name was called as a winner.

“I felt there were so many more mannequins that were better than mine,” Santana said. “But, it feels like my hard work paid off. I’m hoping to own my own hair salon someday”

Northfield resident Vdovichenko, who won both third and fourth place, said she was going for a mature-looking ballroom theme in her designs that was classic, neat and precise. She said it took her about three months to complete her first design because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do and kept experimenting. The second design was done in two days.

“I’m really happy with the outcome,” Vdovichenko said. “The fact that I won two rounds is a big accomplishment for me. I’m very proud of myself and thankful to the people around me who supported me.”

FCTS Cosmetology instructor Lynn Wiles said the first Beauty School Battles was a terrific success and she hopes to be able to expand it into a statewide event. She said upcoming competitions can be held at different locations around the state.

“Worcester Technical School wants to host it next year,” Wiles said.

FCTS Cosmetology instructor Electra Manley said she is striving to promote creativity in vocational schools through competitions like Beauty School Battles. She said the school’s Business Technology, Culinary and Welding programs all had a hand in creating something for the event.

“Every great thing starts with a creative idea, whether it’s decorating a mannequin or designing a computer program,” Manley said.

Kristi Mastroianni, Charles H. McCann Technical High School Cosmetology instructor, said she would like her school to one day host the event.

“I was excited that Franklin County Tech started this competition and I hope they continue,” she said. “It pushes the students to compete, and it’s something for them to look forward to after a long year.”

Franklin County Tech Baseball Coach Exemplifies Good Sportsmanship

PEP Students Once Again Show Their Generosity and Kindness

Incidents of bad sportsmanship in baseball make headlines, whether it’s a Major League Baseball bench clearing brawl or a Little League parent being banished from the ballpark for belligerence.

Good sportsmanship, however, often goes unrecognized. But, make no mistake, good sportsmanship is important in teaching valuable lessons that go far beyond the playing field.

Brian Winslow, who has been FCTS varsity baseball coach for two years, teaches his players how to play the game properly, but he also places a great emphasis on good sportsmanship. His efforts are being recognized this year as the winner of the 2014 Hampshire Franklin Baseball Umpires Association Sportsmanship Award. The award is given annually to the coach and team that combines the “best excellent play and the good spirit of sporting competition,” according to the HFBUA website.

Winslow will receive the award at the organization’s annual banquet on June 27 at the Pavilion at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton.

“We preach sportsmanship and respect for the game,” Winslow said. “Sportsmanship is very important and we take it seriously as a program as a whole. High school sports are a great opportunity for kids to learn valuable life lessons. As a coaching staff, we really work hard to help our student-athletes learn these lessons and we really try to show the kids that the game of baseball can be a vehicle to help them improve as people and citizens.”

Arthur Burke, HFBUA secretary/treasurer and an umpire, said Winslow and the FCTS team “played and behaved in exemplary fashion” during the games he umpired.

“The boys played intelligently and skillfully during games with Granby and Pathfinder; the Franklin Tech team competed very well with both of those tournament-bound opponents,” he said. “Brian and all of his players conducted themselves wonderfully during both of those games, despite sustaining a loss by a narrow margin on both occasions. No one commented about a decision of an umpire, even though there were occasions when many players and coaches might have commented critically.”

Burke said when Winslow needed clarification on certain rules, he did so quietly and politely.

“Brian set a wonderful example for his players and their parents on all occasions; the youngsters and their parents followed his lead,” he said. “In turn, I had a great time umpiring at Franklin Tech this spring, and look forward to supervising games there in the future. I imagine fully that Brian and his team impressed many other umpires in the same very favorable way they impressed me.”

Winslow started teaching special education at FCTS in January 2011. That spring he began coaching baseball as a volunteer assistant under coach Joe Gamache. He did this for two seasons before taking over as head coach in the spring of 2013. Prior to coming to FCTS, Winslow coached junior varsity baseball at Greenfield High School for three seasons.

When Winslow took over as the head varsity baseball coach and Science teacher Dan Prasol began coaching junior varsity, they decided to form one cohesive program with a singular philosophy.

“We wanted to develop a program where the kids would buy into a system,” Winslow said. “We emphasize respect for the game, how we play the game, and how we interact with each other and the officials. One program, one mission. Dan and I have really worked hard at that.”

Besides Winslow as head coach, Colin Benedict, Matt Gilbert and Tim Dowd are volunteer baseball assistant coaches who help out at both the junior varsity and varsity levels.

“We try to find guys who are the right fit as coaches, whether it’s because of skills or their belief in the mission of the school,” Winslow said. “I bring in good people who know the game and who will have a positive energy and emphasize the positive elements as far as effort and attitude.”

This philosophy of sportsmanship extends to other school teams, as well, and has been noticed by rival coaches and administrators.

Winslow and Prasol together coached boys soccer in the fall of 2011 and the team was recognized by Joan M. Schultz, Lenox Memorial Middle and High School athletic director, following a tournament game between FCTS and Lenox in which the tech school team showed exceptional sportsmanship.

“The team showed the most positive show of sportsmanship I have seen in a long time,” Schulz said of the FCTS soccer team. “The coaching staff and players were a delight to have. They were the true winners in this game.”

Although he is honored to win the Sportsmanship Award, Winslow said he could not have done it without the hard work and dedication of his players.

“Yes, I won the award but it’s about the kids buying into the system athletically and mentally,” he said. “The kids are what really make a baseball team. I’m just the facilitator. I want to thank the HFBUA for this special honor. It’s a privilege to be able to teach this great game to a great group of kids.”

Carpentry Students Best the Competition, Take Home Prize at MassCCD Event

Carpentry Students Best the Competition and Take Home Prize at MassCCD Event

When three Franklin County Technical School Carpentry students competing in the recent Massachusetts Construction Career Days Competition were confronted with a challenge they had never faced before, they passed with flying colors.

Gabby Roy, 17, of Greenfield, Jordan Momaney, 17, of Northfield, and Lance Hansen, 16, of Leverett won $500 for the school during the MassCCD competition for their prowess in surveying, a skill they were completely unfamiliar with before the event. By all accounts, the students performed outstanding during the event.

“The guy who was in charge of the competition said he had never seen the answers so spot on,” Hansen said.

Roy thought it was “pretty cool” that she and her classmates won the competition. “We thought it was easy,” Momaney added.

Massachusetts Construction Career Days is an introduction for high school juniors and seniors to learn about the variety of careers in the construction and engineering industry.

The competition is an important part of the annual MassCCD event held at the New England Laborer’s Training Academy in Hopkinton. The completion is open to all high school students participating in the event.

Participants compete in three categories, Engineering and Technology, Construction Operations Skills, and Signature Project. The winner in each category is awarded $500. The awards are named in honor of James Merloni Jr. for his support and that of the New England Laborers Training Academy for the MassCCD program.

The FCTS students were winners of the Construction Operations Skills competition. The MassCCD Steering Committee stipulates that the money be used for classroom equipment, supplies, field trips and/or scholarships for students pursuing a career in the construction industry.

“I’m very proud of these students,” said Carpentry instructor Michael Nobrega. “They used critical thinking skills to figure out how to solve the problem. They’d never done his before, and they did it the quickest and most accurate of all of the competitors.”

Tom Misiewicz, coordinator for the Western and North Central Massachusetts region for Construction Career Days said approximately 1,200 students participated in the two day event. He said it was impressive that the FCTS students stood out so significantly from the competition.

“The winner is determined by which school accumulates the highest number of points,” Misiewicz said. “Franklin County Technical students aced the competition. It’s a great accomplishment. There were a lot of schools competing.”

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