Soaring to New Heights: Meet Hannah Schermerhorn, a 2023 Ichabod Crane CSD graduate of the Questar III BOCES Aviation program at the Donald R. Kline Technical School in Hudson. Through this program, Hanna earned her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Private Pilot Certificate. She was also connected to the Ninety-Nines, a global organization of licensed women pilots. Her future includes pursuing an Aviation Science degree from Dutchess County Community College with the aspirations of becoming a pilot in the military. Our two-year program, offered in partnership with local aviation companies, is FAA approved and provides students with approximately 50 hours of flight time in preparation for their FAA exam.

Learn more about our Career & Technical Education programs:


Achieving Work Readiness Success: Meet Timothy Froust, a 2022 graduate from Rensselaer Academy. Through our NYS Alternative Assessment (NYSAA) program, Timothy participated in Work Based Learning, gaining skills to prepare him for success with his current employer, Home Depot. Timothy was hired soon after graduation to work in the parking lot, bringing in carts and helping customers load their vehicles. In less than a year, he moved up to the lumber department where he operates forklifts, various saws and more. Timothy was also a Career and Technical Education student where he studied Automotive Services through our Career Studies program at the Robert H. Gibson Technical School in Troy.

Creating Innovative Learning Environments: Questar III BOCES provides students with two innovative schools focused on Project Based Learning. The Questar III & HVCC STEM High School is located at the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, while Tech Valley High School (a partnership with Capital Region BOCES) is located at the College of Nanoscale Science + Engineering in Albany. Both schools host a combination of in-person and virtual information sessions/open houses throughout the year for 8th grade students & their families to see if the school is the right fit for them. To find an upcoming event, click here for Questar III & HVCC STEM High School & here for Tech Valley High School.



Building a Lifelong Foundation: Meet Faith St. Williams, a Rensselaer CSD senior in the Questar III BOCES Construction Technologies program at the Robert H. Gibson Technical School in Troy. Last summer, Faith gained 200+ hours of paid, on-the-job training with MMC Millwork, a division of Sam Greco Constructions, Inc, in Troy through our Youth Apprenticeship Program. This program links students with local, high-wage, high-demand, high-school careers with local employers. The Youth Apprenticeship Program is available at all three of our Technical Schools, and the Construction Technologies program is also available at the Donald R. Kline Technical School in Hudson.

Cultivating Student Growth Through Teamwork: Meet Autumnn Carroll-Poole, a former George Washington School student who attended from 3rd to 6th grade. During Autumnn’s time at GW, she quickly became a student ambassador for the school and a friend and leader to all. Her success is accredited to the collaboration of our staff, her teachers, social workers, therapists, and a supportive family. Her growth prepared her for her next educational experience, as she moved on from GW last June to attend a program closer to home. The support received by Autumnn is also available at Marilyn A. Noonan School at Durham, Rensselaer Academy and the Sackett Educational Center.

Gaining Hands-On Experience: Meet Patrick Stark, a 2023 Taconic Hills CSD graduate of the Questar III BOCES Heavy Equipment Repair and Operations program at the Marilyn A. Noonan School at Durham. As an active member of SkillsUSA, Patrick represented Questar III BOCES at the National Championship in Atlanta last June, showcasing his skills in the Heavy Equipment Action Skills competition. All three of our technical schools participate in the SkillsUSA Total Participation Plan, allowing our students the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills to become exceptional employees, leaders and responsible citizens. The Heavy Equipment program is also available at the Robert H. Gibson Technical School in Troy.

Empowering Puerto Rican and Hispanic Youth: Questar III BOCES coordinates the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute. The program invites Hispanic students from across New York State to study leadership development, civic engagement, and democracy. Topics include state legislative processes, parliamentary procedures, public speaking, and debate skills. Over 200 students from 136 schools attended last year’s three-day institute in Albany, culminating in a Mock Legislative Assembly Session. The program also took 21 outstanding student delegates on an educational trip to Washington D.C., offering a personalized Capitol Building tour and facilitating conversations with four Congressional Representative offices. The 34th Annual Mock Assembly is scheduled for Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the NYS Assembly Chambers.

Thinking Outside the Box: Questar III BOCES organizes the Region 4 Odyssey of the Mind Tournament, serving teams in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene Counties. This international program provides creative problem-solving opportunities where teams solve open-ended problems, ranging from building mechanical devices, to presenting clever interpretations of literacy classics. Competitions are held at a regional, state and world level. Last year, Averill Park CSD’s high school team traveled to the World Finals at Michigan State University. Questar III BOCES has sent at least one team to the World Finals each year since 2007 (except for 2020 due to cancellation). The 2024 Odyssey of the Mind Region 4 Tournament will be held March 23rd at Coxsackie-Athens Central School District.

Giving Back to Others: Meet Jared Reed, a 2010 graduate of Averill Park CSD who attended Questar III BOCES New Visions: Scientific Research and World Health program, located at the University of Albany’s Health Sciences Campus. Jared obtained his bachelor’s in Marine Vertebrate Biology and master’s in Environmental Management from Stony Brook University. Following his education, Jared gained experience working for NYS Parks, VIA Aquarium and Taconic Biosciences, where he had toured as a New Visions student before accepting his current position with the NYS Department of Conservation as the Environmental Program Specialist for Natural Resource Damages. Jared credits New Visions with preparing him for a college-level workload and putting him nearly a year ahead in school. Today, Jared gives back to the New Visions program by visiting students for four rotations a year, including helping them prep for the Brain Bee competition and teaching them invaluable study skills.

Jared Reed visits the New Visions: Scientific Research & World Health class in September 2023 to teach students about fish.

Engineering a Future: Meet Matthew Janenka, a 2016 graduate from Sackett Educational Center. Following high school, Matthew attended Hudson Valley Community College for Engineering Science. He then continued his education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, receiving both his bachelor’s and master’s in Aeronautical Engineering. “I’ve always loved engineering, space flight and airplanes, but didn’t think I had the mental aptitude for it,” said Matthew. “But once I learned how to learn at Questar, I knew I could. They gave me the confidence and learning strategies that I carried with me through college.” At the time of interview, Matt was preparing to enter the workforce and was in the middle of the interview process for a Satellite Systems Engineering position in Houston, TX.

Matthew joined us at the Questar III Learn & Prosper Gala in 2019. See what he had to say about his experience then:


Questar III BOCES offers a wide variety of programs and services. Please visit the menu header on our website to learn more about any of the programs above!

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