History

1958

Columbia County BOCES and Greene County BOCES are created. Both provide shared teachers to school districts in their geographic region.

1962
Rensselaer County BOCES is created by merging the three separate county divisions formed in 1959.

1966

Columbia County BOCES opens an occupational center in Philmont (the former Prince High Rock Mills building) with 277 students and eight instructors.

1967

Rensselaer County BOCES operates an occupational education program with 165 students and eight teachers at multiple sites in and around Troy.

1971

Herford Smith, Rensselaer County District Superintendent and BOCES executive, retires. John Sackett is appointed new District Superintendent and BOCES executive. BOCES budget is $2.4 million.

1972

Cecil Mapes, District Superintendent and Columbia County BOCES executive, dies. The New York State Commissioner of Education merges Rensselaer and Columbia BOCES. A nine-person board is established.

Rensselaer-Columbia BOCES provides special education services to 451 students in 57 classes with 110 staff. Classes are housed in local school districts as well as in church basements, empty school buildings and an American Legion Hall.

Rensselaer-Columbia BOCES provides occupational education to 964 students in 24 programs with 41 staff.

Rensselaer-Columbia BOCES develops the State Aid Planning Services, the first service offered to local school districts outside the two-county region.

1975 

The BOCES certified staff organize into the Rensselaer-Columbia Teachers Association and negotiate their first contract.

1977

Franklin Clark, District Superintendent and Greene County BOCES executive, retires. Greene County BOCES is merged with Rensselaer and Columbia BOCES to become Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES. The number of board members expands to 11.

1978

Columbia and Greene vocational classes move from Philmont to the British-American bottling plant located on Union Turnpike in Greenport.

1983

The new 50,000 square foot Rensselaer Educational Center opens in Troy. Dedication ceremonies are held October 16. All Rensselaer County occupational programs are now located here.

1984

RCG BOCES develops a microwave system to support computer-assisted instruction. The system will evolve into the Distance Learning Network.

The Alternative Learning Program is created to serve youth at risk of dropping out of high school.

1985

Non-certified BOCES staff organize the Federation and negotiate its first contract.

1988

With health and safety demands on school districts increasing, RCG BOCES creates an asbestos inspection and abatement program that will evolve into the Health and Safety service to help school districts address a wide range of health and safety needs.

1989

The Alternative Learning Program expands to all three counties and adds a middle school component.

1990

With three school districts in Columbia County and two telephone companies as partners, RCG BOCES creates the Distance Learning Network.

1991

The 80,000 square foot Columbia-Greene Educational Center opens with renovations. Dedication ceremony is held on December 15. Truly a community education center, the facility houses classes and programs for all ages, from infants to senior citizens. The facility now operates programs all year round.

1992

The Challenge Program, serving emotionally disabled students, is recognized as an exemplary program by the New York State Commissioner of Education.

RCG BOCES adopts a strategic plan to focus the organization and define where it will be in the next five years.

1994

RCG BOCES adopts the name Questar III, emphasizing its cooperative leadership in excellence and innovation.

1995

District Superintendent John Sackett retires; Ann Myers is appointed District Superintendent.

1996

Questar III and component districts join a statewide effort to educate motorists on Operation Safe Stop, a program to make motorists more aware of the penalties for passing stopped school buses.

1999

The Questar III Board of Education adopts its second strategic plan.

Questar III leads regional scoring of New York State's English language arts (ELA) exams for fourth graders - the first "event" of its kind in New York State. In a two-day period, 228 teachers from Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties score 3,500 exams.

2000

Questar III becomes a pilot site for the national High Schools That Work initiative.

Questar III offers high school seniors four accelerated New Visions programs.

The Questar III Board of Education approves a plan to centralize five separate office operations at a facility to be constructed for the BOCES in a newly developed corporate office park.

2001

The public approves a referendum for Questar III to purchase the Columbia-Greene and Rensselaer educational centers.

Questar III moves into a new central office building at 10 Empire State Boulevard in Castleton.

District Superintendent Ann Myers retires. The Board names James N. Baldwin as Chief Operating Officer.

The Hudson River Academy opens at the former Ockawamick high school in Claverack. The school provides instruction to alternative learning program and special education students.

2002   

James N. Baldwin appointed as District Superintendent of Questar III.

Questar III and Hudson Valley Community College partner to offer local high school students the opportunity to receive college level and continuing education courses via instructional videoconferencing.

Questar III establishes a two-year aviation program at Columbia-Greene Educational Center. It is one of the first high school flight training programs in the region.

2003

The third strategic plan is adopted by the Questar III Board of Education. It focuses on four ideas: students are our first priority, services must reflect component district need and financial capacity, collaboration will advance the students and communities we serve and staff is the experts of choice.

Questar III, in collaboration with Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, offers job applicants an online application service at www.olasjobs.org.

The Greenbush Academy opens in East Greenbush.

Questar III’s automotive technologies program receives certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

2004

Questar III and Capital Region BOCES partner to offer the first Tech Valley Summer Camp, an interactive enrichment program designed to excite middle school students about emerging technologies. The first camp is held on-site at Albany NanoTech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other locations.

Questar III holds a school safety conference that features a panel of safety experts, law enforcement officials and educational administrators.

Questar III expands the Academy for Information Technology program to Greenville High School. This is the first career and technical education (CTE) program located in Greene County.

Students at Columbia-Greene and Rensselaer Educational Center initiate a Veterans Day luncheon to honor local veterans for their service to our country.

U.S. Department of Education awards Questar III a school safety grant.

2005

The State Education Department awards Questar III a statewide contract to establish Career and Technical Education Resource Center. The office is established in June 2005.

Questar III dedicates educational center to former District Superintendent John E. Sackett on May 5, 2005.

Questar III launches the state’s first online system for final service requests (FSR) to expedite the process associated with how districts purchase BOCES services.

Responding directly to student and local business requests, Questar III introduces two new career and technical education (CTE) courses: a one-year certified nurse assistant (CNA) program and a two-year program on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and plumbing (HVAC/R).

Questar III launches an Internal Auditing Service to help school districts comply with a new state law concerning fiduciary responsibilities.

The New York State Department of Health awards funding for Questar III to support local schools with the development and implementation of tobacco-free school policies.

On November 10, 2005, Governor George E. Pataki signs legislation into law creating Tech Valley High School®.

2006

New York State Career and Technical Education Resource Center opens offices at MapInfo, Corp. in Troy.

The Southern Regional Education Board recognizes Questar III’s CTE program as one of the 75 most improved High Schools That Work sites in the nation.

Questar III, Capital Region BOCES, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES organize a Call to Action Summit in April 2006. More than 150 staff members representing a diverse cross section of the BOCES discuss the collective future of BOCES and how to better prepare students for the future.

Tech Valley High School receives $1.1 million in funding from New York State and the New Technology Foundation in Napa, CA.

The Mountain View Academy and Claverack Academy opens in September 2006.

Questar III opens a middle school ALP program at Greenville.

2007

Questar III, Capital Region BOCES, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES organize a second Call to Action Summit in April 2007.

The New York State Education Department awards Questar III a statewide contract to plan and conduct the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PRHYLI) in conjunction with the New York State Education Department, the New York State Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force and other agencies across the state for the next five years.

Tech Valley High School opens.

A Mechanical Technology program launches at Columbia-Greene Educational Center.

Questar III establishes a new School Improvement Office.

2008

Questar III establishes a new three-year strategic plan.

Questar III opens a new conference center.

The state's 37 BOCES launch a website, www.boces.org.

Questar III, Capital Region BOCES, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES introduce plans for a joint BOCES report card measuring 21st Century Skills at a conference in April.

Questar III’s Health and Safety Service sponsors a free recycling program to help districts dispose of monitors, desktops, televisions, fax machines, scanners, laptops, keyboards and printers.

Rensselaer Academy opens in July 2008.

Local teachers and administrators attend the first-ever Tech Valley High School Summer Institute in Troy.

Questar III expands its universal prekindergarten (UPK) program. The program, which the organization operates on-site in select districts, originally started in the mid-1970s.

District Superintendent James N. Baldwin provides testimony to the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief on behalf of the state's 37 BOCES district superintendents. Baldwin and his colleagues call upon the state to unleash and fully utilize BOCES by enabling BOCES to expand intergovernmental cooperation.

Questar III joins the Technology Centers that Work (TCTW) initiative, a network of more than 50 schools in eight states that work together to improve student achievement in shared-time career-tech centers. TCTW is a specialized version of the national High Schools that Work (HSTW) initiative, which Questar III joined in 2000.

2009

Questar III BOCES, Capital Region BOCES, Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES, Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Columbia-Greene Community College and SUNY Cobleskill establish a grant-funded regional partnership to better support students transitioning from high school to post-secondary education.

Questar III co-sponsors the first-ever P-16 Literacy Symposium.

Tech Valley High School moves to the University at Albany's East Campus.

Questar III celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hudson Valley Community College Art Invitational.

2010

Questar III coordinates the 20th annual Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI) in Albany.

George Washington Academy opens in September 2010.

Board Member Paul Puccio receives the New York State School Boards Association’s (NYSSBA) top award for distinguished service.

Nineteen school districts from Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties pool together Race to the Top funding in an effort to improve education.

2011

Tech Valley High School, Questar III and Capital Region BOCES announces new partnership agreement with Tianjin High School No. 41 in Tianjin, China.

The first class at Tech Valley High School graduates in June 2011.

Adult education program moves to the Rensselaer Educational Center in Troy and Greene County Accelerator in Coxsackie.

Catskill Academy opens at Catskill High School in September 2011.

Questar III launches three new career and technical education (CTE) programs - Green Technologies and Renewable Energy, Aviation Maintenance Technology and Health and Emergency Medical Careers.

A new BOCES autism program begins at Rensselaer City.

Questar III and Capital Region BOCES jointly sign a pact with the Bureau of Education of Zengcheng in China - an agreement which allows the two BOCES to work with teachers and administrators in any of the city’s 140 public elementary, middle and high schools.

2012

Brown University selects Questar III as one of only seven schools in the country to participate in the Collaboratory for Adolescent Literacy Leaders (CALL), a grant-funded program that develops literacy leadership in high school teams.

Questar III hosts the inaugural Career Expo at Birch Hill in Schodack.

Congressman Chris Gibson visits Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center in Hudson.

The Green Technologies and Renewable Energy program expands to Rensselaer High School.

Questar III and Capital Region BOCES partner with the Sage Colleges to launch the Theater Institute at Sage internship program (TIS).

Apple Computer co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak visits Tech Valley High School.

Questar III receives $50,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the purchase of energy efficiency and renewable energy training equipment.

The special education and CTE departments collaborate to launch a pilot Career Academy program at Rensselaer Educational Center.

Adult literacy and GED programs expand to new locations throughout the three county area.

2013

The State Education Department approves Questar III’s annual professional performance review (APPR) plans with its teachers association and principals, part of a mandated statewide evaluation system linked to student performance.

Congressman Paul Tonko visits Questar III’s Green Technologies and Renewable Energy program located at Rensselaer High School.

Questar III wins 22 awards for communications from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). It also receives the organization's highest honor -- the Gold Medallion -- for its joint efforts with Capital Region BOCES to develop an extensive, regional advocacy campaign for school districts.

Questar III’s Rensselaer Educational Center (REC) selected as an Outstanding Technology Centers That Work (TCTW) Center.

Questar III expands its grant-funded literacy initiative with Brown University's Collaboratory for Adolescent Literacy Leaders (CALL) to Rensselaer Academy.

Riverfront P-Tech – a consortium of Troy City Schools, Questar III, Hudson Valley Community College, Center for Economic Growth, GE Healthcare and Regeneron – is named one of 16 winners of the state’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (NYS P-TECH) program. The program will prepare Troy students for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and healthcare.

Questar III receives funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to support clean energy training for high school students.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council awards the Tech Valley High School Foundation $1.5 million to help relocate the school to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

2014

Five local science teachers participate in Questar III's first-ever Summer Science Research Program – modeled after a pioneering program operated by Columbia University.

A consortium of local districts led by Questar III receives $399,314 in grant funding to review and improve student assessment practices.

Questar III receives a grant to expand access to Advanced Placement (AP) and pre-AP classes and exams.

Tech Valley High School relocates to the SUNY Poly (formerly known as the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering) in August.

Riverfront P-Tech – a consortium of Troy City Schools, Questar III, Hudson Valley Community College and local businesses – opens at Troy High School in September.

Questar III starts the Sarah's Sisters program, which serves special education students on a campus.

Questar III supports a pilot tablet program at its Sackett Educational Center, aviation and criminal justice programs as well as Coxsackie-Athens and Schodack CSD.

District Superintendent James N. Baldwin retires from public service. Gladys Cruz is named Chief Operating Officer. The Questar III Board begins its search for a new District Superintendent.

Board President Robert Gibson receives the New York State School Boards Association’s (NYSSBA) top award for distinguished service.

2015

Questar III is named a Top Workplace by the Times Union.

Dr. Gladys I. Cruz is named District Superintendent.

The first group of teachers complete the Summer Science Research Program

The Questar III Board of Education approves policy for regular program review.

Jack Hill named Board of Education President after the passing of longtime board member and president Bob Gibson.

Student Learning Objectives developed by Questar III are approved by NYSED for use in teacher evaluations.

NYSED awards Questar III a grant to improve student access to Work-Based Learning in order to increase the number of students who earn a CDOS credential.

2016

Questar III launches Dimensions of the Superintendency, a new professional development program for new and aspiring superintendents.

Questar III inducts it largest class ever into National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). This is the country’s highest honor for Career & Technical Education (CTE) students.

An OSC audit commends the Questar III Board and officials for establishing and implementing effective purchasing procedures.

Questar III launches The Leading Edge, a new framework for goal-setting, innovation and growth in the rapidly changing and increasingly complex field of public education.

Questar III launches the New Visions Medical program at Samaritan Hospital in Troy.

The State Education Department approves Questar III as a sponsor of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) pursuant to Section 80-6 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

The Questar III Board of Education issues a preliminary award to VIP Structures of Syracuse to build a new state-of-the-art educational center at the developer’s nine-acre site on Route 150 in Schodack.

2017

Questar III is named a Top Workplace by the Times Union.