40 Years of Questar III Fun Facts

In celebration of 40 years as Questar III, below are 40 milestones that helped shape the organization (which started out as three separate BOCES). These are just a small sampling of our work and accomplishments. We invite you to learn more about our history at www.questar.org/about/mission-values-history/history

  1. The Columbia County BOCES Board meets for the first time on December 7, 1958.
  2. Greene County BOCES is created in 1958. The organization’s first program serves students with disabilities.
  3. Columbia County BOCES surveys school districts in 1959 about needs. Districts identify 19 services they thought the BOCES should offer, eight of which were mentioned by three or more districts. This includes career and technical education and special education. As a result of the survey, the BOCES launches an agricultural class at Chatham High School for the 1959-1960 school year. An advisory board would help the BOCES – the first of a number of advisory groups that now support CTE.
  4. On April 27, 1959, following a discussion at the Parker School in Pittstown, school boards in the 1st Supervisory District of Rensselaer County – Brunswick, Hoosick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke – vote to petition the Commissioner of Education to authorize a BOCES there. Two additional BOCES supervisory districts are later established in Rensselaer County. The three would eventually merge to become Rensselaer County BOCES in 1962.
  5. On February 17, 1960, a five-member BOCES board is elected in Rensselaer County. The board includes G. Lucius Cary, who would serve the BOCES for more than 30 years. Questar III’s highest honor is now named for him.
  6. In 1960, Columbia County BOCES starts an auto program. Today, the organization continues to provide auto programs to students at its educational centers in Hudson and Troy.
  7. The Rensselaer County 1st Supervisory District BOCES offers it first shared service – school psychologist – during the 1960-1961 school year.
  8. In 1966, Columbia County BOCES opens a new occupational center in Philmont in response to growing demand for hands-on learning. The center, which employs eight teachers, serves 277 students.
  9. In 1967, Rensselaer County BOCES serves 165 career and technical education students in multiple sites in and around Troy. Sixteen years later, the Rensselaer Educational Center is established – bringing these programs under one roof.
  10. In 1969, Greene County BOCES contracts with Columbia County BOCES to expand its career and technical education offerings beyond agriculture.
  11. In 1972, the Rensselaer and Columbia BOCES merge. The organization develops the State Aid Planning Service, the first service offered to school districts outside the two-county region. Today, it is the most widely purchased service in the state, serving more than 650 districts. The BOCES also starts a state-funded “experimental” pre-K program, which develops into a well-respected model – and expands into test scoring.
  12. In 1975, BOCES certified staff organize into the Rensselaer-Columbia Teachers Association and negotiate their first contract. Ten years later, non-certified BOCES staff organize the Federation and negotiate their first contract.
  13. Greene County BOCES is merged with Rensselaer and Columbia BOCES to become Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES in 1977. The number of board members expands to 11.
  14. The BOCES takes the lead in mainstreaming special education during the late 1970s. The SETRC (now known as RSE-TASC Part II) becomes a resource to help special education teachers learn new ways to teach.
  15. In 1978, Columbia and Greene vocational classes move from Philmont to the British-American bottling plant located on Union Turnpike in Greenport.
  16. Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES develops a microwave system to support computer-assisted instruction in 1984. The system will evolve into the Distance Learning Network.
  17. In 1985, Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES establishes a Health Insurance Trust to help districts contain benefit costs.
  18. In 1988, with health and safety demands on school districts increasing, Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES creates an asbestos inspection and abatement program that will evolve into the Health & Safety service.
  19. In 1989, Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES launches its annual High School Art Invitational Program.
  20. In 1994, Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES adopts the name Questar III, emphasizing its cooperative leadership in excellence and innovation.
  21. In 1999, 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.
  22. In 2000, Questar III becomes a pilot site for the national High Schools That Work initiative. It also launches accelerated New Visions programs for high school seniors.
  23. In July 2001, Questar III moves into a new central office building at 10 Empire State Boulevard in Castleton. The office centralizes five separate office operations. The public also approves a referendum for Questar III to purchase the Columbia-Greene and Rensselaer educational centers.
  24. In 2002, Questar III and Hudson Valley Community College partner to offer local high school students the opportunity to receive college level via instructional videoconferencing.
  25. Questar III establishes a two-year aviation program at Columbia-Greene Educational Center in 2002. It is one of the first high school flight training programs in the region.
  26. In 2003, 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).
  27. In 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 – a precursor to Tech Valley High School – is held on-site at Albany NanoTech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other locations. The camp is still offered today.
  28. In November 2004, students at Columbia-Greene and Rensselaer Educational Center initiate a Veterans Day luncheon to honor local veterans for their service to our country.
  29. Responding directly to student and local business requests, Questar III introduces two new career and technical education (CTE) courses in 2005: a one-year certified nurse assistant (CNA) program and a two-year program on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing (HVAC).
  30. In 2005, Questar III launches an Internal Auditing Service to help school districts comply with a new state law concerning fiduciary responsibilities.
  31. On November 10, 2005, Governor George E. Pataki signs legislation into law creating Tech Valley High School®. The school opens in September 2007 at the former MapInfo building. Seven years later, it relocates to SUNY Poly in Albany.
  32. In 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.
  33. Questar III establishes a new School Improvement Office in 2007.
  34. Questar III works with local school districts to open special education academies. Rensselaer Academy opens at Rensselaer CSD in July 2008, George Washington Academy opens in Averill Park CSD in September 2010 and Catskill Academy opens at Catskill High School in September 2011. Questar III also converted its former central office building into the Sackett Educational Center in 2005.
  35. Questar III and Capital Region BOCES partner with the Sage Colleges to launch the Theater Institute at Sage internship program (TIS) in 2012. Additionally, Questar III’s special education and CTE departments collaborate to launch a pilot Career Academy program.
  36. Questar III’s Rensselaer Educational Center is selected as an Outstanding Technology Centers That Work (TCTW) Center in 2013.
  37. In 2013, 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, which opens the following year, prepares students for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and healthcare.
  38. In 2014, five local science teachers participate in Questar III’s first-ever Summer STEM Research/Internship Program – modeled after a pioneering program operated by Columbia University.
  39. In 2016, Questar III launches three new initiatives: The Leading Edge, a framework for goal-setting, innovation and growth; Dimensions of the Superintendency, a professional development program for new and aspiring superintendents, and the New Visions Medical program at Samaritan Hospital in Troy.
  40. In 2017, Questar III is named a top workplace by the Times Union for the third time.


Upcoming Events

Sep 12

Health & Wellness Committee Meeting

September 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sep 12

Board of Education Meeting

September 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sep 16

2019 Fall Workshop – Mid Hudson

September 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sep 17

2019 Fall Workshop – Long Island (#1)

September 17 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Sep 18

2019 Fall Workshop – Long Island (#2)

September 18 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
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