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BOCES Receives High Honor From Air Force

Pictured, from left, are Donald Scott Peters, 914 Air Refueling Wing Command Chief; Jose Pagan, LoGuidice Educational Center Career and Technical Education principal; John O’Connor, Ed.D., E2CCB Assistant Superintendent for Management Services; and Janeil Rey, Ph.D., E2CCB Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development. Photos by Anthony Dolce

The LoGuidice BOCES Center in Fredonia and Careers and Technical Education Principal Jose Pagan on Tuesday received a special donation from the 914 Air Refueling Wing Command Chief Scott Peters.

The flag and accompanying shadowbox that was donated was flown over Iraq and Syria during Pagan’s deployment last year. Pagan, in coordination with Peters, organized the flag’s presentation.

The donation to a school setting only made sense for Peters.

“I want to say thanks to each and every one of you, you are my true hero and our true heroes,” Peters said. “You’re setting the standards for our forces for tomorrow and letting them move forward.”

Peters, who was a teacher for six years, and his wife, also a teacher, understand the importance that the school setting has on those deployed overseas, as Peters himself saw it first-hand.

“When I was in Iraq during the middle of the war, what came in everyday was the care from schools back home,” Peters said. “You took care of our families and reached out to them and sent us packages. I can’t tell you how important that really is. We have the easy job. It’s our spouses, family back home and you that have the hard job.”

Peters, who serves as Pagan’s command chief, was especially impressed by what the LoGuidice Center did to back Pagan over the last years and took it as a display of Pagan’s leadership.

“You stood up for Joe to make things happen for him and that to me shows his quality of leadership,” Peters said. “We’re all leaders but Joe is truly leading, that’s the expectation we have for our leaders. He’s doing that because of the support you’ve given him.”

LoGuidice Center was not the only recipient of an impressive accolade on Tuesday, as Pagan himself was given a surprise at the presentation. In addition to Peters recognizing Pagan’s selection as one of 12 outstanding airmen in the U.S Air Force, Peters also surprised Pagan with a promotion. On July 1, Pagan will be promoted to Senior Master Sergeant, which Pagan learned on site at the flag’s presentation.

The gift of the flag and shadowbox, which was certified by the pilots and aircrew specifically for the LoGuidice Educational Center, comes with three signed certificates and a picture of the Rescue Team. BOCES assistant Superintendent for Management Services John O’Connor said that LoGuidice Center is honored to receive the shadowbox and will put it up for all to see.

“It’s been a heck of a year and we’ll display this proudly,” O’Connor said.

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