Taylor Tyczka – A Story of Hard Work and Determination

  • There is an old adage that says, “hard work and determination pays off.” Taylor Tyczka is a fine example of this, and she exemplifies that with purpose and persistence, one can achieve their personal goal.Tyczka with Jon Sanfratello, Director of Instructional Programs, GV BOCES

    In 2019, Tyczka graduated from Attica Central Schools and the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. As a sophomore student, she was enrolled at the Batavia CTE Center in the Career Assessment Program also known as CAP. (In this program, students select CTE Programs that they wish to explore and attend each program for a five or ten-week marking period.) Tyczka explored different career and technical education programs through CAP but after spending one ten-week marking period in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Program, Tyczka knew she found her niche.

    As an 11th grader, Tyczka returned to the Batavia CTE Center and enrolled in the CIS Program. As a senior, she attended the IT (Information Technology) Academy.

    “In 2016, I came to the Batavia CTE Center as a CAP student and was able to explore four different programs. When I started in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) class, I knew this was the place for me. I was able to finish the school year enrolled in this program,” Tyczka said. “I returned to the CTE Center in the following fall as a junior in the CIS Program. Ms. Poray was my CIS teacher and she encouraged me to become involved in some student organizations like Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and SkillsUSA.”

    Margaret Poray was Tyczka’s CIS and IT Academy Instructor and FBLA Advisor for three years. Poray noted how Tyczka’s determination led to her success in high school.

    “When I think of Taylor, I always remember the first time I met her. Before her sophomore year, she and her mother came to the Batavia CTE Center for a meeting with me and our CAP Coordinator. She was well-equipped for our meeting with an agenda, as well as, a long list of questions to ask so she could make the best decision on which program would be the best fit.” Poray said. “I asked myself, ‘What 15-year-old has this much tenacity to know what she wants at that age?’”

    This resolve continued throughout her high school career.

    “She took initiative and had the drive to succeed in all that she did. She never hesitated to ask questions or help others. Her advocacy for herself and her fellow classmates was admirable. Taylor truly was a leader in and out of the classroom,” Poray said.

    During her sophomore year when she was a CAP student in the CIS Program, Tyczka collaborated on a project with Batavia CTE Center Health Dimensions students. The Health Dimensions students were presenting on the functions of human organs and needed a prototype of a kidney. Tyczka met with these students, gathered information, and subsequently designed and created a 3-D model of a kidney. While this work was done during class, it was optional and not mandatory.

    It was during Tyczka’s junior year that she grew both academically and socially, and was a top student in her class. Tyczka joined the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) organization, where her confidence soared as she participated in regional and state FBLA competitions. Poray recognized Tyczka’s leadership skills and resourcefulness and encouraged her to pursue specific roles within FBLA. As a junior, Tyczka was elected as the FBLA Vice President of New York State Region 10. Her responsibilities ranged from planning activities and events to visiting other schools and BOCES, to representing GV BOCES at local, state and national competitions and events.

    Jon Sanfratello was the Executive Principal of the Genesee Valley (GV) BOCES Campus when Tyczka was a student at Batavia CTE Center. Sanfratello now serves as the Director of Instructional Program for GV BOCES. He described Taylor as dedicated and exemplary.

    “Taylor was an inquisitive person; always positive and upbeat. Her peers respected her and thought of her as a role model,” Sanfratello said.

    In 2019, during her senior year, Taylor represented GV BOCES at a state-wide event that was held at the New York State Capital Building in Albany, New York. This event was called “BOCES in the Well.” Representatives from all 37 BOCES came to the Capital Building to showcase the programs and services that each BOCES provides. It was also an opportunity for BOCES administrators and students to meet with New York State legislators to explain how BOCES delivers much-needed, and cost-effective programs for component school districts. Tyczka was selected as one of the student speakers. Her speech included how her educational experiences at GV BOCES provided a seamless transition to her college life.

    “In my speech, it was important to me that people understand how BOCES programs provide different opportunities for students than what courses they could take at their home schools. While I was able to earn some college credit at my home school, it was at BOCES where I earned most of my college credits. It was at BOCES where I discovered what I wanted to do with my life,” Tyczka said. “When I first started to speak, I was nervous, but once I started to share my experiences, my speech came from my heart.”

    Sanfratello described Tyczka’s speech that she gave at the BOCES in the Well event as inspirational.

    “The speech that Taylor gave was incredible. She wrote her script without any assistance from anyone from the Batavia CTE Center which made her words so much more impactful and authentic. Everyone, legislators, BOCES representatives, and other students, paused to listen to Taylor speak,” Sanfratello said. “She spoke clearly and so eloquently about GV BOCES and how her experiences helped her to be successful. Taylor was an outstanding representative for GV BOCES.”

    After graduation, Tyczka attended the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

    “Between the courses that I took at the Batavia CTE Center and Attica High School, I earned 50 transferable college credits,” Tyczka explained.

    Because all of these credits were accepted, this allowed Tyczka to graduate from college in just 2 ½ years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems/Technology with a minor in both Business and Management Information.

    “I learned the basic skills at the Batavia CTE Center, like understanding the hardware aspect of computers, how to work with 3-D printers, decipher codes, how to make technology accessible, time management and so much more! All of this knowledge gave me an advantage and prepared me for college,” Tyczka said.

    She was hired immediately out of college at Trouw Nutrition where she works as a technology specialist. As an agricultural technology company, Trouw Nutrition develops sustainable ways of raising healthy farm animals and companion animals. This global company has a location in Strykersville, New York.

    “I love my position and I have many opportunities to grow my career here at Trouw Nutrition. And how lucky am I to have found a job that is just a few minutes from my home,” Tyczka said.

    Both Poray and Sanfratello agree that Tyczka was an outstanding student. Tyczka noted that she is happy with how her education led to her career. But she shared an important detail.

    “I love to learn but I’m so glad that I don’t have to stay up late studying for tests, exams or to finish projects. When I finish my work, I get to go home every night at 5:00 p.m.,” Tyczka said.