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Top young mind in industrial motor controls
Frontier teen chooses to miss graduation to compete on a national stage.

photo of student Matthew Scheffler is choosing not to attend his high school graduation and everyone is cheering. That is because Matthew has an impressive scheduling conflict, he has a date to take on the nation’s best young minds in industrial motor controls.

Matthew is a high school senior from Frontier who is also enrolled in Erie 1 BOCES Electrical Systems program. Two weeks ago, Matthew won first place at the SkillsUSA State Competition for industrial motor controls. His win designated him as New York State’s representative at the National Leadership and Skills Competition this June in Louisville, Ky. The event just happens to coincide with his graduation ceremony at Frontier.

“It was a hard decision to make,” said Matthew. “But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have been studying for.”

John Snyder, Matthew’s electrical instructor at Erie 1 BOCES Potter Career & Technical Center, says that he is not surprised.

Photo of student with banner“Matthew is self-driven and has a great work ethic,” said Snyder. “As a junior he expressed interest in competing and excelled at technical math, I knew he could make it happen.”

Both expect the national event to resemble states but on a much larger scale.

“Once you know the theory, you can apply it to any motor control regardless of the size,” said Matthew.

In addition to championing a written test on national electrical code, Matthew won the state competition by successfully wiring a push-button motor controller to a three-phase motor.

“I took my time and double-checked everything,” said Matthew. “I heard from Mr. Snyder that the national event is a big deal. I’m looking forward to seeing it and being there for the closing ceremony.”

Matthew was accepted into Alfred State College for electrical engineering and was awarded a $7,500 scholarship to attend Lincoln College in Illinois. This past March, he was also inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

“Regardless if he wins at nationals, his interaction with other top-notch students and exposure to industry professionals from across the country will be life changing,” said Snyder, who will join Matthew at the competition.

The pair will travel to the Louisville alongside another Erie 1 BOCES’ electrical team from the Harkness Career & Technical Center. Brandon Meek, a junior from Akron, is competing in the electrical construction wiring category. 

The Potter Career & Technical Center is also celebrating a 1st place win of their team in the SkillsUSA NYS Health Bowl. The team comprised of Abdullah Ahmed of Lackawanna, Makayla Urbanczyk of Hamburg, and Alexandra Dickson and Ashley Incorvaia from Frontier study Health Science under the instruction of Michelle Montaldi.

About Erie 1 BOCES
As part of public education, Erie 1 BOCES offers a variety of career and technical programs during the regular school day to high school students in Erie County. High school students interested in learning more about how they can participate in various programs such as electrical systems, health careers or aviation technology, should visit or speak with their high school counselor.
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