Student Success Stories

Custer County High School Students Learn Job Skills During School
For seniors Ethan Dulohery and Isaac and Zach Smercheck, Tony's Pizza in Silver Cliff is a place for great food and to meet up with their friends. It's also where they go during the school day to learn some valuable job skills. These students participate in a work study program organized by the school’s counseling department in collaboration with local businesses. "Tony's has been a place for me to earn some spending money and also get some job experience," said senior Ethan Dulohery.

Ethan has been working afternoons during the school year and even working some weekend shifts which provides him with some extra spending money and a chance to save up for college or a trade school.  Ethan does stocking and cleaning in addition to making pizzas and sandwiches.  "The work study students help us a lot in the kitchen and with cleaning and stocking up," said Michelle, the training manager.

For Isaac and Zach, twins who are looking to work more at Tony's after they graduate, it's a chance to learn the basics of the restaurant service industry.  "We hope to teach them basic work expectations, being on time, what quality work looks like, all during a lower traffic time in the restaurant," said manager Jill Tomassoni. "Then, as they develop, we can use them during heavier traffic times during the summer."  The work study experience is especially meaningful for Isaac and Zach who had medical issues growing up which kept them from the typical work related experiences other youths enjoy during their early teen years.  Both boys expressed they like "being in the kitchen and the experience is really good" in addition to the skills they are learning.  "I like the challenge of completing my tasks for the day," mentioned Isaac.  Zach said he likes the communication and teamwork that he is learning as well as "learning how to be efficient with your time on the job."

Tony's Pizza employs many youths from the community and has been a strong supporter of the high school program.  "Management at Tony's really sees the big picture of what we are trying to do with the work study program," said Custer County High School counselor Troy Bomgardner. "Helping these seniors develop work related skills is perfect timing as they prepare to graduate and launch into their next chapter."
**High schools around the South Central BOCES region are always looking for businesses that may want to offer work-study opportunities for students. Community members can contact their local high school’s counseling office to get involved. **

Ethan Preps pasta on the make line.
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