Return to Headlines

Gold For Graphics: TST BOCES Student Earns First Place In SkillsUSA Competition


TST BOCES and Newfield student, Liane Jackson, earned first place at the Area 2 SkillsUSA competition this winter. SkillsUSA is a nationwide academic association that supports the further development of students whose focus is on careers in skilled trades. The competition took place at SUNY Morrisville, where Jackson was presented with her award in the design category. 

Beyond excited, Jackson described her graphic design process saying, “I first started the design as an opportunity for extra credit, but then it turned into a full on opportunity…I decided to do something skyline based and used gentle colors that related to New York. The state colors are gold and blue. I also brought in a coral color to spice it up a bit and not leave it looking flat. It was my first time trying out more Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator-based programs!” At the event, she was presented with her graphic, printed on pins and T-shirts for all of the students competing. Seventeen TST BOCES students, including Jackson, competed in different trade events against schools across New York State. 

When asked how she felt about hearing her name as the competition winner, Jackson was left shocked, “It was a little surprising at first. It is nice to know the work I put into it ended up paying off.” She also gives credit to her teacher, Mr. Blegen for convincing her to try out the SkillsUSA competition in the first place. “It was not something I would have tried out on my own, ” she said, ”He has been a super cool teacher! It is nice to have a teacher who is able to work with the students and their individual skill sets. He allows me to have a flexible schedule as I gradually get better at the class. I really appreciate that.” 

At TST BOCES, Jackson is a student in the Digital Media Technology program. This program allows students to learn about graphic design, video production, game design and animation. Once graduated, they can continue down paths involving careers like web developer, animation designer, digital artist and much more. The specific software and tools used in this class allows Jackson to further explore her creative side and try out different design styles. 

As a junior, Jackson has one more year to go before finishing the Digital Media Technology program. She continues to look forward to new and upcoming projects in class. “I am mostly looking forward to our unit on animation and game design next year,” she says, “Although I enjoy trying out different elements and art fields, I would not have learned these on my own time. For example, I did not know anything about photography before joining this class. But getting to hear the history behind it and the mechanics was a good experience.”

Additionally, for anyone interested in the Digital Media Technology program, Jackson recommends it to any student interested in the field. She believes that any student who wants to find their passion would be an excellent fit for TST BOCES. For more information on Career and Technical programs, please visit or follow us on Facebook @tstboces.


Area 2 SkillsUSA Competitors/Results - SUNY Morrisville, 2022
AM Students:
Ari Hesler - Newfield - Cosmetology, Sr.
Sean Roe - Newfield - Criminal Justice - Earned 2nd Place
Kendal Collins - Lansing - Crime Scene Investigation - Earned 3rd Place
Tim Ward - Dryden - Crime Scene Investigation - Earned 3rd Place
Cosey Zavaski-Starks - Newfield - Crime Scene Investigation - Earned 3d Place
Aislinn Korb - Ithaca - Commercial Baking - Earned 1st Place
Ava Reynolds - Newfield - Advertising Design
Trisha Banner - Trumansburg - Photography - Earned 2nd Place
Alex Blakely - Newfield - Television Video Production - Earned 1st Place
Nora Hernandez - Newfield - Television Video Production - Earned 1st Place
Max Olmstead - Newfield - Precision Heavy Equipment Operation
Brennan Brockway - Groton - Diesel Equipment Technology - Earned 2nd Place
Chase Wojtanik- Newfield - Welding - Earned 3rd Place
PM Students:
Ty Evans - Candor - Auto Service Technology - Earned 3rd Place
Emmalyn Ingalls - Dryden - Cosmetology, Jr.
Liane Jackson - Newfield - Area 2 SkillsUSA Pin Design - Earned 1st Place
Viktoriya Loyko - Ithaca - Job Demo A