WESTFIELD – Westfield Technical Academy announced that Allied Health Senior Savannah Shay has been chosen as the Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year.
Allied Health lead instructor Maureen Baillargeon, who nominated Shay, said she is the ideal candidate, due to her leadership, curiosity and conscientiousness.
“Savannah Shay, daughter of Jessica Wojcik and Kevin Shay of Westfield, is a student who has excelled in the Allied Health technical program. Her dedication to her academics is evident as she is ranked third in the school and is a member of the National Technical Honor Society,” Baillargeon said.
Shay has been recognized by the Society of Women Engineers with a Certificate of Merit Award for excellence in math and science, as well as for her contribution to the school and the community.
As a member of SkillsUSA her junior year, Shay won the gold medal at the State Leadership Conference in Medical Math, allowing her to compete at the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Louisville, KY where she came in eighth in the nation.
Baillargeon said she had the honor of accompanying Shay to the national conference last year as the SkillsUSA advisor. She said Shay conscientiously studied for the Medical Math exam, and afterwards shared with Baillargeon the questions she had trouble with, so that Baillargeon could share them with her students.
Shay sat for and passed her Nurse Aide Competency Exam and received her Certified Nurse Aide Certification her junior year, Baillargeon said.
She also participated in the school’s dual enrollment program taking English composition through Westfield State University.
Her senior year, Shay completed an internship at Westfield Fire Department, allowing her to ride along with the EMT/Paramedics during emergency calls under the guidance of Deputy Chief Seth Ellis.
Shay presently works as a dietary aide at a local nursing facility, utilizing her knowledge from the nutrition-related science class and her certification as a Paid Feeding Assistant obtained sophomore year. American Heart Association First Aid, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider CPR/AED, Red Cross Babysitter Certification, Home Health Aide and Alzheimer training are some other certifications she has completed in school.
Shay is currently enrolled in an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) course at the EMT Academy in Chicopee and has already obtained her FEMA certificate in ICS-100 (Introduction to Incident Command Systems) through the Department of Homeland Security.
Baillargeon said Shay will make a great paramedic one day, which is one of her goals.
“She’s just so attentive to what she’s learning, and she likes to share it. She is a natural teacher herself,” Baillargeon said, adding, “She still has that curiosity, and she’s studious. She wants to get the work done, do a good job, and she’s striving to better herself.”
Shay was expected to be honored with her peers statewide at a banquet at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on April 9. Meanwhile, she and the other Allied Health students who are employed at nursing homes and hospital facilities in the area are still working, Baillargeon said.