Westfield Tech names ‘Student of the Year’

Jessica Bush, Westfield Technical Academy’s “Student of the Year”. (ANDREA YORK PHOTOGRAPHY)

WESTFIELD – Westfield Technical Academy senior Jessica Bush has been named “WTA Student of the Year.” Bush, who lives in Russell, is a senior in Business Technology, the shop that nominated her for the honor.

“Jess has a great personality and is always eager to help anyone out. Her shop work is always turned in on time and she does very well on them. She is a great ambassador for the school always speaking in a positive voice. We are proud to have her in our program and are confident she will do great things in life. That is why we would like to nominate her for Outstanding Vocational Student for 2021,” wrote her teachers, adding that her grade average is consistently at the top of the Business Technology senior class.

Among other accomplishments, Bush is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, captain of the varsity soccer team, vice president of the Class of 2021 and on the prom committee. She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, and has been a member of SkillsUSA since 2017.

Bush has been in Business Tech for the full four years at WTA. “In business, we cover everything that has to do with the business concept, and are always learning new materials, and adjusting to new protocols,” she said, adding, “We take our profession that we follow very seriously.”

She has been certified in MS Office, Word and Excel, and said she has learned “how to type efficiently, proper customer service, and how to value customers.” She has also passed OSHA certification.

Qualifying to work in the cooperative education program at the end of her sophomore year, Bush started on co-op at Peter Pan Bus lines as a ticket agent in customer service. Her teachers said that she scored high grades on her co-op evaluation sheet before the position ended due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Bush is now in co-op at Baystate Noble Hospital in the Call Center, providing customer service and booking appointments. “It was a perfect opportunity for me to start at Baystate. I’m just so happy with my job. I’m going to stay employed there, and plan to see where it takes me,” she said.

Next year, she will be attending Springfield Technical Community College for Business Management. “I want to be an event coordinator in the future, planning bridal showers and birthdays,” she said.

She will be getting some experience in this field in school this year, having taken the lead on the prom committee. “We’ve actually booked for May 21 at Shaker Farms Country Club, but it depends on COVID-19,” Bush said. She and class president Evan Ploof met with WTA Principal Joseph Langone about prom, and discussed the concerns and what seniors have in store regarding restrictions. The committee is now planning the food and a theme, and Graphic Arts is making the tickets. “Prom is a yes for now until we’re told we can’t do it,” she said.

Asked how the COVID-19 shutdown has impacted her studies, Bush said, “It’s been a trip, that’s for sure – a really big adjustment having our senior year, but we have to make the best of it. I’m really happy with the adjustment to online schooling. I have more time for work and my other job,” Bush said, adding that she also works weekends at Pacsun, a clothing store in the Holyoke Mall.

Bush said for her having academics online has been advantageous. “It’s easy to not be distracted, and I’m comfy in my home environment. It works really well – I love working from home,” she said.

“Westfield Tech is just full of opportunities, the things they have given me are endless. I couldn’t even imagine having these same opportunities at a different high school. The Westfield Voc is so skilled and full of so many talented students, and I’m just glad I was able to be one of them,” Bush said..

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