A patriotic effort

From left:, Batavia Career and Technical Education Center instructors Jeff Fronk, Rodney Staats, Ryan Ditacchio, and Andrew Geyer pose with a flag display stand created by students.

BATAVIA — Ryan Ditacchio is the Commander of the Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post 332.

He purchased five flags representing the five branches of U.S. military including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. But he had no way of properly displaying flags.

So Ditacchio asked instructor Jeff Fronk of the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center if there was a way that students could create a flag display pedestal stand.

“For years, we at the Legion, have been talking about creating a display stand that would showcase these flags that represent each branch of the Armed Services,” Ditacchio said in a news release. “But this display needed to be portable so we could bring it to the various community events around Genesee County.

“When I approached Jeff, he was 100 percent behind this idea of the students creating something,” he said. “This Army veteran is also the teacher’s aide for the Auto Body Program at the Batavia CTE Center.”

Ditacchio and Fronk approached a few other CTE instructors and the project took off.

The weeklong undertaking was the result of collaborative efforts from different Batavia Career and Technical Education Center Programs. Metal Trades/Precision Machining students created the insignias, conservation students crafted the wood platform, Metal Trades/Welding students bonded the piping to hold the flags.

Auto Body students buffed, polished and sealed the insignias.

Since the end of June, the flag display stand has traveled throughout Genesee County for various county events.

Andrew Geyer is the Metal Trades/Welding instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. He noted how projects such as these provide important teaching lessons for students.

“We were able to give our students some insight into each of the branches of the armed services and what it means to serve our country,” he said.

Added Fronk: “This was an awesome collaboration and truly engaged our students.”

The result of the work is not just a five-flag display stand, but a gift to the community that has a lasting meaning that will live for years to come, BOCES officials said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1