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Nora Wilson-Wheeler

Nora Wilson-Wheeler
Commercial Art Graduate
Reporter, Cuba Patriot Newspaper
Freelance Photographer/Designer

“…Commercial Art at CA BOCES included not only the creation of ads for media, but also the processing of film and photography skills. The dark room experience of developing negatives, and printing photos all would play a part in my life’s journey of success. ..It was a great experience learning about what would come in the years ahead. After graduation, I attended Olean Business Institute obtaining an A.O.S. in Executive Secretarial Science as a backup choice and to expand my options. This also added to my pathway, combining all of my skills together, even though I would never be hired as a secretary. I went to work at Allegany Printing in Bolivar where I remained for fourteen years, as a typesetter…in addition; I designed and implemented three of Olean’s Chamber of Commerce Squirrels (Cutter, Rufus, and Turbo) and wrote a children’s book with illustrations about them; I painted several of Cuba’s Garlic Festival early posters, and was one of the featured artists on Cuba’s downtown murals.

I have been a part-time reporter for the Cuba Patriot Newspaper for the last decade…From government gatherings, to celebrity appearances, and business happenings it was a job of many surprises and lessons about what goes on within my backyard. Thousands of photographs are now forever kept in volumes of these years of which only two sets exist (my personal set and the company’s set). Other works include articles and photographs for local tourism magazines and brochures, wedding photography, and a Back-Trail commentary for the New York State Conservationist Magazine, a book of Allegany County Tales, and my personal side business Alma Enterprises of Western New York which is about using photographs, software, and artistic skills to produce finished wall art, my go-to hobby for my retirement years. I also have a couple of Facebook accounts where thousands have enjoyed the many photographs I have shot throughout the years: Allegany County NY Photographs and A.L.M.A. (Allegany’s Land of His Majesty’s Artistry) where you can go to see photographs of the people and wildlife of our county.

My message to any high school teen or even seasoned adults who are looking for a better life is to check out all the offerings at any one of the CA BOCES locations. I have found over the years those who attend these schools are actually the backbones of our communities. If you need a plumber, carpenter, electrician—which you will someday—they often start out at BOCES. If you end up in a hospital or rehabilitation center someday you will need nursing and doctors—all who often start out at BOCES. If you have children someday, you will, at one point, need childcare for them while you work—yes, they too start their training at BOCES. When your car breaks down and you need a mechanic, or want to look great with a new hairdo, I am pretty sure you will be paying a former BOCES graduate for those services too.

In a world where having just one job for an entire lifetime is highly unlikely, one must be prepared to reinvent as they make their journey. When considering your future think about BOCES where essential workers come from. The skills you will learn there will help you when those times to change come into play, often carrying over to many areas of employment!