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Special Section Archives The Altamont Enterprise, August 25, 2011

Josh DeNyse graduates, but not from Tech Valley

By Zach Simeone

BERNE — As one of the original 40 students to attend Tech Valley High School, Josh DeNyse thinks he made the right choice leaving after freshman year and returning to Berne-Knox-Westerlo.

“I think I could have done better in school if I’d applied myself a little more, but overall the choice to go back to Berne was a good choice,” DeNyse told The Enterprise Tuesday afternoon. He had just gotten off work at the Sunoco station in Altamont. “Tech Valley just wasn’t offering what I needed, or what I wanted.”

DeNyse, 18, graduated from BKW this spring, and says he’s ready to move on to college and begin working towards an engineering degree.

“The whole philosophy was project-based learning, and a lot of group activities scheduled to help you through the transition from school into the workforce,” DeNyse said of Tech Valley. “To me, the work didn’t show enough of myself; it was all someone else’s work.”

DeNyse explained that, while he enjoyed working in groups, he felt that the other students’ performances were bringing his grades down.

“If I’ve put in 90 percent of the effort, and we still got a 70, it’s because you have kids in the back that aren’t doing their share of the work; and my grades are reflecting their grades as well, so that was an issue for me,” he said. “When a college is looking at your transcripts, they look at your grades, thinking it’s based on your own work.”

DeNyse went on to say that, as a bowler and baseball player, being involved with the BKW sports teams became harder as a Tech Valley student.

“Tech Valley didn’t have any sports teams, so we wound up having to travel, and staying in touch with my school teams was very trying, because my mom had to provide transportation a lot of the time,” he said. “A lot of times, I missed matches, or arrived late to matches, because I just physically couldn’t get there. If I had stayed at BKW, we could have ridden the team bus to practices and games and stuff.”

Looking back, DeNyse says he has no regrets about his choices in both joining and then leaving Tech Valley.

“If I could go back in time and change things, no, I wouldn’t, because it’s an experience, and it kind of showed me what was out there,” he said. “We actually went out and tested the Hudson River for PCBs. We did some water testing; we did some cool experiments outside the school setting. We did a soil test on a farm at one point, too. It’s intriguing to go outside of the school grounds and to be in a different setting, but still learning.”

This fall, DeNyse will be attending Hudson Valley Community College to study engineering, and he plans on trying out for Hudson Valley’s bowling team.

“I’m hoping that, after I prove myself at Hudson Valley, I can get a scholarship and move on to RPI, or RIT, or another good school to continue my education and get a good degree,” he concluded. “Anything can happen.”

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