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HGAC Instructor Biographies

John Barr, A.A.S.
Architectural and Mechanical Drafting Instructor
 
Mr. Barr graduated from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an associate degree in architectural/civil computer-aided drafting and design technology as well as receiving instruction on the foundation for teacher education. He obtained a certificate in HVAC from The Greater Johnstown Vocational Technical School. As a registered master plumber in Pennsylvania he has over 20 years of HVAC design, troubleshooting, installation and repair experience. Mr. Barr instructed at the Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center in the building trades wing prior to his employment at CTI.
 
Karen Bilchak, M.Ed.
Business Education Instructor
 
Mrs. Bilchak has a bachelor of science degree in business management from St. Francis University, an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting from Mount Aloysius College and a masters of education in business/workforce development from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Bilchak taught at Mount Aloysius College and has more than twenty years of experience working in the medical field.
 
Nicholas P. Duranko, M.Ed.
Technical Mathematics Instructor
 
Mr. Duranko has a masters of education degree in elementary and middle school mathematics and a bachelor of science degree in professional studies of elementary education, with a concentration in mathematics, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Duranko has taught mathematics to students in kindergarten through eighth grade for 15 years. He has also taught adults mathematical topics for state tests, college level math courses, and teacher certifications over the years. He has served on educational planning committees and as a mathematics curriculum coordinator for schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He has been a member of the National Council of Teachers for Mathematics and holds a Delaware instructional I teaching certificate and a Pennsylvania instructional II teaching certificate.
 
Bruce C. Fleck
Dental Laboratory Technology Instructor
 
Mr. Fleck has an associate degree in specialized technology in dental laboratory technology and has worked for sixteen years as a dental laboratory technician.
 
Robert M. Forquer, CEC, AAC
Culinary Arts Instructor
 
Mr. Forquer is an executive chef as certified by the American Culinary Federation. He’s a member of the prestigious American Academy of Chefs. Mr. Forquer was voted Chef of the Year in 1992 by the Conemaugh Valley Culinary Association. In 2010, he was awarded the American Culinary Federation’s President’s Medallion, a significant honor in the culinary profession. Mr. Forquer is a registered serv-safe instructor and certified proctor by the National Restaurant Association. He has worked forty one years in the food service industry, has provided instruction for student apprentices and has taught Foods I and II at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.
 
 
Kim Fox
Culinary Arts Instructor
 
Ms. Fox earned an associates degree in dietetics and completed a continuing education program in health-related professions from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She was voted Chef of the Year by the Conemaugh Valley Culinary association in 1996 and served as its president from 2000-2007. Ms. Fox is also a member of the American culinary federation. She has worked in the food-related field for twenty eight years. Including education and instruction for practicum students at the Commonwealth Technical Institute, Penn Highlands Community College, Cornish Program, heart disease support groups, health fairs and various community groups.
 
Kathleen Frederick, B.S.
Life Skills Instructor
 
Mrs. Frederick has a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and holds a Pennsylvania instructional I certificate.
 
Robert Geist, B.S.
Remedial English Instructor
 
Mr. Geist has a bachelor degree in education, communications from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Mr. Geist holds a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate.
 
Robert W. Giebfried, CVI
Automotive Technology Instructor
 
Mr. Giebfried is an A.S.E. certified master automotive technician with twenty five years of experience in automotive repair. Mr. Giebfried has earned a vocational instructional I certificate, Pennsylvania vehicle safety inspection instructor certificate, and an intern/mentor trainer from the Automotive Youth Educational System. He was an instructor at Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center and served as a member of the strategic planning committee, department chairman and as a member of the First Energy Educational Advisory Board. Mr. Giebfried twice received Penn College’s Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award.
 
Noel B. Graham, B.S.
Culinary Arts Instructor
 
Mr. Graham has a bachelor of science degree in food service management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Noel is a certified dietitian as recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is certified as a sanitation and food safety instructor by the National Restaurant Association. Mr. Graham had worked for twelve years in foodservice management prior to employment with the Commonwealth Technical Institute.
 
Thomas J. Halza, CVI
Building Maintenance Instructor
 
Mr. Halza has a 3-year associate degree in construction technology from The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades and earned his certificate of competence from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Halza was employed as an instructor at Greater Johnstown Career Technical Center for 5 years, worked for thirteen years as a self-employed maintenance contractor and worked for various residential and commercial contractors prior to employment with the Commonwealth Technical Institute.
 
George J. Hockenberry
Networking and Telecommunications Technology Instructor
 
Mr. Hockenberry has an associate degree in specialized technology in computer servicing and consumer electronics from the Commonwealth Technical Institute at Hiram G. Andrews Center. He is certified in network cabling from C-Tech and has worked in the computer field for ten years prior to teaching at the Commonwealth Technical Institute.
 
James Howanek, DDS
Dental Assisting Instructor
 
Dr. Howanek is a graduate of St. Francis University and the Temple University School of Dentistry. Dr. Howanek worked for twenty years at the Hiram G. Andrews Center as a dentist prior to employment as the dental assisting instructor.
 
 
Joy Kutchman, B.S.
Printing Technology Instructor
 
Ms. Kutchman has a bachelor of science degree in education from California University of Pennsylvania. Ms Kutchman worked in the printing technology field for ten years and holds a Pennsylvania instructional I certificate.
 
William J. Machowski, CVI
Materials Management and Distribution Instructor
 
Mr. Machowski earned a vocational instructor in materials management and distribution certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. He worked in the materials management field for 9 years and is a member of the Institute of Supply Management Professional Association.
 
Lance Marks, B.S.
Business Education Instructor
 
Mr. Marks has an associate degree in data processing from Mount Aloysius College and a bachelor of science in business education and a minor in management information systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He worked for 7 years in business education and information systems. Mr. Marks holds a Pennsylvania secondary education teacher certification and is certified as a Microsoft Office user specialist.
 
Michael Matolyak Jr. B.A.
Networking and Telecommunications Technology Instructor
 
Mr. Matolyak has a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
 
Alexander M. McLachlan, CVI
Culinary Arts Instructor
 
Mr. McLachlan graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a certification in vocational instruction level I, quantity foods. Mr. McLachlan worked for twelve years in the dietary field prior to becoming an instructor at Commonwealth Technology Institute. He is certified as a ServSafe instructor and test proctor by the National Restaurant Association.
 
Donald R. Meier, Jr., B.S.
Driver Education Instructor
 
Mr. Meier has a bachelor degree in elementary education and certification in driver safety education from California University of Pennsylvania and has earned a Pennsylvania instructional I certification.
 
Patricia Palmiscno, M.A.
Remedial Reading Instructor
 
Ms. Palmiscno has a bachelor degree in education of the hearing impaired from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in special education from Seton Hill University. Ms. Palmiscno holds a Pennsylvania teaching certificate I and has taught deaf and special education classes for 6 years in Pennsylvania and West Virginia prior to joining Commonwealth Technical Institute.
 
 
Georgean Seese, B.S.
Business Education Instructor
 
Ms. Seese has a bachelor degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned certifications in accounting, data processing and office technology.
 
Joseph Smolko
Building Maintenance
 
Mr. Smolko has worked in the HGAC maintenance department as a plumber, repairman, adaptive equipment technician, carpenter and maintenance supervisor. As a carpenter, Mr. Smolko instructed students in maintenance trades. As a maintenance supervisor, he organized projects for the Appalachian Youth Service and United Way programs. Mr. Smolko also holds state certifications as a lead abatement supervisor and as an asbestos abatement inspector and supervisor.
 
Darla S. Studt, M. Ed.
Business Education Instructor
 
Ms. Studt has a masters degree in education from Shippensburg University and a bachelors of business education with certifications in accounting, keyboarding, and secretarial areas from Bloomsburg University. Ms. Studt received an associate of science in executive secretarial from Mount Aloysius College. Ms. Studt also has experience in accounting and office work at the Senior Activity Center of Cambria County, Inc. She is a member of the Delta Pi Epsilon Organization for Business Education Teachers, the Johnstown Chapter of Business and Professional Women, Pennsylvania Business Education Association and National Business Education Association. She has taught at the DuBois Business College, Pennsylvania, Greater Johnstown Vocational Technical School, Cambria-Rowe Business College and the Admiral Peary Vocational Technical School.
 
Vaughn A. Stufft, B.S.
Business Education Instructor
 
Mr. Stufft has a bachelor degree in business education from Ferris State University. He worked for thirteen years as an accountant before joining the Commonwealth Technical Center. Mr. Stufft holds a Pennsylvania teaching certificate.
 
Brian P. Susko, M.A.
Building Maintenance
 
Mr. Susko has a bachelor degree in technology education from California University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in career & technical education from Ball State University. Mr. Susko worked in residential and commercial construction and as a secondary teacher prior to instructing at Commonwealth Technical Institute. He holds a certification in driver education and technology education.
 
Bernice Varner, RN
Nursing Assistant Instructor
 
Mrs. Varner graduated from the Conemaugh School of Nursing as a registered nurse. Mrs. Varner has thirty-three years experience in the nursing profession including twenty-five years as an educator. Mrs. Varner has worked in the field of telemetry, maternity and women’s health, long term care and in intensive care and coronary care units.
 
Cathy A. Vore, B.S.
Business Retail Sales Instructor
 
Ms. Vore has a bachelor of science in business and distributive education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Pennsylvania instructional II Teaching certificate and has earned a masters equivalency in education. Ms. Vore taught retail distribution for 5 ½ years at the high school level, 5 years of professional sales experience with 2 independent companies and 4 years as a business owner and operator in the Johnstown area. She is a member of the Distributive Education Club of America.
 
Lisa Walsh, B.S.
Remedial Math Instructor
 
Ms. Walsh has a bachelor degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh and has a Pennsylvania teaching certificate I.
 
William Walter
Small Engine and Equipment Repair Instructor
 
Mr. Walter brings 18 years of experience to the Small Engine and Equipment Repair program. Mr. Walter has attended training seminars, related to his field by Briggs and Stratton, Tecumseh, Kohler, Honda, Lawn Boy, Echo, Stihl and Toro companies.