Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta has announced its December professionals of the month.

Raegan Bechard Submitted photo

Raegan Bechard resides in Augusta. She is a senior at Cony High School enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant program at the center. She didn’t plan to take the CNA program this year, but signed up after meeting with college admissions representatives that told her if she wanted to pursue a medical program in college, she should take the CNA program.

Bechard is happy she was pointed in that direction. She feels that the combination of the program’s information and hands-on experiences has been beneficial, according to a news release from the center. She loves working with residents in the nursing homes and making them smile and laugh. She is grateful for her instructor, Deborah Warnke-Belanger, who has years of nursing experience and has been able to share little tricks and tips to make things easier.

“I’m very proud of Raegan for her outstanding academic achievements and quality work in the nursing assistant course,” Belanger said in the news release. “Raegan focuses on the important work that a nursing assistant performs at the bedside each and every day. Her eagerness to learn, class contributions, caring gestures, and display of quality clinical skills are just a few of her attributes that deserve this recognition. Raegan’s perpetual optimism and kind spirit are present in the classroom and clinical environment.”

When she is not in school, Bechard is the captain of Cony’s basketball team and in the spring will play lacrosse. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of New Hampshire and major in health sciences with the longterm goal of becoming a physician’s assistant.

Zachary Pouzol Submitted photo

Zachary Pouzol resides in Gardiner. He is a senior at Gardiner Area High School enrolled for the second year in the Culinary Arts program at the center. Ever since he was able to reach the stove on a stool, he has been interested in cooking and helping in the kitchen.

Pouzol is thankful that he was able to earn his OSHA 10 card and ServSafe certifications in the program. Having these two credentials made it easy for him to get a job. Outside of school, his social media is focused on food. He enjoys finding different plating ideas and finding new things to try making.

His instructor, Chef Heidi Parent said, “Zachary has impressed me by the way he absorbs information so quickly which is vital for any young chef to survive in this demanding industry. Zachary demonstrates skills that he is always thinking about plate presentation and flavor profiles while executing great time-management skills and excellent workplace sanitation. It has been nice to have a student like Zachary in the program and can’t wait to see what he does in his food service career.”

After graduation, Pouzol looks to find a mentor that is willing to continue demonstrating culinary arts skills, and then give him a chance to try those skills out. His longterm goal is to one day own his own pub.