2016 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Casimir J. Rappa
Nassau BOCES Adult Education
Casimir Rappa retired from the Nassau BOCES Adult Education Program after teaching for nearly 34 years. During his tenure, he taught several different courses covering a wide range of technical and trade-related career fields.
Mr. Rappa developed his skills while helping build aircraft carriers under the apprenticeship of experts in the fields of electricity, carpentry and plumbing. From there, he moved on to work as a Telephone Installer, troubleshooting the various aspects of wiring homes, businesses and apartment buildings. He built on these experiences to start his own alarm installation business and eventually became a Telecommunications Consultant for the Bristol Meyers Company.
In 1981, Mr. Rappa approached the director of the Nassau BOCES Adult Education program, inquiring if they offered a course on how to install burglar alarms. The director informed him that they did not and suggested that Mr. Rappa create a course and teach it himself. Mr. Rappa took the director up on his offer and started teaching a class on alarm system installation. Over the next several years, he expanded the school's offerings with courses in Basic Electricity, Electronics and Trade Electric Theory. His classes were rich in practical and hands-on training, as well as in the science and theory behind the concepts, giving students a strong foundation on which to build their careers.
Mr. Rappa was a dedicated educator, staying late into the night to refine the coursework and prepare for the next day. As a result, many of his students have returned throughout the years to thank him for his dedication. These students have built careers in the trades including refrigeration, electrical and auto mechanics.
"Casimir Rappa enjoyed a long career teaching students how to think for themselves and to be creative problem-solvers while in the field," wrote his award nominator. "His dedication to his students was of the highest priority for him; their grasp of the coursework was always paramount. He loved to teach, and the decision to retire remains bittersweet."