Yo-el Cassell, a Tony Award-winning dancer, graduated from the dance program at the Mercer County Performing Arts High School in 1993.
A graduate of the Boston Conservatory (Magna Cum Laude-1997), he has also received his training in dance, mime, theater and puppetry. ?He has performed and worked with the American Mime Theater, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor II, Palissimo under the direction of Pavel Zustiak, Spencer/Colton, Julie Taymor, the Virginia Opera, Heidi Latsky, as well as Broadway and film directors Rob Marshall and Scott Ellis. Cassell has also appeared in the PBS broadcast of “Shining Time Station” (debut episode) and the motion picture, “What Alice Found.” He can also be currently seen in the PBS broadcast “Anatomy of a Ballet.”
Recently, Cassell received the Tony Award for best performance in a limited run/touring production as the title character in “Gepetto and Son,” based on Disney’s “Pinocchio.” Reviewing his performance, the The New York Times said: “Cassell’s Pinnochio is simply astounding and emotional at the same time. His wonderful dance instincts transport the character to a visceral place and his dramatic intentions are just as transporting. His performance makes me look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.”
Cassell is the artistic director of YC Movement Theatre, a fusion based dance theatre company that creates work to explore the journey and beauty of the inner soul. Comprised of dancers, actors and musicians, the company aims to create work in a collaborative and image orientated way.
As a dance educator, Cassell has taught modern dance, movement for actors, composition, performance elements, viewpoints, mime and shadow play at various institutions including the School for Film and Television (NYC), Walnut Hill School of the Arts (MA), the Mercer County School of Performing Arts, the Shadowbox Theatre (NYC), and Skidmore College (NY) for which he was a guest artist/teacher in residence for three years. He is currently on the faculty at Boston Ballet where he is developing the Modern Dance program.
“During my three years at MCTS-Sypek Center, I gained the skills and knowledge needed to become an active member of the hospitality industry. Through hands-on learning, I was able to develop skills that can’t be taught in the classroom. The MCTS teaching method provided the perfect learning environment for me, as it does for other students who are visual or hands-on learners.
“Through culinary competitions such as SkillsUSA, I was able to measure my skills against other students and build a sense of self confidence, as well as find a way to pay for my college education! Without the experience I gained at MCTS my success in the industry would have been limited and delayed.
“Since graduating from MCTS, I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and pursued a teaching certificate so I can begin to teach the subject that I love -- FOOD!”
Family Service Specialist
As a student at the MCTS-Sypek Center, I was enrolled in the Business Systems Technology Program. While in the program I learned the skills needed to become a small business entrepreneur; I was an active member in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and participated in a career development internship during my senior year. My typing proficiency greatly improved; in addition, I gained interview and resume writing training which I have utilized in my career endeavors.
“After graduating from Princeton High School and completing the Business Systems Technology Program at MCTS, I went on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“While in college, I worked as a certified Crisis Intervention Specialist at The Open Door: Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Center. My background also includes coordinating awareness projects for Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus community as a Center for Student Life Health Awareness Peer Educator.
“In my current position as Family Service Specialist for New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), I function as an Adoption Specialist. As an Adoption Specialist I have completed specific training to work as a collaborative partner with biological parents, foster parents, adoptive parents and community services to develop long term plans for youth age 0-21.
“Despite the fact that I am focused on a career in social services and not in business entrepreneurship, the skills that I gained and the people that I had the opportunity to meet at MCTS are invaluable and I will be forever grateful.”
Victor Hom graduated from the Mercer County Performing Arts High School in 1994 and trained at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory and the State University of New York at Purchase.
Business Owner, Master Auto Technician
Vincent D’Antuono, a 1989 graduate, is the owner and operator of two auto repair businesses. Victor is an AYES Certified Master Technician, as well as a Ford Certificated Master Technician. Always willing to donate his time and expertise to students and staff members, he serves as a member of the Auto Technicians Advisory Board and is a mentor of students wanting to enter the field of Auto Technician. He is active in the Hamilton Rotary and is a coach with the Hamilton Township Recreation Soccer program.
Business Owner, Contractor
After graduating from the General Building Construction program, Michael Evert completed the Apprenticeship program with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and holds a journeyman's certificate.
He is the owner of All Phases Construction and Woodworking and is Financial Secretary of the Carpenters Local 31 in Trenton. Michael's exceptional work can be seen on the addition to St. Gregory the Great Church, Washington Township High School and The RWJ University Hospital at Hamilton, and most notably in the restoration and refurbishment her performed of the Mercer Tech cosmetology shop.
Corey Fowler completed Mercer County Technical Schools’ electronics and computer technology program, receiving his certification in C-Tech Fiber Optics and Networking. He has an associate’s degree in Applied Science from Mercer County Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State College. Corey started as an electronics technician with PSE&G and was promoted to the position of engineering technician. He is now senior lead engineering technician for PSE&G-BUD Systems Group. In his current position, he develops electrical zone layouts based on circuits versus development load and forecasts the results of added load on circuits. He also is a trainer for systems operations, work orders and reporting. Corey mentors 5th grade students at Cedar Brook Middle School in Plainfield through the PSE&G/United Way Stay in School Program. He is also a member of and events coordinator for the board of directors for the Young Adult Ministry at the First Baptist Church in Plainfield.
Placing a loved one in an assisted living or long-term care facility is a big step, and often a hard one for families. Yolanda Stinger helps make it a little easier.
Stinger (MCTS class of ’77, Nursing ‘78) is admissions director for St. Joseph’s Skilled Nursing Center, the long-term care facility of Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Stinger answers questions for people considering Morris Hall for individuals who can no longer live independently, coordinates the admissions process and sees that the facility is ready to meet a new resident’s needs.
The experience of selecting a long-term care facility for an aging parent is an emotional one, in some ways similar to choosing the ? day care for a child, as life comes full-circle for families, Stinger observes.
“They want to make sure their mother or father is in the ? hands,” she says. “You build that comfort and trust from the initial point of contact.”
That initial contact usually marks the start of a long relationship between residents’ families and Stinger, who continues helping them with a range of issues -- legal, financial, medical and others -- that arise over time.
An experienced nurse herself, Stinger brings both compassion and clinical expertise to the administrative challenges involved in helping ensure that St. Joseph's residents get everything they need.
She credits the education she received at Mercer County Technical Schools, with its emphasis on hands-on instruction and practical career guidance, for giving her a strong foundation for success.
“The instructors guided me and were instrumental in my career. I can’t say enough about the entire staff there,” Stinger says.
She continues to be involved at MCTS, serving on the school’s General Advisory Committee and a special LPN Advisory Committee, and sees a strong demand for the kinds of students who attend MCTS.
“People are looking for kids with more hands-on experience in today’s workforce,” she says. “MCTS has so much to offer, whether you’re going ? into the workforce or on to further education.”