Kelly Mileham is a Building Trades Instructor at Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. Mileham attended the Batavia CTE Center and graduated from Oakfield-Alabama Central School.
Mileham was interested in the trade because of the skills he learned from helping his father and uncles. After graduation, he went right to work in the trades field. His first job after graduation was at Overhead Door of Batavia.
After a few years, he made the switch to Lehigh Construction, where he worked there for 13 years. While at Lehigh, he served in different roles. He started as a laborer, then ran small jobs, and eventually started working in the pro division.
The promotion came with a company truck and a gas card, and the difficulty of the jobs increased. It was a good fit for him, but he worked a lot of hours. He felt the hours were getting in the way of his family life, and that he was missing his children's milestones. He decided to find a job closer to home.
Mileham then began a new position as a machinist at Bailey Electric Motor and Pump. While working there, he started taking a larger role in his kids' lives. He became a cub master for his son's scout troop, as well as a T-ball and soccer coach for both his son and daughter. Mileham coaches soccer year-round and is on the Batavia Soccer Club Board. He also coaches modified girls' soccer for Batavia City Schools.
Mileham saw an advertisement for the Building Trades Instructor at Batavia CTE Center and knew he had to apply. He has been teaching since 2021. Each year the Building Trades program builds a house. This year the class project is a little different from previous years. This year's project is a remodel with an addition. With the scope of work this year, the students get to learn safe demo processes along with new construction processes.
He shared some thoughts on what he learned as a BOCES student. “I am most proud of the houses I built when I was at BOCES. It is a great learning tool that stands for many years after you graduate. The house we built in 1999 is a house down the street from one of my friend's houses and I tell the kids every time we go by,” explained Mileham.
Mileham says that taking pride in your work and having a committed work ethic is something he hopes each student gets from his class. The three things that he learned as a BOCES student that he values most are how to work in a group, how to be a leader, and how to strive to be the best.