Career Center seniors celebrate

A sea of blue, green, black, white and yellow gowns filled the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center at Marietta College Tuesday morning as Washington County Career Center seniors celebrated their accomplishments in their host school colors at the school’s 42nd annual Awards Assembly.

A total of 206 seniors were presented with awards and recognition for collectively finishing up in the school’s 15 various programs, from auto mechanics to cosmetology.

Though each senior wore the colors of his or her host school, the message for the morning’s awards ceremony was that of a unified group of Washington County students who had made great strides to apply to their futures.

“Before me sit graduates wearing colors ranging from black to white,” said valedictorian Corey Miller of Belpre. “The rainbow that sits before me doesn’t end in a pot of gold, but in success.”

Miller and WCCC’s other two valedictorians, Kelsey Johnson and Brennen Ferrell, are all from Belpre High School.

“It’s not the things in life that we do that we regret, it’s the things we do not do,” Ferrell said. “So take advantage of all opportunities and make every second count.”

In addition to its three valedictorians, community foundations and organizations also awarded eight post-secondary scholarships and gave out awards for technical, career technical and academic excel

lence.

“Seniors, we thank you for being a part of our family and making outstanding contributions to the career center,” said superintendent Dennis Blatt. “We know you will go on to do great things.”

Seniors walked out of Dyson Baudo in a recessional outside to the Marietta College campus, where families and friends shared hugs and snapped pictures.

“It definitely hasn’t hit me yet, so right now I’m not yet scared for the future,” said Hailey Wright from Waterford High School, who graduated from the Medical College Prep program. “I hope to go on to become a trauma traveling nurse once I take my state board tests.”

Lisa Wells, the mother of Dakota Tidd, who graduated from Diesel Truck Mechanics, said she could not be any prouder.

“He has gone through so much to get here, and it is an amazing feeling,” Wells said. “School was not his forte, but when he came to the career center all that changed.”

Tidd is also a soon-to-be graduate of Fort Frye High School, and will be searching for work after he is finished.

“I’m scared and happy all at the same time,” Tidd said. “But I’m glad to be done and glad to get to move on.”

In her valedictorian speech, Johnson reminded her fellow WCCC classmates of the journey they made together that they will use out in the real world.

“We have learned something from every person we have come in contact with, and every single thing has shaped our character,” she said. “To be a student struggling can be difficult, but (we) all pushed through.”

Johnson stressed that they might all be taking different paths, whether it be college, a career, starting a family or traveling, but to keep in mind that no matter what you do, to follow your dreams.

“Change the world seniors, even if that change is small,” Johnson said.