WCCC News Article

2020 Valedictorian, Co-Salutatorians Ready for the Future

Board member with Val and Sals

The 2020 Warren County Career Center Valedictorian is Elisabeth Henrich, Veterinary Science, Little Miami. She will be attending the College of Wooster to major in Biology. Her long-term goal is to become a veterinarian.

There was a tie for 2020 WCCC Salutatorian. Isabelle Sizemore, Veterinary Science, Little Miami, will be attending the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Biological Sciences. Her long-term goal is to work in genetic counseling.  Carl (Mance) Ranne, Graphic Arts & Imaging, Little Miami, will be attending the Modern College of Design in Kettering. His long-term goal is to become a creative art director.

Valedictorian Elisabeth (Elly) Henrich said she made her decision to apply for the Veterinary Science program after attending the Sophomore Showcase. She was familiar with the Career Center because her brother, Sam, completed the WCCC Carpentry program in 2018.

“At first, I wasn’t really considering the career center, but when I visited as a sophomore, I was amazed by the opportunities the Veterinary Science program offered, such as actually getting to perform surgeries, and caring for exotic animals,” she said. “The instructor, Mrs. Peloe, showed us how many different career opportunities there are in this field.”

Elly said she always had a dream to work with animals, and when her childhood cat, Angel, passed away, she knew she wanted to help animals. She was about 15 or 16 at the time. Choosing the Veterinary Science program gave her opportunities to explore career options through field trips to the Cincinnati Zoo and the Newport Aquarium and learning about veterinary and grooming businesses. The experiences helped her decide she wants to continue into veterinary school after earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the College of Wooster and work in a small animal practice. She said she really enjoys exotic animals such as hedgehogs and sugar gliders.

“The Veterinary Science program is phenomenal and I am grateful for the opportunities I had,” she said. “I feel like I am more confident, and prepared for the future and whatever life throws at me. The Career Center prepared me for college, also. There is a misconception that you don’t go to college if you go there, but all of my friends are going to college.”

The Class of 2020 has faced some unprecedented challenges with the switch to remote learning to finish their senior year, missing out on in-person celebrations, and it has certainly influenced how they have learned to face adversity.

“It’s made me a much stronger person, and more confident to adapt and face problems,” she said. “I have so much to say about my teachers. I am so thankful for the relationships I have had with the teachers at WCCC. They care a lot about you and your wellbeing and learning. Because class sizes were smaller, I connected more with them, and it got me where I am today. I recommend the Career Center to students who want to figure out what they want to do with their lives. The lab experience helps and gives you good options.”

Co-Salutatorian Isabelle (Izzy) Sizemore said she chose to attend the Career Center for the many social and academic opportunities offered. Her experience in the Veterinary Science lab enabled her to sort out her career options and find her passion for working in biological science.

“It was exciting to me to be able to learn about a field I was so passionate about in high school,” she said. “I never really wanted to be a vet, per se, but I really wanted to work with and help animals ever since middle school. I was having a hard time figuring out what exactly I wanted to do, so I knew this program would allow me to explore all of my options and help me get my foot in the door for my future career goals.

“My program helped me realize that working with animals actually isn’t something I want to do for my future career. I love the reward of helping others, and as much as I cherish any opportunity I can to be able to help an animal, I realized I wanted to help humans too! My program also allowed me to explore my love for biology as a whole. I hope to become a genetic counselor. UC has this fantastic Master’s program at Cincinnati Children’s for genetic counseling, and I would love to get accepted into it in the future. Genetic counselors advise people and their families about their risk of inherited conditions, and I feel like it is the perfect match for my interest in biology and helping others.”

Izzy said that the Career Center made her a better student and more confident in her abilities. She said she didn’t challenge herself academically at her home high school because she didn’t believe she could succeed in the more challenging classes. When she scheduled her classes at WCCC, the counselor chose advanced classes for her junior year. 

“I was extremely nervous,” she said about her schedule, “but I succeeded in and loved every one of them! I have to thank my counselor greatly for that; she allowed me see what I was capable of. The career center also allowed me to meet the greatest group of friends and the absolute best teachers anyone could ask for. Everyone made me feel so comfortable and appreciated, and it allowed me to come out of the shell I was hiding in at my old school. I am a much more outgoing person today because of that!”

As a member of the Class of 2020, Izzy has also learned more about herself and her abilities in the face of adversity. “This pandemic has taught me that I need to keep my head up at all times,” she said. “It was hard, I’ll admit, but I still had an ounce of optimism left, and that was able to push me forward enough to finish out the year strong. It’s been extremely rewarding to come from such a confusing and hard time in our lives to such an eventful month filled with celebrations for the Class of 2020. It truly does let me see that through any tough situation, there WILL be a light at the end of the tunnel!”

“I knew from the beginning that Izzy and Elly were both special young ladies,” Veterinary Science Instructor Maegan Peloe said. “They both had a strong work ethic and positive attitude from day one. It was a nice surprise that they were both recognized for all of their hard work!”

Co-Salutatorian Carl (Mance) Ranne said he chose to attend the Career Center because he wanted the opportunities and experiences offered through the Graphic Arts program and knew that would prepare him for the types of colleges he was considering. He also knew that in order to focus on his chosen career, being able to take a half day lab in Graphic Arts would give him the experience he needed.

“Taking advantage of the Career Center’s opportunities seemed like the best decision for my future,” he said. “I knew this was the field that I felt most comfortable in when I began my first year at Warren County Career Center. Before then, I only knew that I wanted to do something with art, because I could only see myself entering a creative field. The classes that I took at my homeschool gave me a small taste of the industry, but not enough for me to confidently decide that I fit best there. The assignments, lessons, and experiences provided to me by the Career Center allowed me the understanding of the expectations, relationships, and work in the graphic design field, as well as the specific jobs available.”

Mance said the Graphic Arts program gave him experience in the design programs, projects, and jobs included in the graphic design field. “It was an accurate, albeit lower-stakes, version of a job in the graphic design industry, which I found to be the most beneficial aspect of the class. Along with this, a few tours of both colleges and small businesses gave me first-hand experience and connection to the industry. I’ll be attending The Modern College of Design and will study illustration, advertising, graphic design, photography, and marketing, among other things. I’ll be majoring in Commercial and Advertising Art.”

A future in graphic arts can include many directions, and Mance has purposely keep his options open when looking at long-term career goals. “I’ve wanted to keep my future generally unplanned to allow myself to develop with time. My goals aren’t very specific, only emotions I’d like to have and share and environments I’d like to be in. I’m sure experiences and opportunities in college will provide me with a clearer career path, but I’m hoping to work through the job of a graphic designer and eventually become a creative/art director. The career center has only increased my confidence in my planned career, and has exponentially expanded my knowledge and understanding of the industry I’m planning on entering. It’s tested and developed my ability to communicate and work with others, and has opened me to a wide variety of like-minded and unique people.”

As with other members of the Class of 2020, Mance has learned how to cope and adapt to challenges. “It’s shown me how beneficial and crucial adaptability is,” he said about the pandemic. “Working through the change in routine as normally as I could, I found that the change of pace wasn’t as harmful as I thought it would be. Approaching sudden change with positivity and working through it as best as you can with what is available can be a comfortable and fulfilling approach to an otherwise devastating situation.”

Graphic Arts Instructor Howard Norris said that Mance made an immediate impression in class as a junior. “Mance volunteered for an extremely difficult project on the first day of his junior year,” he said. “When an instructor hears that, it usually means one of two things. Either Mance was overly confident and attempting to make a good impression, or he knew he had talent and was eager to ‘jump into the 10 foot.’ I discovered Mance is the latter. That major project was completed as well as a large variety of other graphic design and printing work. I witnessed Mance put his academic goals to the test as well. He would request time in lab, but usually after he had completed assignments I gave the group.  Mance demonstrated what I feel is innate understanding of what would most effectively convey a message. He was attuned to the idea that beyond the customer’s message, tools like color, position, elements and overall composition could take a message from plain to dynamic. He has never wavered from his goal of being a graphic designer and I have every reason to believe he will achieve great things moving forward.”

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