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300+ in Class of 2022 Celebrate Accomplishments
Over 300 seniors were awarded Career Passports at the Warren County Career Center Class of 2022 Senior Awards Ceremony on May 18 at the Wright State Nutter Center. Superintendent Rick Smith greeted students, parents and guests. Criminal Justice senior LaShay Strickland, Middletown, thanked those in attendance who have served in the military, recognized her fellow students who were entering the military, and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Early Childhood Education senior Whitney Whitley, Middletown, introduced special guests, including board members, administration, and partner school district administrators. She thanked WCCC staff members for their support and work.

WCCC Valedictorian Lydia Steele, Little Miami, who completed the Pre-Nursing program, thanked her teachers and Atrium Campus Director Kim Gambill, and noted that the Class of 2022 did not have an easy experience the last two years of high school.

“As a class we have not had a traditional high school education,” she said. “It all started with ‘just a few days off’ our sophomore year and became a google meet mandate pretty quickly. I want to commend you all for jumping into a new school, full of new people and routines in the midst of Covid crazy. You
have all done well. You have demonstrated that our generation has the heart, the brains, and the determination to take the reins for our country’s future. We can and will because we learned to adapt and persevere. We are in good hands.”

WCCC Salutatorian Diyora Olimjonova, Mason, who also completed the Pre-Nursing program, said that the students at WCCC made a choice to go to a new school for junior and senior year to learn a trade, life skills, and earn credentials that would benefit their future. She also spoke about the impact that Covid had on her school experience.

“What kept me sane were my dedicated teachers who spent extra time with me on Zoom calls and the support of my loving family,” she said. “Also, my English teacher Ms. McGhee had book-reading sessions on Fridays through Zoom, and as a book lover, that helped me de-stress while feeling like a part of a group. I have to admit, I miss that sometimes, but nothing beats being here in person and experiencing hands-on education like phlebotomy in our senior year. I want to thank all the students and families for
volunteering to help us reach our goal of 30 phlebotomy sticks, and I apologize for the aftermath, AKA the bruises.”

Diyora thanked her parents for their love and support, and spoke a special message to them in their native language, Uzbeck.

Seniors Max Richards, Centerville, HVAC, and Lilly Currey, Lebanon, Pre-Nursing, spoke about the accomplishments of the Class of 2022. Over 100 members of the class gained career experience
through Apprenticeships, Internships, Externships, or other forms of Early Placement. On top of maintaining a full-time schedule in school, these students worked at least 15 hours each week in the career field of their program. They also recognized the students who participated in Career Technical Student Organizations, those that earned industry certifications and credentials, the 65 National Technical Honor Society members, and the many seniors that earned college scholarships.

Culinary senior Jakob Pelfrey, Lebanon, explained what documents are in the Career Passport.

“The passport contains a record of the career technical skills seniors have achieved, a resume, letters of
recommendation, certificates of recognition for honors they have received in the past two years, and a letter from our superintendent,” he said. “Students who meet the attendance, academic, occupational, and employability goals of their programs will also receive a certificate of completion. This passport represents an end and a beginning. Along with a diploma, it signifies the end of high school. It also signifies the beginning of an exciting career pathway. This passport shows the world what you have learned and earned. It demonstrates that the beginning of your career pathway is already filled with accomplishments. We are well on our way!”

After seniors received their Career Passports, they were shown a photo presentation of memories over the past two years.

WCCC Board President Peggy Phillips, Kings, congratulated the seniors on their accomplishments and closed the ceremony.

“All the Board members are extremely proud of each and every student,” she said. “Congratulations. We wish you the very best in your future endeavors. As we bring this night to a close, I will leave you with a
quote by author Lilli Vaihere, ‘Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.’ Good luck Class of 2022, continue to believe in yourself,
you’ve got this!”

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