After successfully completing the 12-month practical nursing program, 18 students received their diplomas during graduation exercises on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at Southwest Technology Center in Altus. Several students received recognition for exemplary performance in the areas of academics, clinicals and attendance. The academic award for earning the highest grade average went to Karla Avila. The clinical excellence award went to Nicole Welch. Three graduates had outstanding attendance of 98% or higher and were recognized with the attendance award. Those who received the attendance awards were Amy Norton, Nicole Welch, and McKenzie Smith. Two special scholarships were awarded to Mary Strickland and Miranda Lara from the JCMH Auxiliary in the name of longtime JCMH supporters, Mary Drake and Teddy Brookman.
Graduate, McKenzie Smith, opened the program with an invocation and was followed by Mr. Dale Latham, SWTC superintendent, with the welcome and introductions. Mary Strickland followed him with the introduction of the keynote speaker, Diane Fairchild, RN, MSN from Western Oklahoma State College of Nursing. Practical nursing program director Doug Johnston then presented the class awards after which Cindy Wakeman, instructor, presented the class. Angela Shelton, instructor, conducted the presentation of pins and was followed by Johnston who presented the diplomas. Gideon International representatives gave each graduate a Gideon Bible, and graduate Mary Strickland closed the program by leading the graduates in the Nurse’s Pledge. Practical Nursing Graduates for 2015-2016 are the following: Karla Avila, Jonathan Brown, Kailee Clendennen, Kneisha Davis, Wesley Elliott, Miranda Lara, Rachael Mensing, Amy Norton, Ciji Patterson, Danyelle Poolaw, Elisha Santiago, Heather Smith, McKenzie Smith, Mary Strickland, Lyndsey Trujillo, Marissa Villegas, Nicole Welch, Chynna White. All the graduates agree that the last year has been a grueling experience with a number of the students having to balance families and even jobs with coursework. However, none have regrets about seeing the program through. The graduates credited their families, friends and instructors with helping them succeed and would also like to thank Ayers Nursing Home, English Village Manor Nursing Home, Jackson County Memorial Hospital, Jackson County Health Department, JCMH Medical Clinic of Mangum and preceptors for their support in the clinical portion of their training.
Jill Owenby is the Marketing and Communications Director for Southwest Technology Center