(Bradenton, FL—February 16, 2017) Nine dental assisting technology and management students graduated from Manatee Technical College on February 15. Graduate Austin Bennett wove the lyrics to Beyonce’s “I Was Here” into an emotional speech addressing his classmates: Claudia Madrid, Jessica Cummings, Alexis Curtis, Tamara Davis, Erika Gates, Valerie Jackson, Karen Reyes and Natasha Robinson.
The song proved to be a theme for the graduates, all of whom rejoiced in the obstacles they had overcome to succeed. And succeed they did. The winter 2017 class left its mark.
Bennett was presented the Award of Excellence from the Manatee Dental Society. Claudia Madrid received the Terrissa Kay Kenney Wilson Memorial Award for Perfect Attendance. Jessica Cummings, Bennett, and Madrid were recognized as nominees to the National Technical Honor Society.
Seven of the nine graduates have already passed the three Dental Assisting National Board exams to earn the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) national credential. The other two have one test left to take to earn their national credential. They have passed the dental radiographer and infection control exams and are expected to pass the general chairside exam in the near future.
All were joined by family and friends to help them celebrate their accomplishments. They were called upon to pin the graduates as they were awarded their diplomas.
Program director Kim Bland and instructors Brenda Ware and Geraldine Hernandez orchestrated the ceremony. They were joined by MTC director Dr. Valerie Viands, East Campus administrator Jeanette Eddy, and career counselor Kathleen Matthews. The ceremony concluded with the graduates reciting the Dental Assistant’s Oath.