(Bradenton, FL—June 21, 2019) Manatee Technical College graduated 450 students in three Spring 2019 graduation ceremonies on June 17, 18, and 19 in Cantrell Hall.
The Main and East campuses graduated 403 students from 45 career certificate programs in the areas of Arts, Automotive and Marine, Business Management and Administration, Construction, Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical, Hospitality, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Nursing, and Salon Services. The West campus had 47 GED® graduates.
Five student speakers addressed their fellow graduates over the course of the three ceremonies. “As a soldier, husband, entrepreneur and MTC student, I’ve learned many of life’s lessons the hard way,” said John Carkeet, the speaker for the June 18 ceremony. Carkeet was an accomplished U.S. Army veteran with a master’s degree who found his technical skills lacking when he tried to get a job upon returning to civilian life. “Change is inevitable. Do not do what I did by being content with what you already know,” Carkeet told his fellow graduates. “Stay on the cutting edge of technology by keeping your skills sharp with hands-on training and education. Gee, I wonder where you can do that?”
For the June 17 ceremony, there were two speakers. Dental assisting grad Elizabeth Bocanegra, who had a baby when she started school, reminded her fellow graduates, “No matter what anyone went through, no one gave up!” GED grad Allida Diaz Armendariz said she was a single mom in a dead-end job and now that she has her GED, she’s enrolled in optometric assisting.
On June 19, electrician grad Esteban Sepeda said he fought addiction and homelessness; he graduated top of his class, went to work and got a raise within three months. Amanda Noellert (welding graduate) said, “Not only do they (MTC) put their students first, but their reputation and connection to the businesses in the community are fundamental for graduates to get the best jobs.” Noellert led by saying, “Choosing to come to MTC has been one of the best decisions of my life.”
MTC director Dr. Valerie Viands officiated. Board of Governors chair Brion Sunseri told the graduates they had achieved skills for success. Deputy Superintendent Doug Wagner spoke of MTC meeting its mission. Also there to congratulate the graduates were Superintendent Cynthia Saunders, School Board chair David Miner and board members Charlie Kennedy and Dr. Scott Hopes.