PIQUA — Nearly 500 students were honored during Edison State Community College’s 44th annual commencement ceremony, held earlier this month.
Local residents who graduated included Jennifer Hickman and Patrick Toller, both of Anna; Brooklyn Flora, of Botkins; Antony Billing, Rebeccah Deloye, Jess McGreevy, Nicholas Meyer, Christopher Billing, Blake Gaier, Weston Rittenhouse, and Sean Schwartz, all of Fort Loramie; Andrew Ball and Joslyn Gebby, both of Houston; Miranda Hickey, Paige Snider, and Drew Sosby, all of Jackson Center; Danielle Nelson, of Maplewood; James Kildow, of New Bremen; Briawna Suthers, of Port Jefferson; Jacob Gariety, Boz Howard, and Justin Seger, all of Russia; Jeremy Schutte and Linda Terry, both of Minster; Kristopher Holland, of New Knoxville; Eric Batty and Clair Schmitmeyer, both of Versailles; Kathryn Beatty and Aubrey Stephens, both of DeGraff; Brian Carpenter, Kearstin Courter, and Erin Metz, all of Quincy; and Jaime Allen, Stacy Applegate, Dylan Arnold, Seth Barhorst, Jessica Billing, Nicholas Bleininger, Autumn Bobbitt, Payton Boshears, Cody Cagle, Paris Cheek, Emily Collier, Bailee Comer, Kylie Comer, Christina Cook, Jordan Crisp, Elizabeth Deats, Daniel Delk, Rhea Demotte, Lindsey Dieringer, Jacqueline Dunson, Brittany Eilerman, Donald Elsass, Christopher Erickson, Brianna Gallimore, Gloria Garber, Sarah Gepfrey, Sara Jean Gephart, Ollivia Hageman, Allison Hall, Joshua Harlett, Summer Inman, Kendra Jarnagin, Cory Jolly, Damien Jones, Kyle Jones, Curtis Koewler, Dalton Leckey, Lexie Lenhart, Michael Lipka, Elizabeth Martin, Brendan McKnight, Chase Myers, Caitlynn O’Meara, Jenifer Orndorff, Brendee Parsons, David Poeppelman, Mollie Roe, Samantha Ryan, Kristen Strunk, Jordan Thomas, Kourtney Truax, Brandon Ward, Brianna Wells-Barnes, Dawson Westfall, John Winemiller, Aaliyah Wise, Xavier Wise, and Brandon Wray, all of Sidney.
Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson gave a speech praising the hard work of the graduates and explained the value of their accomplishments.
“Your lives and those of your family are forever changed for the better,” she said. “Good jobs, special scholarships, further education, and other opportunities available only to college completers will now be open to you and, unlike so many other things, a diploma or certificate does not fade in value, does not have an expiration date, and does not become replaced by the latest model.”
During the ceremony, Dr. Cassie Barlow, Interim President at Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, delivered a keynote address praising the hard work each graduate put forth to receive their diploma.
“The fact that you are here today is proof that you have worked diligently and made the most of the opportunities afforded you by your parents, your families, your school, and your community,” she said.
Barlow, who spent 26 years of her career in the United State Air Force most recently serving as the 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, then went on to thank the graduates.
“I want to thank you for your focus on education and on making the world a better place.
“So, when you leave here today, continue to reach for the stars,” she continued. “Take what your educators, your school, and your family have given you and use it to make your life better, and to make life better for the people around you. America will then be a much better place.”
This year’s graduating class earned over 550 degrees and certificates in such career areas as the arts, business, communications, engineering and manufacturing, health sciences, humanities, information technology, mathematics, sciences, and social and public services.