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29 GRTS Students Awarded Diplomas
05 14 18 CT

Twenty-nine post-high students of Grand River Technical School received certificates in the school's 50th annual graduation ceremony Friday evening at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center. Chillicothe R-2 Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes welcomed those in attendance and introduced members of the Board of Education.

CAPTION: Grand River Technical School graduates receive certificates of completion from GRTS director Jayme Caughron Friday evening during graduation exercises at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center. Of the 29 post-high graduates, 19 are entering the workforce, with 11 of them already having a job. Ten are continuing their education. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Friday evening also included the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award to Crystal Narr and the Churchill Foundation GRTS Teacher's Scholarship to Brandon Duckworth, computer service technology instructor.

Crystal Narr, director of the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, was the keynote speaker for Friday's graduation ceremony and was introduced by Jayme Caughron, GRTS director. Narr is a 2000 graduate of Chillicothe High School. She attended Maple Woods Community College and Missouri Western State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies. In her remarks, Narr stated that she chose her profession because of where she wanted her location to be. "I was probably the a typical teenager in that I vowed that I was coming back to Chillicothe to put my education to use when a lot of others felt like they couldn't wait to leave," she said. "Each of you sit here tonight because you chose a direction," she said. "You chose a profession." She cited a quote by Steve Jobs who said, "You've got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." Narr told the graduates that she followed Steve Jobs' advice. "I didn't settle. I didn't stop challenging myself or striving to be fulfilled until I got to where I am today," she said.

She also reflected on a recent Business Insider article that stated that compared to those taking the traditional four-year college route, graduates of vocational schools were spending less on school and enjoying higher employment rates and wages. Additionally, more than 30 percent of people between the ages of 22 and 26 were unemployed or underemployed, whereas job placement for the graduates of trade schools was close to 100 percent. "Impressive numbers that prove each of you have made a very wise, life-changing decision by attending Grand River Technical School," said Narr.

Following her remarks, Marla Harrington, financial aid coordinator, announced graduates who maintained perfect attendance. They are Greeley Whitson, Zachary Hampton, and Turner Otto.

She also announced students with straight "A's. They are Samuel Howerter, Ramel Moore, Drakien Wilson, Turner Otto, and Dylan Wilson.

GRTS Assistant Director Adam Wolf stated that between 95 and 98 percent of GRTS post-high graduates, traditionally, are placed in jobs or enrolled in additional post-high training and this year's class is no different. Of the 29 post-high graduates receiving certificates Friday evening, 19 are entering the workforce, with 11 already having jobs in their fields; seven are continuing their education at GRTS in an advanced course and three are already working in their related fields and also plan to continue their education this fall. Additional students in the school's emergency medical services program will graduate later this year. Most of the school's programs have high school students in them from 16 area sending schools.

GRTS Director Caughron and Assistant Director Wolf presented certificates to the graduates in the following fields of study: auto service technology, automation and electrical technology, building trades, collision technology, computer network administration, computer networking technology, advanced diesel technology, diesel services technology, and industrial welding. Grand River Technical School graduates are as follows: AUTO SERVICE TECHNOLOGY: Turner Otto (Newtown), Leanna Rominger (Gallatin); AUTOMATION & ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY: Steven Baker (Chillicothe), Tanner Neidholdt (Keytesville), Greeley Whitson (Hale); BUILDING TRADES: Kianna Kinnison (Princeton), Aldon Stephenson (Keytesville), Braydon Walker (Gallatin), AustinWilson (Chillicothe); COLLISION TECHNOLOGY: Ridge Barron (Dawn), Riley Horton (Tina), Micheal McLey (Gallatin), ChadWalker (Cameron); COMPUTER NETWORK ADMINISTRATION: Miles White (Chillicothe); COMPUTER NETWORKING TECHNOLOGY Samuel Howerter (Chillicothe), Jesse McDonald (Carrollton), Jackson Haney (Chillicothe); ADVANCED DIESEL TECHNOLOGY: Tyler Anderson (Lathrop), Zachary Hampton (Nelson), Michael Leamer (Braymer); DIESEL SERVICES TECHNOLOGY: Victor Barriga (Galt), Matthew Houseknecht (Maysville), Ryan Lewis (Coffey), Jeremy Pittsenbarger (Pattonsburg), Jarrod Poor (New Cambria); INDUSTRIAL WELDING: Ramel Moore, (Princeton), Blake Williams (Trenton), Drakien Wilson (Trenton), Dylan Wilson (Brunswick).

Duckworth Awarded Churchill Scholarship

Brandon Duckworth, Grand River Technical School's computer service technology instructor, was honored Friday evening with a $4,000 scholarship from the Kenneth F. Churchill and Eugenia M. Churchill Foundation, Inc., presented by Jayme Caughron, GRTS director. The presentation came during the graduation exercises of GRTS students at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center.

Duckworth is a GRTS graduate, having completed both the welding and computer networking programs. He went on to graduate from North Central Missouri College. He worked several years in industry, the last six being with QNS, the tech support company employed by the Chillicothe R-2 School District. Duckworth obtained additional industry certifications while writing lesson plans and designing labs and projects for his students.

The Churchill scholarship fund provides scholarships to teachers pursuing degrees and/or certifications in career and technical teacher education programs. It is designed to recognize and support academic/technical excellence and high standards, recognize and retain individuals who demonstrate the potential to become effective teachers, and reward teachers who contribute to student learning "outside the typical classroom" and those who devote time to providing training to members of the local community. To be eligible, teachers must be under contract to teach for GRTS and possess valid state teaching licenses for that period of time, have a proven track record of working with students in the classroom and at shop or clinical sites, and value education and have a strong desire to learn and teach; relate well to diverse students; be passionate, positive, energetic, creative and enthusiastic.

CAPTION: Brandon Duckworth (left), computer service technology instructor at Grand River Technical School, was presented the Churchill Foundation GRTS Teacher's Scholarship, as presented by GRTS Director Jayme Caughron (right). C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

GRTS Honors Crystal Narr for Outstanding Service

Grand River Technical School recognizes one supporter of the school each year with the Outstanding Community Service Award during the school's graduation ceremony. The award was established in 1984 to be given annually to one individual who has provided support to the school and its students, and who has donated many hours of service to students and GRTS. This year's award was presented by Sondra Sturguess, GRTS business education instructor, to Crystal Narr. In making the presentation, Sturguess stated that Narr has been a key advocate for the community and GRTS. She has been a guest speaker in the classrooms and has volunteered to be a judge for various student organizations during leadership conferences. In the business department, she has helped with interviews for Future Business Leaders of America potential officers. Narr also is a member of an advisory committee at GRTS where her input helps strengthen the program and allows the instructors to continue to stay up to date with industry standards.

CAPTION: Sondra Sturguess (right), business education instructor for Grand River Technical School, presented the GRTS Outstanding Service Award to Crystal Narr (left). Submitted Photo

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