MOUNT VERNON — A small but mighty new crop of licensed massage therapists have officially graduated out into the world following a small ceremony at the Knox Technical Center Sunday afternoon. The ceremony was held for the seven graduates after a snow day canceled their original graduation date of Nov. 15.
The graduation ceremony for the class of 2018 was the culmination of the 15-month adult education program. According to program coordinator and physiology and anatomy teacher Diane Shew, most of the graduates already have post-grad employment lined up.
The class appointed Tania Allen to serve as the graduation speaker, and she began by thanking those that worked behind the scenes to get them to graduation day — their instructors and family members.
“We thank you for sharing your real life stories, keeping us positive and on the right track to get through these past 16 months,” Allen said. “Because of you we are all leaving here with an education to achieve our goals and reach our personal dreams. Thank you for your generosity, your patience, your dedication. I would also like to acknowledge all of the family and friends here to celebrate with us today. Thank you for sacrificing your own needs during our endless hours of studying. Thank you for holding down the fort at home, thank you for making dinner and thank you for folding that load of laundry.”
Allen offered sage advice to fellow graduates, who began as classmates, she said, and became friends and now, colleagues.
“Tonight we will part ways, but tomorrow we will begin our mission,” Allen said. “We are smarter, wiser and more determined than ever. We vow to create a safe sanctuary for those that come to us, we vow to use our knowledge to the best of our ability and we will pass on a gift — that gift is the power of touch. Through our hands we will pass on gratitude, respect, calmness and trust to one body at a time.”
Diplomas were presented by Adult Education Director Jane Marlow, and the rose presentation was conducted by massage instructor Amanda Dearth.
The class of 2018 included: Tania Allen, Michaela Barnett, Kristi Finney, Jennifer Reiter, Sandra Roseberry and Lyndsay Walton.
Special academic awards were presented after the diplomas for cumulative grade point average achievements, according to Shew. She explained that no one in the class got below a 95 percent in their GPA, including class salutatorians Barnett, Finney and Fry; while class valedictorian Walton had a cumulative GPA of 97.2 percent.
Attendance was also a special award presented by Shew to two graduates who achieved a 97.2 percent attendance record in their collective 817 hours of class. Fry and Roseberry achieved the special attendance commendations.