Last week we wrapped up another season that started in April…what I call the “season of celebrations” and all of the year-end events that close out an academic year in the life of a college. There has been much to celebrate with our students and staff over the last three months. The final two events last week included our High School Completion Ceremony and the Wisconsin Leadership Development Institute (WLDI) Graduation.
First, a few words about the High School Completion event. I would bet that most people aren’t aware that FVTC supports the efforts of many people in our community in attaining their high school credential. This year we had 450 people earn their high school credential (HSED or GED) through our Adult Basic Education Program. We had a great group participate in last week’s ceremony, heard from two wonderful student speakers, and I was delighted to see retiring faculty member, Deb Cook, provide the keynote address that evening. Every time I attend this event, I’m never sure which group exudes more pride in what has been accomplished—the students, the families, or the faculty. You know, they should all be very proud. Every single person earning this credential has a unique story to tell…they come from a variety of backgrounds, their ages were in the range of about 21-81, they’ve come here from all corners of the region and the world, and all seemed excited about what it is that life has in store for them next.I also had the pleasure of attending and addressing the graduation of this year’s Wisconsin Leadership Development Institute class in Madison last week. This program has certainly stood the test of time in the technical college system and also draws a number of people from other states to participate each year. There was a great turnout for this event where we honored over 50 WLDI graduates, including our very own Shana Farrell and Michelle Williams. It was also great to have our WLDI participants for the coming year present for this event…Joe Richter and Mike Merbach. All of these staff members, too, seemed excited about what it is that life has in store for them next. We sure need the talents of leaders like this (and many more) as we navigate through some very turbulent times.
It’s so much fun to be part of these kinds of celebrations and see the excitement in people transitioning from a level of some sort to another, whether it’s earning a high school credential or completing an educational leadership program. As a new academic year begins, these preparations all begin again…so that come next spring and summer, we can celebrate the accomplishments of many more.