Students were nominated by their teachers for outstanding achievement in programs preparing them for careers and trades, said Ellen Gercke, chairwoman of the Washington County Career Connections Team, which sponsors the annual awards.
The group, made up of education and business representatives, emphasizes the direct connection between school and the work world and to make sure students' accomplishments are recognized, Gercke said.
Award recipients included 54 high school seniors and students finishing programs at Frostburg State University's Hagerstown Center, Hagerstown Junior College and Hagerstown Business College this spring.
Students from Smithsburg, North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Williamsport, Boonsboro and Hancock high schools, the Career Studies Center and the Washington County Job Development Center were recognized.
Many of the award winners were long out of high school.
Earning a bachelor's degree in sociology has been a 17-year endeavor for Waynesboro, Pa., resident Stephany Chase, 43, one of the seven Frostburg State University students honored.
"I've worked and I've raised children, all of that at the same time," said Chase, who will graduate in May.
The mother of three - ages 5, 8 and 15 - said she was recognized with the same award more than 10 years ago, when she was about to receive her associate's degree in human services from Hagerstown Junior College.
"This is really neat to have gotten it again further down the line," Chase said.
A counselor for abused women for 10 years, she said she hopes to work with juvenile delinquents after graduation.
Guest speaker Richard E. Cooley, an alumni of North Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown Junior College and Frostburg State University, also was a past award recipient.