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Students receive career technology awards

May 04, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Quinn Band had hardly any plumbing experience before participating in an apprenticeship program through the Barr Construction Institute.

Now the 18-year-old Boonsboro High School senior is working five days a week with the Washington County Public Schools maintenance department, repairing plumbing in the county's schools.

Band was among 69 Washington County Public Schools students and 15 Kaplan College students honored Monday for excellence in career technology programs. The 25th annual awards ceremony drew more than 100 people to South Hagerstown High School.

"It warms my heart as an old schoolteacher to see students who have excelled and achieved at this level," said Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

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The high school seniors receiving awards Monday demonstrated high academic performance and outstanding technical skills, she said. Washington County Public Schools offers 34 career pathways, making it one of the most diverse districts in the state in terms of the variety of programs available to students.

"What sets you apart from your peers is that you have gone the extra mile," said School Board Vice President Ruth Anne Callaham.

She called the students honored during the event "heroes of our community."

Josh Norris, 17, a senior at Washington County Technical High School, received an award for his work in his school's graphic communications and printing program.

Josh said he learned to create designs using Photoshop software and print them on posters and T-shirts. He said he was chosen from his class based on his grades and his performance, and said he hopes to enroll at Hagerstown Community College after graduation.

Ashley Wise, 18, is enrolled in Williamsport High School's food and beverage completer program, and said she hopes to own her own cupcake shop someday. Wise was selected from students in several food and beverage classes to receive an award Monday.

She will enroll at Penn State Mont Alto in the fall and plans to study health and nutrition.

"Which is sort of opposite of cupcakes, but maybe it will be healthy cupcakes," Wise said.

She currently has an internship with Head Start of Washington County, where she prepares meals for children who participate in the program.

Jessica Berry, 18, attends Washington County Technical High School and said, like Wise, she would like to own her own bakery someday.

Berry, a senior, received an award for excellence in her school's culinary arts program.

Loretta Henson, 29, is enrolled in Kaplan College's medical billing and coding certificate program. Henson, who is completing her final semester, received an award for excellence in her program.

Henson, who has two young children, said she pursued medical billing and coding as a career because she can work from home.

"You should be proud of your accomplishments," said Kaplan Collage President W. Christopher Motz.

He offered the students some advice during the ceremony, and told them about the importance of attendance in school and in life.

"The world is run by those who show up," Motz said. "Always do more than your job description requires."

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