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135 graduate from James Rumsey Technical Institute

June 21, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Patrick Popish poses in a photo with his fellow surgical technology graduates Friday at James Rumsey Technical Institute graduation in Hedgesville.
By Colleen McGrath / Staff Photographer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Two Martinsburg men, Michael Parkinson and Donald Naylor, certificates in hand from the James Rumsey Technical Institute's Culinary Arts program, are headed for second careers.

 They weren’t alone, many of the 135 graduates who earned certificates in more than a dozen programs were also changing careers or finding first ones.

In a ceremony held at Hegesville High School, the graduates received certificates Friday night in courses ranging from licensed practical nurse to truck driving, surgical technology, electrical technician, machine trades, automotive technology, and even the regional technical school’s newest class — massage therapy. The 2013 class began and ended the year with three massage-therapy students.

Parkinson, 50, is a retired service mechanic with the local water department.

“It’s never too late to learn something new,” he said.

His goal is to find a cooking job somewhere in South Carolina or Florida, Parkinson said.

 ”I didn't go through culinary school to work for a fast-food restaurant,” he said. “I had to study hard to get through. I passed with honors and perfect attendance.”

 Naylor was an assistant building manager at the Pentagon. Cooking and barbecuing were longtime hobbies, and his goal was to one day own his own catering business.

That day has arrived. He just got his license to begin operating as “Haulin’ Hog Catering.”

 ”The course was a tremendous help,” Naylor said. “It taught me the business end of the business.”

“You earned the certificate you receive tonight,” Kathy Morgan, post-secondary assistant principal, told the graduates.

To which one male classmate answered: “You’re right,” his assertion followed by a round of applause.

 Rumsey graduations don’t stand on high ceremony except for the usual processional to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

 Casual wear, T-shirts and jeans replaced caps and gowns.

 State Sen. Craig Blair, R-15th, a Rumsey alumnus, asked to address the graduates, said Vicki Jenkins, outgoing director/principal.

Blair said he when he was in Hedgesville High School he saw no need to read the classics.

He said his Rumsey education "afforded me many opportunities in life. There’s no better form of welfare than having a good-paying job."

 Jenkins is ending a 24-year career at Rumsey.

“This is my last graduation,” she said.

 She will be succeeded by Donnal VanMetre, assistant principal at Hedgesville High School.

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