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The Jeff Tech Class of 2012 is just taking over

May 24, 2012

Natashia Nelson, of Punxsy, receives her diplomas from cosmetology instructor Bonnie Skinner Thursday night during commencement at Jeff Tech. (Photo by Tom Chapin/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

REYNOLDSVILLE — The Jefferson County-DuBois AVTS Class of 2012 is looking at a different take on an ancient Mayan philosophy that suggests 2012 will mark the end of the world.

“The world is not ending; we’re just taking over,” said class President Karissa Dinger, of Punxsy, as 93 students from the Brockway, Brookville, DuBois and Punxsutawney school districts received their diplomas Thursday night at Jeff Tech.

Dinger, who earned her diploma in the marketing and retailing program, said Thursday marked the first day of the rest of their lives, and perhaps yes, at least one world is ending in 2012: “We are entering a new world of opportunity and fresh beginnings,” she said.

The class members’ choice to attend Jeff Tech to begin with is what sets them apart from others, Dinger said.

“We are much more than just students; we are the future,” she said. “We wanted more than what our home schools offered, and we have gone above and beyond the average high school student.”

In her remarks, Valedictorian Stacy Ishman, of Brookville, said the class has made it together through good times and bad, and those memories will not be forgotten.

Also, Ishman — a health assisting student and recipient of the annual Niagara Cutter Award, presented by David Reiter — thanked the teachers, because the students’ success is also their

“After tonight, we will go our separate ways and make our marks on the world,” she said. “Go out, be bold and go after your dreams.

“We have a strong foundation,” Ishman said. “Now our job is to design and build the rest of it.”

Also speaking Thursday was Chief School Administrator Timothy Deluccia, also the superintendent of the DuBois Area School District, who used the eight letters in the name Jeff Tech to point out important guidelines, such as journey, or a new life as an old one ends; education, because learning does not end at graduation; future, which no one can predict; and fun, which everyone should try to have.

Also, Deluccia cited the word technical, because the students have been taught valuable skills in a highly technical world; exceptional, the class itself; career, which is ever-changing today; and happiness.

Principal John Kimmel certified the graduates, and Lloyd McCreight, chairperson of the Jeff Tech Committee, accepted the students as graduates.

Dustin Connors*
Kiel Brooks, Ryan T. Flick, Thomas Heilbrun II.
Natashia Nelson, Haley Smelko.
Matthew Thomas, Cody VanNamee*.
Shelby Gray, Amanda Huey.
Dana Maines, Brandon Patterson.
James Christian, Jonathon Martin.
Karissa Dinger*, Cheyenne Peace, Brittany Pearce.
Damian Barch, Amber Fetterman, Jerry St. Clair.
Skylar Burkett, Kody Sisk, Mark Trayer.

* Denotes honors.

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