It wasn’t technically a graduation. The seniors didn’t wear caps and gowns, and no one played “Pomp and Circumstance.”
But EHOVE’s senior recognition ceremony evoked the same feelings of pride, accomplishment and relief among the hundreds who packed the Sandusky State Theatre on Friday morning.
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“Today we start our new lives and use all that we have learned over the past two years,” class speaker and cosmetology student Angela Alessio said. “Now it’s time for us to leave our mark on the world and never look back.”
EHOVE’s 333 graduates received certificates from their program instructors, as well as “passports” and competency profiles.
They will officially graduate with their classes at their associate schools.
A slideshow that played as family members and other guests filed in highlighted each of the 23 programs that students completed, with images of students wielding drills, cutting hair and displaying their confectionery creations.
“The experience of going to EHOVE was unlike any other,” Alessio said. “It was much more fun than just high school. Working in lab, learning skills with people who shared the same interest and goals brought us closer together.”
Speakers rattled off numbers about the class of 2009 and its predecessors.
In 40 years, superintendent Sharon Mastroianni said, EHOVE has graduated nearly 12,000 students.
This year, members of Skills USA collected 4,000 cans of food for a “Stuff the Bus” food drive, and members of Family, Community Career Leaders of America baked 50 dozen cookies for a fundraiser.
Zach Ellis, who introduced the college tech prep programs, said students in the five programs earned 1,345 hours of college credit, “saving our parents over a quarter-million dollars.”
That was one way many of the graduates gave a thank-you to their family, but the sentiment was expressed in words as well as actions.
“Just in case your graduate forgets to mention how much they appreciate you, I thank you for your support over the last 12 years,” Mastroianni said.