If he was a betting man, John Widmer would wager his graduating class had never congregated on such a massive scale.
“We’re always coming and going,” Widmer said. “I spent most of my day at BGSU Firelands, and I was lucky enough to work as an intern with Sierra Lobo and Tenneco”
At EHOVE, that’s the idea: Get into the workforce, gain practical skills and, most importantly, get involved.
Along the way, many students, especially those within specific career programs, create lifelong friendships.
The senior recognition ceremonies — akin to a graduation without the gowns, caps and tassels — is a moment for students to celebrate that camaraderie, as well as their rapidly advancing careers.
Tiffany Horning, class speaker at the 11 a.m. ceremony, will graduate from Norwalk High School next month. Just a couple weeks after, she plans to begin nursing school at Firelands Regional Medical Center.
Without EHOVE, she’s certain the opportunity wouldn’t have been possible.
“I wouldn’t be who I am right now” Horning said.
In addition to career tech certificates, EHOVE graduates will receive traditional high school diplomas at upcoming graduation ceremonies from their respective home districts.
Many students also earned dozens of free college credits during their two years at EHOVE.
Widmer, for example, boasts an impressive 68 credit hours — the equivalent of an associate degree, as well as the most total hours in the career-technical center’s history. After graduating from Bellevue High School, Widmer plans to attend Kettering University to study mechanical engineering, with a speciality in automotive engineering.
Other students, including Nathan Zeck, class speaker at the 8:30 a.m. ceremony, focused on the workforce track, as well as becoming involved in several student organizations.
In a year’s time, Zeck plans to complete a live-in paramedic program in Hyattsville, Md., to become an employable paramedic by age 18. He will graduate from Huron High School next weekend.
“I’m really going to miss this place” Zeck said. “It’s had an awesome influence on my life. It’s extremely bittersweet”