Shelby Jackson campus graduates 113

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Eulonda Lee takes a photograph of Roeisha Sanders, left, and Tamera Hankins after the Louisiana Technical College commencement ceremony Tuesday night at the Concordia Parish Community Center.

FERRIDAY — Since 1952, Central Louisiana Technical College Shelby Jackson Campus has been training young men and women to get them ready for work in the real world.

The school was known as Concordia Parish Trade School back then, and while the name may have changed, the school’s goal has not.

“We train people to go to work,” campus dean Mignonne Ater said to the group of 113 graduates seated before her at the school’s 2011 spring commencement ceremony Tuesday evening.

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CLTC graduates in 11 different fields received their diplomas to a standing room only crowd at the Concordia Parish Community Center, and one thought seemed to resonate among the school’s newest alumni.

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Sheley Kater, below, moves her tassel to the right side her cap, a ritual symbolizing commencement, during the graduation ceremony.

“I am just ready to get to work and start making some money,” graduate Lucien Bean said.

Bean received his certificate as a certified nurse’s aid, and said he can’t wait to get out in the real world and look for work.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “It just feels good to finally be done and get ready to go find a job.”

Graduate Peggy Hunt shared Bean’s sentiment, as she got ready to receive her diploma as a medical office assistant.

“I am just ready to find a place to work,” she said. “It is exciting to be done and to be ready to move on with things.”

Hunt said her three years spent at CLTC were full of good memories.

“It was just a great experience,” she said. “The teachers were all so helpful and experienced. I learned a lot.”

Practical nursing graduate Kimberly Brown said her instructors at the school always managed to keep things interesting.

“I loved my teachers,” she said. “They made everything fun to learn and were a big part in me being here at graduation today.”

Practical nursing graduate and CLTC’s Student Government Association’s president Chelsea Crum spoke to the crowd about another group of people who helped make graduation possible for the 113 students.

“To all the family and friends of the graduates who are here tonight, without your support, we would not be here today,” she said.

With the hunt for a job in the real world just beginning, the 2011 CLTC graduates can at least say they are finally done with school.

“And that is a huge weight of my shoulders,” Brown said.