MICHIGAN CITY — The LaPorte County Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at the A.K. Smith Career Center in Michigan City held its 2019 Awards Program on May 2 at the Holdcraft Performing Arts Center in Michigan City.

During the program, returning members of the Technical Honor Society received cords to be worn at their high school graduations and new students were inducted. Several students were also honored with scholarships and awards.

According to a press release from Michigan City Area Schools, the purpose of the Technical Honor Society is to honor students who have shown dedication, professionalism and the skills necessary to be selected as the best of the best in their chosen CTE field. These students demonstrate that technical education is a viable, practical and challenging educational path. 

The ceremony, led by Director of Career and Technical Education Audra Peterson, featured Life Care Center Staff Educator Jackie Nelson, who spoke on each pillar of the Society: Excellence, Character, Technology and Work Ethic.

The following students were inducted into the Society, representing seven area high schools. The schools include LaCrosse High School (LCHS), LaPorte High School (LPHS), Michigan City High School (MCHS), New Buffalo High School (NBHS), New Prairie High School (NPHS), South Central High School (SCHS), and Westville High School (WVHS).

n Automotive Technology: Timothy Saylor (MCHS), Miranda Braniger (MCAS), Construction Technology (AKS), Alec Adrian (MCHS), Timothy Slagle (MCHS), Construction  Technology (NPHS), Jacob Dockery (NPHS), Hayden, Downs (NPHS), Tyler Graeber (NPHS), Gavin Kelly (NPHS), Ian Toth (NPHS)

n Cosmetology:  Amanda Kuzmin (MCHS), Mackenzie Nehl (LPHS)

n Criminal Justice: Serena Cuevas (NPHS), Layla Crawford (SCHS), Koryn Hollongshead (MCHS), Lauren Summa (MCHS)

n Culinary Arts: Diamond Jimerson (MCHS), Anna Salisbury (SCHS)

n Education Professions: Jory Bales (LPHS), Sydney Bearickx (LPHS), Missy Bucher (LCHS), Brikea Sherrod (MCHS), Zoe Spence (NPHS), Hannah Pittman (NPHS)

n EMT: Owen Barsic (LPHS)

n Energy Academy: Justin Downs (LPHS)

n Fire Science: Alec Marter (MCHS)

n Health Careers Academy I: Eva Barron (NPHS), Jacqueline Martinez (LPHS), Aaliyah McGill (MCHS), Haley Sikora (SCHS), Andrea Zaknoun (MCHS), Zoie Zaknoun (MCHS)

n Health Careers Academy II: Stephanie Lewis (MCHS), Alyvia Messer (LPHS)

n Welding: Kaitlyn Biela (NBHS), Michelle Kazmierzak (NPHS), Drake Kluge (NPHS), Allen Metts (LCHS)

The students listed above joined the following returning Technical Honor Society members: Julian Luna (LPHS), Blake Sorenson (LPHS), Eliot Rotering (NPHS), Margaret Bibb (MCHS), Troy Powell (MCHS), Ryne Stormer (MCHS), Zack Mrozinski (NPHS), Mikala McCullough (MCHS), James Huffman (MCHS), Julie Myers (SCHS), Amber Neuhold (NPHS), Kirsten Persin (SCHS), Brooke Stone (SCHS), Emigh Steinhagen (MCHS), Breanna Foster (LPHS), and Natalie Tuholski (LPHS).

Each of the CTE programs at A. K. Smith also recognized an Outstanding Student of the Year. They included:

n Automotive Technology — Dan Bowen

n Construction Technology (AK Smith) — Tim Slagle

n Construction Technology (NPHS) — Jacob Dockery       

n Cosmetology — Mackenzie Nehl          

n Criminal Justice and Law — Elijiah Jenkins

n Culinary Arts — Anna Salisbury

n Early Childhood Education — Elysha Davis

n EMT — Josh Pear

n Energy Academy — Justin Downs

n Facility Maintenance — Dwyayne Eagle

n Fire Safety and Rescue — Micah Wright

n Health Careers Academy I — Eva Barron

n Health Careers Academy II — Brooke Stone

n Modern Machine Technology — Brad Tucker

n Welding Technology — Natalie Tuholski      

Each year a student representative from each high school is selected as the Outstanding Student of the Year for La Porte County Career and Technical Education. This year’s recipients were:

n LaCrosse High School — Brad Tucker    

n La Porte High School — Alyvia Messer

n Michigan City High School — Brikea Sherrod

n New Buffalo High School — Kaitlyn Biela

n New Prairie High School — James Lewis III

n South Central High School — Anna Salisbury

n Westville High School — Jacob Parkman

Other students receiving special recognition included:

n Jim Wallace Memorial Award – Janicia Anderson

n Brad Cohen Award – Colin Nale

n Tej Ram Gupta Scholarship – Janicia Anderson, Kaitlyn Biela, Brikea Sherrod

n Kenneth Patterson Memorial Scholarship – Devin Higginbotham 

This year, Work Ethic Certificates were awarded to 62 CTE students who participated in an optional certification program offered through the Region 1 Youth Council and the State of Indiana. Students earning Work Ethic certification completed requirements based on attendance, discipline, and community service. They also were evaluated on their organizational skills, punctuality, respectfulness, and teamwork. Certification will give these students priority in job placement with companies across Northwest Indiana who are recognizing the importance of work ethics in their hiring practices.

In addition, 51 seniors were recognized during the awards program for completing 15 or more hours of dual college credit from Ivy Tech Community College. These students also were invited to participate in Ivy Tech’s regional graduation ceremony, which took place on May 11.

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