By: Becky Echols & Carlos Chicas
Northwest Technical Institute held graduation and pinning ceremonies on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at the Springdale High School Performing Arts Center in Springdale, Arkansas. The Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology Pinning Ceremony was held at 3:00 pm, and the graduation ceremony for all graduates was held at 7:00 pm.
The pinning ceremony is held every year to celebrate those graduating in the health field. Nineteen Surgical Technology students, along with 37 Licensed Practical Nurses, literally took center stage to be pinned by their instructors or significant mentor in the health field.
The auditorium filled with family, friends, and loved ones as invocations, welcome speeches, and pledges were recited by students in both programs. “This ceremony was so awesome, and so emotional for me,” said, Mayrel Rojo, one of the Surgical Technology students. “I didn’t know we could have something so specialized for us, that would make us feel so good about the medical field.”
The Surgical Technology awarded 19 pins to their students, three special awards for accomplishments, and a preceptor award given to an employee at Mercy Health Systems. The Licensed Practical Nursing department gave 37 pins and two special awards to students within their department for outstanding nursing students and the Florence Nightingale award. The lights were dimmed in the auditorium as the nursing student lit their nursing lamps for a dramatic display.
NTI’s president, Dr. Blake Robertson told the audience how important this ceremony is for students and commended them on how well prepared they were for attending NWTI. NWTI is known for five years of 100 percent pass rates in Surgical Technology for their national exam, and six years with a 100 percent passing the LPN for the NCLEX. “I am so glad I chose this field and this school,” said Anabel Martinez. “It was a tough year, but it was worth it!”
The general graduation ceremony at 7:00 pm was also well attended by graduates, family, friends, faculty, staff, administration and the NWTI Board of Directors. Nick Ryburn, Director of Adult Education emceed the ceremony. Amy Kuykendall, a Surgical Technology Honor Graduate, was the student speaker. Diplomas were awarded by administrators and the Board of Directors. There were 145 program graduates and 39 Arkansas High School Diploma graduates
Billy Graham, a retiring instructor of Electronics Technology, was recognized for his 33 years of service to NWTI. His advice to graduates and students is, “Always take advantage of opportunities to expand your horizons or to learn something new.” He also reflected on his most rewarding experiences through the years. He has loved seeing the joy and excitement of students learning something new, perhaps initially struggling through training, but soon gaining the confidence, knowledge and skills necessary that paid off in great job opportunities!