A standing-room-only crowd packed the Washington County Ag Center in Chipley on Tuesday, July 12, as Florida Panhandle Technical College proudly graduated the Summer 2016 Practical Nursing Class.
The graduates took part in the traditional pinning ceremony and, accompanied by cheers from friends and family, proudly accepted their diplomas from Washington County Superintendent of Schools Joe Taylor.
“You are going forth with the prospect of real, well-paid jobs,” stated Taylor. “We are proud of you and you should be proud of yourselves.”
The ceremony was attended by Washington County School Board members Susan Roberts, Milton Brown, Terry Ellis, Wayne Saunders and Vann Brock.
FPTC Assistant Director Bryan Lee started the ceremony at 6PM, introducing student leaders and nursing staff, who led the pledge of allegiance and offered welcoming remarks respectively.
Instructor Shirley Morris took the opportunity to impart some final words of wisdom to the students and the crowd of well-wishers, after which instructor Katherine Lawlor read personalized messages from students to their families, during the pinning ceremony.
Students finally, after accepting their diplomas, took part in the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony, a visually stimulating and emotional event in itself, holding the attention of the packed auditorium.
The event marked the last graduating class taught by instructor Patti Peel, who is retiring after many years of teaching the FPTC Practical Nursing Program.