By Lt. Roland Ramon, AA/Public Information Officer
Correctional Training Facility
On June 10, 17 and 24, Correctional Training Facility-Soledad, Tri-Facility held their annual graduation ceremonies in the CTF-Facility A, B and C visiting rooms, for the graduating classes of 2016.
The career technical educational (CTE) and academic graduation ceremonies consisted of 200 visitors, including family, friends and staff, celebrating a wide array of student achievements.
Fifty-four students earned their General Education Development (GED) certificates, four students became High School graduates; 24 were confirmed college graduates with some earning multiple degrees, of which 10 were associates of arts and one was a bachelor of arts. There were 229 vocational certifications: 33 in Construction Technology, 7 in Auto Mechanics, 2 in Electrical Works, 16 in Electronics, 21 in Masonry, seven in HVAC, 13 in Plumbing, seven in OSRT, 10 in Welding and 94 in Computer Literacy.
Dignitaries in attendance were Office of Correctional Education (OCE) Deputy Superintendent Shannon Swain, OCE Central Regional Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Wynn, Chief Deputy Warden (A) Matthew Atchley, Associate Warden Marilyn Marquez, Valley Adult School Principal Kevin Kessler, CTE Adult School Vice Principal Timothy Chaney and academic teacher Bettye Lusk.
Swain inspired graduates with a brief demonstration with Wynn on the importance of team work. The two passed a set of keys between them to signify the information being passed by the instructor to the inmate student and the passing of knowledge that is the inmate students’ to put to use in life and upon release.
Wynn said graduates should take their educational experience and use it to enter society’s workforce and find employment that suits their individual training.
CDW Atchley shared moving words of inspiration, commending the inmate students’ individual achievements. Atchley mentioned how the graduates acted alone in their decision to go to school and complete their assignments instead of going to the yard for recreation.
AW Marquez spoke of the choice the graduates made in continuing their education and how that choice came with consequences and they all overcame adversity in making those decisions, ultimately achieving positive results that nobody can take away from them. She reminded them that it was not subjective, but instead an objective, positive choice they made and they should continue setting goals in life and strive to succeed.
Principal Kessler commended the graduates for overcoming obstacles and setbacks, for remaining focused, working hard with great effort, and achieving their goals. He encouraged the graduates to continue in the college or CTE programs.
Vice Principal Chaney praised the graduates, congratulating them on their success and reminding them that the future is indeed ahead of them. With the skills they have achieved through the Valley Adult Schools academic and vocational education, they can achieve more as a future member of society.
Lusk praised the graduates, congratulating them on their success and reminding them of the graduation theme: “The future depends on what we do in the present.”
The success of the academic and GED programs have had a positive effect on CTF at large. The sense of accomplishment, sometimes the first achieved on one’s own, gives the graduate a newfound confidence in their abilities.
The graduation ceremonies will air on the institution television network in upcoming weeks.