ST. MARYS — To Tri Star Career Compact Med Prep Instructor Janet Nelson, the class of 2012 is a group of 15 butterflies ready to spread their wings.
“I met them two years ago, and they were in the larva stage — they were caterpillars,” Nelson said Tuesday night at the Med Prep Pinning Ceremony. “Caterpillars have one job — to eat. These guys came to me hungry. You were hungry to learn about medicine.”
The next stage, she said, is the chrysalis stage, or the cocoon.
“A lot of people think that’s a resting stage, but it’s not,” she said. “Inside that cocoon, the body of that pupa is turning into a marvelous adult butterfly and gaining its wings. Somewhere in that senior year, you guys have transformed into your own butterfly. The change occurred at different times, but you all have your wings now.”
Nelson noted the students have a bright future in front of them, like a butterfly fresh from its cocoon.
“You know many butterflies migrate,” Nelson said. “The monarchs literally fly thousands of miles to Mexico. You’re flying to college. You’re exercising your wings in a career … I am sure you’re going to change people’s lives.”
Junior Skills USA President Tessa Quinter opened the ceremony Tuesday night by introducing Senior Skills USA President Brittany Sudhoff, who shared her thoughts and memories of the year with her classmates.
“Throughout the last two years, we have endured anatomy and physiology lectures on 12 systems and mastered over 100 different skills,” Sudhoff said. “Although not all of us can say we paid attention — maybe due to our comfortable, yet dangerous, rolly chairs — we certainly learned a lot. For that, I would like to thank Mrs. Nelson.”
She noted that even though she arrived at Tri Star Career Compact without many friends, she has grown close to her peers.
“In the end, I’d like to say I’ve grown as close to some of my classmates as I have with my childhood friends,” Sudhoff said. “We’ve accomplished things I wouldn’t have imagined, such as winning the gold at regionals for Health Knowledge Bowl, and we’ve learned enough to become consultants to some of our friends and annoying to the rest … Thanks to my classmates for making it an experience of a lifetime.”
Nelson presented each senior a caduceus pin and Tri Star Career Compact Director Tim Buschur presented each senior a passport that documented the work the student had accomplished in the Med Prep program.
The seniors then participated in a candle lighting ceremony, each senior lighting a candle from the fire of Nelson’s candle, symbolizing the passage of knowledge. The junior class then lit a candle from the fire of the seniors’ candles, symbolizing the passing on of responsibility. The students concluded the ceremony reciting the health occupation pledge.
Nelson wished each of the students luck with their careers.
“Awaken the butterfly within you,” she said. “Remind yourself that you can grow magnificent wings that will allow you to take some amazing rides. Good luck with your career, good luck with your lives, have fun on those rides.”
The med prep class of 2012 includes: Jenna Barker, who will attend the University of Northwestern Ohio, Marie Bertke, who will attend Ohio Northern University, Ashley Brown, who will attend the University of Northwestern Ohio, Joni Brown, who will attend Rhodes State College, Samantha Kremer, who will attend Rhodes State College, Abbey Kunk, who will attend Kettering College of the Medical Arts, Kaitlyn Lehmkuhl, who will attend Kettering College of the Medical Arts, Matt Lemmerman, who will attend Rhodes State College, Rylie McKinney, who will attend Xavier University, Regina Muhlenkamp, who will attend the University of St. Francis, Abigail Schlarman, who will attend Kettering College of the Medical Arts, Troy Secrest, who will attend Apollo Career Center, Erin Stolly, who will attend Rhodes State College, Brittany Sudhoff, who will attend Wright State University, and Diana Yaney, who will attend Rhodes State College.