RUMFORD — Tim Jewell, a Telstar High School forestry student at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology, plans to take the second year of the program when he’s a senior next year.
“I liked that we were getting recognized for our job,” he said during the vocational school’s annual awards and scholarship night Wednesday. “I like to work outside and with engines.”
Fellow forestry student William Simmons of Mountain Valley High School also liked the chance for everyone to see and hear what is being done at the school.
“I like that everyone is really enthused,” he said.
Enthusiasm was rampant both inside and outside Muskie Auditorium of MVHS as hundreds of parents, grandparents and students attended the annual event.
Region 9 Director Brenda Gammon said much of the success of the evening can be attributed to work being done in some of the programs.
“The computer technology class designed the program, certificates and invitations. Diversified occupations helped prepare food,” she said.
Along with a variety of scholarships, a new crop of National Technical Honor Society members was tapped and draped with tassels.
Two of those were Melody Royer and Ashley Sabins, seniors at Telstar who completed Region 9’s certified nursing assistant course.
“Region 9 is really a good option for us,” said Melody, who plans to attend Southern Maine Community College next fall in the para-medicine program.
She said she had wanted to go into a medical field, but wasn’t sure which one until she had the opportunity to ride along with Med-Care Ambulance Service.
Ashley plans to attend the nursing program at Central Maine Community College in the fall.
As a ninth-grader, Ben Hines, a student at Dirigo High School, doesn’t know what he wants to do yet, but he likes that he’s in the diversified occupations program.
“It’s relaxing and it has opened my eyes to a lot of things,” he said.
Among the top scholarship recipients were Lacey Gallant, who completed the early childhood program, named Student of the Year, and plans to attend the University of Maine at Presque Isle in early childhood and elementary education. Also, Alex Milledge, a truck-driving student, who will attend the University of Maine in civil engineering, and Josh Lacroix who plans to attend Washington County Community College in diesel mechanics and heavy equipment.
Each program instructor also presented a variety of certificates in their vocation in separate ceremonies in several classrooms in the high school.
Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin said his school is very proud of the Region 9 students.
“The three sending high schools are very aware of the vital role Region 9 plays,” he said.
Dan Hart, now principal of Telstar and a former student services coordinator at Region 9 and Dirigo principal, said completing a vocational program is both a credit to students and to their futures.
More than half of the Region 9 students who are graduating from their respective high schools this year are going on to higher education.