Respect + perseverance = Student of the Year

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MEXICO – Devin Brann thanks his parents for allowing him to make his own decisions and for supporting what he tries to do.

They’ve taught him respect, and leadership, too, some of the qualities that led to the 17-year-old being named Student of the Year at Region 9 at last week’s Career and Technical Education award program at Central Maine Community College.

“It was quite an honor,” the Dirigo High School student said Friday afternoon between welding projects. “I wasn’t expecting so much.”

This is the second year the state’s 27 regional vocational schools have gathered to honor one of their students. Twenty-four made such awards this year. Last year, another Dirigo High School metal trades student, Craig Wade, was named Student of the Year for Region 9. He’s now a manufacturing trades major at Southern Maine Community College.

Brann has been accepted at Maine Maritime Academy for the next school year. His college attendance will be the first for his family. He’s also in the top 10 of his high school graduating class and active in school sports.

He wants to go into marine engineering technology or mechanical engineering and get a job on a ship. Eventually, he hopes to go to work for a power plant.

“A metal trades background will help,” he said.

Peter Barlow, Brann’s metal trades instructor at Region 9 and the person who nominated him for Student of the Year, said Brann was responsible and a good role model.

“Devin is a leader in the class, by example. He keeps things on track,” Barlow said.

Cheryl Ellis, student services coordinator for Region 9, said five finalists were nominated for the honor.

“It is Devin’s perseverance and a quiet dignity about him, his self-respect and respect for other people,” she said. “He hopes he’ll always keep an open mind, and he’s always worked very hard to get where he is.”

The award dinner featured Maine Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron. Students of the Year received their awards from Congressman Michael Michaud, D-Maine.

Brann in the son of Darlene and Michael Brann. His older brother, Curtis, completed the forestry program at Region 9 three years ago. He also has a younger sister, Lindsey, an eighth-grader at Dirigo Middle School.

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