Graduates lighting lanterns during the candle lighting ceremony

The graduates lit lanterns during the traditional candle lighting ceremony.

On July 27, South Florida State College graduated a class of 23 practical nurses in a traditional pinning ceremony in the Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at SFSC’s Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

The graduates were Clarita Chavez, Rolando Chavez, Julia Daughtery, Roselande “Rose” Eugene, Yoana Godinez, Whitney Hummel, Maria Jaimes, Veronica Librado-Galindo, Rebeca Lopez Herrera, Yesenia Lucatero, Leticia Lule, Jamie Matos, Misty Medley, Solirene “Sol” Mercado, William Moore, Vanessa Olivero, Breanda Ramirez Canchola, Erica Resendiz, Adam Rodriguez, Aron Ruiz, Andrew “Drew” Sedlock, Sydney Shaw, and Scotty Shievdayal Jr.

The class treasurer, Vanessa Olivero, introduced guest speaker, Barbara Kurtz. Kurtz, served as an instructor during the early stages of SFSC’s Nursing Program in the 1970s and later became its director. Kurtz told of her experiences starting and growing a nursing program at the college.

Adam Rodriguez, class president, said in his farewell address: “I encourage you, my fellow graduates, to continue to fight and be the conquerors that you are, to reach your goals in your careers. Be the light of hope in the midst of darkness and despair, stand up for the weak and defenseless. I am honored and humbled to be counted among you. Let’s be the nurses we were called to be!”

Each class of nursing graduates awards the Golden Duck Award to a nurse who has served as a mentor, guiding them through to graduation. The D.U.C.K. acronym represents the foundational elements of the mentoring arrangement: Developing, Understanding, Compassion, and Knowledge.

Erica Resendiz, class vice secretary, presented the Golden Duck Award to Yvette Fauteux. Resendiz referred to Fauteaux as “the best OB instructor.”

“She made our experience in the obstetrics department fun filled and amazing, which I know all of us will never forget. She is an excellent teacher, and we will always be grateful for her willingness to give of herself.”

During the ceremony, the graduates accepted their nursing pins from spouses, parents, and their children. Mary von Merveldt, director of the SFSC Nursing Education program, introduced each person presenting their loved one with the pin, reading words of thanks written by each graduate.

In addition to its 11-month Practical Nursing program (to become licensed practical nurses), SFSC offers an Associate Degree in Nursing Degree (ADN) program for students interested in becoming registered nurses, a one-year Transition-LPN to RN program, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

For more information about these programs, call Sara McGann at 863-784-7027 or contact the Advising and Counseling Center at 863-784-7131.