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CWC graduates local students, Durfee says goodbye

JH News & Guide | By Jeanette Boner, Education Reporter

CWC graduates local students, Durfee says goodbye

Faculty praises graduates for their mettle, multitasking.
Central Wyoming College’s graduating nursing class applauds Nolan Squier Jaenicke after he was recognized Saturday at the school’s graduation ceremony at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Nineteen students, including eight nursing students, graduated from the Jackson campus of CWC. ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE

It was an intimate gathering of friends, family and faculty at Saturday’s Central Wyoming College’s graduation, hosted Saturday at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

And while graduates stood on stage — newly minted caregivers and educators, chefs and business leaders — each professor carefully carved out a moment to showcase the extraordinary work, dedication and often unseen efforts of every graduate.

“Danny is the type of chef you can trust with anything,” said Justin Stone, the Director of Hospitality Programs, of graduating culinary student Danny Garcia-Santos. “He tackles his work with enthusiasm and with a relentless attention to detail, from the mundane to the extravagant. He can be counted on to deliver this energy in a kitchen with measured steadfastness and quiet confidence,” said Stone, who added that Garcia-Santos also worked a full-time job while attending school.

Maria Sanchez and Anahi Garcia embrace after Sanchez received her B.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education at the Central Wyoming College’s graduation ceremony Saturday at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE
Trevor Matuszek pats his diploma Saturday at Central Wyoming College’s graduation ceremony at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE

This year, Central Wyoming College in Jackson graduated 19 students including eight nursing students. Maria Fernanda Sanchez-Franco was the first student at the Jackson campus to graduate with the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Organizational Management and Leadership; a newer degree offering from CWC.

Maria Fernanda Sanchez-Franco also graduated with a four-year degree in Early Childhood Education. Others graduated with degrees in computer technology, health science and hotel and restaurant management.

“It takes dedication … to balance monitors, coursework and college classes and all the other extracurricular activities involved,” Kirsten Kapp, professor of biological sciences, said of graduating student Kathryn Munger.

Brad Tyndall and Susan Durfee embrace as Durfee comes to the podium following announcement of her retirement Saturday at the Central Wyoming College’s graduation ceremony held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE

Munger is the oldest of six siblings. She is a homeschooled student in Star Valley who earned her high school diploma while also earning an associate’s degree in health science from Central Wyoming College. She said the degree was a stepping stone for her to head to medical school.

Kapp praised Munger as a student that others looked forward to working with and for her maturity in navigating collegiate hallways as a high school student.

Central Wyoming College can be an educational melting pot, providing the right mix of energy, guidance and gusto so that students, regardless of where they are on their life’s journey, can navigate their own personal educational success.

“Wendy’s story is that of perseverance, grit and determination,” said Brittany Yeates, the Dean of Business, Technology, Health and Safety.

Wendy Mayte Gaona Labra graduated that afternoon with a degree in Accounting and Bookkeeping.

“The faculty and staff have all said that it is through hard work and a strong commitment that brings you here today,” Yeates said. “Wendy, today you get to show your children and countless others that it is never too late to do what you want and that getting started is just as important as finishing.”

With eight students earning their “pin,” a significant emblem in the nursing community signifying that they are ready to work on the frontlines of health care, Professors of Nursing Lacey Gibbens and Anna Baler praised the graduating class for their courage.

Nathan Henglefelt pins recognition of Kaysha Henglefelt’s nursing degree on her as their daughters, Tinsley and Kaiser, look on Saturday at the Central Wyoming College’s graduation ceremony held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE

“As health care instructors of future health care superheroes, we stand here today as witnesses to the culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment,” Gibbens said. “You’re accepting the challenge to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Literally.”

As each student was called by Gibbens and Baler to receive their pin, a chosen member of their family or a friend came to the stage to “pin” the newly minted nurse.

The president of the community college, Brad Tyndall was on hand during the ceremony to offer congratulations to the graduates. He also gifted CWC Director Susan Durfee with the title of “Dean.”

Durfee announced at the graduation event that after 16 years at the Jackson campus, she would be retiring.

“Education is truly the future,” Tyndall said. “Education can be transformational. It’s transforming lives and strengthening communities. And Susan embodies that mission of caring.”

Nicole Provencher turns her tassel to her left side after graduating Saturday from the Central Wyoming College’s nursing program at the college’s ceremony held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
ERIN BURK / NEWS&GUIDE

 

 

 

2024 Central Wyoming College – Jackson campus

Stacy L. Benjamin, Associate Degree in Nursing

Asia L. Butler, Hotel and Restaurant Management

Jessie Castillo, Early Childhood Education

Andrew J. Eckl, Associate Degree in Nursing

Wendy Mayte Gaona Labra, Accounting-Bookkeeping

Eduardo Garcia Ramos, Computer Technology

Daniel “Danny” Garcia-Santos, Culinary Arts

Maria Margarita Gomez Frias, Culinary Arts

Kaysha Raelynne Hengelfelt, Associate Degree in Nursing

Lauren E. Holmberg, Associate Degree in Nursing

Nolan Squier Jaenicke, Associate Degree in Nursing, Health Science

Matthew Eugene Kirby, Associate Degree in Nursing

Matthew Lyon, Electrical Apprenticeship

Trevor Matuszek, Associate Degree in Nursing

Kathryn Darlene Munger, Health Science

Nicole Jeanette Provencher, Associate Degree in Nursing

Emily T. Richards, Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Organizational Management and Leadership

Maria Fernanda Sanchez-Franco, Early Childhood Education

Kevin S. Susano, Technical Studies: Psychology and Business