Grad thanks mom at CVTC commencementAndrew Johnson’s mom raised him in Amery, along with seven brothers and one sister. As he graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College Monday, Dec. 21 in River Falls, the honors graduate and commencement speaker honored her.
Andrew Johnson’s mom raised him in Amery, along with seven brothers and one sister. As he graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College Monday, Dec. 21 in River Falls, the honors graduate and commencement speaker honored her.
“I love you, Mom,” Johnson said from the stage of Meyer Middle School, site of the ceremony.
CVTC president Bruce Barker introduced Johnson after telling the 30 graduates that they “were prepared for the next stage in life - entering the business world.” Barker humorously reminded graduates: “Even if you fall flat on your face, you are still moving forward.”
More seriously, he told the audience that Johnson had been hired earlier in the day by the Amery Regional Medical Center’s medical-surgical unit. Johnson said the pay check would be a boost for his young family. He, his wife Jamie, and their daughter Hadassah live in New Richmond.
Johnson also said plenty about his instructors. “Our instructors did not teach us from textbooks only, they shared their lives.”
Wearing red Converse tennis shoes, Johnson also showed a creative side. After a few remarks he pushed the podium aside as the house lights darkened and showed a short film he put together for the event. Many of the quotes in the film underscored his respect for the teaching profession.
After passing an upcoming licensure exam, 25 of Johnson’s fellow graduates will become registered nurses. Renee Christensen, a senior instructor at CVTC’s community nursing program in River Falls, told the students, “You must be willing to change or the world will change without you.”
Barker said Christensen has an impressive breadth of nursing experience with both a baccalaureate and master’s in nursing, as well as 30 years of nursing experience. She has been a staff nurse, a nursing in-service director, night shift supervisor, school nurse and director at a long-term care facility. She also has teaching experience at the University of Minnesota.
Also receiving associate degrees at the commencement were administrative assistant, business management, criminal justice-law enforcement and paralegal graduates.
Borrowing a line from Henry David Thoreau, President Barker told the graduates at the evening’s end to “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”