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13 COMPLETE CENTENNIAL’S HEALTH ACADEMY PROGRAM

vThe first commencement of the season saw 13 Centennial Bulldogs earn a credential of completion from the school’s Health Academy.
 
A “school within a school,” the Health Academy’s presence in D60 dates back to 1995 with the establishment of this Career and Technical Education pathway in response to the rapidly growing need for health care professionals in Southern Colorado.
 
Through partnerships with Pueblo Community College, Colorado State University Pueblo, and local community health care agencies, the Academy’s mission is to train scholars for an immediate career in health care as well as prepare those who will continue their education at the next level.
 
In her welcome address, HOSA (Future Health Professionals) Sponsor and Academy Coordinator Kelly Anaya praised the Bulldogs for their scholarly dedication to the program.
 
“These 13 completers represent District 60’s premier Career and Technical Education General Health Science Pathway,” she said. “This ceremony does not mean it’s the end. In fact, it’s only the beginning: the beginning of new hope and a career path and a new life for all of you.
 
“These past four years have been filled with rigorous curriculum, many hours of community service, lots of laughter and strains of tears, lasting friendships, dedicated teachers, and proud parents and families. With this Class of 2022, I know the future of health care, as well as many other career fields, will be in good hands: hands that care.”
 
Alysia Ross, the president of HOSA who is graduating as a junior, said the presence of the Health Academy at Centennial led her to become a Bulldog. 
 
“The Health Academy gave us a chance to explore many medical fields and get industry certifications like nursing assistant and pharmacy technician, as well as complete internships at Parkview, and take classes at Pueblo Community College,” President Ross said.
 
She then praised Coordinator Anaya, and Academy educators Jeff Wilkerson and Bret Orton “for helping us get to where we are today. We would like to give them a big ‘thank you’ for all they have done. Our biggest supporters, though, are our parents and guardians, who will be there as we begin the rest of our lives.” Centennial Health Academy graduates stand while holding roses in red caps and gowns
 
As a token of appreciation and respect, the completers presented a rose to parents/guardians.
 
The keynote address was delivered by Abigail Smith, a 2018 Health Academy alumnus and graduate of Colorado State University Pueblo’s nursing program.
 
“All of us, at some time or another, need help,” Ms. Smith said. “Whether you’re giving or receiving help, each of us has something valuable to bring to the world. Each of us, in our own way, is a giver and a receiver.
 
“Four years ago, you were all receivers of help and support. Walking into this building as freshman, I’m sure you had no idea what the next four years would be like. Now, each of you needs to be the givers of help: helping and supporting people in your expected profession as well as the students who choose to follow in your footsteps...the same way my classmates helped me.”
 
In honor of Steve Gladbach, a beloved Academy instructor who lost his life in a climbing accident, Mr. Orton awarded Memorial Scholarships to Asher Pelz and D’Shaya Oliver.
 
As presented by Centennial Principal David Craddock, the Class of 2022 was accepted by Dr. Margaret Wright, President of the D60 Board of Education, with Coordinator Anaya placing the capstone stethoscope around the neck of each completer.
 
Along with Principal Craddock and President Dr. Wright, Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso, Executive Director of Secondary Education Marci Imes, Career Technical Education Teacher on Special Assignment Chris Madril, and D60 Board Vice President Tommy Farrell and Member Dr. Kathy DeNiro were among the dignitaries on hand to congratulate the graduates.
 
Centennial Administration was represented by Assistant Principals Nic Roberts (master of ceremonies) and John Ward and Tracy Spinuzzi.
 
Stage guests at the Health Academy GraduationHEALTH ACADEMY CLASS OF 2022
Sunnie Rae Archuleta (Industry certifications in nursing assistant and Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder course. Sunnie Rae plans to attend Colorado State University Pueblo to pursue a biology major with a goal of becoming a forensic medical examiner.)
 
Abby Briggs (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder course, along with other pre-nursing courses at CSU Pueblo. Abby was offered the National Society of Leadership and Success and awarded the First Year Success Scholarship. She plans to complete a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree at CSU Pueblo and pursue a career as an RN.)
 
Alyssa Coon (Industry certifications in Nursing Assistant and Basic Life Support CPR/AED. Alyssa plans to complete a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree at CSU Pueblo and pursue a career as an RN.)
 
Jonathon McDaniel (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Nurse Aide and Emergency Medical First Responder courses. Jonathan has enlisted in the Navy, which included a $50,000 signing bonus.)
 
D’Shaya Oliver (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Nursing Assistant and Emergency Medical First Responder courses. D’Shaya plans to attend Pueblo Community College, and then transfer to Texas Tech to pursue a career in forensic psychology.)
 
Jordan Pacheco (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Nursing Assistant and Emergency Medical First Responder courses. Jordan, who received the Promising Scholar endowment for $2,500 per year, plans to attend the University of Colorado to pursue a career in Physical or Occupational Therapy.)
 
Asher Pelz (Industry certifications in Nursing Assistant and Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder and Phlebotomy Technician courses. Asher was a member of HOSA for one year who received a four-year Jennie and Albert Gersick Foundation Scholarship as well as more than $16,000 in merit scholarships. Asher plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree at CSU Pueblo and continue his education at the University of Denver, with a goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.)
 
Alysia Ross (Alysia served as Vice President and President of HOSA and holds industry certifications in Nursing Assistant and Basic Life Support CPR/AED. Graduating as a junior with a Hurliman Scholarship, Alysia was accepted into the BA/BS-MD degree program at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus. Here goal is to become a pediatrician.)
 
Emily Shafer (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder and the Introduction to Occupational Therapy courses through Pueblo Community College. She plans to attend PCC and then CSU Pueblo to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Emily received scholarships valued at $9,000 from CSU Pueblo and $1,200 from PCC.)
 
Gianna Taylor (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of the Phlebotomy Technician course through Pueblo Community College. She is attending CSU Pueblo with a major in Biology and Pre-Veterinary Science, with a goal of becoming a veterinarian. Gianna received $16,000 in Promising Scholar and Merit Scholarships from CSU Pueblo.)
 
Victoria Velasquez (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder through Pueblo Community College. She plans to attend McPherson College on academic and soccer scholarships and plans to pursue a career in Elementary Education.)
 
Gabriella Vigil (Industry certification in Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder and the Phlebotomy technician courses through Pueblo Community College. A three-year member of HOSA who served as secretary, Gabriella plans to major in biology at CSU Pueblo, which awarded her $6,000 in scholarships.)
 
Cayman Wallace (Industry certifications in Nursing Assistant and Basic Life Support CPR/AED and completion of Emergency Medical First Responder course. Cayman will pursue a degree in Nursing from Colorado Mesa University, where she received a First time College Student Scholarship for $1,000.)
Centennial's Health Academy Graduates show off their certificates of completion following the ceremony