The Adult Education Department at Oswego County BOCES (OCB) hosted a graduation ceremony for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Program on February 14.
Paul Gugel, Director of Adult and Migrant Education had the distinct honor of welcoming family and friends to the ceremony and commended the graduates on their dedication to continuing their education. He talked about the significance of the ceremony to celebrate the honorees’ achievements as well as recognize students for outstanding academic excellence.
Oswego County BOCES District Superintendent Christopher Todd spoke about the reality of attending educational programs as an adult student and praised the audience members for what they had contributed to the graduate’s success. “It’s about support, choices, sacrifices,” he told them. He then reminded the graduates that a dental office is oftentimes a place where an individual might not want to be, but through thoughtful and compassionate care, the graduates can make a difference in the patients under their care.
Guest speaker, Dr. Robert Shaefer, DDS, began speaking to the students by saying, “Boot camp is over and now the work starts.” He talked to the graduates about their next step and the importance of the job interview and how that interview will be another important test for them. He also challenged the graduates to remember that dentistry is a people profession and said when dealing with patients, “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Class speaker for the evening was Emily Hoyt, and a video slideshow of the students’ many months in the program was also shown.
Adele Sherman, the CDA instructor, presented each graduate with a commemorative pin and diploma as confirmation of their completion of the program before additional special recognitions were presented. The following special recognition awards were presented: CDA class valedictorian Jill Watkins; and CDA class salutatorian Christie Pope. In addition, the following students were accepted into the National Technical Honor Society, America’s highest award for excellence in education: Rene Backer, Sagan Bush, Sean Hanlon, Brittani Jock, Christie Pope, and Jill Watkins.