WNC graduates receive their degrees

Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison delivers the commencement address at the 2017 Western Nevada College commencement ceremony on Monday.

Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison delivers the commencement address at the 2017 Western Nevada College commencement ceremony on Monday.

CARSON CITY — After a weekend full of celebrations, 551 Western Nevada College students proudly obtained their degrees on stage Monday at the 46th commencement ceremony at the Marv Teixeira Pavilion.

The ceremony is deemed one of the largest graduating classes of WNC, presenting 592 degrees, said WNC President Chester Burton. It almost topped last year’s record, which was 556 graduates with 598 degrees.

Among many of those students are single parents, veterans and high-school students from across the country and internationally, Burton said.

Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison offered the keynote speech during commencement.

“It’s one of the most highest traditions in this country that we all talk about what we want to accomplish,” he said. “We need more employees and professionals to work for us and to live in Nevada. We need an enthusiastic workforce and that’s class of 2017.”

WNC graduated students from California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Utah— including student Max Kyte of the United Kingdom, whom also received Associated Students of Western Nevada Club Sport Athlete of the Year.

Many of the students expressed their excitement for their next chapter at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I’m ready to go to UNR,” said Christina Bowman of Silver Springs, with an Associate in Science. “Maybe I’ll even go for a master’s in science.”

A great amount of the 2017 graduates were high school students enrolled in the Jump Start program.

Representing Churchill County, Dayton, Fernley, Pyramid Lake, Silver Stage,Virginia City high schools, and both Oasis and Nevada Virtual Academy, the program’s graduating class is the largest in three-year history.

These students received their associate degrees a week or two prior to receiving their high school diplomas.

“This is where we need to improve in our education,” spoke Rick Trachok, chair of Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. “It’s an amazing transition. We have nothing but college education in this area and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for Gov. Brian Sandoval to approve the $1.8 million budget for community colleges. It will move opportunities forward for students.”

Out of the program, Churchill County High School in Fallon composed majority of graduates with 39 participants.

“I kept changing my mind, and going back and fourth,” said Colton Coverston, who achieved an Associate of Arts. “But with the extra two years, I can think about it.”

“We’re happy to take a two-year step into the future,” said Misaki Clare, also with an Associate of Arts. “It will be easy to get back into once we turn 21.”

Some students are still unsure what’s next but for them, it’s nothing to worry about — it’s all part of the adventure.

“It was hard, but I’m happy I did it,” said Ruby Ugalde of Fallon, Associate of Arts. “I’m thinking about studying more nursing at Carrington College.”

WNC Vice President Scott Morrison said the number of students who graduated from the Jump Start program this year brings even more hope to the future.

“We do it for all students,” he said. “We ensure they complete their degrees and watching them do so makes it worthwhile.”

Western Nevada College public relations department provided additional information.


Western Nevada College is graduating one of its largest classes ever, with 551 students graduating with 592 degrees and certificates during a commencement ceremony on Monday at the Mary Teixeira Pavilion.

Uniquely, 89 of the 2017 graduates are high school students who participated in WNC’s Jump Start College. These students will receive their associate degrees a week or two prior to receiving their high school diplomas.

WNC’s class of 2017 includes the following:


Associate of Applied Science — Accounting: Marlene Lynn Heines

Associate of Applied Science — Criminal Justice: Youki Clare, Kari Ann Gonzalez

Associate of Applied Science — Management: Sherri Tonya Anderson, Marlene Lynn Heines

Associate of Applied Science — Nursing: Ryan Michael Donahue, Collette Regina Finley, Kristen BriAnne Hill

Associate of Arts: Jamie Marie Ball, Kaitlyn Beauregard, Kayla Bailee Bekiares, Stephen Parker Benecke, Janice Diane Bonds, April Cervantes, Misaki Clare, Chace Emanuel Cleckley, Colton James Coverston, Haley M. Davis, Isabel de la Cruz Martinez, Cassidy Nicole East, Devyn Johnathan Frederick, Andrew Glen Gilliland, Jacob Harris, Caleb G. Hendrix, Sierra M. Hyde, Sarah Anne Inglis, Carlee Renae Jackson, Dalton Lee Kaady, Arriauna Tishauna Kidd, Brian Joseph Koch, Davis G. Koenig, Rosemary Morgan Kufalk, Kyndra Anne Leary, Cosandrra Carol Marsh, Victoria E. Mattern, Melanie Barbara Nuckolls, Samantha Marlane Palomares, Summer Pell, Raymond Peter Plasse, Malory Pruitt, Lana Lee Quint, Moranda Richard, Meghan Marie Rosario, Grace Marie Rowan, Leigh Scott, Ethan Samuel Smith, Paige McKinley Thorn, Ruby Ugalde, Ryan Matthew Ware, Sarah Washburn, Melyssa Ashley Williams, Jacob Dalton Zamora

Associate of Arts — Criminal Justice: Apra D. Kidd

Associate of General Studies: Taura Casias, Taylor Ann Davids, Kristen BriAnne Hill, Shane Michael Weaver, Denise Ailene Youles

Associate of Science: McKenzie Ann Feest, Vivian Marie Jusino, Michael David Richards II, Whitney Melea Skabelund, Lawrence Alan Smith, Alyssa Lynn Stockard, Orion Lynn Vick II

Certificate of Achievement — Bookkeeping: Theresa Lynn Barnes, Andrew Eugene Souza

Certificate of Achievement — Business: James A. Hertz, Robert Kevin Hicks

Certificate of Achievement — Graphic Communications: Sara L. Dowling

Certificate of Achievement — Network Support Technician: Thomas Christopher Bynum


Associate of Applied Science — Criminal Justice: Ascencio Gregory Gutierrez, Carol Weaver

Associate of Applied Science — General Business: Sharon Brandt Linhart

Associate of Applied Science — Nursing: Stephanie Jeanine Asher, Susana Yesenia Renteria

Associate of Applied Science — Technology — Automated Systems: David Gordon Russell, Joseph Weigel

Associate of Arts: Blaine Hunter Briggs, Karena M. Corbin, Nadia Dawood, Graciela Concepcion De Leon, Jeanna Dawn Flint, Hallie Rainah Jim, Bronson J. Knight, Jennifer Rebecca Logan, Jonathan Gerard Ludwig, Hunter Michelle Meisner, Lia Ojendyk, Jeffrey H. Stanford, Samuel Ethmer Wright

Associate of Business: Alisha Fawn Little

Associate of General Studies: Susana Yesenia Renteria

Associate of Science: Tesla Lyon

Certificate of Achievement — American Sign Language: Lupe S. Fernandez

Certificate of Achievement — Bookkeeping: Devin Johnson

Certificate of Achievement — Industrial Electronics: Joseph Weigel

Silver Springs

Associate of Applied Science — Deaf Studies: Christa Marie Babbitt, Jessica A. Babbitt, Chelsea J. Gardner

Associate of Applied Science — Graphic Communications: Marika A. Olsson, Dowain Laroy Swain III

Associate of Arts: Jeannie Dianne Klingman, Kayla Leigh Owen, Emma Robbins, Sahara I. Robbins, Kallie Jo Strong, Kassie Chloe Strong

Associate of Science: Christina Kellie Bowman, Madison Emilee King, Steven Larkin, Madison Theodore Richards

Certificate of Achievement — American Sign Language: Christa Marie Babbitt, Jessica A. Babbitt


Associate of Arts: Mark Andersen, Samuel Faulkner, Daniel J. Rhodes

Associate of Science: Halee Maree Gahr, Natalie McGuire


Associate of Arts: Elizabeth Rose Hardin

Western Nevada College’s 2017 Jump Start graduating class includes 89 students representing Churchill County, Dayton, Fernley, Pyramid Lake, Silver Stage and Virginia City high schools as well as Oasis Academy and Nevada Virtual Academy.

It’s by far the largest group of Jump Start graduates in the three-year history of the dual-credit program. These students graduated with their associate degrees prior to receiving their high school diplomas.

The students were recognized during WNC’s commencement ceremony on Monday at the Marv Teixeira Pavilion.

The following area students are this year’s WNC Jump Start graduates:


Dayton High School: David Anderson, Aztian Carrillo, Robert Cornwell, Zachary Edmiston, Kealohi Fuller, Laurel Hunt, Amber Lang, Jared Logan, Kristina Mason, Asa McGill-Howe, Sydney Neighbors, Leticia Ochoa, Kayla Patterson, Rachel Polito, Michelle Torres, Oakley Workman


Churchill County High School: Misaki Clare, Colton Coverston, Cassidy East, Vivian Jusino, Dalton Kaady, Raymond Plasse, Malory Pruitt, Lana Quint, Whitney Skabelund

Oasis Academy: Kayla Bekiares, Stephen Benecke, Janice Bonds, Phoenyx Bryant, April Cervantes, Chace Cleckley, Haley Davis, Isabel de la Cruz Martinez, McKenzie Feest, Devyn Frederick, Jacob Harris, Caleb Hendrix, Sierra Hyde, Sarah Inglis, Carlee Jackson, Isaac Kelsey, Kyndra Leary, Shaylin Lehman, Melanie Nuckolls, Summer Pell, Moranda Richard, Michael Richards, Meghan Rosario, Grace Rowan, Ethan Smith, Alyssa Stockard, Paige Thorn, Ruby Ugalde, Ryan Ware, Melyssa Williams


Fernley High School: Blaine Briggs, Karena Corbin, Graciela De Leon, Jeanna Flint, Bronson Knight, Jonathan Ludwig, Tesla Lyon, Hunter Meisner, Kyle Roberts, Samuel Wright

Pyramid Lake High School: Hallie Jim


Silver Stage High School: Madison King, Shelby Lee (Carson City), Kayla Owen

Dayton High School: Kallie Strong, Kassie Strong


Silver Stage High School: Daniel Rhodes


Pyramid Lake High School: Elizabeth Hardin


Oasis Academy: Javier Venegas


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