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Western Nevada College Jump Start students graduate WNC before high school

Broc Strong of Dayton High School lines up to receive his Associate of Arts degree during Western Nevada College’s 2021 commencement ceremony on Monday.

Broc Strong of Dayton High School lines up to receive his Associate of Arts degree during Western Nevada College’s 2021 commencement ceremony on Monday.

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One of Western Nevada College’s largest Jump Start commencement classes to date celebrated the feat of earning their college degree before completing their high school education this week.
WNC honored its 2021 Jump Start graduating class of 139 students representing Carson, Churchill County, Dayton, Douglas, Fernley, Mineral County, Pioneer, Silver Stage, Smith Valley, Virginia City and Yerington high schools, as well as Oasis and Nevada Virtual academies and homeschool students.
“We are extremely proud of all of the (139) Jump Start graduates who are transferring to universities or career programs, joining the military or entering the workforce,” said WNC Jump Start Counselor Tricia Wentz. “They have all worked very hard to balance college and high school academics as well as a variety of school and community activities. Each WNC Jump Start student has a tremendous story to share about challenges, achievements and reaching goals. We admire and celebrate you all!”
WNC’s Jump Start College was created in 2014 to help more students earn a college degree and to make it financially more feasible.
The grads were recognized during WNC’s 50th Commencement, which included drive-through ceremonies on May 24-25 on the Carson campus and May 27 on the Fallon campus.
For more information about WNC’s Jump Start College and high school dual enrollment programs, go to or contact Wentz at
WNC’s 2021 Jump Start grads are:
Carson High School
Veronica Burson, Walter Cruz, Mariah Dunham, Isabel Embro, AC Garcia, Morgan Golden, Abigail Golik, Kyle Holloway, Amberlee Ketten, Megan Mitchell, Makayla Mueller, Jacob Nichols, Justin Nussbaumer, William Ore, Ashley Pacheco, Guillermo Perez, Noah Presswood, Haylee Solorio, Amara Tedford, Taegen Tommila, Ana Vazquez, Edwin Vazquez, Chase Wixon, Levi Woods
Churchill County High School
Cade Barton, Jayden Jensen, Melanie Plasse, Will Swisher
Dayton High School
Elise Addington, Ashlynn Barwig, Kaitlin Brown, Isaiah Dums, Eden Evans, Hailey Glynn, Abigail Harker, Sarah Hodges, Anthony Jimenez, Makayla Lawson, Tyler Logan, Jada Mandeville, Samantha Motta, Kailey Olsen, Lance Peterson, Michael Rhoades, Diego Rojas, Haley Rose, Martha Soto Cuadras, Haylea Strickler, Broc Strong, Johnathon Thornton, Kimberly Torres Garcia, Zane Westom, Elena Winward
Douglas High School
Sarah Burt, Zoe Butterfield, Mikaela Camara, Megan Chandler, Hailey Fournier, Paige Mays, Brandon Roberts, Tanner Schultz, Hannah Serpa, Audrey Topp, Kyleigh Trahan
Fernley High School
Shaundrika Cassinelli, Chloe Cross, Samantha Funk, Carson Humes, Felicity Langley, Keilahna McFall, Mark Mitzen, Alexandra Paredes, Aschlynn Roemer, Blakeley Shoemaker, Nayeli Stopani Barrios, Jacqueline Torres, Alexis Young
Angelo Carlini, John Clauson, Anna Holley, Kaitlyn McDonald, Savannah Pinto
Mineral County High School
Perla Gutierrez, Juliet Hernandez
Nevada Virtual Academy
Dennis Tristen Abao, Kailey Aguilera, Brianna Aragon, Jamilett Catalan, Isaac Gonzales, Isiah Gonzales, Keila Ponce, Basemath Ross, Mohammad Shahzad, Taylor Wallace
Oasis Academy
Taryn Barrenchea, Aaron Brown, Matthew Catlin, Allison Christopherson, Makenzee Delacruz, Wyatt Gusewelle, Ericka Heath, Ryan Jones, Douglas Lee, Brian Lindsey, Alexandria Matter, Madelyn Mikulak, Melanie Moran, Amanda Ngo, Sadie O’Flaherty, Emily Payne, Callista Perez, Benjamin Polish, Luke Rechel, Kate Rios, Emma Robinson, Jem Thompson, Erin Wachsmuth
Pioneer High School
Ciarra Valladon, Dalton Yannikos
Silver Stage High School
William Moore
Smith Valley High School
Joseph Acciari, Maycee LaFleur
Virginia City High School
Ryan Conley, Zoe Coombs, AnnJoLee Field, Jennica Harold, Natalie Haskell, Luke Kohler, Jacob Mangosing, Daniel Matthies, Madison Morton, Audrey Rank, Katelyn Rasmussen, Gracie Smithee
Yerington High School
Bailey Coombs, Claire Coutts, Taylor Howard, Natalie Rubio, Kayla Villines

Campagni Auto Group Scholarships Make Difference in Students’ Lives
COVID-19 changed the way many businesses operated in the past year, but it didn’t impact Carson City Toyota and the Campagni Auto Group’s commitment to area students pursuing higher education.
Among Western Nevada College students receiving a scholarship from Campagni in 2020-21 were Lyssa Ileea Philippi, Jarrod Ryan Meyer and Alexus Bodenstein.
Philippi is pursuing Professional Applied Technology degrees to provide a better life for mother and son.
“With the money I have received, I am able to get all books and supplies for my classes,” she said. “It has also helped us become more stable financially as every bit counts toward my cost of living while accommodating full-time school and being a mom. As hardships hit us all, I am extremely grateful for all the help. I’ll continue my path in school, to graduate with both my welding and auto mechanics degrees.”
Meyer said that the generosity of Campagni Auto Group has allowed him to focus more on his academics and has given him more direction for the future.
“My education is my top priority and with extra money for tuition and books, it allows for me to dedicate more time to school and less time at work,” he said. “By focusing solely on my degree, it helped me decide that in the future I would like to look into working in the automotive industry and possibly teaching automotive mechanics to kids in high school.”
After earning her associate degree at WNC, Alexus Bodenstein wants to eventually become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
“Receiving the Dick Campagni Scholarship has been very motivating and extremely honorable,” Bodenstein said. “Freshman year in college is a challenge, but knowing that a group of people noticed my effort and offered support was more than encouraging. Thank you so much for supporting my education.”
Carson City Toyota, part of the Campagni Auto Group, annually provides scholarships to area students to attend Western Nevada College. This financial assistance enables students to pursue their associate degree of choice and careers in auto mechanics.
“The Dick Campagni Automotive Scholarship was created five years ago to benefit this community by offering local students help in attaining higher education and with the intention of giving these students the best chance of a successful future,” said Jeff Campagni, general manager of the Dick Campagni Auto Group.
Dick Campagni Auto Group’s dedication and commitment to students seeking higher education goals and professional careers remains steadfast as Carson City Toyota has donated $5,000 to help students attend WNC in fall 2021.
In addition to helping high school grads and other auto mechanics students pursue their education goals at WNC, the Campagni Auto Group began providing scholarships for WNC’s Higher Education in Prison program last year.
"Campagni Auto Group is leading the way in this community,” said HEP Coordinator Deb Conrad. “They initiated the development of a new program at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, in conjunction with Nevada Department of Corrections, Western Nevada College and Carson Adult High School, to provide a career pathway in the automotive service and repair industry for incarcerated men. Not only did Campagni step forward with the idea, they are providing partnership, expertise and insight as the program moves toward launching the first pilot.
“They are also generously providing scholarship funds for incarcerated students who are underserved and often unable to afford to take college courses without financial assistance. This kind of leadership in our community is an inspiration.”
In addition to seeding student success at WNC, the Campagni Auto Group supports the annual WNC Golf for Education Tournament with hole-in-one prizes, including a brand-new car.
“Campagni Auto Group is an important partner to Western Nevada College and we couldn’t appreciate their support more than we do right now,” said WNC Executive Director of Institutional Development Niki Gladys. “Students need our community’s support more than ever and, as always, Dick Campagni’s team is leading the way.”
Philippi agrees: “Amazing foundations such as yours help those of us who struggle to get to the best place we possibly can. I take every step towards my brighter future with you in mind,” she said. “Thank you for help in making goals and dreams come true!”
For information on starting a scholarship in your name, to memorialize a loved one or to simply help change someone’s life, contact WNC Foundation at 775-445-3239 or email

ICYMI: Watch Recorded Commencement Ceremonies
Western Nevada College celebrated its 2021 graduation class by holding an unprecedented three ceremonies on its campuses on May 24, 25 and 27.
In case you missed those ceremonies and would like to watch the recording from one of those days, go to WNC’s commencement page at The 2021 commencement page also includes congratulation videos from leaders across the state, as well as the commencement program.

50th Anniversary Spotlight: WNC’s First Graduation Class
Yes, Western Nevada College has been providing degrees and professional opportunities for students for a half-century.
In fact, WNC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first graduation class this spring.
Twenty-nine students graduated from Western Nevada Community College in 1972 in vocational-technical education with Associate of Applied Science degrees. The ceremony took place at Pioneer Theater Auditorium in Reno with U.S. Senator Alan Bible addressing the graduates.
The first class included Kenneth William Angle, Jane Kimberly Becker, Nancy Connelly Beeler, Edna D. Bigrigg, Richard James Brickell Jr., Candice McKay Broyles, Lorraine Carroll, Dawn Mari Curtis Crecy, Christine Ermie Digesti, Debra Ann Gorham, Dorothy Jeanette Graham, Marilyn F. Hansen, Susan Joan Hoffman, Jon Edward Landa, Ernestine A. Lefebvre, Frank Donald LePome, David Robert MacDonald, Kathryn Fobes McMillian, Joan Louise Mason, Carol Marie Nutting, Michael Andrew Oates, Margaret Harmen Phelps, Nancy Mason Pleasants, Lewis Eldon Scott, Lonnie A. Selden, Marya Lea Slight, Dianne DuFour Smith, Pamela Ellen VanDrielen and Barbara Canning Woldridge.


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