McNutt, O’Steen, Jillson Named CV Tech’s Top Graduates

Graduates in Accounting and Business Education and Auto Collision Technology march in during the processional at CV Tech’s Commencement Ceremony. They are among 331 graduates this year on the district’s north side.

May 11, 2018

YUKON – Calvin McNutt literally could not wait to graduate.

McNutt had to miss Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Wednesday’s Commencement ceremony at the Yukon Fine Arts Center after receiving a paid apprenticeship halfway across the county that started on Tuesday.

He boarded a one-way flight to the hills of West Virginia, where he started working immediately as an electrician’s apprentice. His focus will be on installing and servicing large power plant transformers nationwide, said CV Tech Electrical Trades instructor Micky Marsee.

McNutt, 19, enrolled last fall as an adult student intent on entering the U.S. workforce quickly.

Marsee said McNutt worked hard to complete every project efficiently and safely.

“He was always willing to offer advice and support to his peers and co-workers,” Marsee said. “During the past year, Calvin has experienced many personal obstacles that might have impeded or even halted the progress of a less-driven student. But he persevered and achieved recognition both in school and outside of it.”

McNutt was a member of the student organization, SkillsUSA, and represented CV Tech at the recent statewide competition.

In recognition of his accomplishments in a relatively short period and his dedication within his chosen field of education at the school, McNutt was named the CV Tech Foundation Post-Secondary Outstanding Scholar at the El Reno Campus.

McNutt watched a live stream of the commencement as his name was called to receive a check for $1,000, courtesy of the foundation.

He is joined by a pair of soon-to-be graduates (on May 18) at Mustang High School, who also received CV Tech’s highest student honor. CV Tech had a record 331 graduates this year on the north side of the district and an additional 133 at the Chickasha Campus.

Charisma O’Steen was named the Foundation Outstanding Scholar among secondary students at the El Reno Campus, and Rachel Jillson represents the Dr. Earl Cowan Campus, near Yukon.

O’Steen has completed the Early Care and Education program at CV Tech. She is a valedictorian at Mustang and served as president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) student organization. She also is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and served as a CV Tech Student Ambassador, which is a student leadership development program similar to Student Council.

She is a state champion in FCCLA competition and has qualified for a national competition in June, in Atlanta.

CV Tech instructor Debbie White said she possesses two of the best qualities any adult needs to be successful: self-motivation and resilience.

Jillson recently completed CV Tech’s Biomedical Sciences program, which provides college-prep curriculum for students intending to study advanced medical degrees after finishing high school.

She too is a Mustang valedictorian with a dream of becoming a trauma surgeon. Jillson has accepted an acrobatics scholarship at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and she will begin her college career this summer.

Instructor Corey Herndon said despite the rigors of being a competitive gymnast with an intense travel schedule, she never submitted an assignment late.

Jillson was president of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) student organization.

“The tenacity taught by gymnastics, combined with her natural intelligence, has made Rachel a standout among an already excellent group of Biomedical students,” Herndon said.