Single Mother Among Top Award Winners at CV Tech Graduation

May 12, 2017

EL RENO – Kiersten Williams relocated to the Oklahoma City area last year, leaving behind a bad family situation in Missouri.

A single mother of two children under age 5, she tried to find work to no avail.

An acquaintance told her Canadian Valley Technology Center has a program that could assist her with childcare while she retrained for work.

Williams enrolled in CV Tech’s PIVOT program in November while she awaited an opening in Computer Information Systems, where she planned to retrain for a career.

She started classes on Jan. 5 and was finished very early with 10 months of coursework in early May (just four months). Dell Computers of OKC hired her immediately at $18.75 per hour ($39,000 per year, plus full benefits).

“I told her I would never retire if I had students like her every year,” said Don DeWald, Williams’ instructor. “She never wasted a moment of time. She finished everything and got two certifications while she was here.”

Williams is one of many success stories for the 2016-17 school year. Accordingly, she has been named as one of three CV Tech Foundation Outstanding Scholars.

It’s a title that carries with it a $1,000 cash gift (courtesy of the foundation) and the personal satisfaction of knowing she is among the very best students.

She is joined as a Foundation Outstanding Scholar by high school students Grace Austin, of Mustang, and Chase Clawson, of Yukon.

Austin completed the Health Careers program at CV Tech’s Dr. Earl Cowan Campus in Yukon and plans to enroll next fall at Oklahoma State University’s OKC campus in pursuit of a vet tech degree. She hopes to continue at OSU in Stillwater and wants to become a veterinarian.

Instructor Colleen Dill said of Austin, “It’s amazing what has transpired this year. She’s had had a lot of support from her instructors, and it’s very evident that she wants to be successful.”

Clawson, who is home schooled, actually completed two programs at CV Tech on different campuses and never missed a day nor was tardy in two years at the school.

He completed the Pre-Engineering program at the Cowan Campus and Computer Programming at the El Reno Campus.

Graduation was the culmination of a whirlwind week for him. He took two AP Physics exams, an AP Calculus exam and an AP Computer Science exam.

He also competed at the Business Professionals of America national contest in Orlando after having won state gold medals in two contests. Clawson will attend the University of Tulsa next Fall and plans a career in computer science.

Canadian Valley had 286 graduates this year in the north side of the district and an additional 106 in the south portion of its district.

Other significant recognitions this year include Superintendent’s Meritorious Award winners Quinn Bradley, of Mustang, in Biomedical Sciences, and Thuan Tran, of Moore, in Aviation Maintenance Technology.

Awards in memoriam were presented to: Matthew Moss, of Yukon, for the Dr. Marvin Denny Memorial Scholarship Award; Garrett Mouse, of Yukon, winner of the HVAC Award in memory of Howard Griffin; Storm Leslie, of Bethany, and Chelsea Hays, of Yukon, both awarded the Faith & Love Award in memory of Darlene Koos; and Lions Club award recipients Karla Monjaraz, of Bethany, for the Wendall Ford Memorial Achievement Award, and Brandon Simonson, of Mustang, for the Bud Schulz Memorial Achievement Award.