KEYSER — The Mineral County School of Practical Nursing held its 29th annual graduation ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Keyser Presbyterian Church. Fifteen students were awarded diplomas in practical nursing by Kelly Haines, Director of Technical and Adult Education and received their graduate nursing pins from Jennifer Simpson, Coordinator of Mineral County School of Practical Nursing.
Loretta Mick, Principal of the Mineral County Technical Center, provided a welcome to all those in attendance. The Commencement Address was given by Dr. Rajan Masih. Dr. Masih works in public health as the Regional Health and Wellness Coordinator for the eight counties in WV Region 2 and for the Potomac Highlands Guild through the WV Bureau for Behavioral Health Facilities. He is the coordinator of Region 2 Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs, & the Coordinator of the Region 2 Substance Abuse Anti-Stigma Program. He is the author of numerous textbooks and articles. Dr. Masih expressed words of congratulations, and encouragement, and expressed the importance of nurses in the healthcare field. He also encouraged the students to have faith in God.
Jennifer Simpson, Nursing Coordinator, presented the Annual Leona K. Wagoner Memorial Award. This award was started in 2004 by former graduates of the nursing program, to honor Leona upon her death. The award is given to someone who represents Leona’s ideals and contributions to nursing and education, including compassion, humor, and patient advocacy. This year’s recipient was Cole Bridges.
A scholarship to honor Rita Jean Harber was awarded at the ceremony. The scholarship is to be used by the graduate to continue his/her education in nursing. This year’s recipient was Raven Hutzel.
An award for Clinical Excellence, which was established in 2013, was also awarded. This award is presented to the student who excels in the clinical setting. He/or she must be dedicated and proficient in patient care, possess excellent assessment skills and attention to detail. This year’s recipient was Katie Ratliff.
An award for Academic Excellence, which was also established in 2013, was awarded to Jessica Zerfoss.
Petula Staggs, Nursing Secretary, read a motivational poem entitled “Climb ‘Til Your Dreams Come True” by Helen Steiner Rice.
Students and faculty wish to thank others involved in making the graduation ceremony successful: Keyser Presbyterian Church personnel; Petula Staggs, Nursing Secretary; Julie Sions & her students for making the beautiful floral arrangement; and Wanda Poland with All 4 Him Photography.
The Mineral County School of Practical Nursing, located at the Mineral County Technical Center, has been educating nursing students since 1991, is accredited by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses and Council on Occupational Education, and was recognized as the top Practical Nursing Program in the State of West Virginia for 2019. For more information about the practical nursing program, please contact the Mineral County Technical Center, 981 Harley O. Staggers Sr. Drive, Keyser, WV 26726, call (304) 788-4240, ext. 17, or visit them on the web at boe.mine.k12.wv.us/LPNProgram.aspx. o