Dixie Tech celebrates historic graduating class

Dixie Technical College graduates at the graduation ceremony on May 15 | Photo courtesy of Dixie Technical College, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie Technical College held its largest graduation ceremony Wednesday as 275 students celebrated their academic and vocational successes.

Of the 275 graduates, 22 were recognized for winning medals in the State SkillsUSA competition held in the spring. It is the largest number of students Dixie Tech has had place at the competition. Most of the them will go on to compete at the national competition in Kentucky later this year.

Dixie Tech also celebrated two firsts: the first students to graduate from the culinary arts program and the first class of capstone graduates in the automotive technology program, according to a news release from the school.

Derrick Halsem, director of medical oncology at Intermountain Healthcare and the ceremony’s keynote speaker, congratulated the graduates on their readiness to set and meet a goal that made them highly skilled and able to contribute to their communities. He also encouraged the graduates to understand the importance of the past and pursue happiness in the present and future.

“It is important to remember the past and learn from it,” Halsem said in the release. “It is essential to plan for the future and continue to be lifelong learners, and it is most important to live in the future.”

The first class of graduates in culinary arts at Dixie Technical College at graduation, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Dixie Technical College, St. George News

Dallas Theobald, the 2018 Utah System of Technical Colleges Student of the Year and the ceremony’s student speaker, said he already had a job he loved before enrolling in the CNC machinery program at Dixie Tech, but he also knew he could help his company more by continuing his education and obtaining more skills.

“I loved the program and realize with the right skills and training we can go on to do and be anything we want,” Theobald said.

Dixie Tech President Kelle Stephens concluded the ceremony by recognizing the students who were already employed or had the promise of employment using the education they received from the college. About 90% of the graduating class stood to signify they gained employment.

The college has had to organize four commencement ceremonies throughout the year to meet the growing demand.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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