The Williamson Association of Alumni (WAA) honored five members of the Class of 2W4 for academic achievement and five members for exhibiting commendable growth in academics, shop performance, and personal character at the 28th Annual Student Achievement Awards on April 19 in the Clara Schrenk Memorial Chapel.
The students receiving the Academic Achievement Award were: Michael J. Hegarty, Construction Technology-Carpentry; Christopher J. Meiklejohn, Construction Technology-Masonry; Talon C. Pisarchuk, Horticulture, Landscaping & Turf Management; Justin P. Williams, Machine Tool Technology; and Alexander B. Whiteman, Power Plant Technology.
The students receiving the Persistence Award were: Dylan J. Marantino, Construction Technology-Carpentry; Ryan P-G. Keller, Construction Technology-Masonry; Shamar J. Smith, Horticulture, Landscaping & Turf Management; Nazaire M. Miller, Machine Tool Technology; and Michael J. Herbert, Power Plant Technology.
In his opening remarks, after thanking the WAA for sponsoring the event, President Michael Rounds said “We all know Williamson is a unique and special place. It is a challenge and it is not easy. It is not supposed to be easy and just making it to graduation is an achievement. But, being exceptional takes a very special person. Excellence is one our core values and that is what we are here to celebrate.
“Excellence means not accepting good enough, but constantly pushing yourself to improve. You guys are role models for your classmates so use your gift to assist others by your example, tutoring, and encouragement. Excellence is a part of good leadership so remember, this recognition comes with extra responsibilities and expectations.”
Dr. Michelle Williams, vice president of academic affairs/CAO, in her academic program introduction said, “We are honored to have the WAA acknowledge the achievement of ten juniors. The Academic Achievement Award recognizes one student from each trade who has demonstrated academic excellence with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and one student from each trade who has exhibited cumulative improvement in academics, shop performance, and personal character.. It is our hope that all Williamson students will continue to persist and strive for academic and trade excellence.”
Donald Dzedzy 7W4, in the 50-year affiliate address, said “The one thing that happens at Williamson is that your basic education hasn’t changed. You come in as a freshman, basically you are an apprentice and work with the seniors and juniors. Then you become a junior and are in an in between phase and are learning. Then, when you are a senior, you are a superintendent and a leader.
“The one thing you do every day during your 1,000-day Williamson journey is go to lineup. What that means is that you show up with your hair cut, a tie and jacket, and, hopefully, with a good attitude ready to work. And that won’t change in your working life for 45-50 years. You have to show up and you have to be ready.”
In his WAA president remarks, Chris Moran 9W9 said, “We are very pleased to offer ten awards to juniors from each shop.” Then he and Dzedzy presented each recipient of the Academic Achievement Award and the newly created Persistence Award a certificate and an award.
Then, the Artisans, under the direction of Sherre Gaertner, led the singing of the alma mater.
Mark Specht 7W7 opened the event with an invocation and closed the evening with the benediction. The event began with dinner in the dining room for the award recipients and their family members, and faculty, staff, and alumni attendees.