Vermont Technical College celebrates a pinning ceremony for the 23 graduates of its practical nursing program on Thursday.
Vermont Technical College celebrates a pinning ceremony for the 23 graduates of its practical nursing program on Thursday. (Derek Carson / Bennington Banner )

BENNINGTON -- Vermont Technical College's Bennington campus graduated 23 students from the practical nursing program on Thursday, at a pinning ceremony at the Bennington Elks.

Site director Anne E. Smeglin, who acted as the master of ceremonies for the event, took a moment to recognize the staff members who had helped the students reach that moment. Professor Carolyn Stannard-Carlo was then honored with the Harry G. Wirtz Master Teacher Award, the highest honor for a teacher at VT Tech.

The group had already been awarded the college's 2014 Outstanding Community Service Leader Award, the first ever entire class to be so honored. In total, the 23 students almost performed over 1,000 hours of community service. "As a group," said Smeglin, "They are committed to community service, the idea that nurses should give back."

Class president Amanda Shakar gave a speech, thanking the assembled friends and family for, "continuing to eat with us, despite our incessant desire to discuss bodily fluids at the dinner table."

Students were also given individual awards at the ceremony, with Christine LaBaff receiving the Kristin Berard Award, given to the student who best demonstrated the ability to integrate nursing theory into practice. Steven Kimball received the Amy Glazier Award for demonstrating the greatest growth and development in the role of a practical nurse. Finally, Mallory O'Neil received the Mahir Joshi Award, for the student who most excelled in Maternal Child Health.


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The VT Technical College nursing program, formerly known as the Putnam Memorial School of Nursing, was established in 1946, by the board of what was then Putnam Memorial Hospital, now the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. VT Tech took over the college in 1993.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB