TOP PHOTO: TCAT students were “all smiles” after flipping their tassels to the left to acknowledge their graduation status.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The Tennessee College of Applied Technology, (TCAT) awarded 174 diplomas and certificates at its 2023 graduation ceremony at the LaFollette Church of God Thursday evening.
According to student speaker Lisa Phillips, all the students have one thing in common; “a desire to better themselves and achieve their dreams and goals.”
Students received certificates from one of 16 different programs including machine and tool technology, pharmacy technology, cosmetology, practical nursing, welding technology, power sports technology and many more.
Practical nursing graduates participated in a pinning ceremony as well. McKayla Babb was the student speaker for the practical nursing program.
TennesseeCollege of Applied Technology Jacksboro President Debbie Petree and Vice President Tim Smith welcomed faculty, staff, students and families.
“It takes a village. We could not exist without our wonderful faculty and staff members,” Petree said.
According to Petree, last year the technology college awarded 150 certificates, and this year they had even more with 174 graduates.
“It is a night to celebrate their accomplishments; they have put in a lot of hard work. Many of the graduates have already accepted positions in their chosen field which is the most exciting statistic that we have,” Petree said.
TCAT Jacksboro accepted the first students on campus in January of 1968 at what was originally known as the State Area-Vocational Technical School.
“Our campus has seen many changes over the years, but one thing that remains the same is the quality training that students get at our college. We love the opportunity to celebrate the success of our students,” Petree said.
Petree introduced student speaker Lisa Phillips. Phillips is a “non traditional” student who returned to school after 31 years in the customer service industry.
“At the age of 16, she dropped out of school and then went on to get her GED. She spent 31 years in the customer service industry. When she was 46 she gained custody of an infant nephew and was already caring for elderly parents. She found herself struggling with the physical demands of her job in a customer service career and made the decisionto go back to school. She is graduating tonight with honors from the Administrative Office Technology program,” Petree said.
Phillips said God had led her to the right path and influenced her decision to go back to school.
“We all want to better ourselves… Going to college is not an easy task. Trials happen, but we can decide whether these make us or break us…We have a dedicated team of instructors and staff that have helped us to reach our potential,” Phillips said. She closed with her favorite quote by Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz; “The dreams we dare to dream really do come true.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/25/2023-6AM)