Wenatchee Valley College commencement exercises and nurses pinnings are scheduled for Friday, June 16, for the Wenatchee campus and Saturday, June 17, for the Omak campus.
The Wenatchee campus nurses pinning for completion of the registered nursing certificate and associate degrees of nursing will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Wenatchee High School auditorium, 1101 Millerdale Ave. The Omak campus capping and pinning ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Omak Performing Arts Center, 20 South Cedar. Light refreshments will be served after each ceremony.
The Wenatchee commencement ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Wenatchee High School Apple Bowl, 1005 Orondo Ave. The Omak campus commencement will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Omak Performing Arts Center.
Erin Jones will give the Wenatchee commencement keynote address. Jones has been involved in education for the past 24 years. She received an award as the Most Innovative Foreign Language Teacher in 2007 while working at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, and she was the Washington State Milken Educator of the Year in 2008 while teaching at Rogers High School in Spokane. She received recognition at the White House in March of 2013 as a “Champion of Change.”
After serving as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, Jones worked as an executive for two state superintendents. She left OSPI five years ago to work in college access at the school district level. Jones left her job to run as a candidate for state superintendent and was the first black woman to run for any state office in Washington state, a race she lost by a mere 1 percent.
Representative Joel Kretz of the 7th Legislative District is the guest speaker for the Omak ceremony. Kretz is a community college alumnus, having attended Green River and Olympic community colleges. He lives now in Wauconda, where he raises horses and cattle on his family ranch. He has been involved with the Okanogan Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and Coalition for Property Rights.