Wenatchee Valley College graduation awards
Media Contacts: Libby Siebens, executive director community relations, 509.682.6436 (Mon. - Thurs.)
The 2013 Wenatchee Valley College President's Medals, Outstanding Graduate Awards and Most Supportive Partner Award were announced during the Wenatchee and Omak campus commencement ceremonies in June.
Annette and Edward Aguigui of Cashmere, and Emery Hall Jr of Omak were awarded 2013 WVC President's Medals for academic achievement, leadership and service.
The Aguiguis both graduated with associate in nursing degrees. In her nomination letter for the President's Medal, Annette wrote, "Our educational journey started together and together we have endured many trials, and yet we have still obtained many accomplishments along the way."
Edward Aguigui served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, and then he began working as a construction manager while Annette cared for their seven children. When the economy took a downturn in 2009, Edward was out of work. He soon learned that he qualified for educational funding through the Veterans Administration, and he and Annette decided to pursue an education in nursing. They began completing their prerequisite courses at WVC, earning places on the WVC President's List and Dean's List, and in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. The couple was accepted into the WVC Nursing Program in 2011.
The Aguiguis suffered personal loss during their time as students, including the deaths of their daughter-in-law and unborn grandson. They persevered, however, and were given opportunities to serve as student representatives for the WVC Student Nurses of Wenatchee (SNOW) club and to volunteer for Opportunity Grant workshops. They both graduated with honors and received registered nursing internships at Central Washington Hospital following graduation.
"As we pick up the pieces of life, we can see just how important our educational pursuits have been during this time," Annette wrote. "In the future, we will use our story to encourage those who face difficult times and tough decisions."
Emery Hall Jr is completing an associate of technical science degree in general business from WVC at Omak. He will be the first in his family to receive a college degree.
Hall had dropped out of high school his junior year and later completed his GED at Walla Walla Community College. He took odd jobs as a forklift operator and in the power plant at the Omak mill. Due to the poor economy and limited employment, he decided to pursue a college degree. As an enrolled Colville tribal member, he received funding through the tribe's employment and training program.
A single father of three children, Hall balanced family life with school work and volunteer activities. He excelled in his classes and was active in the WVC at Omak student government, serving two years as a student senate member and as president of the Red Road Association. He also participated in the Christine Quintasket/Mourning Dove Symposium committee and will be involved in the symposium this November.
Karla Walker of Omak, who graduated with practical nursing certificate from the Omak campus, wrote the winning essay nominating her husband, Tony Walker, for the Most Supportive Partner Award.
Outstanding Graduate Awards were awarded to Matthew R. Draggoo of Wenatchee, who is completing an associate of arts and sciences degree; Alma Delia Navarrete of Wenatchee, who received an associate of arts and sciences degree; Robert Leslie Sandidge of Entiat, who received an associate in technical science degree in computer technology-network administration; Caitlin Ann Seims of East Wenatchee, who received an associate in technical science degree in business computer technology; Victoria Irene Turnbull of Leavenworth, who received a Washington State High School diploma and an associate of arts and sciences degree; and Richard William Usher of Edinburgh, Scotland, who received an associate of arts and sciences degree.
Outstanding Graduate Matthew Draggoo (right) and WVC President Jim Richardson.