Maine Technical College System
SINGLE FATHER OF THREE, RETIRED ARMY COMMANDER AMONG THOSE CHOSEN 2002 'STUDENTS OF THE YEAR'
FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3
AUGUSTA, Maine One is a former naval officer and single father of three whose license plate reads: Mr. Mom. Another is a single mother attending classes alongside her daughter while apprenticing as a crane mechanic. Yet another is a 20 year old college student whose long list of honors and accomplishments belie his young age.
Peter LeTarte of Brunswick, Dolly Bouley of Princeton, Eric Staples of Warren along with their peers Mark Griffard of Searsport, Gillian Fitzgerald of Washburn, Dwaine Witham of Detroit, and Christopher Ike of Old Orchard Beach were honored today as the 2002 Students of the Year by the Maine Technical College System Board of Trustees. The students were joined by family, friends, faculty and other members of their college communities at a ceremony at the Senator Inn in Augusta.
What these seven students have achieved is inspiring, said Jana Lapoint, Chair of the Board of Trustees. They have shown determination and courage in pursuing their college degree and personal goals and we are proud to honor them today, she said.
Nominated by faculty, staff and administration at their colleges, the award winners are selected for their academic success, campus and community involvement and, in some cases, for their ability to achieve in the face of adversity.
Each of the students was awarded a John H. Lapoint, Jr. Leadership Award in the amount of $1,000. Mr. Lapoint was president of UF Strainrite in Lewiston and a trustee of the Maine Technical College System when he passed away in 1995. Mr. Lapoints widow, Jana Lapoint, helped establish the fund for the annual awards.
Maine Technical College System 2002 Students of the Year
Peter G. LeTarte, Central Maine Technical College, Auburn
Peter LeTarte, 42, of Brunswick, is a student in CMTCs Occupational Health and Safety program. He returned to college after a 20-year career in the navy, retiring as a Chief Petty Officer, and served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk stationed in San Diego, CA. A single father of three, he maintains a 3.8 GPA and is one of CMTCs top students. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the Student Senate and the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Mark E. Griffard, Eastern Maine Technical College, Bangor
Mark Griffard, 53, of Searsport, is a student in EMTCs Building Construction program. He returned to college after retiring as a Commander in the United States Army. In addition to excelling academicallyhe maintains a 3.9 GPAhe volunteers as a college tour guide and is active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine. Last year he earned a gold metal in cabinetmaking in the Maine VICA/Skills USA competition and went on to compete at the national level. He serves as the student member of the Building Construction Advisory Board.
Dwaine Witham, Kennebec Valley Technical College, Fairfield
Dwaine Witham, 43, of Detroit, is a student in KVTCs Computer Aided Drafting and Design program. Like many students, he was unsure about college, but now he is widely consider a campus leader and role model for his peers. He maintains a 3.88 GPA, is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and serves as a peer tutor in the colleges Academic Achievement Center. In addition he has helped raise funds for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Gillian Fitzgerald, Northern Maine Technical College, Presque Isle
Gillian Fitzgerald, 24, of Washburn, is a student is NMTCs Accounting program. Despite struggling with some personal challengesincluding dropping out of college briefly to help raise her siblings when a family member was illshe has succeeded in maintaining a 3.6 GPA. She has been on the Deans List and was recognized as a Presidential Scholar by earning a perfect 4.0 one semester. She has volunteered for years at a local assisted living center, is a volunteer with the colleges Tax Assistance program, is a member of the colleges Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is a volunteer for the college yearbook staff.
Eric Staples, Southern Maine Technical College, South Portland
Eric Staples, 20, of Warren, is a student in SMTCs Liberal Studies program. A member of SMTCs baseball basketball and volleyball teams, he was voted most valuable player in baseball as well as SMTCs Sportsman of the year. In addition to sports, his honors include: membership in Phi Theta Kappa, a Coca Cola Century Scholarship winner, and a Guistwhite Scholar, among others. He is a volunteer with the South Portland Boys and Girls Club and helped organized other community service projects. He maintains a 3.86 GPA.
Dolly Bouley, Washington County Technical College, Calais
Dolly Bouley, 41, of Princeton, is a student in WCTCs General Technology program with a major in Heavy Equipment Operation and Heavy Equipment Maintenance. She is a single mother whose daughter Nikki is also a student at WCTC. In addition to being a mother and college student, Dolly works part time and is enrolled in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyards apprenticeship program as a crane mechanic. She currently has a 3.3 GPA and will graduate in May.
Christopher K. Ike, York County Technical College, Wells
Christopher Ike, 34, of Old Orchard Beach, is a student in YCTCs Digital Media Technology program. He is active on the Student Senate and serves on YCTCs Curriculum Committee. He was the driving force behind the Open Mac Lab at YCTC, and volunteers his time to help staff the new open lab hours. This year he and other student senators helped raise funds for the colleges International Community Service project, raising enough money to fund surgery to correct cleft palate syndrome in five South American children. In addition to maintaining a 3.7 GPA, he owns his own Web design business.