Greg Dausch just might be the only person you know with Sir Edward Elgar programmed into his cellphone’s playlist.
“OK, let’s bring ‘em out,” he said as he punched up “Pomp and Circumstance,” arguably the British composer’s best-known work.
At least around this time of the year.
There was plenty of pomp and lots of happy circumstance Wednesday in the parking lot of the Monongalia County Technical Education Center on Mississippi Street.
MTEC’s Class of 2023 completers went forth in three separate ceremonies that day, with some digital help from the knight.
Dausch, the tech center’s director, presided over the exercises and announced the names of 165 graduates – giving each name the joyful delivery and genuine enthusiasm that would have set any game show host to looking for another line of work.
“Hey, this is the part where we get to have fun,” he said, before the start of ceremonies for graduates in the Human Services discipline.
The tech center opened the day by sending its Industrial Arts graduates forth.
Graduates in the center’s Health Occupations and Adult Programming divisions turned their tassels later that afternoon to complete the celebration.
“It is about celebrating,” Dausch said.
“These guys worked hard. They deserve this.”
Work is in the very air at METC.
Its students learn how to operate a plasma welder and bake a cherry pie.
And computer coding and carpentry.
They become pharmacy techs, surgical techs and entrepreneurs.
Graphic Arts graduate Sedona Vedis, who discovered her talent for art way back in kindergarten, wants to open her own design studio.
“I was always pretty good at free-hand drawing,” she said.
“And at MTEC, I got to work with all the technology. I’m pretty excited to get going.”
Timothy “T.J.” Goodman is going into his senior year at University High School this fall, but he’s already well on his way to his future career in law enforcement.
The North Carolina native who graduated in METC’s Law and Public Safety program plans on moving back to his home state after high school to pursue jobs in the field — so he can start pursuing bad guys.
“When I was a kid back home, my class did a field trip to the police station,” he said.
“It made a real impression,” he continued.
“And with this program, we did a lot in forensic investigation. That’s what made me want to go into this even more.”
Dausch appreciates such self-direction, bolstered by real-world training.
“From Day One, I tell our students, ‘What you put into this place is what you’ll get out of this place.’ Our students have definite career goals and definite plans to get there.”
METC also celebrated Cindy Bucy and George Law, two longtime educators there who retired earlier this year.