By Aila Boyd

Botetourt Technical Education Center (BTEC) held its Career Signing Day last Wednesday.

During the ceremony, 15 students from the Auto Service Technology, Building Trades, Welding, and Nurse Aide programs signed letters of intent with local employers, sealing their postgraduation fates.

Mike Ketron, supervisor of career technical education and adult education for Botetourt County Public Schools, started off the ceremony with some opening remarks.

Success, as defined by Google, is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,” Ketron said. “This event is the product of a desire to recognize students who took an interest and turned it into a career pathway. Along that pathway, they earned industry certifications or a professional license through programs here at BTEC.”

He said that the students that were recognized took the knowledge and skills that they had acquired at the school and made the most of it. By making the most of their time at the school, he said, they were able to obtain full-time employment even before any of them will walk across the graduation stage.

I want to be the first to congratulate the students and say to move on to the next goal,” Ketron said.

What an outstanding day to recognize our students and their achievements— it’s just awesome,” Shaun Sparks, principal of BTEC, said. “Being in education, it’s wonderful to see these students on a daily basis and this is what it’s all about.”

Sparks went on to announce the students who would be signing letters of intent with local employers.

Auto Service Technology

The following Auto Service Technology students signed letters of intent: Dylan Roatenberry-Lawrence Companies and Zack Spickard-Berglund Automotive. Hunter Poff was absent from the ceremony. Chris Frost serves as the Auto Service Technology instructor at BTEC.

Building Trades

The following Building Trades students signed letters of intent: Stacie Medley-Varney Electrical, JP Whorley-Varney Electrical, and Kaitlyn Spears-Star City Masonry. Phillip Simmons serves as the Building Trades instructor at BTEC.


The following Welding students signed letters of intent: Cameron Blankenship-Excel Truck Group, Mitchell Brewster-Graham White, Brandon Carper-Altec, and Michael James-Carter Machinery. Troy Linkenhoker and Chris Zalewski serve as the Welding instructors at BTEC.

Nurse Aide

The following Nurse Aide students signed letters of intent: Emily Bruno-The Glebe, Erica Dunbar-Richfield Living, Halee Guentzel-Richfield Living, Madeline Smith-Kissito Healthcare, and Naomi Wells-Kissito Healthcare. Shanon Griffin serves as the Nurse Aide instructor.

These students did not get here on their own. That’s why we have such a large thank you list,” Ketron said. “It takes the community, the school system, business and industry, and local government in order to foster this success.”

The school recognized the following for playing a part in the education of its students: the families of the students, the faculty and staff at BTEC, the companies that employ its graduates, Botetourt County Public Schools Superintendent John Busher, Botetourt County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Janet Womack, the Botetourt County School Board, the Botetourt Education Foundation, the principals of Lord Botetourt High School, James River High School, and Craig County High School, the Boteourt County Chamber of Commerce, Craig County Public Schools Superintendent Jeanette Warwick, Botetourt County Director of Economic Development Ken McFadyen, Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe, and Delegate Terry Austin.