Students, Educators and Local Business Partners Come Together for Awards Ceremony

Students, Educators and Local Business Partners Come Together for Awards Ceremony

Synergy will be at the heart of the 13th Annual Spring Awards ceremony Tuesday, April 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Best Western Gateway Grand, 4200 NW 97th Blvd.

The event celebrates the efforts of 20 Alachua County and Santa Fe College students who have excelled at academic and technical training, and the people who helped them rise. The ceremony will include about 150 participants from around the community.

The evening, which is co-sponsored by Career Pathways and the Alachua Association for Career and Technical Education (AACTE), honors the students for successfully completing the Career Pathways programs that lead to high-wage and high-demand careers. The program allows high school students to get a head start on their future and college students to have solid, marketable skills when they enter the workforce.

These students have demonstrated academic excellence, integrity, responsibility, involvement with school and community, and workplace skills in areas such as agriculture and environmental resources, agriscience, automotive, biotechnology, cardiovascular technology, criminal justice, digital design, early childhood education, entrepreneurship, finance, nursing and respiratory care.

In some cases the students have to overcome more than the usual obstacles. One of the night’s honorees had to overcome learning disabilities. His love of automobiles helped him succeed in the Automotive Technology program and he will soon be the first member of his family to graduate high school. The program has even inspired him to pursue a college education with the long-range plan of owning his own automotive repair shop.

Four students will be awarded a $250 scholarship from the Alachua Association for Career and Technical Education to further their educational goals. The event will recognize the efforts of more than 15 local partners, including businesses that help the students achieve success through clinical learning experiences, internships and input into program design.

“The community partnerships that Career and Technical Education share with organizations and agencies are critical to the introduction of our students into the business world,” said David Edwards, director of Career and Technical Education in Alachua County. “These relationships enable schools and educators to design program curricula that stay current with industry standards and skills, keeping students in touch with the needs of the community and motivating them with real world experiences.”

Educators will be recognized for their contributions to career education, including two distinguished awards named after past leaders, W. Travis Loften and Daniel McKinnon.

The Honor Guard with the Fire and Emergency Medical Services program from the Professional Magnet Academies at Loften will provide the opening for this event.

Career Pathways webpage


  • Priscilla Parker, Career Pathways coordinator at Santa Fe College, 352-283-4055 (cell) or
  • Julie Garrett, for help facilitating your story, 352-395-5430 (office) or 352-870-2924 (cell) or