Prescott eNews
May 21, 2024 6:00 AM

Career and Technical Education Center Honors Top 2023-2024 students

Photo: Group photo of all the honorees at the YC Career and Technical Education Center Evening of Recognition on April 12

The top students in each of the Career and Technical Education Center’s many workforce development programs and degree paths were honored recently for their achievements and for their pursuit of careers that meet critical societal needs.

“We are the backbone of what happens here in America and we’re very proud of that,’” YC Associate Vice President of Career and Technical Education said in welcoming the best of the best CTEC students, their loved ones and their instructors to an “Evening of Recognition” dinner and ceremony April 12. Morgan was referring to the wide range of in-demand technical and skills-training programs – sometimes referred to as “trades” – available at CTEC.

The night’s highest honors, the Provost Award for Excellence and the President’s Award for Excellence went to George Smith and Joshua Nomland, respectively.

A pre-engineering student, an All-Arizona and a Coca-Cola Foundation All-Academic team scholar, George was singled out for the Provost’s award for being a “dedicated, helpful and conscientious” student who “freely and frequently” helps his classmates. “George’s innovative abilities raise him above his peers. His desire to better the world around him ensures he brings his peers with him,” the Provost award nomination states.

A working adult student studying horticulture, Joshua’s nomination for the President’s Award describes him as “top notch” in academics, leadership and community service. “He leads through his actions but doesn’t brag. He’s not a big talker, but oozes competence when he takes something on. People around him are drawn to his personality and nature,” the nomination states.

Along with its top students, CTEC traditionally annually spotlights Outstanding Faculty and Outstanding staff members. This year, those honors were bestowed on Gunsmithing Instructor Allen Magarrell, Adjunct Welding Instructor Andrew Lamer, YC Adult Education Workforce Coordinator Dawnette Polland and Information Technology Analyst Mike Silvas.

Before wrapping up the awards ceremony, Morgan delivered a heartfelt tribute to longtime Automotive Technology and Auto Body Instructor Sonny Rodriguez, who is retiring this year after 17 years at YC. “A quiet and humble person, Sonny always has had his students’ best interests in mind and will forever more be associated with the success of the auto body program,” Morgan said. “Sonny, you are loved by the division and will be dearly missed.”

Following are the CTEC Outstanding Students also honored at the recognition event and listed by program:

  • Animal Care and Management – Alexis Haring
  • Production Horticulture – Phyllis Salazar
  • Diesel Technology – Rhys Tarver
  • Automotive Technology – Amelia Ehrlich
  • Automotive Body & Paint Collision Technology – Isaiah Tapoof
  • Electrical & Instrumentation Technology – Keanu Garcia
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Aidan Trevino
  • Aviation Technology – Scott Poer
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Abbey Reynolds
  • Welding Technology – Michael Phinder
  • Computer Numerical Control – Amos Deines
  • Applied Pre-Engineering Technology – Alex Gibs
  • Gunsmithing Technology – Michael Thompson
  • Electric Utility Technology – Lineman – Jay Edwards
  • Equine Care and Management – Jennifer Lewis
  • Fire Science – Rachel Haywood
  • Construction Building Technology – Harry Michael-Ortega
  • Commercial Driver Training – Mary Nix
  • Film and Media Arts – Elaine Woods
  • 3D Printing and Manufacturing – Neil Sato

For information about YC Career and Technical Education programs, visit

Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, two baccalaureate degrees, student and community services, and cultural events and activities.

To learn more about YC, visit


Related Articles