Four WCCC Students Named to All-Maine Academic Team

Four WCCC students were named to the statewide All-Maine Academic Team on May 1st. From left to right: Academic Dean Darin McGaw, Ross Norton, Kaitlin Barrett, Kari Galdeen, Jamison Bernoudy, and WCCC President Joe Cassidy. (Submitted photo)

 The All-Maine Academic Team is composed of the high achieving students in the Maine Community College System, with selections picked from each school. Unlike in previous years when only two students from each school were named, the team has been expanded this year to include students that are in both the “transfer” pathway – meaning they are planning to continue in their academic careers – and in the “career” pathway – meaning they will be going directly into the workforce upon graduation. Every student named to the team received a $500 scholarship. This year’s students from Washington County Community College, as selected by President Joseph Cassidy, are Kaitlin Barrett, Jamison Bernoudy, Kari Goldeen, and Ross Norton.

 Kaitlin Barrett is a Liberal Studies student that has been accepted into the Nursing program at Husson University next fall. While at WCCC, Barrett has demonstrated exceptional academic prowess while serving as secretary to the Student Senate and President of the college’s JMG club. “During both semesters that she was my student, I was impressed by Kaitlin’s curiosity, commitment to excellence, and good humor,” shared instructor Molly McDonald. “Her sensitivity and compassion toward others, paired with her bright intelligence and meticulous attention to detail, will serve her well in all her future pursuits. It has been a pleasure to see Kaitlin gain confidence as a student and as a leader over the past four semesters.”

 Upon Jamison Bernoudy’s graduation, he will leave WCCC with both an Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Technology and a certificate in Engine Specialist. He plans to work as a maintenance technician for a heavy equipment dealership in his home state of Vermont. Bernoudy’s service while at WCCC as an Resident Assistant in the dorms provided a calming influence to his peers. “Jamie excels in all areas of the Engine Service program and seeks beyond what is offered to him with the daily class work,” said his instructor, Todd Lerke. “A prime example of this would be a current project he and Ross Norton have undertaken to take a shop diesel engine and reconstruct it to be a high-performance training aid. Using extra time beyond school time he researched, designed and fabricated the systems in order to build the final result.”     

 Kari Galdeen has been part of WCCC's Adventure Recreation program, from which she will graduate in the fall. Galdeen has served as a Resident Advisor and has worked in both the Outdoor Adventure Center and Student Services department at the college while maintaining her academic performance. Galdeen was recently named as a recipient of the George A. Mitchell scholarship and will be traveling abroad to Ireland for a semester next year.

Galdeen has made a special impact on the community in various ways, including through an experiential education program at the Calais Alternative School that combined outdoor activities with an emphasis on communication, teamwork, and trust-building. Her instructor, Scott Fraser, said, “Not only is Kari an exceptional student in the classroom, it is obvious that she’s also passionate about making her community a better place in which to live. She exemplifies what people are capable of if they are passionate about what they do and work hard to achieve their goals.”

 Ross Norton completed his degree in Welding Technology last year, following in his father’s footsteps. This year he graduates with a certificate in Engine Specialist and an Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Technology. He served as a Resident Advisor in the dorms where he demonstrated natural leadership. His instructor, Todd Lerke, was particularly impressed with his efforts. “Every now and then, as an educator you recognize that you have an outstanding talent that gives you all the validation you need to enjoy a career in education. Ross is one of those students. He excels in all areas of the Engine Service program and seeks beyond what is offered him with the daily class work. Quick to offer help, he’s well respected by his classmates. He’s polite, motivated, enthusiastic, well organized, and is willing to go the extra mile to help others.”