Plant Operator Program student Hart Joron will join an elite club next week when he delivers the valedictory speech at the Selkirk College Graduation 2014 Ceremony on the Castlegar Campus.
The regional college has been graduating students for almost 50 years and each ceremony comes with a wise send-off from a fellow student. Joron will deliver the speech next Friday as the Class of 2014 valedictorian.
Plant Operator Program student Hart Joron will represent the Selkirk College Class of 2014 next Friday.
“It was kind of a shock actually, but it’s a huge honour,” says Joron. “I guess I’ve done something right while I was here.”
The Plant Operator Program is based out of Nelson’s Silver King Campus. Program instructor Bruce McMaster nominated Joron because of the impressive qualities he saw in the straight-A student from the opening day of class.
“As a student Hart was supportive of his fellow students to an outstanding degree,” says McMaster. “He always took the time to listen quietly to others, share his acquired knowledge and generally contribute to everyone’s success. He’s a really smart, easy-going person with a big heart.”
Qualities Forged on the West Coast
Joron grew up in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) where both of his parents were teachers in Masset, a small fishing village with a population of less than 900.
“It’s an experience to itself,” Joron says. “It’s a very small town, secluded upbringing. It’s a beautiful place and a there is a lot of culture.”
Joron was a leader from an early age, nabbing sportsmanship and citizenship honours throughout his public school days. He was chosen as his elementary school valedictorian in Grade 6.
Though fond of the lifestyle in his hometown, after high school Joron headed to college in Prince George where he studied for one semester. Not ready to decide on a career path, he left school to work a number of different jobs.
Five years ago, Joron moved to Trail with some friends he grew up with and quickly fell in love with the West Kootenay.
A Return to Post-Secondary
Looking for a more stable career path, this past fall Joron enrolled in the Plant Operator Program after hearing good reviews and looking into future job prospects.
“I was out of school for almost 10 years so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from myself,” says the 28-year-old. “My writing, reading and math were a little rusty… but once I got in there it was great.”
The Plant Operator Program prepares students for entry level positions as plant operators. Students gain knowledge and develop the skills required to operate, monitor and troubleshoot control equipment and processing units found in most industrial settings.
Joron says one of the most interesting aspects of this year’s class of 18 students was its eclectic nature.
“There were a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds,” Joron says. “It was really cool to see the diversity of people in the program.”
With a veteran instructor and the intimate surrounding of the Silver King Campus, Joron says there is a distinct advantage in a Selkirk College education.
“Bruce [McMaster] really knew what he was talking about and really knew his stuff,” says Joron. “It was a small class so you get a lot of one-on-one attention which was perfect for me coming back to school after being away for so long.”
One More Huge Challenge
Delivering the valedictory speech is a daunting task. Joron will be representing a total of 765 students who will graduate from Selkirk College this spring in a variety of different programs. As many as 275 students are expected to be at the ceremony in the Castlegar Campus gym to hear his address.
“I live my life a certain way,” Joron says when asked what he is going to focus on in his speech. “The career and all the responsibility are important, but the most important thing is to be happy with yourself.”
Joron is busy writing his speech which he will deliver on April 25 at the ceremony on the Castlegar Campus.
After delivering the speech, Joron can add “Selkirk College Class of 2014 Valedictorian” to his resume and then it’s off on the job hunt where he hopes to catch on with a company in the West Kootenay.
“Ultimately I would just like to get a job and settle down a bit,” he says. “I’ve been bouncing around a little bit, so I hope this is my opportunity.
“I will always look back at Selkirk College with fondness, this has been is a great step in my future.”