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The Yankee Express

Nursing students pinned at Valley Tech; promising careers ahead

The PN Class of 2023 (from left to right by row): Back: Prosper Amoah, Mary Driscoll, Emmanuel Leke, Michaedis Ateawung, Emily Donnelly, and Jill Keddy. Middle: Tawanda Small, Jane Natabi, Kaleigh Ndawula, Amanda Scott, Ashley Cormier, and Lisa Barton-Ramos. Front: Kristen Perham, Kerry Devine, Dawn Atchue, Tracy Silva, Michelle Kluesner, and Catherine Kagunda. Not pictured: Jaqueline Eller and Kelly Schroeder-Mullett.

It requires a solid education, skill, and compassion to become a nurse and care for patients. The Moonlight Program in Practical Nursing at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) in Upton is challenging and rewarding. Its graduates will tell you that pursuing life-changing training takes perseverance, dedication, and hard work.
The adult evening program recently recognized the achievements of the Class of 2023 during a pinning ceremony held at the school. Twenty proud graduates were pinned and received their nursing certificates, marking the culmination of one and a half years and over 1,090 hours of instruction balanced with work and family obligations. 
The ceremony began with a warm welcome from Practical Nursing Coordinator Joann L. Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC, RMA, who spoke highly of the program and the accomplishments of the graduates, faculty, and staff to meet the objectives of the program. Monks said, “This class is beyond prepared to test for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurses exam. We’re proud of all you have accomplished in our time together.”
Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick spoke about the need for skilled nurses. He said “well-trained, you are a valuable resource for the residents, hospitals, and health care providers of the Blackstone Valley and beyond.” He also recognized two students, who chose to attend BVT not once but twice, graduates of BVT’s Health Services program, Amanda Scott (Class of 2004) and Emily Donnelly (Class of 2019).
Class President Mary Driscoll gave a Class Address. The guest speaker, Assistant Nursing Director at Sterling Village, Jonathan Boutwell, LPN, congratulated the graduates on their journey to becoming nurses and making a difference. In addition to the presentation of the certificates and pins, faculty and legislative awards (the Massachusetts House of Representatives Muradian, Murray, and Soter) provided certificates, and Prosper Amoah, Catherine Kagunda, and Tracey Silva received the Faculty Recognition Award. Representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Senators Ryan Fattman and Michael Moore congratulated the graduates on their chosen professions and promising careers as nurses.  
If you’re ready to take that next step toward a new and exciting career, one of the Moonlight Programs might be for you. The Practical Nursing program serves adult learners in District, out of District, and out of State. For more information, visit

The PN Class of 2023 
(graduates, listed alphabetically by last name): 
Prosper Amoah (Worcester); Dawn Atchue (Grafton); Michaedis Ateawung (Milford); Lisa Barton-Ramos (Clinton); Ashley Cormier (North Brookfield); Kerry Devine, (Uxbridge); Emily Donnelly (Millbury);
Mary Driscoll (Milford); Jaqueline Eller (Natick); Catherine Kagunda (Worcester); Jill Keddy (Shrewsbury); Michelle Kluesner (Milford); Emmanuel Leke (Milford); Jane Natabi (Natick); Kaleigh Ndawula (Northbridge); Kristina Perham (Douglas); Kelly Schroeder-Mullett (Bellingham); Amanda Scott (Northbridge); Tracey Silva (Framingham); and Tawanda Small (Norwood).