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Technically, it's a leap into real world

[Times photo: Dirk Shadd]
Tyler E. Spear, 19, hugs her electives teacher, Tom Murray, after walking across the stage Wednesday at Pinellas Park High School. The ceremony honored graduates from Pinellas County's technical education centers in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

By KELLY RYAN GILMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 6, 2002

PINELLAS PARK -- Marcia Byrd took her turn at the microphone Wednesday night to dispense advice about the working world: Ask for help. Work hard. And take your time finding a job that will make you happy.

"Don't do something you don't like because that will make you dread going to work in the morning," Byrd told her classmates during a graduation ceremony for the Pinellas Technical Education Centers. "That will be bad for your career."

Byrd was one of three student speakers at the ceremony honoring graduates from Pinellas County's technical education centers in Clearwater and St. Petersburg. In a 55-minute ceremony at Pinellas Park High School, 120 students graduated.

Of those, 40 were high school students who chose to study at PTEC rather than one of the county's 16 traditional high schools.

"Graduations are sometimes rather sad because you are leaving individuals you have grown to know pretty well and depend upon," said Clide Cassity, PTEC's director. "Graduations, on the other hand, can be exciting and happy times."

Graduate Donna Beattie thanked her teachers and classmates for their positive attitudes. Amanda Stroud thanked the parents in the audience who helped their children get up every morning for class.

Before each graduate could collect a diploma and a white carnation, district administrator Cathy Fleeger advised the class of 2002 to remember their ABC's: Attitude is everything. Believe in yourself. Consider things from every angle.

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