More than 280 students recently celebrated their graduation from Sussex Technical High School, completing four years of high-powered, career-technical education and academic successes.
“Ravens soar high above no matter what their path is,” said Principal Dr. John Demby. “Whether you’re headed into military service, going into the workforce, pursuing higher education, or diving into apprenticeship programs, Sussex Tech is proud of all of you. This year has not been what any of us expected, but you have triumphed and persevered.”
Each Sussex Tech student chooses one of 16 career-technical areas in which to concentrate their studies, ranging from collision repair and dental services to carpentry and digital publishing. The most popular areas among the Class of 2020 were health professions, criminal justice, automotive technology, dental services, and early care and education.
Sussex Tech graduates earn both high school diplomas and technical certificates in their field of study. The diploma recognizes the work they have done in the traditional academic subjects to meet all state graduation requirements, and the technical certificate recognizes their accomplishments in their career-technical area, in many cases earning industry-standard professional certifications to prepare them for the workforce or additional education.
This year’s valedictorian is Bethany Pasmore of Bethany Beach, an early care and education student who will attend the University of Delaware to study elementary and special education. She said, “All of us deserve to be proud of what we have achieved.” Recalling the day they walked out of school on March 13 hoping for a few days off, Pasmore said, “We never imagined it would lead to this. Suddenly, high school as we knew it was over … But I believe that through these changes, we have grown stronger. Through this event, we have realized the importance of the people around us.”
The salutatorian is Jaasiel Nunez of Georgetown, a criminal justice and legal support services student who will attend Ohio State University to study athletic training.
The senior class president is Nayelis Gonzalez Sanchez of Seaford, a health professions student who will attend Salisbury University on a pre-med track.
Commencement speaker Dontez Collins, the district’s 2020 Teacher of the Year and a Sussex Tech alumnus, delivered a challenge to graduates feeling emotional about missing part of their senior-year experience. “Use those emotions as fuel,” he said. “Fuel for the fire that burns in your soul to achieve greatness as you define that word from your own perspective ... Liberate each other in packs as black birds who travel in silhouettes in broad daylight.”
Students graduated in four separate ceremonies over the course of two days, June 12-13. Pasmore, Nunez, Gonzalez Sanchez and Collins all recorded their speeches, which will be posted online.