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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

7 successful alumni to be recognized

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Penta Career Center will recognize seven outstanding alumni at an awards ceremony on May 3.

The award recognizes people who finished a high school or adult education program at Penta before 1996 and are now working in a successful career. It's been given to 78 Penta alumni since 1993.

For Pat Curtin, the award came as a surprise. As a member of the career center's board of education since 2000, he has attended past awards banquets.

"I was always impressed with the recipients," he said.

He said serving on the board - this year as president - is an honor in itself.

"It's my way of giving back for what Penta did for me," he said.

Award recipients said they owed a lot to their educations at Penta.

"Everything I've done since I left Penta, with my career, I learned there," Steven Curtis, who studied drafting, said.

Shortly after he graduated from Otsego High School in 1979, Doehler-Jarvis hired him as a draftsman. He later moved to the Detroit Stoker Company, for which he has worked in a variety of computer-aided design and drafting positions for 25 years.

Mr. Curtis has served on the advisory board for the career center's computer-aided design program since 1999. He said it's a way of helping out the students and the school.

"Penta's a good place to start a career," he said.

"What I learned at Penta has helped prepare me for what I do today," he said.

After he graduated from Maumee High School in 1977, he worked for several lumber companies as a carpenter, salesman, and manager. For 12 years he ran his own business, Bucher Lumber, and joined the Gordon Lumber Company in 2001 in outside sales.

Mr. Curtin said the lessons he learned at Penta applied not only to carpentry, but also to life: Don't be afraid to make mistakes, because you can't avoid them. Learn from them.

Lisa Mattin, who co-owns three businesses and works as a secretary and word process-ing specialist at the Medical University of Ohio, said she got her confidence and drive to succeed from Penta's word processing program. She graduated from Maumee High School in 1985 and from Lourdes College in 2004.

She also met her husband, Dale, at Penta. Together they opened the Button Factory, which makes buttons for political races and fund-raisers, the Snapshots Portrait Studio, and Smiley's Delivery Service.

This year's other honorees are:

●Thomas Berkebile, an electrical engineer with Magna International in Novi, Mich. He completed Penta's automotive technology program and graduated from Perrysburg High School in 1981

●Jarrad Egert, an engine tuner for a NASCAR driver with Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina. Mr. Egert completed Penta's automotive technology program and graduated from Woodmore High School in 1995.

●Patricia K. Hyland, a psychologist with the Maumee City Schools. She completed Penta's early childhood education program and graduated from Perrysburg High School in 1976

●Danilynn M. Miller, a sergeant with the Sylvania Police Department. She completed Penta's security and law enforcement program and graduated from Anthony Wayne High School in 1990.



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