Central Arizona College Maricopa
Central Arizona College's campus in Maricopa. [file photo]

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

Central Arizona College recognized the May 2021 graduating class and celebrated its success during a virtual graduation ceremony on May 14.

Student speakers Sarah Lautzenheiser and Alexsondra Nathan were nominated and selected by the college community to address their peers.

After graduating from Skyline High School, Lautzenheiser attended CAC on an academic scholarship to pursue a degree in Business. Years later, motivated to set a positive example for her three children who range in age from eight months to 10 years, Sarah returned to CAC to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. As a wife, mother, and full-time CAC employee in the midst of a global pandemic, Sarah, like many students faced and overcame multiple obstacles. Sarah plans to transfer to a university and complete her bachelor’s degree.

Nathan is a graduate of San Tan Foothills High School and resides in San Tan Valley where she attended the San Tan Campus. She has a passion for education and making a difference in the lives and development of children, which is why she has chosen elementary education as a career. Sondra was super active as a student leader during her two years at CAC, holding leadership roles in Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa, and National Society of Leadership & Success. She also served on a number of CAC committees and task forces and served as a student employee in Student Activities. Sondra will attend Fulton Teacher’s College at Arizona State University for her bachelor’s degree and one day hopes to be a school principal.

On behalf of the CAC Governing Board, Dr. Jackie Elliott, CAC President, presented an Honorary Associate of Applied Science Degree to Mr. Sean B. Ray, director of Craft Workforce Development for Sundt Construction. This is the highest recognition bestowed upon individuals of exceptional distinction. The purpose of the award is to honor meritorious and outstanding service to the College and/or the community at large and recognizes persons whose lives serve as examples of the College’s aspirations for its students.

Dr. Elliott stated, “Mr. Ray has been instrumental in building connections between industry and education. In fact, the Sundt/CAC Workforce Development Program that he helped to create now has over 428 students enrolled with a 100% employment rate following graduation. The partnership model has received national recognition and numerous top awards and has grown CAC’s Skilled Trades division by 32% since implementation.”

Recognized during the ceremony were 355 spring and summer 2021 graduates, who earned a total of 381 degrees and certificates. The total number of degrees and certificates awarded by Central Arizona College in 51 years is 27,384, given to 19,915 individuals. The oldest person to be awarded a degree or certificate this year was 65 and the youngest was 17. Six students graduated from both Central Arizona College and from high school as members of the Class of 2021.

The following students graduated from the Maricopa campus. The listing is organized alphabetically by campus and includes the certificate and/or degree the student received.

Eric Aguilar, Associate of Applied Science Cyber Security*
Salina Alvarado, Associate of Science
Kuukua Sompa Amonoo, Associate of Science*
Mason Parker Becker, Associate of Applied Science – Computer Programming*
Abel R. Castaneda, Jr., Associate of Arts*
Lashay Deloney, Associate of Arts
Alexandra Diaz, Arizona General Studies
Katrina Lynn Eldridge, Communication Studies Certificate and Associate of Arts*
Diana Estrada, Associate of Arts
Jacob Ford, Associate of Applied Science – Network Administration with Cyber-Security Fundamentals
Araceli Gonzalez, Associate of Arts
Lorraine Hlebasko, Associate of Arts*
Jacob Johnson, Associate of Business
Justin Kalfas, Associate of Applied Science – Paramedicine
Jennifer M. Keefover, Associate of Science
Magen Kelly, Associate of Arts*
Emil Kimble, Associate of Science
Brian Paul Ledding Jr., Associate of Applied Science – Business*
Tayden Gealonn Lorayes, Associate of Business
Tabetha Luke, Accounting Certificate
Dylan Martin, Associate of Arts, Administration of Justice Studies
Mariah Kathryn Montgomery, Associate of Arts
Caitlin Moore, Associate of Applied Science – Digital Media Arts
Yocelyn Ortiz, Associate of Arts
Reginald Patterson, Associate of Arts*
Daniel Z. Rajotte, Associate of Applied Science Software Development
Mercedes C. Rivera. Associate of Applied Science – Business
Carlos Robles, Associate of Science
Salma Aziledni Roman Rojo, Associate of Arts
Veronica Salinas, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts (AGEC-A)
Debbie M. Soliz, Associate of Arts*
Sylvia A. Soliz, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts (AGEC-A)
Jada Stratman, Associate of Applied Science – Business*
Destiny Torres, Associate of Arts
George Valencia, Associate of Arts*

*Denotes those who graduated with honors.

For more than 50 years, Central Arizona College has been serving and educating the diverse communities of Pinal County.  With five campuses and two centers located strategically throughout the county, CAC provides accessible, educational, economic, cultural, and personal growth opportunities for those of all ages.