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North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology Graduates 54th Class

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto
North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology Graduates 54th Class

The fifty-fourth graduating class of North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology celebrated their accomplishments with a commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 29.

Program Director Heather Koepp proudly shared that the class of 2023 has a 100% job placement rate with four of the nine graduates accepting positions with North Oaks Health System.

Graduates include: (seated, left to right) Keegan N. Marchand of Maurepas; Lauren T. Daniels of Holden; Jace A. Gaudet of Houma; Raleigh M. Lester and Skye E. Pregeant of Loranger; (standing, left to right) Emma R. Cook of Mandeville; Jonathan Harl Penton of Bogalusa; Joseph Anthony Johnson of Hammond; and Macie B. Wascom of Greensburg. Standing at far left is North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology Program Director Heather Koepp. Standing at far right is the school's Clinical Coordinator Stephanie McKenzie.

Commencement was held at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center, located within North Oaks Diagnostic Center on the North Oaks Medical Center campus.

The health system’s Chief Human Resources Officer Jeff Jarreau presided over the ceremony that concluded two years of study for the students involving 2,000 clinical hours and more than 1,200 classroom hours and 400 exams and quizzes.

North Oaks Pastoral Care Director Keith Kincaid delivered the invocation, graduate Lauren T. Daniels led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Lisa Raney and Susan Lee of the Auxiliary of Gideons International presented each graduate with a Bible for medical professionals.

The commencement address was delivered by Shayna Morgan, a 2004 alumna of North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology and current Revenue Cycle Application Manager for North Oaks Health System.

“Just 19 short years ago, I sat where you are this evening and can remember feeling a flood of various emotions … a feeling of accomplishment, excitement about finishing and nervousness to officially begin my career,” Morgan shared. “In the years since, I gained experience as an X-ray Technologist, Sonographer and Epic Electronic Health Record Analyst before entering management. I can tell you that every day will present new situations and challenges. You will experience good days, and you will experience hard ones. Grow from each experience. Look back on every situation and identify something valuable you can improve upon.”

Morgan continued, “Not everyone possesses the key qualities that are necessary to work in healthcare. It takes a special individual to carry out the required dedication, commitment, teamwork, empathy, flexibility, critical thinking and compassion needed to perform your duties as a technologist. You are one of these special individuals, so make each day count. Take every opportunity to make a lasting impact on those in your care. Stay motivated and driven by your ‘why’ to improve lives.”

“And lastly, remember that you’re graduating from the best radiology school with experience from the best health system around,” Morgan concluded. “You are more than prepared to start your next chapter, so walk into your first day of work with confidence!”

Before the presentation of diplomas by Koepp, outstanding achievement awards were given. North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology Didactic Instructor Ben Raney presented the Academic Award to Skye E. Pregeant for obtaining the highest overall scholastic average, and the Performance and Attitude Award for exceptional performance in the clinical setting was presented to Lauren T. Daniels by Stephanie McKenzie, the school’s clinical coordinator.

Kenneth Travis, also a didactic instructor for the school, announced the Dannye Young Taylor “Always Remembering Others Award” recipient. Joseph Anthony Johnson received it in recognition of his selfless assistance to others and teamwork. Now retired, Taylor was a longtime patient representative for North Oaks Health System. The award was created in her honor by her husband, Dr. Rodney Taylor, in tribute to her motto, “always remember others.”

New this year, the CARE Award was presented to Jonathan Harl Penton by Koepp. The CARE Award was created to honor a graduate each year who most embodies commitment, a good attitude, respect for others and a perfect effort.

In addition, Emma R. Cook, Lauren T. Daniels, Joseph Anthony Johnson, Raleigh M. Lester, Jonathan Harl Penton, Skye E. Pregeant and Macie B. Wascom were recognized as members of Lambda Nu, a national honor society for the radiologic and imaging sciences. To become a member, one must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average out of a possible 4.0.

In Koepp’s remarks, she noted that many members of the class of 2023 received state and national acclaim through the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists (LSRT) and American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

Jace A. Gaudet, Joseph Anthony Johnson and Raleigh M. Lester placed third in the quiz bowl competition at the LSRT Annual Meeting held in Baton Rouge in July 2022, while Emma R. Cook, Joseph Anthony Johnson and Lauren T. Daniels took first place in the skit competition.

Macie B. Wascom and Jonathan Harl Penton completed the LSRT Student Leadership Development Program, and Wascom also represented the southeast region of the state on the LSRT Student Advisory Council.

On the national stage, Lauren T. Daniels was among 80 students chosen nationwide to participate in the ASRT Student Leadership Development Program. She was one of two students selected from Louisiana and the second student from North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology ever to participate. Daniels also was one of 14 students awarded a scholarship by Lambda Nu National Honor Society in the fall of 2022.

Rounding out the class of 2023’s accolades, Keegan N. Marchand received an ASRT Foundation Sponsor-a-Student Grant.

Established in 1967, North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology is accredited by JRCERT. The school offers a comprehensive 24-month program that provides classroom and clinical instruction to prepare students for careers in the field of diagnostic imaging, which is used to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the ARRT national certification examination and apply for Louisiana state licensure.

Applications for the 2024-26 class will be accepted through June 1, 2024. Applications are available here.

For more information, call North Oaks School of Radiologic Technology at (985) 230-7805.